The Race for the 2021 Major League Baseball MVP Award



Shohei Ohtani (left) and Vladimir Guerro Jr. (right), the two contenders for the 2021 AL MVP Award. Ohtani, dressed in white and red, plays for the Los Angeles Angels. Guerro Jr., dressed in baby blue, plays for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Madison Austin, Photojournalist

In the fateful year of 1931, Major League Baseball established a wonderful tradition of celebration. The MLB Association recognized some of its most remarkable players with an award following the conclusion of the baseball season. This exciting tradition became an annual celebration, and nowadays, the best and brightest of Major League Baseball compete for eight selective certifications. Every year, a few talented baseball players are recognized for various awards, ranging from Most Valuable Player to Rookie of the Year, and Players Choice Awards.

In the two subdivisions of the Major League Baseball Association, the American League and the National League, eight talented men have the opportunity to win various certifications of achievement. The most distinguished of the MLB awards is the Most Valuable Player award. Some of the most notable names in baseball — Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Mike Trout, to name a few — have been recipients of this award. There has been much talk about this year’s race for MVP, and critics and fans alike have predicted that the recipients for MVP are between four accomplished players.

This year, two phenomenal baseball players in the American League have competed neck in neck to receive the MVP award. Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerro Jr. are the predicted contenders for the 2021 AL MVP Award.

Shohei Ohtani, of the Los Angeles Angels, is the most probable 2021 American League MVP. Ohtani, a pitcher and designated hitter, has had himself quite a season. With an Estimated Run Average of 3.18 and 156 strikeouts under his belt, Ohtani is one of Major League Baseball’s most dynamic pitchers. As a two-way player, Ohtani’s exceptional pitching is not the only thing that has baseball enthusiasts buzzing. He remained the MLB Homerun leader for the majority of the season, and has recently, just weeks before the end of the season, fallen to third place. He was also selected to play for the 2021 AL All-Star team and won the AL Player of the month award in June and July. Jake Milligan (11), an Angels fan and member of the YLHS baseball team, thinks the choice is a no-brainer. He is confident about his MVP prediction and believes that “it will be Shohei Ohtani, and there’s no question about it.”

Ohtani’s fiercest competitor, stellar first baseman of the Toronto Blue Jays, is none other than Vladimir Guerro Jr. Son of award-winning baseball player Vladimir Guerro, Guerro Jr. has truly made a name for himself in the world of Major League Baseball. At the prime age of 22-years-old, Guerro Jr. remained in second place on the Homerun chart, until catching up to Ohtani last week. Not only is Guerro Jr. high on the leaderboard for his 47 home runs, but he is also leading the league with his 187 hits and 121 runs. Benjamin Hoffman, of The New York Times, believes that because Guerro Jr. is “playing for a top team and was leading the league in runs, hits, home runs, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage,” he has essentially secured himself the MVP award. Guerro Jr. was also a member of the 2021 AL All-Star team and won the AL Player of the Week Award in June of this year.

On the other side of the spectrum, two outstanding players lead the race for MVP in the National League. Bryce Harper and Fernando Tatís Jr. are under consideration for the 2021 award, and both have proved themselves to be worthy of such an esteemed title.

Bryce Harper, a striking right fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies, has been an award-winning baseball player for the past decade. Since his MLB debut in 2010, Harper has received many MLB awards, most notably his 1st place slugging percentage in the National League in 2015. With a batting average of .309, Harper has led the Phillies through a fairly successful second half of the season. According to John Harper of Yahoo News, “Bryce Harper is having the best second half” of the season that he could be having, “which bodes well for a strong finish.”

The other contender for the National League MVP award is 22-year old shortstop, Fernando Tatís Jr. As an MLB stat leader for the San Diego Padres, Tatís Jr. nailed 135 hits and 42 home runs this season. As the son of former third baseman Fernando Tatís, Tatís Jr. is a household legacy in the MLB. He played for the National League All-Star team in the 2021 All-Star game and is widely known as the “team leader” of the Padres. Joel Reuter, a writer for The Bleacher Report, claims that Tatís has an “electric mix of power and speed” that would easily carry him to MVP status.

This year’s contest for MLB Most Valuable Player is nothing short of contentious. From Ohtani’s remarkable pitching and Guerro Jr.’s exceptional batting to Harper’s unbelievable catches and Tatís Jr.’s home run hitting, it will be a tight race for the award.