Miyamoto and Aoki earn Best Nine honors

Miyamoto is the oldest player to ever earn a Best 9 selection.

Tokyo third baseman, Shinya Miyamoto, and center fielder, Norichika Aoki, were voted into the Central League’s best nine today.

Miyamoto earned the award for the first time in his 17-year career while it was the seventh time that Aoki has been voted in during his eight seasons as a pro.

This comes just after both players won Central League Golden Gloves for their exceptional defense in 2011.

Miyamoto easily beat Hanshin’s Takahiro Arai by a tally of 184 to 57 in voting for the league’s best third baseman.

Aoki collected 156 votes and was third in outfield voting behind Yomiuri’s Hisayoshi Chono (238) and Hanshin’s Matt Murton (226).

Balentien and Hatakeyama were fourth and fifth, respectively, in balloting for outfielders, so it was a very strong showing for Tokyo’s fence-minders this year.

Hatakeyama also finished second in voting for first basemen. He was outpaced by Hiroshima’s Kurihara by a count of 157 to 78.

Aikawa (C), Tanaka (2B) and Kawabata (SS) all finished third in voting for their respective positions.


Central League

PKazuki YoshimiChunichi1
CShinnosuke AbeYomiuri6
1BKenta KuriharaHiroshima1
2BKeiichi HiranoHanshin2
3BShinya MiyamotoTokyo1
SSTakashi ToritaniHanshin3
OFHisayoshi ChonoYomiuri1
OFMatt MurtonHanshin2

Pacific League

PMasahiro TanakaTohoku1
CToru HosokawaFukuoka21st Best Nine was with Seibu in 2008
1BHiroki KokuboFukuoka13rd time overall
Won award at 2B in 1995, 1997
2BYuichi HondaFukuoka1
3BTakeya NakamuraSaitama3
SSHiroyuki NakajimaSaitama3
OFYoshio ItoiHokkaido2
OFSeiichi UchikawaFukuoka13rd time overall (twice with Yokohama)
Won award in outfield in 2008 and at 1B in 2009
OFTakumi KuriyamaSaitama3
DHJose FernandezSaitama12nd time overall (once with Tohoku)
Won award at 3B in 2006

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