Tag Archives: awards

Monthly Honors

Nippon Professional Baseball named its batters and pitchers of the month(s) of July and August on Wednesday, the months lumped together due to the four-week Olympic break in their midst.

The Central League picks were Yomiuri Giants closer Thyago Vieira and Hiroshima Carp right fielder Seiya Suzuki, while the Pacific League’s honorees were Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Lotte Marines center fielder Kyota Fujiwara.

One of the interesting things NPB does is make a table of award candidates well before the end of the month. I only wish they put a table of top candidates after the selection. Of course, that would end up making some of their decisions look kind of dumb. To be fair the selections have vastly improved over the past three years.

For discussion’s sake, I’ve included the figures of the guys I considered might also win it this month.

Central League

For batter of the month, Suzuki was really the only choice, even for an award that has traditionally annoyed reason. Yomiuri cleanup hitter Kazuma Okamoto was his closest competitor, and since they are similar players, the comparison is very simple.


Among CL pitchers, it was more complicated to choose between Vieira and Carp ace Daichi Osera. Vieira is a good selection, but I guarantee you that five years ago, he had zero chance of winning the award because a starting pitcher, Osera, went 4-0 with an ERA under 2.50.

Vieira was qualitatively better as relievers generally are, and I think one could argue that a closer’s leveraged innings are worth between two and three times that of a starter. If you’re on the two-times side of that, Osera is your man, if you’re closer to the three-times side, then it’s Vieira.


As usual, the league’s explanation added things that had nothing to do with his actual performance during the period in question. “From May 3 to Aug. 31, he was not charged with a run for 31 consecutive games, matching the record for import pitchers set by former Hawk Brian Falkenborg.”

In the context of the award, Vieira’s record has nothing to do with anything, but it does give the selectors an excuse not to select two players from a last-place team.

Suzuki’s mentioned his leading the league in the triple crown stats “a performance worthy of being a cleanup hitter” (irrelevant). Among the fluff, they did mention that the Carp went 14-12 with one tie in July and August, the only time they’ve been over .500 in a “month” this year.

The best one for Suzuki was “he showed no signs of fatigue from the Tokyo Olympics.” I’m sure Suzuki was stressed out during the Olympics, and his August performance has to be a relief considering he didn’t hit a lick for Japan.

Pacific League

Fujiwara definitely qualified as best in the league. His NPB blurb cites his playing in all of his team’s games while leading the league in runs, hits, doubles, total bases, stolen bases, and slugging percentage while being second in home runs, batting average, and on-base percentage.

He’s 21-years-old and his numbers make him an excellent comp for the guy who got his 2,000th career hit over the weekend, Seibu outfielder Takumi Kuriyama.


Yamamoto’s second straight selection cites his 4-0 record, league-leading ERA, and second-best strikeout total, with details of his four wins, and comments that he was instrumental in Orix being in first place with the additional fluff of his current win streak running back to interleague play…

C. Sasaki307112361.001.64

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Publishing award voting in NPB

The Twitterverse had a few things to say after I posted a photo of my ballot on Friday for the Central and Pacific leagues’ postseason awards .

2018 PL award ballot

2018 CL award ballot














In roman script my pics were:
Central League
1. OF Yoshihiro Maru, Hiroshima Carp
2. 2B Tetsuto Yamada, Yakult Swallows
3. OF Seiya Suzuki, Hiroshima Carp
Rookie of the Year
P Katsuki Azuma, DeNA BayStars
Best Nine
P: Tomoyuki Sugano, Yomiuri Giants
C: Tsubasa Aizawa, Hiroshima Carp
1B: Dayan Viciedo, Chunichi Dragons
2B: Tetsuto Yamada, Yakult Swallows
3B: Toshiro Miyazaki, DeNA BayStars
SS: Hayato Sakamoto, Yomiuri Giants
Yoshihiro Maru, Hiroshima Carp
Seiya Suzuki, Hiroshima Carp
Ryosuke Hirata, Chunichi Dragons

Pacific League
1. OF Yuki Yanagita, SoftBank Hawks
2. OF Shogo Akiyama, Seibu Lions
3. 1B Hotaka Yamakawa, Seibu Lions
Rookie of the Year
OF Kazuki Tanaka, Rakuten Eagles
Best Nine
P: Takayuki Kishi, Rakuten Eagles
C: Takuya Kai, SoftBank Hawks
1B: 1B Hotaka Yamakawa, Seibu Lions
2B: Hideto Asamura, Seibu Lions
3B: Nobuhiro Matsuda, DeNA BayStars
SS: Sosuke Genda, Seibu Lions
Yuki Yanagita, SoftBank Hawks
Shogo Akiyama, Seibu Lions
Masataka Yoshida, Orix Buffaloes
Designated Hitter
Alfredo Despaigne, SoftBank Hawks

岡本和真ではなく、ピシエドに入れのか?? – You picked (Dayan) Viciedo over Kazuma Okamoto?
平田よりソトじゃね?– You picked Hirata over (38-home run man) Neftali Soto?
みんなこういう風に公表すればいいのにね!–I wish everyone would publish their ballots this way!
パリーグで岸だけ防御率が2点台なんですよね。– Kishi was the only PL pitcher with an ERA under 3.00 wasn’t he?
127打点と.310打率の成績を残しながら、リーグ優勝にひっぱた選手(浅村栄斗)はMVP投票から外したの?–A guy that had 127 RBI and hit .310 in leading his team to the league championship is not on your (MVP) list?
こうやって全員が全員公表してくれたら謎GGとかなくなると思うんだよなぁ–I think that if all the members make public this way, mystery GG is gone
完全同意. 迷うとしたら3位を誠也か大瀬良かてところやな–I completely agree, but I’d prefer if the third-place MVP vote went to (Carp) pitcher Daichi Osera instead of giving a vote to Seiya Suzuki.

もちろん今季の成績だけで選ぶなら丸山田菅野の三強だと思います。 しかし2016年のように優勝に強く貢献した選手が選ばれる傾向があるので大瀬良にも票がかなり入るんじゃないかと思います– Of course, I think that the three strongest this season in the CL were Maru, Yamada and Sugano–if one chooses only by the season’s results. However, I think that the final award vote will favor Daichi Osera because there is a tendency that the player who contributed a lot to the championship gets in — (as they did in 2016, when Takahiro Arai was MVP

成績が大差ないなら優勝チーム優先でいいと思いますが私もMVPはその年に最も勝ちに貢献した選手が取るべきだと思います–You aren’t selecting the player who most contributed to the year’s championship, but voting for the player who contributed most to wins during the season. 👏 If players’ production is close, I think the MVP vote should go to the player who contributed to a championship.

投票用紙初めて見たよ。ちゃんと社名氏名も書くんだね。NPBがこれをファンに公表してくれたら不可解な投票やふざけた投票はかなり減るだろう。–This is the first time I’ve seen a ballot. If NPB made this public to the fans, it would reduce the number of inexplicable or throw-away votes.

優勝した西武を押し退けてMVP1位に選ばれる柳田凄スギィ–You pushed aside players who won the championship with Seibu to give your first-place MVP vote to (SoftBank’s) Yuki Yanagita, amazing.

A few people also asked whether publishing ballots was allowed. I couldn’t find any rules against it, but it’s less common in Japan than giving your No. 1 MVP vote to a player whose team didn’t win the pennant.