In the least surprising baseball news as of late, Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuna Jr. added some more hardware to their growing collections.
After recently earning American and National League MVP honors, Ohtani and Acuna were named the 2023 Hank Aaron Award winners on Saturday.
Out of 50 all-time winners, the pair are the 25th and 26th MVP recipients to earn the Hank Aaron Award, given to the best overall offensive player from both leagues.
It’s the first Aaron Award win for both.
Acuna had a history-making year, becoming the first player to join the 40 home run/70 stolen base club. The Atlanta Braves star finished the year with 41 homers and 106 RBI while leading MLB in hits (217), runs scored (149), on-base percentage (.416), and stolen bases (73).
On top of MVP and Hank Aaron Award nods, the 25-year-old also earned his third Silver Slugger Award.
Meanwhile, Ohtani receives another honor fresh off agreeing to a massive record-breaking 10-year, $700 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. With Ohtani unavailable to pitch in 2024, focus on his work with the bat has increased. The Dodgers think his offensive abilities alone were worth the risk, and they aren’t wrong.
As designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani finished tops in the majors in slugging percentage (.654) while leading the AL in on-base (.412) and home runs (44). He knocked in 95 runs or more for the third consecutive season while batting .304, the best average of his six-year career.
Like Acuna, Ohtani received an AL Silver Slugger Award, his second, while also winning the Edgar Martinez Award, given to the best DH in baseball.
Now competing in the same league, Ohtani and Acuna will go head-to-head for many of these awards this time next year. Whether or not it follows a meeting in the NL Championship Series and a possible World Series win for either remains to be seen.