The current top 12 in the World Baseball Rankings. (Graphic Courtesy of WBSC)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The World Baseball Rankings were updated on November 2 and Mexico has risen to No. 2 in the world from No. 3 in the previous ranking.
The World Baseball Rankings are published by the World Baseball Softball Confederation and based upon rankings points earned by playing in international competition.
Mexico’s No. 2 ranking is the nation’s highest ever. Mexico won medals at all three international senior events in 2023, winning bronze at the World Baseball Classic in March, gold at the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador in June, and winning bronze at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
According to the WBSC website, ”Mexico earned 319 points with the bronze medal at the 2023 Pan American Games.”
The United States swapped places with Mexico, falling from No. 2 to No. 3 in the WBSC rankings.
Panama moved up two positions, from No. 12 to No. 10 in the world, after losing 10-2 in the bronze medal game to Mexico at the 2023 Pan American Games.
Colombia won the gold medal at the Pan American Games, beating No. 23 Brazil at the 2023 Pan American Games 9-1 in the final game, and rose from No. 15 to No. 13 in the world rankings.
Brazil swapped places with China, rising from the No. 24 slot to the No. 23 position after medaling for the first time at an international senior event.
Italy moved down one spot from No. 13 to No. 14, and the Czech Republic dropped from No. 14 to No. 15. Colombia jumped up two spots in the rankings to No. 13.
Chile, who hosted the 2023 Pan American Games, entered the World Baseball Rankings at No. 50 after not being ranked since the Dec. 31, 2021 rankings, when the nation was ranked No. 61.
Chile and Sri Lanka are tied for the No. 50 ranking in the WBR.
Australia fell from No. 10 to No. 11 in the rankings, but are still in contention for the 2024 WBSC Premier 12 tournament. Puerto Rico dropped spot below their original ranking from No. 11 to No. 12.
The rankings were previously updated on October 5, prior to the start of the 2023 Pan American Games.
There are two senior international events remaining on the WBSC calendar schedule. The Asia Professional Baseball Championship, which will be labeled as a U-24 event, from November 16-19 at the Tokyo Dome and will have host nation Japan, Chinese Taipei, South Korea, and Australia participate in the tournament.
The Asia Baseball Championship, will be held from December 3-10 in Taiwan at Taichung Intercontinental Stadium and the Taipei Dome, with host Chinese Taipei, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Palestine and China participating.
The WBSC Asia sector teams received points for participating in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in the beginning of October. The 2019 Asian Games points are expired during this part of the international baseball ranking cycle after four years. The Asia Baseball Championship is the last senior event of the 2023 international baseball calendar cycle.
South Korea won the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, beating Chinese Taipei in the gold medal game 2-0 in early October.
The top 12 teams in rankings that will be released on Dec. 31, 2023, will have a chance to participate in the 2024 WBSC Premier 12 tournament, which will begin on Nov. 10, 2024 after the regular seasons in Major League Baseball, Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, Nippon Professional Baseball, the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, and the Korean Baseball Organization.