World Baseball Classic, Inc. today announced the final rosters submitted before the February 20th deadline by the 16 Baseball Federations participating in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Final rosters include up to 28 players. Provisional rosters were announced on January 17th.
Many of the game's elite stars and veterans of Major League Baseball (MLB), Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and other leagues from Asia, Latin America, Europe and Australia will participate in the third edition of the World Baseball Classic. From the ranks of Major League Baseball, the rosters include 2012 American League Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera of Venezuela as well as fellow past Most Valuable Players Ryan Braun (USA), Joe Mauer (USA), Justin Morneau (Canada), Jimmy Rollins (USA), Miguel Tejada (Dominican Republic) and Joey Votto (Canada). Reigning Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey is on the roster of Team USA.
Including the names above, there are 45 Major League All-Stars who appear on the submitted rosters (alphabetically): Elvis Andrus (Venezuela), Heath Bell (USA), Carlos Beltran (Puerto Rico), Braun, Asdrubal Cabrera (Venezuela), Robinson Cano (Dominican Republic), Nelson Cruz (Dominican Republic), Dickey, Yovani Gallardo (Mexico), Adrian Gonzalez (Mexico), Carlos Gonzalez (Venezuela), Gio Gonzalez (USA), Ramon Hernandez (Venezuela), Omar Infante (Venezuela), Adam Jones (USA), Andruw Jones (Netherlands), Craig Kimbrel (USA), Russell Martin (Canada), Mauer, Yadier Molina (Puerto Rico), Miguel Montero (Venezuela), Morneau, Chris Perez (USA), Brandon Phillips (USA), Martin Prado (Venezuela), Hanley Ramirez (Dominican Republic), Jose Reyes (Dominican Republic), Alex Rios (Puerto Rico), Fernando Rodney (Dominican Republic), Francisco Rodriguez (Venezuela), Rollins, Pablo Sandoval (Venezuela), Giancarlo Stanton (USA), Mark Teixeira (USA), Tejada, Jose Valverde (Dominican Republic), Javier Vazquez (Puerto Rico), Shane Victorino (USA), Ryan Vogelsong (USA), Edinson Volquez (Dominican Republic), Votto, David Wright (USA), Carlos Zambrano (Venezuela) and Ben Zobrist (USA).
Other participants of note are eight returning players from Japan's 2009 Championship Team, including two Pacific League MVPs, pitcher Toshiya Sugiuchi and outfielder Seiichi Uchikawa, as well as the reigning Central League MVP, catcher Shinnosuke Abe; 11 returning players from Korea's 2009 Finalist squad, including infielder Tae-Kyun Kim and outfielder Hyun-Soo Kim; Cuban stars Frederich Cepeda, Alfredo Despaigne and Yulieski Gourriel; Canadian relief pitcher John Axford, infielder Brett Lawrie and pitcher Jameson Taillon, the second overall choice in the 2010 MLB Draft; longtime Major League pitcher Chien-Ming Wang of Chinese Taipei, marking his first World Baseball Classic appearance, as well as 2008 MLB Futures Game MVP Che-Hsuan Lin of Chinese Taipei; 2005 MLB Futures Game MVP Justin Huber of Australia; Team Italy's Anthony Rizzo and Alex Liddi, who became the first Italian-born and developed Major League player ever in 2011; Netherlands infielders Andrelton Simmons and Xander Bogaerts; Minor Leaguers Ray Chang and Wei Wang of Team China; and members of the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, including National League Championship Series MVP Marco Scutaro of Venezuela and outfielder Angel Pagan of Puerto Rico.
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 victor Brazil, managed by Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, at 7:00 p.m. (all times local).
Pool B will feature the countries of Australia, Chinese Taipei, Korea and the Kingdom of 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 in Arizona 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. Team USA, managed by Joe Torre, will debut on the night of Friday, March 8th vs. Team Mexico at 7:00 p.m. at Chase Field in Phoenix.
The First Round will feature 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.
The World Baseball Classic, which is officially sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), will for the first time in 2013 be recognized as the official national team World Championship, with the winner being crowned the 2013 World Baseball Classic Champion and the IBAF World Champion.
Tickets are available for all tournament venues at www.worldbaseballclassic.com. MLB Network will be the exclusive English-language broadcast partner for all 39 games of the 2013 World Baseball Classic in the United States from March 2nd-19th.