Nine players were named their league's best at their position for the first time on Friday, when NPB announced the results of the Central and Pacific Leagues' Best Nine Award voting.

The PL had four first-timers among its 10 winners — there is also an award for the league's best designated hitter. Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks catcher Takuya Kai was the only first-year regular this season to win a Best Nine in either league.

"It's an honor," said Kai, who turned pro on a developmental contract in 2011 and entered this season with just 15 first-team games under his belt.