Before watching Diamond no Ace, I didn’t appreciate the competitive skills and commitment that the athletes give into their work – whether that’s in professional sports or just in their everyday training.
But slowly, as I continue to watch characters like Sawamura, Furuya, Hongō, and Narumiya grow throughout the series, my mind changes.
When they give their energy and time to perfect their pitches and batter during their training, I also feel motivated to do my work everyday. Therefore, I made this list to present the top 10 baseball players I believe in this series.
Disclaimer: Characters from the anime and the manga up to Act II are mentioned in this list; so, minor spoilers will be mentioned. Enjoy this ranking!
Kominato is an elite fielding for his position and a determined contact hitter (with an on-base percentage). He rarely swings at balls because of his mediocre power. He can bunt if needed but at an average speed.
At the moment, he has a lot of things to work on. Nevertheless, he is a team player despite his shortcomings and can motivate the rest of his teammates.
One thing he needs to work on the most is his power, such as driving in RBI’s (run batted in). But lately, he has clearly been improving in that aspect over the last couple of months, which could help him to become a slugger.
Even if he still has a solid amount of power, he believes that a very elite all-around player like him needs to compete with only the best in the Koshien stadium.
He will need the ability to make contact with breaking balls, and in addition, he needs the power to send his team members in the outfield. With his swing control, this skill will help him hit certain parts of the field.
He is the 4th batter now, and he could probably be the 2nd or 3rd best batter Seidō High has. But fans are leaning towards the fact that he’s likely gonna be Seidō’s 4th hitter when Miyuki Kazuya’s generation retires.
As he gains more power, he could become a very efficient gunner thanks to his talent with the bat.
9Kamiya Carlos Toshiki
With the range Carlos has, he is the best center fielder and has been hitting quite a few home runs lately as a batter. However, he can also get on base with a well-placed bunt or a bit of a delay in the fielding.
As a baserunner, he’s less aggressive than Kuramochi Yōichi (a short stopper) and the Hakuryū High School guys; but nowadays, that’s changing, and Carlos could also be more aggressive.
As a student of Inashiro Industrial, he is an extremely rare lead-off man for Inashiro’s batting lineup; but so far, he is the best lead-off in Japan.
He has power to go higher in this ranking if we’re just talking about his base power skills. But combine those with his speed, he might be just second after Mima Sōichirō, another competitive center fielder.
As an outfielder, Carlos is incredibly gifted because his burst of speed and agility make his range of catch increase by nearly 1.5 than anybody in his high school (except Mima). Regardless, if he wants to, Carlos is faster than Mima.
His defense is like Sakai Ichirō, a left fielder, and Carlos has the slugger potential on him, too. But once again, if Carlos chooses to and if it interests him, he can utilize his talent at the max by getting into a top shape player.
His weakness is his mindset as it is often not in sync with his abilities. However, he can overcome this weakness as he is more talented than Narumiya.
Shunpei is in this list because of his 2-seam fastball and cutter skills. As an ace of the Yakushi High School baseball team, Sanada would have been recruited by any AAA team because of his closer skills.
When he spends 3-4 years in AAA, any team will love to have him because he can close the game for them. Although he is a great pitcher, he is unable to dominate a whole game because his pitching doesn’t stay as unhittable as in his 1st inning.
This is unlike other pitchers who can still take batters by surprise in the late game. Moreover, the batters just get used to Sanada’s style easier than other pitchers. Having said that, Sanada can’t really surprise the batters anymore after a certain amount of innings.
Other pitchers’ pitches can be unhittable and have that huge presence on the mound for all 9 innings. The coach would have known by this time now; this is the reason why he always tries to postpone putting Sanada on the game (other than his stamina problem).
In any case, if Sanada gets too many innings, the batters of the better teams will hit off him.
His biggest strength is his mental state or mindset because he generates that ultra confidence despite his temper and arrogant air. His overconfidence could be his downfall like Mukai Taiyō, and he has the tendency to show off sometimes.
Moreover, Amahisa sometimes let down his guard. With these kinds of attitudes, shaky openings occur, which become very bad downsides at the start of the game.
However, once Amahisa pulls himself together, he is on par with Hongō, and may have even become way better than him. Amahisa does not easily get intimidated by the best hitters in the game. And even if he gives up hits, he can still recover and isn’t in a slump.
Another thing to note about Amahisa is that if he didn’t skip his 1st year, he would have been in the Top 10 National Pitcher list. The manga series goes as far as to provide enough data of every ace of the nation; still, one can’t help but admire Amahisa’s genial skill.
