Aoki and Ishikawa receive 2008 "Golden Glove" honors

Tokyo center fielder, Norichika Aoki, and starting pitcher, Masanori Ishikawa, were named the top defensive players at their respective positions yesterday.

Aoki won his third Golden Glove in a row, and third overall, in the outfield. For Ishikawa, 2008 is the first time in his professional career that he has snagged the top spot.

NPB has a full list of the award-winners, but each name in the list links to a stats table that includes no defensive numbers. Go figure.

Here’s a brief rundown of the winners:

Central League

Pitcher – Masanori Ishikawa (Tokyo)

Catcher – Shinnosuke Abe (Yomiuri)

1st Base – (tie) Takahiro Arai (Hanshin) and Kenta Kurihara (Hiroshima)

2nd Base – Masahiro Araki (Chunichi)

3rd Base – Norihiro Nakamura (Chunichi)

Shortstop – Hirokazu Ibata (Chunichi)

Outfield – Norichika Aoki (Tokyo); Norihiro Akahoshi (Hanshin); Takahiro Suzuki (Yomiuri)

Pacific League

Pitcher – Yuu Darvish (Hokkaido)

Catcher – Toru Hosokawa (Saitama)

1st Base – Alex Cabrera (Orix)

2nd Base – Kensuke Tanaka (Hokkaido)

3rd Base – Toshiaki Imae (Chiba)

Shortstop – Hiroyuki Nakajima (Saitama)

Outfield – Atsunori Inaba (Hokkaido); Hichori Morimoto (Hokkaido); Tomotaka Sakaguchi (Orix)

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo’s more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it’s a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini

  • Abe’s unofficial fan report (ie. anecdotal) has him pegged as one of the worst defensive catchers in Japan. And I’m not sure about Cabrera either. But ah well, on both sides of the Pacific, the Golden Glove Awards are often more about players’ batting and fame.

  • I agree, Simon. I’ve seen Abe catch some pretty good games, but he’s never really been all that stellar on defense. Perhaps Abe’s receiving of the award this year (the second of his career) could be viewed as indicative of how little talent there was to choose from in the Central League this season.

  • Rob

    Hooray – I’m not the only one down on Abe! I think with any other team Abe would play first, but the Giants already have a big pile of first basemen.
    He can’t block pitches, can’t call a game (Beijing kind of proved that), and can’t throw runners out. He CAN hit like anything when he’s hot and healthy, and he bats lefty, so what can you do?

    I think Chris is right – CL catching is in a dead zone. I think Tanishige was the “regular” gold glove (mitt?) winner, but he’s done. He hasn’t been able to hit for years, but he has always been able to nurse the Dragons pitching staff through rough spots and throw runners out. Until last year, when he couldn’t throw anybody out. (I think TYS ran all over him.)

    Fukuchi was fourth on the list for outfielders – good on him! Pretty good for his first year in a new park (and for going back and forth from LF to RF – the three winners are all CF)!