Table of Contents
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Four Teams Qualify for Second Round of WBC
Pools A and B of this year’s edition of the World Baseball Classic began this past weekend in Japan and Taiwan, respectively. As noted in a semi-adequate preview of the Classic, many of the first games took place at a time when Americans are either (a) asleep or (b) engaged in some manner of illegal activity or, strangely, (c) both.
In any case, what follows is a record of what has taken place thus far.
In the first round, comprised of 16 countries, each team plays the other three teams in its pool once. The two teams with the highest winning percentages advance to Round Two. A series of tie-breaking rules exists which the author has no interest in reading even at all.
As of today, four nations (of a possible four from Pools A and B) have qualified for second-round play, where they will compete amongst themselves, in a double-elimination format, for two spots in the final: Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Japan, and the Netherlands.
Here are the complete first-round standings as of this morning — including the Korea-Taipei game that started at 6:30 AM (ET) — copy-and-pasted illicitly from ESPN, but then formatted to suggest nothing of the sort.
First, for Pool A:
And then for Pool B:
Here is a slightly absurd, but not entirely usesless, leaderboard of the top-10 hitting performances of the World Baseball Classic so far (including Tuesday’s early games). SCOUT+ an offensive measure calculated with regressed home-run, walk, and strikeout rates, where 100 is average and above 100 is above average. (Click here for more on what is SCOUT.)
|Dae Ho Lee||KOR||1B||13||0.9%||10.3%||16.6%||104|
And here are the top-10 pitching performances thus far — in this case by SCOUT-, a metric calculated with regressed strikeout and walk rates where 100 is average and below 100 is above average.
Notable Performance(s): Yongkyu Lee and Stefan Welch
While their countries have been eliminated from the competition, both South Korea’s Yongkyu Lee (or, Lee Yong-Kyu by Korean naming convention) and Australia’s Stefan Welch finish near the top of the SCOUT batting leaderboard with Pool A and B play almost complete.
Here’s who Lee is: a 27-year-old outfielder who has played for the Kia Tigers in the Korean domestic league since 2005. While he appears to have only 14 home runs in 3,370 career at-bats, he’s posted a walk-to-strikeout ratio above 1.0 and has averaged a 25-for-34 stolen-base record in nine seasons. In his three games for Korea in this year’s WBC, he posted a 4:0 walk-to-strikeout ratio in ca. 12 plate appearances.
Australia recorded only two runs in its three games and the 24-year-old third baseman Stefan Welch scored both of them, hitting a home run, two doubles, and posting 1:1 walk-to-strikeout ratio in three games. Welch played the 2012 season in the Pirates organization, recording 13 home runs and a 48:103 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 502 plate appearances between High- and Double-A. He’s projected a something slightly better than replacement-level by Steamer for 2013.
The Classic is available on MLB Network — and streaming online for customers of Bright House, DIRECTV, and Time Warner Cable
Here are the games scheduled between now and tomorrow morning (ET):
05:00 AM Japan vs. Cuba