New Rankings Offer Premier 12 Insight

The WBSC released its new rankings yesterday, taking into account more than 250 new games played, including the Under-15 World Cup and numerous continental championships. The U.S. retained its rightful place at the top after winning the U15 global title and the U12 Pan-American Championship, while the next three nations—Japan, South Korea, and Cuba—all maintained their positions. The top 12 teams at the end of the year will make the cut for the Premier 12, an Olympic Games qualifier.

Numbers five through 10 saw some shuffling, with Taiwan sliding up one spot to fifth after accruing the most points thus far this year. The Asian nation earned bronze at the U15s and Asian Games, winning the U12 Asian title and placing second at the U18 level continentally. It exchanged places with Mexico, while the Netherlands moved up two places to No. 7, overtaking Australia and Canada.

Currently, the other three teams in contention for the Premier 12 are Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. With only the U23 World Cup remaining, the first two are safe, but the D.R.—which does not compete in some events, hurting its ranking—is only six points ahead of Panamá. The current No. 13, however, did not qualify for the U23s, likely leaving the Dominicans ahead of the cut.

One notable country will be left outside of baseball’s next top tournament as Italy fell to fifteenth, down from a peak of No. 9 in 2015. Just ahead of Europe’s second-ranked nation is Nicaragua, which fell one place.

While many teams lower in the rankings had more significant jumps, one nation continues its ascendancy, climbing for the fifth-straight year and eighth out of nine. Since starting 2010 at No. 27 in the world, Colómbia is now at No. 16 with 1007 points, just 128 behind Italy. Close on its heels is another country experiencing a prolonged breakout in Brazil.

Asia had a number of impressive risers, partly due to a larger number of games than normal this year. The top riser of any continent is No. 31 Indonesia (up 16), while Sri Lanka went up 11 to No. 41, Nepal went from 73rd to 65th, and the Philippines went up seven to No. 33. Europe had three big movers as the Ukraine went from No. 43 to No. 34 and Ireland jetted up nine spots to No. 42, while No. 58 Georgia went up 10 after a few years of dormancy. Finally, Chile may be a nation to watch as it is now tied at No. 50 after a four-year run that saw it gain 10 places from 2017, eight in 2016, and 13 in 2015.

Below are the rankings by continental federation. The full rankings can be found here [link].

Americas (COPABE)
1 USA
2 Cuba
3 México
4 Canada
5 Puerto Rico
6 Venezuela
7 Dominican Republic
8 Panamá
9 Nicaragua
10 Colómbia
11 Brazil
12 Argentina
13 Perú
14 Chile
15 Honduras
16 El Salvador
17 Bolivia
18 Guatemala
19 Aruba
20 Curaçao
21 Ecuador
22 Costa Rica
23 US Virgin Islands

Asia (BFA)
1 Japan
2 South Korea
3 Taiwan
4 China
5 Pakistan
6 Hong Kong
7 Indonesia
8 Philippines
9 Sri Lanka
10 Iran
11 India
12 Nepal
13 Singapore
14 Iraq

Europe (CEB)
1 Netherlands
2 Italy
3 Czech Republic
4 Israel
5 Germany
6 France
7 Spain
8 Austria
9 Belgium
10 Croatia
11 Sweden
12 Ukraine
13 Lithuania
14 Slovakia
15 Great Britain
16 Poland
17 Ireland
18 Romania
19 Bulgaria
20 Belarus
21 Greece
22 Serbia
23 Switzerland
24 Slovenia
25 Estonia
26 Finland
27 Georgia
28 Hungary
29 Latvia

Oceania (BCO)
1 Australia
2 New Zealand
3 Guam
4 American Samoa

About Gabriel Fidler

Extra Innings UK covers baseball around the world, focussing on the sport at the national team level, with features on prominent players, scouting reports, and occasional breaking news. We are fully credentialled by MLB and have covered the World Baseball Classic, continental championships, and the U.S. minor leagues.
This entry was posted in Africa, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Europe, Georgia, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, North America, Oceania, Panama, Philippines, Premier 12, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South America, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, USA, Venezuela and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to New Rankings Offer Premier 12 Insight

  1. On what is the European ranking based? Israel fourth? Seems highly unlikely to me.

    • Israel is a member of the CEB and, therefore, according to that they are fourth in Europe. Anyone who has seen them play outside the WBC knows they’re realistically in the 17-24 range. Unfortunately, the WBSC is not likely to ever address this discrepancy.

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