2018 in Japanese Baseball

From BR Bullpen

The 2018 Japanese season saw another title for the Softbank Hawks, their 4th this decade. It did not come quite as easily, as the team finished second in the Pacific League in the regular season before upending the Seibu Lions in the playoffs and topping the Hiroshima Carp in the 2018 Japan Series. Hitoki Iwase became the first pitcher in league history to reach 1,000 career appearances.

Standings[edit]

Bold indicates league champion; Italics indicate Nippon Series winner; * indicates playoff team

Central League[edit]

Team G W L T WPCT GB RS RA AVG OBP SLG ERA Manager(s)
Hiroshima Toyo Carp* 143 82 59 2 .582 -- 721 651 .262 .349 .431 4.12 Koichi Ogata
Yakult Swallows* 143 76 66 2 .532 7 658 665 .266 .347 .402 4.13 Junji Ogawa
Yomiuri Giants* 143 67 71 5 .486 13.5 625 575 .257 .325 .403 3.79 Yoshinobu Takahashi
Yokohama DeNA BayStars 143 67 74 2 .475 15 572 642 .250 .307 .415 4.18 Alex Ramirez
Chunichi Dragons 143 63 78 2 .447 19 598 654 .265 .325 .380 4.36 Shigekazu Mori
Hanshin Tigers 143 62 79 2 .440 20 577 628 .253 .330 .361 4.03 Tomoaki Kanemoto

Pacific League[edit]

Team G W L T WPCT GB RS RA AVG OBP SLG ERA Manager(s)
Saitama Seibu Lions* 143 88 53 2 .624 -- 792 653 .273 .352 .454 4.24 Hatsuhiko Tsuji
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks* 143 82 60 1 .577 6.5 685 579 .266 .326 .451 3.90 Kimiyasu Kudoh
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters* 143 74 66 3 .529 13.5 589 586 .251 .329 .393 3.77 Hideki Kuriyama
Orix Buffaloes 143 65 73 5 .471 21.5 538 565 .244 .308 .365 3.69 Junichi Fukura
Chiba Lotte Marines 143 59 81 3 .421 28.5 534 628 .247 .325 .355 4.04 Tadahito Iguchi
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 143 58 82 3 .414 29.5 520 583 .241 .307 .368 3.78 Masataka Nashida

Leaders[edit]

Bold indicates league record, Italics indicate all-time record

Batting[edit]

Statistic Central League Pacific League
Leader Team Number Leader Team Number
Batting Average Dayan Viciedo Chunichi Dragons .348 Yuki Yanagita Softbank Hawks .352
Runs Tetsuto Yamada Yakult Swallows 130 Hotaka Yamakawa Seibu Lions 115
Hits Dayan Viciedo Chunichi Dragons 178 Shogo Akiyama Seibu Lions 195
Doubles Nori Aoki
Zoilo Almonte
Yakult Swallows
Chunichi Dragons
37 Shogo Akiyama Seibu Lions 39
Triples Kosuke Tanaka Hiroshima Carp 10 Seiji Uebayashi Softbank Hawks 140
Home Runs Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Carp 39 Hotaka Yamakawa Seibu Lions 47
Runs Batted In Wladimir Balentien Yakult Swallows 131 Hideto Asamura Seibu Lions 127
Stolen Bases Tetsuto Yamada Yakult Swallows 33 Haruki Nishikawa Nippon Ham Fighters 44
Walks Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Carp 130 Haruki Nishikawa Nippon Ham Fighters 96

Pitching[edit]

Statistic Central League Pacific League
Leader Team Number Leader Team Number
ERA Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants 2.14 Takayuki Kishi Rakuten Golden Eagles 2.72
Wins Daichi Osera Hiroshima Carp 15 Shinsaburo Tawata Seibu Lions 16
Losses David Buchanan Yakult Swallows 11 Yuki Nishi Orix Buffaloes 13
Saves Yasuaki Yamasaki Yokohama BayStars 37 Yuito Mori Softbank Hawks 37
Innings Pitched Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants 202 Takahiro Norimoto Seibu Lions 180 1/3
Appearances Kazuki Kondo Yakult Swallows 74 Ren Kajiya Softbank Hawks 72
Hits Allowed David Buchanan Yakult Swallows 186 Shinsaburo Tawata Seibu Lions 173
Home Runs Allowed Daichi Osera Hiroshima Carp 22 Taisuke Yamaoka
Takayuki Kishi
Hirotoshi Takanashi
Kodai Senga
Orix Buffaloes
Rakuten Golden Eagles
Nippon Ham Fighters
Softbank Hawks
21
Strikeouts Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants 200 Takahiro Norimoto Rakuten Golden Eagles 187
Base-on-Balls Taiki Ono Hanshin Tigers 81 Rick van den Hurk Softbank Hawks 61

