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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Japanese Baseball 2009 Awards


Japanese baseball announced it's 2009 Awards this week in a ceremony at Akasaka Sacas in central Tokyo's Akasaka district.

Yomiuri Giants slugger Alex Ramirez was named the 2009 Central League MVP after leading the CL with a .322 average with 31 homers and 103 RBIs. Ramirez, who won last year as well, is the first back-to-back winner since Sadaharu Oh in 1976-1977.

His teammate Tetsuya Matsumoto walked away with he CL rookie of the year honors. Matsumoto became the second former ikusei player to win the award after teammate Tetsuya Yamaguchi was named ROY last season.

Matsumoto batted .293 with 15 RBIs and 16 stolen bases for the Giants this season.

The Central League Best Nine was also announced and consists of: Shinnosuke Abe (catcher, Yomiuri Giants), Tony Blanco (first base, Chunichi Dragons), Akihiro Higashide (second base, Hiroshima Carp), Michihiro Ogasawara (third base, Yomiuri Giants), Hayato Sakamoto (shortstop, Yomiuri Giants), Norichika Aoki (outfield Tokyo Yakult Swallows), Seiichi Uchikawa (outfield, Yokohama BayStars), Ramirez, Dicky Gonzalez (pitcher, Yomiuri Giants).

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters Yu Darvish won the Pacific League's top honor, winning the MVP award for the second time in his five-year career. Darvish went 15-5 for the Fighters and posted a PL high 1.73 ERA in 23 starts before being sidelined with back problems and shoulder strain. Darvish struck out 167 batters this season.

He joins Ichiro Suzuki (Orix Buffaloes) and Kazuhisa Inao (Nishitetsu Lions) as the only players to win two MVPs in their first five seasons.

Hawks reliever Tadashi Settsu was the PL rookie of the year after leading the league with 70 appearances and posting a 1.47 ERA.

The Pacific League best nine is as follows: Hidenori Tanoue (catcher, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks), Shinji Takahashi (first base, Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters), Kensuke Tanaka (second baseman, Fighters), Takeya Nakamura (third base, Seibu Lions), Hiroyuki Nakajima (Lions, shortstop), Teppei Tsuchiya (outfield, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles), Yoshio Itoi (outfield, Fighters), Atsunori Inaba (outfield, Fighters), Takeshi Yamasaki (designated hitter, Eagles), Darvish (pitcher, Fighters).

© Jason Coskrey & JapanVisitor.com

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