Pos Name College Yr. Votes Times High School
P Daisuke Takeuchi Keio 2 25 1 Chukyodai Chukyo
C Masahiro Nagasaki Keio 4 25 2 Koshi
1B Yoh Sasaki Hosei 4 24 1 Sakushin Gakuin
2B Yuya Watanabe Waseda 3 11 1 Seiko Gakuin
SS Koichiro Matsumoto Rikkio 2 11 1 Yokohama
3B Takayuki Matsuo Keio 4 19 1 Tosa
OF Hayata Itoh Keio 3 24 1 Chukyodai Chukyo
OF Soichiro Tanaka Rikkio 4 21 1 Saga Nishi
OF Kento Yajima Meiji 4 11 1 Kiryu Daiichi
I'll get to the position players in a second. They're mostly the best hitter at each position.
But first, can I point out how very much Daisuke Takeuchi deserves this Best Nine?
And moreso, I am going to put in a plea to you all -- if you have been reading my Big 6 blog posts, and have a second, and can kinda read Japanese, please go to the Big 6 MVP Voting Page, which is open until June 4th, and select the one that says "慶大 投手 竹内大助" and vote for Daisuke Takeuchi for Big 6 MVP. Seriously, Yuki Saitoh has been leading the voting in this all along because he's the best-known name in the league and has so many more fans than anyone else, but Takeuchi actually carried his team on his back this semester.
I'm not even talking about his no-hitter vs. Tokyo, or that he personally was 2-0 in the 3-game series against Waseda that earned Keio the league championship. Or that pretty much every weekend, he started two games. Sometimes he even started two consecutive DAYS. Or even that no other pitcher in the league has more than 3 wins to their name and he has 6. I'm talking about:
G W L BF IP H BBH K HR ERA WHIP K/9 BB/9
Takeuchi 9 6 2 248 62 43 23 44 1 1.31 1.06 6.39 3.34
Saitoh 6 2 3 154 41 26 10 29 1 1.54 0.88 6.37 2.20
Takeuchi pitched over 21 innings more than Saitoh, which is like 3 games' worth. And aside from a tendency to walk 1 more batter per 9 innings on average, in the end, despite not throwing quite as hard as Saitoh, he was as effective, if not more, in preventing runners from reaching base -- Waseda's fielders made 9 errors in 11 games this year, where Keio's made 4 errors in 13 games, AND two of those errors were in the first game of Soukeisen... and yet Takeuchi's ERA is lower than Saitoh's.
Seriously. Daisuke for MVP. He deserves it.
As for the rest of the Best 9, I'm fine with most of them. Masahiro Nagasaki is both a fine catcher and a fine batter. Yoh Sasaki is about all you can ask for from a first baseman -- a big target to throw to, and a pretty good hitter. Hayata Itoh is one of the best pure hitters in the league, IMO, and well-deserving of a Best Nine already. Soichiro Tanaka was his team's captain, led the league in home runs (and was 2nd in OPS at 1.042), and Rikkio managed to creep to 4th place.
As for the rest... Yuya Watanabe only got this because he was the batting champion. I'm betting Keisuke Okazaki got an awful lot of those votes that Watanabe didn't. And, oddly... while Keio's Takayuki Matsuo is decent and perfectly deserving of the Best Nine this semester as a well-rounded player, Rikkio's Ryuichi Maeda outhit the rest of the league's 3rd basemen, period. (And to be fair, Keio's Ren Yamasaki is going to be a fantastic full-time 3rd baseman next year after Matsuo graduates.)
I'm kinda curious why Kento Yajima got more OF votes than Shohei Habu, but I don't feel THAT strongly on the subject.
Batting and ERA Champs
Batting: Yuya Watanabe, Waseda
Well, it's no real surprise Watanabe got the batting title -- he seriously was hitting like .458 going into Week 5 or 6. His final line was .381/.422/.429, which should give you an idea of what kind of batter he was. The ridiculous thing is that he didn't lead the league in anything except average. Koichiro Matsumoto had the same number of hits, 16, just with more at-bats, and more XBH. I'll go more into this in a second.
(Wanna know who the league OBP champion was? Meiji's Shogo Shashiki, at .450. Even though he wasn't hitting much, he can sure still take a walk.)
I looked for interviews with something from Watanabe himself, but haven't been able to find much. Waseda is not notable for bothering to make themselves more accessible.
ERA: Kazuki Mishima, Hosei
I feel a little funny about this one -- on the one hand I am a pretty big Mishima fan, he has the same birthday as me and is a really great kid. And he's like 5'9" or so and can throw 95mph. It's nuts.
But on the other hand, Mishima was mainly a reliever for most of the semester; he made two starts, so it feels a little bit lame for a guy to get the title when most of the others who qualified are mainly starters. On the other hand, if Tatsuya Ohishi hadn't had a meltdown at Soukeisen Fall 2009, he would have also gotten the ERA title pretty much completely as a reliever, and would have deserved it. (The requirement is 2 innings per game that the team played.)
