Yasuhiro Ogawa, Yakult (First Time)
5 G, 4-0, 39.0 IP, 2.08 ERA, 28 SO, 9 ER, 3 CG
Ogawa started five games in August and recorded four wins (tied for most in the Central League). He led the league in innings pitched and recorded three complete game victories, including one shutout. He was instrumental in the team’s 15-9 record in August. He is the first Yakult player to win an MVP of the Month since Tetsuto Yamada in June 2016 and first Yakult pitcher since Masanori Ishikawa in September 2015.
Ryosuke Kikuchi, Hiroshima (Second Time)
25 G, .358 AVG, 38 H, 3 HR, 9 RBI
Kikuchi was the mainstay at second base and batted second in every game in August. He led the league in hits and recorded a number of big hits, including a game-tying home run in the ninth inning against the Yomiuri Giants on August 7. He won his first MVP of the Month in June 2014. He is the first Hiroshima player to win an MVP of the Month since Yusuke Nomura in June 2016 and the first hitter since Rainel Rosario in September 2014.
Yuki Matsui, Rakuten (First Time)
11 G, 0-0, 9 Sv, 13.0 IP, 0.69 ERA, 0 CG, 0 ShO, 17 SO, 1 ER
Matsui appeared in eleven games in August and led the league with nine saves. His eleven strikeouts were most for a reliever. He recorded holds on August 12 against Nippon Ham and August 21 against Orix. The Eagles were 10-0-1 in the eleven games he appeared in. At twenty years and ten months, he is the youngest left-handed pitcher to win an MVP of the Month award in the Pacific League. Yoshihisa Naruse was previously the youngest when he won the award at twenty-one years and nine months in July 2007.
Hideto Asamura, Seibu (Third Time)
24 G, .384 AVG, 34 H, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 1 SB
Asamura played in all twenty-four of his team’s games in August. He led the league in hits, doubles (14), total bases (64), RBI, and batting average with runners in scoring position (.500). His batting average was good for second and his slugging percentage (.646) was good for third. He recorded multiple hits in thirteen games and went hitless in only three. He has won the MVP of the Month Award two other times: October 2011 and July 2013. This is the seventieth time a Lion has won the award, most in the Pacific League (Nippon Ham and Orix are in second with sixty-nine).