March 29, 2017
March 28, 2017- LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The World Baseball Softball Confederation released the latest standings in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings, following the recent conclusion of the 16-nation World Baseball Classic 2017 -- the top-tier WBSC World Championship hosted by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Highlighting an elite level of baseball being played across the globe, five continents -- Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Oceania -- are represented within the Top 10 of the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.
First-time winners of the World Baseball Classic, the United States has moved to within 321 points of top-ranked Japan, cutting the lead by 450 points. USA Baseball National Teams are the current title holders of three WBSC World Championships: U-12 Baseball World Cup, U-18 Baseball World Cup and World Baseball Classic.
The absence of the U.S. in the first two editions of the U-23 Baseball World Cup (2014 and 2016) has been significant in Japan, the current U-23 world champions, maintaining the No. 1 ranking, as Japan earned 1,236 points in these two events.
Baseball's world rankings weigh a country's National Team performance in WBSC-sanctioned international competitions (from U-12 to Professional) over a four-year period. Points earned from the World Baseball Classic 2013 have expired.
Israel Jumps 22 Spots
Marking the nation's debut in the World Baseball Classic, Israel defeated four Top 10 nations (Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Korea and Netherlands) and finished in 6th Place to advance to No. 19 in the world rankings. Israel had entered the global tournament as the lowest-ranked nation (No. 41).
World Baseball Classic silver medallists Puerto Rico moved to No. 11 in the rankings, while 2013 world champions Dominican Republic fell three places to No. 16. While Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have had great success in the World Baseball Classic, their current positions in the rankings also reflect the two Caribbean nations' absence in wider National Team competitions.
Historical High for Australia
With its highest-ever finish (9th Place) in the World Baseball Classic -- and having won the U-12 and U-18 Continental Championships earlier this year -- Australia has hit a historical high in the world rankings at No. 8, advancing two spots. Baseball Australia's previous high was No. 9, which was achieved in 2010.
Rise of Colombia
Colombia has advanced two spots to No. 17 in the rankings. The South American nation won its first-ever World Baseball Classic game (vs. Canada) and nearly defeated the U.S. and the Dominican Republic in the Opening Round, before falling in extra-innings in both contests. Last year, Colombia defeated the No. 2 USA in extra-innings and No. 3 Korea at the U-15 Baseball World Cup, signalling a rise of the Colombian National Teams.
Ranking of Asian Countries: (edited by BFA/BFJ)
#22 China (-4), #26 Pakistan (-2), #28 Hong Kong (-1), #35 Philippines (-1), #36 Thailand (-1), #48 Indonesia (-), #52 Sri Lanka (-), #53 Iran (+1), #56 Mongolia (-), #61 India (-), #67 Iraq (-), #68 Singapore (-1), #70 Nepal (+2)