Tag: 2009 World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic: Complete Projections for Pool B

The first game of the World Baseball Classic will be taking place in this pool on March 2. If you are not familiar with the setup of the World Baseball Classic, each pool consists of four teams. These four teams play a round-robin format, where the top two teams will advance into the next round. All games in the World Baseball Classic can be seen on MLB Network.

Here is a complete schedule of the action in Pool B, along with predictions for each game. All times are eastern, and all games in Pool B will take place at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taiwan.



March 2, 11:30 p.m. – Australia vs. Chinese Taipei

March 2, 6:30 a.m. – South Korea vs. Netherlands

March 3, 1:30 a.m. – Netherlands vs. Chinese Taipei

March 4, 5:30 a.m. – South Korea vs. Australia

March 5, 11:30 p.m. – Australia vs. Netherlands

March 5, 6:30 a.m. – Chinese Taipei vs. South Korea



South Korea (3-0)

This is certainly the toughest pool of the four, with all teams being ranked in the top 10 in the world (according to the IBAF World Rankings), but South Korea will be ready for the challenge. For MLB fans, they will not be familiar with any of the players on the roster, but that does not mean that they should take any of them lightly.

There are a lot of great players in this lineup, but the most important one will be Seung-Yeop Lee. He is 36 and near the end of his career, but South Korea will need some pop from his bat. He has nearly 500 career home runs, and if the South Koreans can get him going, they could be very tough to beat.

The toughest test will come from Chinese Taipei in the final game, but South Korea should be able to get through to the next round with a 3-0 record.


Chinese Taipei (2-1)

South Korea is the best team in this pool, but the battle for second is going to turn out to be a war. Chinese Taipei should have enough firepower to make it through.

One of the things that could play to their advantage is that they do not have to face South Korea until the final game of the pool, which could help out their confidence, knowing that if they just take care of things against Australia and the Netherlands, then they will not have to face South Korea with a quarterfinal spot on the line.

Cheng-Min Peng will be one of the biggest threats in Chinese Taipei’s lineup. He is a five-time batting champion, and if he can come through offensively, Chinese Taipei will be able to cruise behind their incredibly strong pitching.


Netherlands (1-2)

The biggest matchup in this pool is likely going to be the battle between the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei. The game is the second for both sides and could be an essential tiebreaker if they end up having the same record in pool play.

Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons is one of the best hitters on the Dutch team. Hitting is likely not going to be the problem for the Dutch, though. The reason they will come up short to Chinese Taipei will be because of pitching.

Taipei has outstanding pitching, while the Netherlands’ pitching is very bad.


Australia (0-3)

It is not that Australia is a bad team; in fact, they are ranked as the 10th best international team. Unfortunately, they wound up in the group of death. The opponents in this group appear to be just too strong for Australia to handle. 

The Australian team is well balanced, but it lacks any truly elite talent. We can expect that they will be able to keep the games competitive against their strong opponents in this pool, but they will eventually falter at some point in each game and walk away from the World Baseball Classic without a victory.


Bottom Line

So there you have it. Look for South Korea and Chinese Taipei to advance out of Pool B and into the quarterfinals of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.


Make sure to check back and see all the previews for each game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

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Ranking the Top WBC Storylines to Watch

It’s baseball’s version of the Olympiad.

After a four-year hiatus, the World Baseball Classic is back in 2013. With it comes the potential and the hope that the event can capture the attention of even more fans than it did back in 2009.

It will be interesting to see how the plot unfolds in the tournament for international baseball bragging rights.

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Breaking Down the Top Prospects on Each WBC Team’s Roster

Provisional rosters for teams participating in the 2013 World Baseball Classic were released on Thursday. Although they are exactly that, provisional, and therefore likely to change prior to the opening round of pool play on March 2, they do offer a general idea about the quality of each squad.

As expected, the United States, Dominican Republic and Venezuela each boast a roster loaded with All-Stars, award-winners and miscellaneous veteran players. However, there will also be a select, but relatively deep collection of prospects on display in this year’s event.

While I’m sure it will be exciting to watch Ryan Braun, Adam Jones and Giancarlo Stanton patrol the same outfield for Team USA, it doesn’t compare to a potential infield combination of Jurickson Profar, Andrelton Simmons, Xander Bogaerts and Jon Schoop of the Netherlands.

Here’s a look at all the notable prospects participating in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.



Andre Rienzo, RHP, Chicago White Sox

The organization’s No. 6 prospect, Rienzo enjoyed a breakout season and reached Triple-A for first time despite serving a 50-game suspension for PEDs.



Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

The 11th-overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Mariners, the 6’7” right-hander still rarely knows where the ball is going, but he managed to reach the major leagues for the first time late last season.


Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

The second-best prospect in the Pirates’ system, the 6’6” right-hander will pitch for Team Canada before presumably opening the 2013 season at Double-A Altoona.


Tyson Gillies, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

Having completed six season in the Phillies’ system, the 24-year-old isn’t the toolsy player he was a few years ago and has struggled to stay on the field. However, he did post an .822 OPS last year in his first season at Double-A.



Chris Colabello, 1B, Minnesota Twins

After playing the last seven seasons in the independent Can-Am league, the Twins took a flier on Colabello when they signed him as a free agent before the 2012 season. Needless to say, the 29-year-old exceeded expectations, hitting .284/.258/.478 with 57 extra-base hits (19 home runs) and 98 RBI in 134 games for Double-A New Britain.



Paco Rodriguez, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

A second-round draft pick last June, Rodriguez registered a 0.92 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 19.2 innings in the minors before the Dodgers made him a September call-up.


Engel Beltre, OF, Texas Rangers

Year after year, Beltre has showcased an impressive collection of raw tools. However, his baseball skills have been slow to develop, The 23-year-old has yet to play a game beyond Double-A.


