2013 World Baseball Classic pools finalized, schedule announced

World Baseball Classic, Inc. today announced the final pool compositions, which include Qualifier winners Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei and Spain, and the full tournament schedule for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which will begin on Saturday, March 2nd in Fukuoka, Japan and Taichung, Taiwan.  In addition, each of the 16 competing countries and territories announced two players who have committed early to compete in the Classic.

Pool A, which will be played at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome from Saturday, March 2nd–Wednesday, March 6th, will include the countries of Brazil, China, Cuba and Japan.  The opening game at the venue on March 2nd will feature two-time defending champion Japan vs. newcomer and Qualifier Round victor Brazil at 7:00 p.m. (all times local).

Pool B will feature the countries of Australia, Chinese Taipei, Korea and the Netherlands at Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan from Saturday, March 2nd–Tuesday, March 5th.  The opening game on March 2nd will be played at 12:30 p.m. between 2009 finalist Korea and the Netherlands.

Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico will host the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain and Venezuela for Pool C contests from Thursday, March 7th–Sunday, March 10th.  Venezuela and the Dominican Republic will square off in the first game in San Juan on March 7th at 7:30 p.m.

Chase Field and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick will host games in Pool D, featuring Canada, Italy, Mexico and the United States from Thursday, March 7th–Sunday, March 10th.  Salt River Fields will host the opening game on March 7th at 1:00 p.m. between Mexico and Italy.

The First Round will return to a round-robin format with the top two teams at each venue advancing to one of two Second Round pools.  The Second Round, which will be a modified double-elimination format, will be played at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan and Marlins Park in Miami, Florida.  Pool 1 at the Tokyo Dome, from Friday, March 8th–Tuesday, March 12th, will feature the winners and runners-up from Pools A and B, while Pool 2 at Marlins Park, from Tuesday, March 12th–Saturday, March 16th, will host the winners and runners-up from Pools C and D.  The winners and runners-up from each of the Second Round pools will advance to the Championship Round at AT&T Park in San Francisco from Sunday, March 17th – Tuesday, March 19th.

Twelve Major League All-Stars are among the initial 32 players confirming early to represent their country in March.  The players include 2012 American League MVP and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers and 2012 World Series MVP presented by Chevrolet Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants (Venezuela); second baseman Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees and 2011 N.L. Batting Champion Jose Reyes of the Toronto Blue Jays (Dominican Republic); third baseman David Wright of the New York Mets and 2009 A.L. MVP Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins (United States); St. Louis Cardinals teammates Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina (Puerto Rico); first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Mexico); 2006 A.L. MVP Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins (Canada); free agent outfielder Andruw Jones (Netherlands); and free agent left-handed pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo (Chinese Taipei).

“Baseball is a passion in Venezuela, and I look forward to playing for my country against the rest of the world,” said Cabrera.

“It’ll be great to put on a Team USA jersey again,” said Wright.  “I’m honored to play for Team USA and take another crack at winning what is clearly the most difficult baseball tournament in the world.”

“It was such an amazing experience to win another World Series,” added Sandoval.  “I’d love to win another championship, only this time with my fellow countrymen in the World Baseball Classic.”

 “The popularity of baseball is growing in Canada, and I’m looking forward to playing in the World Baseball Classic again,” said Morneau.  “There’s something special about representing everyone back home, and proving that Canadian baseball is among the world’s best.”

Each federation’s provisional 28-Man roster will be announced in mid-January.  The entire list of 32 players confirming early to play in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, as well as the full tournament schedule can be found below.

Ticket strips, which include tickets for all games at a particular venue, are available for all tournament venues at www.worldbaseballclassic.com.  MLB Network will exclusively air all 39 games of the 2013 World Baseball Classic in the United States

FEDERATION

PLAYERS

MLB
ORG.

NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Australia

Ryan Rowland-Smith

FA

First player from Newcastle, Australia to be signed to a professional contract

Australia

Luke Hughes

FA

Played for the World Team in the 2008 Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game;

Homered in his first Major League at-bat in 2010

Brazil

Yan Gomes

CLE

First Brazilian-born player to play in the Majors;

Hit .333 in 2012 WBC Panama Qualifier

Brazil

Andre Rienzo

CWS

One of top pitching prospects in CWS system;

Named to 40-Man roster (November 2012)

Canada

Justin Morneau

MIN

2006 American League MVP and Four-time All-Star

Canada

Brett Lawrie

TOR

Played for Canada at the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2009 WBC;

16th overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft

Chinese Taipei

Chien-Ming Wang

FA

Won 19 games for the Yankees in the 2006 and 2007 seasons;

Member of 2009 World Champion Yankees

Chinese Taipei

Hong-Chih Kuo

FA

First player from Chinese Taipei to participate in the All-Star Game (2010)

China

Ray Chang

FA

Played for Team China during 2009 WBC;

Went 3-for-4 with a HR & two RBI in Team China’s first WBC win.

China

Wei Wang

SEA

Has played professional baseball in China for 10 years;

First player in history to hit a home run in the WBC

Cuba

Yuliesky Gourriel

N/A

Played for Cuba in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics;

Led Cuba to gold at 2003 & 2005 World Cups, 2004 Summer Olympics

Cuba

Freddy Asiel Alvarez

N/A

Tossed four-hit shutout vs. USA in Gold Medal game at 2005 World Youth Championship

Dominican Republic

Robinson Cano

NYY

Four-time A.L. All-Star; Two-time A.L. Gold Glove Winner

Dominican Republic

Jose Reyes

TOR

Four-time N.L. All-Star; 2011 N.L. Batting Title (.337)

Italy

Alex Liddi

SEA

First Italian-born player to play in the Majors;

Played for Italy in the 2009 WBC

Italy

Jason Grilli

FA

Pitched in both 2006 and 2009 for Italy in the WBC;

Second in the N.L. with 32 holds in 2011

Japan

Shinnosuke Abe

N/A

Three-time Japan Series Champion; 2009 Japan Series MVP;
2012 NPB Triple Crown

Japan

Masahiro Tanaka

FA

2007 Pacific League Rookie of the Year; Four-time NPB All-Star

Korea

Seung Yuop Lee

N/A

HR King (most HR) – 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003; 2012 Korean Series MVP

Korea

Dae Ho Lee

N/A

2010 Regular season MVP (KBO); 2012 NPB Home Run Derby winner

Mexico

Adrian Gonzalez

LAD

Four-time All-Star; Three-time Gold Glove Winner

Mexico

Jaime Garcia

STL

Member of 2011 World Champion Cardinals;

Second Mexican-born pitcher to ever start a World Series game

Netherlands

Andruw Jones

FA

10-time Gold Glove Winner; Five-time All-Star

Netherlands

Roger Bernadina

WSH

2010 (INT): Player of the Week for Triple-A Syracuse;

2012: Batted .291 with 15 stolen bases

Puerto Rico

Carlos Beltran

STL

Played for Team Puerto Rico during 2006 & 2009 WBC; Seven-time All-Star

Puerto Rico

Yadier Molina

STL

Played for Team Puerto Rico during 2006 & 2009 WBC;

Four-time All-Star; Two-time World Champion; Five-time Gold Glove Winner

Spain

Engel Beltre

TEX

Texas League Player of the Month for July 2012;

On Rangers 40-Man Roster since November 2010

Spain

Francisco Figueroa

FA

Helped Spain beat Israel in WBC Qualifier

USA

David Wright

NYM

Six-time All-Star; Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Winner in 2007 & 2008

USA

Joe Mauer

MIN

Only catcher to win three batting titles (2006, 08-09);

Three-time Gold Glove Winner; 2009 American League MVP

Venezuela

Miguel Cabrera

DET

2012 American League MVP; 2012 Triple Crown Winner

Venezuela

Pablo Sandoval

SF

2012 World Series MVP presented by Chevrolet; Two-time All-Star