There is no doubt about it, especially now that fans can see his new slider in the show. Moreover, it’s precise because of his internal dialogues (which shows his immaturity) that he couldn’t be ranked #1 in this list.
Although his immaturity is acknowledged positively by the hot-headed pitcher Eijun Sawamura, Amahisa himself is going to have his great showdown with him.
Raichi is destined to be the best gunner and the best batsman of his generation. It’s a shame he didn’t play in middle school.
He could have easily joined a top tier high school. Luckily for Raichi, he went to Koshien in Spring and made an impression; otherwise, he may not attract any scouts.
He has great power when hitting, has physical resistance, and knows how to hit. He has technique because his father has taught him from a very young age.
Outside of the diamond, Raichi is shy, quiet, and has difficulty socializing. But in games, he’s someone else, and that incredible personality makes him the center of attention. His defense is not that good because of his fluctuated focus, although he has a knack for it.
He even lost his focus in defense while thinking about his next at-bat. Raichi is an extremely good batter because he doesn’t overthink his games. He just swings his bat through repetition and is good at envisioning different pitchers.
The time he failed to really come through with batting was his and his team’s match with Seidō High School in Act 1 in the summer regionals.
This is because he started overthinking and batting for his team, rather for himself like usual. Raichi needs to work on fielding and pitching as he was shown to pitch weakly in one of the games.
And if he really wanted to be good all around, he could work on those skills, but his batting skills are improving and enough right now. Overall, he’s a very refreshing character.
His personality compliments his physical prowess and batting excellence. He can give top pitchers a hard time as long as he stays focused.
Assistant coach Rei Takashima of Seidō High School said that when she saw Eijun on the mound, she saw an ace – the mentality of an ace! Rei also saw how Eijun’s friends put so much respect, faith, and trust for him.
Coach Kataoka Tesshin of the same high school also believes he saw this ability from Sawamura. His unique form and moving fast balls could be something deadly once fine tuned.
As a pitcher, Sawamura is the most promising of his generation. In the most worrying and difficult moments, Sawamura manages to completely change the environment. He is a born motivator, a natural leader, and he is very empathetic.
He does not criticize others for their mistakes, and he is patient. Although he has faced stressful situations and has managed to endure, he has also had moments when he has lost control of his emotions. He even once said, “I lost myself”, perhaps because of his inexperience.
Although Sawamura was in a team for 3 years, he did not have a coach to guide him; he is self-taught. Therefore, when entering Seidō, he had to face every situation that presented itself, and he had to learn to overcome them in the moment.
As Kazuya Miyuki says, Sawamura has plenty of room to improve from fielding to hitting. And with his physical abilities, he can further improve his pitches even without his (Miyuki’s) guide.
He’s spacey with hints of genius here and there, and for some reason, he doesn’t like people apologizing to him. He always looks forward and is able to forgive and forget.
Although sometimes, he is too sincere with what he feels. He does not like Miyuki, for example, however he listens to him, respects him, and surely, he would be willing to help him without a doubt.
Sawamura is destined to become the “Ace of Diamond” for his last year at Seidō; he will shine in his last summer tournament and his last Koshien.
But one can also predict that the mangaka will have Sawamura face a difficult situation in his last year so that Sawamura takes full advantage of his potential as a pitcher and as a human being.
As the ace of Komadai Fujimaki’s baseball team, Masamune pitches to crush the soul of the opposing batters and is one of the best pitchers in Diamond no Ace. His presence on the mound is almost insurmountable and could have been “Satoru Furuya 2.0”.
The manga has not really expanded on Hongō’s ability with the bat, but he is meant to be pretty good with his fastball. And the writing on his character arc at this point is awesome at the moment: he has topped out at 151 km/h, which is an outstanding fastball! Hongō is extraordinary.
His best pitches may be due to his frustration with his coach, but he’s been strategically placed at the other side of Japan so Seidō will face him as the “final boss” in Koshien.
It was also not that he was swept with Furuya that Seidō lost due to the lack of ability of their hitters (nor is it because of the rival pitcher). Hongō and Furuya may not be that different, but while Furuya could get over it thanks to being in Seidō, Hongō may not.
In another type of environment, Hongō will only evolve and improve both as a baseball player and as a person if he enhances his velocity, has better control, and becomes a much better slider and splitter.