Awards[edit]

The winner of the 2018 Sawamura Award was Tomoyuki Sugano of the Yomiuri Giants. He had a 15-8 win-loss record, 200 strikeouts, and a 2.14 ERA in 202 innings, winning a pitching Triple Crown.

Award League Player Team Position AB R H HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG W - L SV IP HA HRA BB SO ERA
Most Valuable Player CL Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Carp OF 432 109 132 39 97 10 .306 .468 .627 Did not pitch
PL Hotaka Yamakawa Seibu Lions 1B 541 115 152 47 124 0 .281 .396 .590 Did not pitch
Rookie of the Year CL Katsuki Azuma Yokohama BayStars P 45 0 4 0 1 0 .089 .111 .109 11 -5 0 154 130 13 42 155 2.45
PL Kazuki Tanaka Rakuten Golden Eagles OF 423 67 112 18 45 21 .265 .323 .423 Did not pitch

Best Nine[edit]

The following players were part of the 2018 Best Nine teams.

Central League Position Pacific League
Player Team Player Team
Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants P Yusei Kikuchi Seibu Lions
Tsubasa Aizawa Hiroshima Carp C Tomoya Mori Seibu Lions
Dayán Viciedo Chunichi Dragons 1B Hotaka Yamakawa Seibu Lions
Tetsuto Yamada Yakult Swallows 2B Hideto Asamura Seibu Lions
Toshiro Miyazaki Yokohama BayStars 3B Nobuhiro Matsuda Softbank Hawks
Hayato Sakamoto Yomiuri Giants SS Sosuke Genda Seibu Lions
Neftali Soto Yokohama BayStars OF Yuki Yanagita Softbank Hawks
Seiya Suzuki Hiroshima Carp Shogo Akiyama Seibu Lions
Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Carp Masutaka Yoshida Orix Buffaloes
DH Kensuke Kondo Nippon Ham Fighters

Gold Gloves[edit]

The following players were the recipients of the Gold Glove Award in 2018.

Central League Position Pacific League
Player Team Player Team
Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants P Takayuki Kishi Seibu Lions
Ryutaro Umeno Hanshin Tigers C Takuya Kai Softbank Hawks
José López Yokohama BayStars 1B Sho Nakata Nippon Ham Fighters
Ryosuke Kikuchi Hiroshima Carp 2B Shogo Nakamura Chiba Lotte Marines
Toshiro Miyazaki Yokohama BayStars 3B Nobuhiro Matsuda Softbank Hawks
Kosuke Tanaka Hiroshima Carp SS Sosuke Genda Seibu Lions
Yohei Oshima Chunichi Dragons OF Yuki Yanagita Softbank Hawks
Ryosuke Hirata Chunichi Dragons Shogo Akiyama Seibu Lions
Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Carp Haruki Nishikawa Nippon Ham Fighters


(others not yet announced)

International Baseball[edit]

Japan won the Gold Medal in both the 2018 Women's Baseball World Cup and 2018 World University Championship while earning the Silver Medal in the 2018 Asian Games.

Hall of Fame[edit]

The following people were elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame:

Japanese Baseball Seasons

Pre-Professional Era
1800s · 1900s · 1910s
Early Professional Era
1920 · 1921 · 1922 · 1923 · 1924 · 1925 · 1926 · 1927 · 1928 · 1929
1930 · 1931 · 1932 · 1933 · 1934 · 1935
One League Era
1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939
1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944 · 1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949
Two League Era
1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954 · 1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959
1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964 · 1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969
1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974 · 1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979
1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984 · 1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989
1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994 · 1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999
2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004 · 2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009
2010 · 2011 · 2012 · 2013 · 2014 · 2015 · 2016 · 2017 · 2018