On November 28, 2016 — The four big awards in Nippon Pro Baseball are given out and present a contrast of players. 22-year-old Shohei Otani is almost a unanimous winner (253 of 254 first-place votes) of the 2016 Pacific League MVP after a dazzling two-way season in which he had a 1.86 ERA, 170 K in 140 IP while hitting .322/.416/.588 with 22 HR. He just missed the ERA title (he needed four innings to qualify) and would have led in slugging had he qualified. He is the first two-way player to win a MVP in Japan. The 2016 Central League MVP goes to a much older player, 39-year-old Takahiro Arai. Seemingly washed up and a bench player two years prior, Arai posted one of his best seasons, helping the Hiroshima Carp win the Central League title for the first time in 25 years; he drives in 101 while hitting .300. Hanshin Tigers outfielder Shun Takayama wins the 2016 Central League Rookie of the Year Award while Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Hirotoshi Takanashi takes the 2016 Pacific League Rookie of the Year. Takayama wins handily, while Takanashi is the winner in a closer vote.


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