2020 in Japanese Baseball

From BR Bullpen

The 2020 Japanese season was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, shortening it from 143 games per team to 120. While the cuts were not as harsh as in the Americas, where the pandemic was more poorly controlled, they were worse than in Taiwan or South Korea, where the pandemic was under better control. The 2020 NPB All-Star Game was cancelled due to the virus.

Ukyo Shuto broke a 49-year-old record for consecutive games with a steal, while Yasuhiro Ogawa threw a no-hitter (while leading the CL in hits allowed) and Hayato Sakamoto joined the meikyukai with his 2,000th hit. José López became the 3rd player (after Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui) to reach 1,000 hits in both MLB and NPB.

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)
Yomiuri Giants* 119 67 44 8 .604 -- 528 416 .255 .328 .411 3.33 Tatsunori Hara
Hanshin Tigers* 120 60 53 7 .531 8 494 460 .246 .321 .381 3.35 Akihiro Yano
Chunichi Dragons 120 60 55 5 .522 9 429 489 .252 .317 .360 3.84 Tsuyoshi Yoda
Yokohama DeNA BayStars 119 55 58 6 .487 13 511 470 .266 .325 .416 3.78 Alex Ramirez
Hiroshima Toyo Carp 120 52 56 12 .481 13.5 523 529 .262 .331 .402 4.06 Shinji Sasaoka
Yakult Swallows 120 41 69 10 .373 25.5 468 589 .242 .321 .375 4.61 Shingo Takatsu

Pacific League[edit]

Team G W L T WPCT GB RS RA AVG OBP SLG ERA Manager(s)
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks* 120 73 42 5 .635 -- 531 389 .249 .321 .401 2.92 Kimiyasu Kudoh
Chiba Lotte Marines* 120 60 57 3 .513 14 461 479 .235 .329 .355 3.81 Tadahito Iguchi
Saitama Seibu Lions 120 58 58 4 .500 15.5 479 543 .238 .315 .374 4.28 Hatsuhiko Tsuji
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 120 55 57 8 .491 16.5 557 522 .258 .341 .401 4.19 Hajime Miki
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 120 53 62 5 .461 20 493 528 .249 .330 .364 4.02 Hideki Kuriyama
Orix Buffaloes 120 45 68 7 .398 27 442 502 .247 .316 .367 3.97 Norifumi Nishimura

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 Keita Sano Yokohama BayStars .328 Masataka Yoshida Orix Buffaloes .350
Runs Takayuki Kajitani Yokohama BayStars 88 Yuki Yanagita SoftBank Hawks 90
Hits Yohei Oshima Chunichi Dragons 146 Yuki Yanagita SoftBank Hawks 146
Doubles Yoshihiro Maru Yomiuri Giants 31 Kensuke Kondo Nippon Ham Fighters 31
Triples Yota Kyoda Chunichi Dragons 7 Cory Spangenberg Seibu Lions 8
Home Runs Kazuma Okamoto Yomiuri Giants 31 Hideto Asamura Rakuten Golden Eagles 32
Runs Batted In Kazuma Okamoto Yomiuri Giants 97 Sho Nakata Nippon Ham Fighters 108
Stolen Bases Koji Chikamoto Hanshin Tigers 31 Ukyo Shuto SoftBank Hawks 50
Walks Munetaka Murakami Yakult Swallows 87 Haruki Nishikawa Nippon Ham Fighters 92

Pitching[edit]

