Pool D rankings, notable names
The U.S. may have the best bullpen in the tournament, but the Dominican Republic's relief corps -- with righties
Puerto Rico started the 2006 WBC with four straight wins, mercying Cuba and dominating the Dominican Republic in consecutive games by a combined score of 19-3, but the two losses that followed, including a 4-3 loss to Cuba, kept them out of the semifinals. This year, they enter the tournament with a chance to upset one of the presumptive final four of the U.S., Japan, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
The last of those is the team Puerto Rico most resembles. Like the D.R., Puerto Rico has a top-heavy lineup, an underwhelming bench, erratic-yet-talented starting pitchers and a fairly deep and well-balanced bullpen. However, Puerto Rico has slightly weaker versions of each compared to their Pool D rivals. The lineup starts to thin out after
Being the most successful national baseball team in Europe is something of a dubious distinction, but one the Netherlands holds nonetheless by virtue of its twenty gold medals in the European Baseball Championship (second-place Italy has eight). Dutch major league baseball was founded way back in 1922 and is known to the locals as
The weakest of the Latin American entries, Panama was winless in the last WBC due largely to an impotent offense. That won't change much this year as Astros left fielder