Since Inui returned to high school after being a catcher in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for two decades, his physical appearance and age contradict each other. At initial glance, he seems to be the baseball coach of Inashiro Industrial.
But looking closely, his physical features suggest he’s too old to be a high schooler — people are indeed doubtful of his actual age. Nevertheless, he has ridiculous pitch framing skills and was acknowledged as a skilled catcher by Narumiya.
Inui’s incredible catching ability managed to catch Narumiya’s upgraded change up. Having said that, Inui quickly adjusts to a level where he can play with the strike zone with depth, yet still catches his pitches.
Because of Inui’s excellent catching skills, he practices with Mukai, whose pitching performance improved because Inui is his catcher. When Inui trained with a dumbbell, he was the most stable catcher after Miyuki.
Inui’s batting is top notch as well, and he lands the only homerun Narumiya has given up in the entirety of Act II. This is a very impressive feat since Narumiya stated that Inui was easy to pitch to.
Narumiya is the Prince of the Capital because he’s the best pitcher in the Diamond no Ace series. His main advantage is his height – he is tall enough to increase his velocity of 148km/h to possibly 151 km/h like Hongō’s.
He has the best pacing, knows his fielding job, and has an improved mental strength despite having a bad temper. Narumiya pitches in every game and sometimes, he intentionally takes it easy so that he can save stamina.
He had an insane amount of scoreless innings in the Summer Koshien, but he was taken down by fatigue in the end. Despite possessing an impressive and polished pitch, he was out pitched by a guy in his 1st year.
Komadai Fujimaki High School used a 4-pitcher relay to take Narumiya down, who had to endure for 14 innings (Chapter 203, Act I). On another note, Narumiya also told Miyuki in the all-star game that his fastball improved.
To show-off, Narumiya uses his “fast-controlled” fastball (a pro-level skill unlike Furuya Satoru’s) in front of Miyuki. He sure has talent, but Narumiya feeds out of his ego and pride: when he is beaten, it feels like 10 times worse.
Because of his arrogance and his need to show off, Narumiya gave up a home run during the Spring Tournament’s semi-final against Teitō High School (Chapter 48). When he changed his form in his 2nd year and had his first fall, he threw less.
Before we get to #1, here are some honourable mentions:
- Koshu Okumura from Seidō High School plays Catcher
- Furuya Satoru from Seidō High School plays Pitcher
- Mukai Taiyō from Teitō High School plays Pitcher
- Shirakawa Katsuyuki from Inashiro Industrial plays Shortstop
Miyuki Kazuya is the best character, an awesome batter, and the best catcher in the Diamond no Ace series. This outspoken man possesses a strong throwing arm in addition to his vast baseball knowledge.
His catching skills are superb, but he can also call for the best pitches for each situation. His batting skills definitely beat Shirasu’s, and he’s improved way more in Act II.
Miyuki voices his opinions better than Shirasu as he is not easily swayed by the crowd. He shares his ideas to the team for improvement, but also gives them feedback about their flaws.
Sometimes, his teammates are put off because of Miyuki’s aggressive and harsh words. But being solid in games, Miyuki presses on and discusses baseball tactics with the coach.
Henceforth, he responds by sharing to his teammates his inferences about the opponents’ catcher and their game style. Miyuki is the first one to get a hit off Hongō at the Senbatsu finals – he absolutely dominated that team with only 3 hits and 12 strikeouts.
His slider can be utilized if the opponents start getting a read on his splitter. They can change the style a bit and throw some more sliders. But if the fastball-splitter combination stays unhittable, then there’s no reason to throw in a slider.
Fans could be more biased towards Miyuki when he rivals Narumiya. But put these two together side-by-side, and their baseball skills are on the same level. Miyuki’s a good captain and pushes his teammates to be better. Although, he can be aggressive and harsh despite being solid in games.
About Diamond no Ace
Ace of Diamond, also known as Diamond no Ace, is a Japanese shōnen baseball manga series written and illustrated by Yuji Terajima and published by Kodansha.
Weekly Shōnen Magazine has serialized it from 2006 to 2015. A sequel titled Ace of Diamond Act II started in 2015. The series follows one Eijun Sawamura, a baseball pitcher with a very unusual change up pitch that has occurred naturally.
Sawamura plans to go with his friends to a local high school and play baseball to the best of their abilities. However, one scout from the prestigious Seidō High approaches him and offers him a scholarship and a chance to make it to the nationals.
Sawamura decides to pay a visit to the school, and it changes his entire outlook on the future.