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Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s NPB Glory: A Comprehensive List of Every Award Won with the Orix Buffaloes

Published 11/21/2023, 10:15 AM EST

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Rarely do players enter the league with such a craze that nearly every team wants to deal with them. Yoshinobu Yamamoto is one such player. With the Japanese ace posting his free agency, doors have officially been opened for his entry into the major leagues. It’s not just because he’s an amazing talent, but also due to the massive awards that he already has won at the age of just 25. The list of accomplishments runs even more extensive.

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The 25-year-old is looking to sign a contract worth $200 million, as multiple reports suggest. That would make him one of the highest-paid Japanese players in MLB history. Such a huge contract calls for an equally huge record. Interestingly, Yamamoto not only meets that comprehensive record but even exceeds it in some cases.

Remarkable NPB achievements of Yoshinobu Yamamoto


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When Yamamoto first started playing for the Buffaloes in 2017, he was seen as a player with potential. They expected him to be a reliable pitcher for their team. But what did was much more than anyone’s wildest imagination. He has won almost everything that there is to win in NPB. From 2021 to 2023, he was the most-awarded player in the league and won everything to win for a starting pitcher. The chief ones are –

2x Pacific League MVP 

2021 was the breakout year of Yoshinobu Yamamoto. He had an ERA of 1.39 with 206 strikeouts and an 18-5 record. Leading his team to their first Pacific League pennant since 1996. Yamamoto continued that form in 2022, again winning the MVP award. This time his ERA was slightly high at 1.68, but he ended up winning the Japan Series. Again, their first since 1996. Now in 2023, he’s had an ERA of 1.21 and a 16-6 record.


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3x Eiji Sawamura Award

The Eiji Sawamura Award is equivalent to the Cy Young Award in MLB. It is one of the toughest awards to win due to strict criteria that need to be met. Yamamoto has won this award for three straight years (2021, 22, and 23). The only player to accomplish this feat other than him is the legend Masaichi Kaneda.


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3x Triple Crown Winner

The Triple Crown in baseball signifies leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA. His three-time Triple Crown victories highlight an unparalleled level of consistency. He stands as the sole pitcher in baseball history to achieve the remarkable feat of securing three consecutive Triple Crowns.


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Apart from this, he’s a 2022 Japan Series champion, 3x Pacific League ERA champion, 5x All-Star, 2x Best Nine awardee, 2x Pacific League Golden Glove awardee, 2021 Interleague Play MVP, and 3x Best Battery awardee. With such a record, no wonder teams are lining up for the Japanese star. But the question remains, who will he choose?

Watch This Story: Mets Gear Up For Yamamoto Showdown: Going All In Amidst Intense Yankees Pursuit

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"Rigidity leads to demise, while adaptability paves the path to vitality." Driven by a deep passion for sports, I’m glad I found baseball. Now serving as an MLB writer at EssentiallySports, I love to write about the thrilling tussle between the National League and American League throughout the season, although I may have a fondness for the Yankees icon Alex Rodriguez.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj