Takahiro Arai and Shohei Otani won 2016 MVP of Japan Baseball

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The NPB Awards 2016 that is an annual award ceremony of Japan professional baseball, was held at Tokyo in November 28 2016. In this award, Hiroshima Carp Takahiro Arai was selected MVP of the Central League. In 2016 season, Takahiro Arai got 2,000th hit in April 26 and entered the 2,000 Hit Club in the 47th. Then he hit the 300th home run total in August 2. Arai played in 123 games, His stats was 300. average. 19 home runs and 101 RBI. And he was appreciated to contribute to the Carp’s first victory in 25 years. Arai is 39 years old, this was the oldest winner of the Central League. Tetsuto Yamada of the Yakult Swallows achieved the triple three for 2 years in a row, but he wasn’t selected MVP in this year.

For the MVP of the Pacific League, Shohei Otani of the Hokkaido Nippon-ham Fighters was selected. Otani worked as the two-way player, his stats of the pitcher was  10 wins, 21 pitching appearances, and an ERA of 1.86. And his stats of the batter was 322. average. 22 home runs and 67 RBI. So Shohei Otani contributed to the fighters’ Japan Series championship. Then he threw a fastball of 102.5 mph(165 km) in October 16, it was the fastest ball in Japan.

In addition, the rookie of the year was announced. In the Central League, Shun Takayama of the Hanshin Tigers was selected. Shun Takayama ’s biography is that he’s the age of 23, and he was born at Chiba. Takayama began playing baseball from 7 years old, and he was drafted by the Tigers in the first round in 2015 npb draft. He contracted with the Tigers and he was expected an Outfielder. Takayama was a starting member of the opening game of 2016, and he became a regular outfielder of the year and played in 134 games. His stats was 275. average. 8 home runs and 65 RBI.

In the Pacific League, Hirotoshi Takanashi of the Fighters was selected for the rookie of the year. Hirotoshi Takanashi ’s biography is that he’s the age of 25, and he was born at Chiba. Takayama began playing baseball from 8 years old, and he was drafted by the Fighters in the 4th round in 2013 npb draft. He contracted with the Tigers and he was expected an starting pitcher. Takanashi had been play in the first team from 2015 season, and he became the starting rotation for the Fighters this year. His stats was  10 wins, 37 pitching appearances, and an ERA of 2.38.

After that, the Best Nine for both leagues were held. The Best Nine selections, like MLB’s All-Star Game starting lineups, are each league’s selections for its best players at each position. The Best Nine is as follows.

■Central League
P: Yusuke Nomura(Carp)C: Yoshiyuki Ishihara(Carp)1B: Takahiro Arai(Carp)2B: Tetsuto Yamada(Swallows)3B: Shuichi Murata(Giants) SS:Hayato Sakamoto (Giants) OF: Seiya Suzuki, Yoshihiro Maru(Carp)and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo(BayStars). Five players were chosen from the winning Carp.

■Pacific League
P: Shohei Otani(Fighters)C: Tatsuhiro Tamura(Marines)1B: Sho Nakata(Fighters)2B:Hideto Asamura(Lions)3B:Brandon Laird(Fighters)SS: Daichi Suzuki(Marines)OF: Katsuya Kakunaka(Marines), Yoshio Itoi(Buffaloes)and Haruki Nishikawa(Fighters)DH: Shohei Otani.   Shohei Otani the first-ever to be named at pitcher and DH in the same season.

Please be sure to check out the links that introduced the players. This youtube’s video is the interview of Saitama Seibu Lions players in NPB Awards 2016. The selected players got a trophy and receive an interview on the stage.