In my opinion the 2021 American League MVP should go to Vladimir (Vlad) Guerrero Jr.
Many will argue in favor of Royals catcher Salvador Perez or Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani. Perez and Ohtani both put up record breaking and setting numbers in 2021 but will both come up short in the AL MVP race.
Lets start with Perez. Salvador Perez put up ridiculous numbers, with a slash of .273/.316/.859. Perez also hit 48 home runs, breaking Red’s Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench’s prevision record of 45 home runs hit by a catcher. He also added in 121 RBI’s and 169 hits(72 of them for extra bases). Perez also played his usual gold glove caliber defense behind the plate, but it is a hot bat that will land the All-Star catcher 3rd in the 2021 AL MVP race
Shohei Ohtani is unique, a phenomenon, an a unicorn. This year Ohtani did something no one has ever done in the history of baseball. Pitch at an All-Star level and hit at an All-Star level, he was selected to the American League All-Star team as both a pitcher and a hitter. Let’s start with the pitching; Ohtani started 23 games for the Anaheim Angels going 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA, he threw 130.1 innings, while striking out 156 batters. His ERA and strikeout numbers are excellent, placing him within the top 20 for strikeouts among AL pitchers. Now Ohtani the hitter is a different animal. Ohtani hit a respectable .257, but it is his rare combination of power and speed that makes his offensive game so special. He hit 46 home runs and drove in 100 while also stealing 26 bases and leading all of MLB in triples with 8. His elite pitching and hitting makes him a specimen, but he will fall just short in the AL MVP race.
Vlad Jr. arguably had the greatest season a 22 year old could ever have. Guerrero Jr. was the most complete hitter in 2021, he hit for power and average while having the ability to drive in runners at a high clip and maintaining an elite on-base percentage. Vlad slugged an impressive .311/.401/1.002 along with leading the league with 48 home runs, tacking on 111 RBI’s and 188 hits; he lead the AL in 5 of the 13 major offensive categories. His impressive age 22 seasons was capped with a 3rd place finish in the Al east and he lead the youthful Toronto Blue Jays to a well above average record of 91-71, missing the playoffs by a game. Guerrero Jr. was awarded All-Star game MVP at this year’s mid-summer classic in Colorado and we will take home American League MVP following the completion of the world series.