For the second straight year, Sports Info Solutions made the 2021 Fielding Bible Awards a global affair. Today, we announce the winners of the NPB and KBO Fielding Bible Awards for defensive excellence.
The awards were voted on by panels of experts and SIS Video Scouts, who spent the entire season tracking NPB and KBO games. Among our voters were Jeeho Yoo (Yonhap News Agency, South Korea), John Gibson (Japanese Baseball Weekly Podcast), and Jason Coskrey (Japan Times).
Each voter ranked their top four players at each position in the league they covered, with 4 points awarded for a first-place vote, 3 for second and so forth. The panel also voted on a multi-position award given to a player who played less than 70% of his innings at any one position. Eligibility for voting was based on playing-time requirements.
2021 NPB Fielding Bible Award Winners
|C||Yuhei Nakamura||Yakult Swallows|
|1B||Sho Nakata||Yomiuri Giants|
|2B||Tetsuto Yamada||Yakult Swallows|
|3B||Yuma Mune||Orix Buffaloes|
|SS||Sosuke Genda||Seibu Lions|
|LF||Takashi Ogino||Chiba Lotte Marines|
|CF||Daiki Asama||Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters|
|RF||Aito Takeda||Saitama Seibu Lions|
|P||Yuya Yanagi||Chunichi Dragons|
|Multi-Position||Takashi Ogino||Chiba Lotte Marines|
The Yakult Swallows and Chiba Lotte Marines each had two Fielding Bible Award wins. Yakult was led by catcher Yuhei Nakamura and second baseman Tetsuto Yamada. Takashi Ogino won two awards for the Marines, winning as a left fielder and also taking the multi-position award for his combined work in left field and center field.
The NPB’s standout defender, shortstop Sosuke Genda of the Seibu Lions, won after leading all players with 22 Defensive Runs Saved. For reference, the MLB leader in Runs Saved at shortstop was Carlos Correa with 20.
Two other NPB winners had double-figure Runs Saved totals at their positions. Ogino had 14 in left field and right fielder Aito Takeda had 14 for the Saitama Seibu Lions.
2021 KBO Fielding Bible Award Winners
|C||Jae-hoon Choi||Hanwha Eagles|
|1B||Bo-gyeong Moon||LG Twins|
|2B||Kyung-su Park||KT Wiz|
|3B||Jun-young Park||NC Dinos|
|SS||Ji-hwan Oh||LG Twins|
|LF||Sang-kwon Byeon||Kiwoom Heroes|
|CF||Ji-hoon Choi||SSG Landers|
|RF||Jared Hoying||KT Wiz|
|P||Odrisamer Despaigne||KT Wiz|
|Multi-Position||Bon-ki Shin||KT Wiz|
The KBO champion KT Wiz posted the top Defensive Runs Saved total in the league and had four Fielding Bible Award winners. Two of them were former major leaguers, pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne and right fielder Jared Hoying.
Despaigne, the Wiz leader in wins and innings pitched, spent six seasons in the majors, last with the White Sox in 2019. Hoying, who started 2021 in the Blue Jays organization, returned to the KBO in midseason. He had previously played for Hanwha from 2018 to 2020. Despite only playing a half-season, he led right fielders in Defensive Runs Saved.
They were joined by teammates, second baseman Kyung-su Park, and utility infielder Bon-ki Shin, who won the multi-position award.
The other KBO team to have multiple winners was the LG Twins, who finished second in the league in Runs Saved. Their winners were Bo-gyeong Moon at first base and Ji-hwan Oh at shortstop, each of whom led the league in Defensive Runs Saved at their respective position.
“It’s important that we continue to recognize that baseball is a global game,” said SIS chairman John Dewan. “Defensive excellence should be universally recognized and we’re glad to play a part in doing that. Congratulations to all the winners.”