Statistic Central League Pacific League
Leader Team Number Leader Team Number
ERA Yudai Ono Chunichi Dragons 1.82 Kodai Senga SoftBank Hawks 2.16
Wins Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants 14 Kodai Senga
Shuta Ishikawa
Hideaki Wakui
SoftBank Hawks
SoftBank Hawks
Rakuten Golden Eagles
11
Losses Koyo Aoyagi Hanshin Tigers 9 Kohei Arihara Nippon Ham Fighters 9
Saves Robert Suárez Hanshin Tigers 25 Tatsushi Masuda Seibu Lions 33
Innings Pitched Yudai Ono Chunichi Dragons 148 2/3 Ayumu Ishikawa Chiba Lotte Marines 133 1/3
Appearances Spencer Patton Yokohama BayStars 57 Naoya Masuda
Kaima Taira
Chiba Lotte Marines
Seibu Lions
54
Hits Allowed Yasuhiro Ogawa Yakult Swallows 132 Ayumu Ishikawa Chiba Lotte Marines 138
Home Runs Allowed Yasuhiro Ogawa Yakult Swallows 20 Ayumu Ishikawa
Wataru Matsumoto
Chiba Lotte Marines
Seibu Lions
19
Strikeouts Yudai Ono Chunichi Dragons 148 Kodai Senga
Yoshinobu Yamamoto
SoftBank Hawks
Orix Buffaloes
149
Base-on-Balls Atsushi Endo Hiroshima Carp 52 Kodai Senga Softbank Hawks 57

Awards[edit]

The winner of the 2020 Sawamura Award was Yudai Ono of the Chunichi Dragons. He had a 11-6 win-loss record, 148 strikeouts, and a 1.82 ERA in 148 2/3 innings, leading the CL in complete games (10), shutouts (6), ERA and whiffs while tying for second in victories.

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 Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants P 44 3 4 0 3 0 .091 .111 .159 14 - 2 0 137 1/3 97 8 25 131 1.97
PL Yuki Yanagita Softbank Hawks OF 427 90 146 29 86 7 .342 .449 .623 Did not pitch
Rookie of the Year CL Masato Morishita Hiroshima Carp P 39 0 6 0 3 0 .154 .175 .205 10 - 3 0 122 2/3 102 6 32 124 1.91
PL Kaima Taira Seibu Lions P Did not bat 1 - 0 1 53 22 2 29 62 1.87

Best Nine[edit]

The following players were part of the 2020 Best Nine teams.

Central League Position Pacific League
Player Team Player Team
Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants P Kodai Senga Softbank Hawks
Takumi Oshiro Yomiuri Giants C Takuya Kai Softbank Hawks
Munetaka Murakami Yakult Swallows 1B Sho Nakata Nippon Ham Fighters
Ryosuke Kikuchi Hiroshima Carp 2B Hideto Asamura Rakuten Golden Eagles
Kazuma Okamoto Yomiuri Giants 3B Daichi Suzuki Rakuten Golden Eagles
Hayato Sakamoto Yomiuri Giants SS Sosuke Genda Seibu Lions
Keita Sano Yokohama BayStars OF Yuki Yanagita Softbank Hawks
Seiya Suzuki Hiroshima Carp Kensuke Kondo Nippon Ham Fighters
Yoshihiro Maru Yomiuri Giants Masataka Yoshida Orix Buffaloes
DH Takumi Kuriyama Seibu Lions

Gold Gloves[edit]

The following players were the recipients of the Gold Glove Award in 2020.

Central League Position Pacific League
Player Team Player Team
Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants P Kodai Senga Softbank Hawks
Ryutaro Umeno Hanshin Tigers C Takuya Kai Softbank Hawks
Dayán Viciedo Chunichi Dragons 1B Akira Nakamura
Sho Nakata
Softbank Hawks
Nippon Ham Fighters
Ryosuke Kikuchi Hiroshima Carp 2B Shuta Tonosaka Seibu Lions
Shuhei Takahashi Chunichi Dragons 3B Daichi Suzuki Chiba Lotte Marines
Hayato Sakamoto Yomiuri Giants SS Sosuke Genda Seibu Lions
Yohei Oshima Chunichi Dragons OF Yuki Yanagita Softbank Hawks
Norichika Aoki Yakult Swallows Taishi Ota Nippon Ham Fighters
Seiya Suzuki Hiroshima Carp Haruki Nishikawa Nippon Ham Fighters

International Baseball[edit]

All international events were cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, most notably the 2020 Olympics.

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 · 2019
2020