The Hosei blog on Nikkan Sports has a brief interview with Mishima:
- How do you feel about getting the ERA title?
It's the first title I've gotten in my baseball life, so honestly I'm very happy.
- What did the manager say to you about it?
It seems the manager didn't know about it either. After the game he said "Looks like you got the ERA title, huh?" but he seemed pretty happy about it.
- Thoughts on the fall semester?
My outings this season were mostly really short, only an inning or two at a time usually, so... I still feel kind of useless. In the fall, I'd like to win games as a starting pitcher and help the team to a championship.
He also contributed to an entry on the Hosei blog on the official team site, with a photo of him holding the ERA trophy. But he mostly said the same stuff -- "I'm really happy, but our team placed 5th and so I want to help us kick ass and take names next semester. Please come cheer for us."
Oh, while I'm at it, Rikkio put up interviews with Soichiro Tanaka and Koichiro Matsumoto about their Best Nine awards.
Other "Relevant" Stats
I realize that 11-13 games and 50ish plate appearances are not a huge sample size, but well, that's what you get in a season here.
Top 10 Batters by OPS:
(R2) Ryuichi Maeda .355/.444/.645 1.090
(R4) Soichiro Tanaka .293/.383/.659 1.042
(R3) Keisuke Okazaki .350/.426/.575 1.001
(H4) Yoh Sasaki .366/.429/.488 .916
(K4) Masahiro Nagasaki .333/.400/.513 .913
(K3) Hayata Itoh .286/.357/.531 .888
(W3) Shohei Habu .310/.408/.452 .861
(W3) Yuya Watanabe .381/.422/.429 .851
(M4) Shogo Shashiki .267/.450/.400 .850
Hayata Itoh led the league in RBI with 12, and Tanaka led the league in HR with 4. Maeda's insane OPS is mostly due to the fact that in 36 PA, he walked 5 times, got 11 hits, and SEVEN OUT OF THOSE 11 HITS were for extra bases.
HR SB E 2B BB
Rikkio .277/.326/.430 .756 11 17 10 13 34
Meiji .267/.346/.365 .711 4 13 9 14 50
Keio .253/.310/.377 .687 7 6 4 20 44
Waseda .236/.313/.306 .619 2 16 9 13 47
Hosei .221/.287/.293 .580 2 11 6 13 41
Tokyo .174/.228/.220 .448 0 2 10 12 24
League avg: .240/.304/.336 .640 4.3 10.8 8 14.2 40
I include the doubles and walks only because I thought it was interesting that Tokyo University is actually not that far below the average on them. (But they only had 1 XBH besides those.) Meiji walked a TON. I blame Shashiki.
ERA WHIP K/9 BB/9
Waseda 1.74 0.90 9.00 2.57
Meiji 1.82 0.88 7.89 1.72
Hosei 1.93 1.09 6.70 2.57
Keio 2.33 1.20 6.59 3.88
Rikkio 3.96 1.58 7.00 4.24
Tokyo 7.73 2.18 2.12 7.52
League avg: 3.15 1.29 6.63 3.70
Individual records are a little weird to do things by. Something interesting, actually, is to look at the BB/BF percentage: Yusuke Nomura walks 4.22% of the batters he faces, and Kisho Kagami walks 4.79% of the batters he faces. A truly frightening stat is that Tatsuya Ohishi strikes out 37.63% of the batters he faces.
Top 5 by WHIP:
(W4) Fukui 0.87
(W4) Saitoh 0.88
(M3) Nomura 0.88
(M4) Nishijima 0.96
(H4) Kagami 1.00
(W4) Ohishi 1.00
Daisuke Takeuchi is right behind at 1.06, and Mishima at 1.13 -- he has an annoyingly high BB/BF, but he also has a very low H/BF.
I dunno, I'm probably obsessing over this a bit too much. It's just that the semester is over, so I can play with numbers now.
BTW, Hosei beat Tokyo today in the Rookie tournament, 10 to 1, and Rikkio beat Waseda, 5 to 0. Takaaki Yokoyama from Seiko Gakuin pitched for Waseda and lost. I was a fan of his when he was in high school, but I'm not sure I'll ever actually see him pitch in college at this rate.
Keio Victory Craziness
Oh, one last thing! I've been watching some Youtube videos of the Keio victory celebrations. They paraded from Jingu to Mita campus after the victory, and celebrated all along the way. Fun stuff!
Here's some footage taken from within the marching itself:
Parading towards Mita Campus, Part 1
Parading towards Mita Campus, Part 2
Parading towards Mita Campus, Part 3
Parading towards Mita Campus, Part 4
The people sing the Keio fight song and a lot of "Waseda taose", and it gets darker out and I think the crowd gets a bit rowdier as it goes along.
Here's from the ouendan performance at the end of the route:
Ouendan performance 1
Ouendan celebration 2