Orix Buffaloes slugger Takahiro Okada was named interleague MVP on Thursday after helping the Pacific League club finish atop the interleague standings.
Okada hit .588 with runners in scoring position and his 24 RBIs were tied for first with Kim Tae Kyun of the Chiba Lotte Marines. The 22-year-old won ¥2 million in prize money.
“I didn’t even know there is an interleague MVP award,” Okada said. “The greatest thing is we had the best record among 12 teams. I’m also pleased I was able to perform to my abilities.”
Orix went 16-8 in interleague play.
Runnerup prizes of ¥1 million went to Yomiuri Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe and Fukuoka Softbank Hawks left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada.
Abe led the Central League with 10 homers and 19 RBIs. Wada won all five of his starts with a 2.16 ERA.