Japan Extends Number One Ranking in International Baseball

Japan has extended their lead over the United States by 741 points in the World Baseball and Softball Confederation end of the year polling. A tournament win in the Under 23 tournaments helped cement their lead atop the poll. Two other events helped vault Japan farther past the United States in the poll. Japan was second to Cuba in the Under 15 tournament while the United States finished in third. Japan also won a best of five exhibition match with the United States three games to two in a game of college All Stars.

Korea moved closer to the United States and is in third place in the rankings. A win over the United States last November in the Premier 12 moved them closer to second place. The United States brought a team of AAA players who were not on major league 40 man rosters while the Korean team was composed of KBO All Stars. Korea routed the United States 8-0 in the championship game showing a squad of AAA minor leaguers was no match for the KBO All Stars. Japan took third place in the Premier 12.

Below is the top ten and the number of points accumulated. You can see all the 100 or so rankings at the World Baseball Softball Confederation website.

1. Japan - 5669 points
2. United States - 4928 points
3. Korea - 4823 points
4. Taiwan - 4239 points
5. Cuba - 3857 points
6. Venezuela - 2684 points
7. Mexico - 3081 points
8. Canada - 2200 points
9. Netherlands - 2071 points
10. Italy - 2008 points

Australia moved into the top 12 as a result of their second place finish in the Under 23 tournament. Being ranked in the Top 12 qualifies you for the Premier 12, which distributes the second most points after the World Baseball Classic, which will be held in March.

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