Chiba Lotte Marines catcher Tatsuhiro Tamura was named the Pacific League’s position player of the month for June on Wednesday, when Nippon Professional Baseball’s monthly honor roll was announced.
The 22-year-old Tamura joins Tetsuto Yamada of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, who won his fifth monthly honor on the Central League side.
The pitching awards went to Shohei Otani, the slugging ace of the Pacific League’s Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, and right-hander Yusuke Nomura of the CL-leading Hiroshima Carp. Otani’s award is his second, while Nomura is a first-time honoree.
Tamura, who has proven to be a valuable defender behind the plate, batted .400 in June. His performance in the month saw his career batting average soar to .202. The monthly honor comes two days after he was named to the PL all-star team for the first time. Tamura is the first PL catcher to win the award since Kenji Jojima won with the Hawks in June 2004.
Yamada, who last year became the second CL player to be honored in three straight months, batted .346 in June with 10 home runs, 25 runs scored and 28 driven in. He currently leads the CL in runs, hits, doubles, home runs, total bases, RBIs, stolen bases, walks, batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
Otani went 4-0 in June with a 0.29 earned run average. He allowed two runs, one earned, over 31 innings, in which he struck out 41 batters. In the batter’s box, Otani hit just .265 but drew 11 walks, posted a .447 on-base percentage and scored eight runs.
Nomura, the CL’s 2012 rookie of the year, went 4-0 and now leads both leagues with 10 wins. He allowed four runs in 25 innings for a 1.44 ERA.