Hiroshima Carp’s Ryosuke Kikuchi continued to set the gold standard in the vote for Japanese pro baseball field prices, earning his eighth straight Central League Golden Glove at second base on Friday.
Central League Golden Glove winner Ryosuke Kikuchi from Hiroshima Carp in Tokyo December 18, 2020. (Kyodo)
This year, Kikuchi became the first second baseman in Japan to play an entire season without making a mistake. Chunichi Dragons center-back Yohei Oshima also picked up his eighth career award among CL outfielders, earning the credit for the third season in a row.
Pacific League and Japan Series champion SoftBank Hawks led all teams with four awards, with catcher Takuya Kai winning his fourth and fourth straight. He was joined by ace pitcher Kodai Senga, who won for the second year in a row, midfielder Yuki Yanagita, who jumped back from an injury-plagued 2019 season to serve his fifth and first baseman Akira Nakamura.
Nakamura shared the PL award at first base with Nippon Ham Fighters slugger Sho Nakata, who was honored for the fourth time.
Nakata was joined by two teammates, midfielder Haruki Nishikawa and right fielder Taishi Ota. Nishikawa has been laid off by the warriors and is now looking for a job in the major leagues. It was his fourth prize and his fourth straight, while Otas is his first.
The other PL awards went to a combination of Seibu Lions midfield by second baseman Shuta Tonosaki and shortstop Sosuke Genda, and Rakuten Eagles third baseman Daichi Suzuki.
Genda, a fourth-year pro, has now won three straight field awards, while Tonosakis is his first and Suzukis is his first at third base, having won once at second base when he was with Lotte Marines.
Chunichi led the CL poll with three winners: Oshima, third baseman Shuhei Takahashi, a second-time winner, and first baseman Dayan Viciedo, a newcomer to the award.
CL champion Yomiuri Giants picked two, the fourth each for ace Tomoyuki Sugano and shortstop Hayato Sakamoto. Carp also collected two with right-hander Seiya Suzuki who earned his fourth who joined Kikuchi.
The remaining CL prizes went to Hanshin Tigers catcher Ryutaro Umeno, who won his third and third straight, while Yakult Swallows left field Norichika Aoki won his seventh in CL field. The 38-year-old last won in 2011, the year before he embarked on a six-year league odyssey.