Japanese 2011 Best Nine

These are the “Best Nine” in Japan, which I’m assuming are the post season All Stars at each position.  There are at least two players who will be posted that have made this list.  Below are the players:

Central League

P - Kazuki Yoshima (18-3, 1.65, Dragons) - His first time being voted here.

C - Shinnosuke Abe (.292, 20, 61, Giants) - This is the veteran catchers sixth time voted here.

1B - Kenta Kurihara (.293, 17, 87, Carp) - His first time here.

2B - Keiichi Hirano (.295, 1, 29, Tigers) - Voted the first time, he had 34 sacrifice hits.

3B - Shinya Miyamoto (.302, 2, 35, Swallows) - First time appearance, power is lacking for the position

SS - Takashi Toritani (.300, 5, 51, Tigers) - His third selection, has expressed an interest in the major leagues for 2013 season.

OF - Hisayoshi Chono (.316, 17, 69, Giants) - His first year selected, led the league in hitting.  Not a bad sophmore year for the Giant.

OF - Matt Murton (.311, 13, 60, Tiger) - His second year selected, Matt could be looking to get back on a major league team.  The lack the power to play a corner or the speed to play center may hurt his chances.

OF - Norichika Aoki (.292, 4, 44, Swallows) - His seventh selection were the most in the Central, despite a down offensive year.  The Swallows have agreed to post him.

Pacific League

P - Masahiro Tanaka (19-5, 1.27, Eagles) - His first selection.  It is Masahiro and not Yu Darvish that is now considered the best pitcher in Japan, but that is like arguing between Verlander and Halladay.  Darvish was second in the voting, but it was not even close.  Potential free agent Tsuyoshi Wada was third with two votes.

C - Toru Hosokawa (.201, 1, 20, Hawks) - His second selection.  Must be noted for his defense.  Hard to tell here since no one has challenged him on the basepaths.

1B - Hiroki Kokubo (.269, 10, 48, Hawks) - His first selection for this position.  He won the award at second base twice.  He does not appear to have made the trip for the Asian Series.  A neck injury has prevented his participation.

2B - Yuichi Honda (.305, 0, 43, Hawks) - His first time here, the third Hawk for the infield.  He stole 60 bases.

3B - Takeya Nakamura (.269, 48, 116, Lions) - For the 2011 homerun champ, this is his third selection.  He had trouble making the all star team last year, finally being selected by the manager after being overlooked by both the players and the fans.

SS - Hiroyuki Nakajima (.297, 16, 100, Lions) - This was the Hiroyuki’s third selection to the team.  The Lions are willing to post him to the major leagues after resisting the last couple years.

OF - Yoshio Itoi (.319, 11, 54, Fighters) - This is his second selection.  Itoi was second in the league in hitting and stole 31 bases.

OF - Seiichi Uchikawa (.338, 12, 74, Hawks) - This is his first selection here, but in the Central Leage he had won the award at first base and the outfield.

OF - Takumi Kuriyama (.307, 3, 60, Lions) - This is his third selection

DH - Jose Fernendez (.259, 17, 81, Lions) - This is his first selection for the outfield.  He had won once at third base.

The Softbank Hawks and Seibu Lions hogged eight of the ten Pacific League positions.  The Central was a little more balanced, with the Tigers finding the most players on this list (three) despite their absence from the playoffs.  The Giants and Swallows had two each and the Dragons and Carp one each.

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