Yomiuri Giants captain and Central League MVP Shinnosuke Abe won the grand prize at the Japan Pro Sports Awards on Tuesday.
The Giants catcher led the league in batting average and RBIs and finished second in home runs as the team won its first Japan Series Championship in three seasons.
“I will remain diligent day after day so as to not bring dishonor to this award,” said Abe, who will captain Japan in its quest for a third straight World Baseball Classic title in March.
“Through the WBC, a heavy responsibility has been entrusted to me, and I will do my best to be prepared physically and mentally.”
Outstanding performance awards went to the Giants, first-time J.League champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima and the Olympic silver medal-winning national women’s soccer team.
The award for an outstanding rookie went to Hiroshima Carp pitcher Yusuke Nomura, while a special prize was awarded to Mongolian sumo wrestler Harumafuji, who won promotion to yokozuna by winning two consecutive tournaments with perfect 15-0 records.