Ohtani named finalist for American League MVP

In Major League Baseball, Japanese two-way star Ohtani Shohei has been shortlisted for this year's Most Valuable Player Award in the American League.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America announced the three finalists for MVP in both the American and National Leagues on Monday. The nominees were chosen through voting by 30 member journalists.

Ohtani, who just finished his fourth season with the Los Angeles Angels, was named along with two players from the Toronto Blue Jays.

They are Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who won the league's home run title this year with 48 round-trippers, and Marcus Semien, who blasted 45 homers.

Ohtani's phenomenal year was his best ever. As a pitcher, he notched up nine wins and 156 strikeouts. As a batter, he racked up 46 homers, 100 runs batted in and 26 stolen bases.

He became only the sixth MLB player to achieve 45 home runs and 25 stolen bases in a single season. He also became the first player to pitch and bat in the All-Star Game in July.

Ohtani has already won the MLB Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award -- which was given for the first time in seven years -- while his fellow players named him the 2021 Player of the Year.

Some baseball critics consider Ohtani a clear favorite to win the MVP Award. If he does, he will be the second Japanese player to win the honor. The first was Suzuki Ichiro in 2001.

The MVPs will be announced on November 18.