Great Britain

Chris Reed, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers’ first-round selection in 2011, Reed, the team’s fifth-best prospect, has been kept on a short leash as a professional after serving as Stanford’s closer. The 6’4” left-hander also pitched for the World team in last year’s XM Futures Game.



Alex Burgos, LHP, Detroit Tigers

Assigned to High-A Lakeland to begin the 2012 season, Burgos struggled in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, registering a 4.90 ERA with 78/88 K/BB in 121.1 innings.


Aaron Altherr, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

A gifted athlete, Altherr’s raw tools and lack of secondary skills have also prevented him from advancing beyond the Class-A level. He did show some signs of improvement last season, though it came as a 21-year-old repeating Low-A.


Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins

After posting a .714 OPS in the Appalachian League in 2011, Kepler, the Twins’ No. 10 prospect, turned in a breakout performance last season by batting .297/.387/.539 with 31 extra-base hits and 33/27 K/BB while repeating the level.



Nate Freiman, 1B, Houston Astros

A massive right-handed hitter, the 6’7″ Freiman has amassed 46 home runs and 216 RBI over the last two years while showcasing his ability to crush opposite-hand pitching. He should see some time in the major leagues next season, especially after the Astros snagged him in the Rule 5 draft.


Jack Marder, C, Seattle Mariners

A 16th-round draft pick out of Oregon in 2011, Marder, 22, batted .360/.425/.583 last season in 65 games for High-A High Desert. Due to his quiet athleticism, he also saw time at second base (29 games) and in left field (10 games).


Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers’ No. 4 prospect, Pederson had an impressive full-season debut in 2012 for High-A Rancho Cucamonga, batting .313/.396/.516 with 48 extra-base hits (18 home runs), 26 stolen bases and 81/51 K/BB in 110 games.



Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Kansas City Royals

The eight-best prospect in the Royals’ system, Cuthbert is coming off a down season in which he posted a .618 OPS in 124 games at High-A Wilmington as a 19-year-old.



J.C. Sulbaran, RHP, Kansas City Royals

One of the two pitchers acquired by the Royals at the trade deadline for Jonathan Broxton, Sulbaran has always showcased swing-and-miss stuff (plus fastball and curveball) but lacked command. Although he’s a fly-ball pitcher, the right-hander’s career 9.7 K/9 makes him a candidate for a bullpen role.


Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox

Boston’s top prospect will compete in the WBC after a monster 2012 season in which he batted .307/.373/.523 with 60 extra-base hits (20 home runs) in 127 games between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. With Andrelton Simmons locked in as the team’s shortstop, Bogaerts will likely play either third base or a corner outfield position.


Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers

The top prospect in the game, Profar will presumably play second base for the Dutch squad, as he readies himself for big-league spring training and a potential everyday job in 2013.


Jonathan Schoop, INF, Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles’ top position prospect and No. 3 overall, Schoop batted .245/.324/.386 with 14 home runs last season as a 20-year-old at Double-A Bowie. While his bat should only continue to improve, his ability to play shortstop, second and third base already makes him an asset.


Spencer Kieboom, C, Washington Nationals

A fifth-round draft pick of the Nationals last June out of Clemson, Kieboom is listed as the Netherlands’ only catcher. Even though he posted a paltry .557 OPS last season in 41 games for short-season Auburn, the 21-year-old’s selection is based more on his defensive merits.


Puerto Rico

Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins

The ninth-best prospect in the Twins’ system, Berrios was dominant in his professional debut last season, registering a 1.17 ERA with 49/4 K/BB in 30.2 innings across two rookie levels. Of all the prospects schedule to participate, I’m most excited to see the 18-year-old right-hander.


Hiram Burgos, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers

The 25-year-old right-hander enjoyed an unexpected breakout season in 2012, registered a 1.95 ERA with 153/49 K/BB in 171 innings across three levels—including a 2.91 ERA over 46.1 innings for Triple-A Nashville.


Eddie Rosario, 2B-OF, Minnesota Twins

Despite learning a new position (second base) throughout the 2012 season, Rosario’s left-handed bat was unaffected, as the organization’s No. 7 prospect batted .296/.345/.490 with 48 extra-base hits in 95 games for Low-A Beloit.


*All referenced farm system rankings can be found here

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MLB Rumors: Joe Torre’s Next Managing Job…The World Baseball Classic?

ESPN is reporting that it is looking like Joe Torre will not be managing in the Major Leagues again. The Yankees and Mets could have job openings in the winter, but Tony Jackson is reporting that most likely those will be passed up.

Instead, Jackson writes, Torre could be managing a team compiled of some of the best players in the Major Leagues with Team USA. 

The next World Baseball Classic will be in the first months of 2013 and Joe Torre is considering a nice stint as the United States national team’s manager. Torre is a manager with a resume filled with success and the United States has not fared all that well in the past tournaments.

Could the addition of such an accomplished manager put them over the top?

Joe Torre is of Italian and American decent. This makes him eligible to manage either the Italian National Team or the United States National Team. 

The Yankees have a familiar face in the World Baseball Classic every year with Derek Jeter. Jeter has taken on the role of Captain America with his leadership skills in the past two tournaments. Some critics go as far to say that he has become the face of Major League Baseball in some respects.

A Jeter-Torre reunion would be great for audiences if that should happen in 2013. Jeter has Father Time catching up to him sooner or later. The only question is whether he will last until 2013. 

The 2013 World Baseball Classic is years away. Joe Torre and the committee responsible for appointing the Team USA manager have time to start planning for the upcoming tournament before making any major move. It will most likely be a year or a bit more until an official appointing for the job is made. 

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