World Cup Rosters Projection: Pool One

This is Baseball America’s take on what the starting lineups will
look like for the 16 teams expected to be involved in the World
Baseball Classic next spring, and how each of the teams can be expected
to perform. Teams will be divided into four pools, with two teams
advancing from round-robin play out of each pool. The eight remaining
teams will play another set of round-robin competition, with four teams
advancing to a winner-take-all semifinal and final. Rosters were
determined by the staff of Baseball America with the help of our
correspondents. The organizations of players who are in the American
major or minor leagues are listed in parentheses.


C’"Kenji Jojima

1B’"Nobuhiko Matsunaka

2B’"Tadahito Iguchi (White Sox)

3B’"Michihiro Ogasawara

SS’"Kazuo Matsui (Mets)

LF’"Kosuke Fukudome

CF’"Hideki Matsui (Yankees)

RF’"Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners)

DH’"Norihiro Nakamura

SP’"Daisuke Matsuzaka

SP’"Koji Uehara

SP’"Hideo Nomo (Devil Rays)

SP’"Tomo Ohka (Nationals)

RP’"Shingo Takatsu

Manager: Sadaharu Oh

Skinny: Players like Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui have
shown everyone the talent in Japan, and Japanese teams have generally
played well in international competition, playing in all four Olympic
baseball competitions and winning medal three times. They also won gold
in 1984, when baseball was a demonstration sport. They’ll be the
favorite in this pool and a legitimate threat to make it to the final.


C’"Seung-heun Hong

1B’"Seung-yeop Lee

2B’"Kyung-hwan Ahn

3B’"Dong-soo Kim

SS’"Sae-wan Hong

LF’"Joon-hyuk Yang

CF’"Jeong-bum Lee

RF’"Jong-soo Shim

DH’"Hee-seop Choi (Dodgers)

SP’"Jae-weong Seo (Mets)

SP’"Chan-ho Park (Rangers)

SP’"Myung-hwan Park

SP’"Min-tae Chong

RP’"Byung-yung Kim (Rockies)

Manager: Jae-park Kim

Skinny: Team Korea will be not be as well known to
Westerners but could be a threat to Japan’"their biggest rival–in this
pool, though their talent is probably a notch below the Japanese. Korea
has been made great strides internationally in the last 20 years,
highlighted by a bronze-medal victory against Japan in the 2000


C’"Chun-chang Ye

1B’"Chia-hsien Hsieh

2B’"Chung-yi Huang

3B’"Tai-shan Chang

SS’"Ching-lung Hu (Dodgers)

LF’"Chin-feng Chen (Dodgers)

CF’"Chih-yuan Chen

RF’"Kan-lin Huang

DH’"Cheng-min Peng

SP’"Chien-ming Wang (Yankees)

SP’"Chi-Hung Cheng (Blue Jays)

SP’"Chih-chia Chang

SP’"Ming-chieh Hsu

RP’" Chin-hui Tsao (Rockies)

Manager: Sheng-ming Hsu

Skinny: Taiwan would come to a standstill to watch its
team, and interest would easily eclipse the fever pitch from when
Taiwan played host to the 2001 World Cup. Still, most fans would
recognize their squad will be overmatched because of the relatively
small pool of talent to draw from. The goal would be to score a win or
two against its big brother, China.

C’"Wang Wei

1B’"Chen Qi

2B’"Feng Fei

3B’"Zhang Wei

SS’"Zheng Yu Feng

LF’"Lin Xiao Fan

CF’"Sun Ling-feng

RF’"Yang Guo Gang

DH’"Liu Guang Biao

SP’"Wang Chao

SP’"Wang Nan

SP’"Zhang Jian Wang

SP’"Su Chang-long

RP’"Li Wei Liang

Manager: Li Bin

Skinny:China is making a major push in baseball in advance of playing in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and Major League
Baseball can’t ignore the marketing potential of a nation of more than
1.3 billion people. So even though its team isn’™t ready for a
competition of this stature, China will send a team of the best players
from the China Professional Baseball League and hope it spurs further
growth in the game.