WBSC Premier12 2019 Group A Preview: DOM, MEX, NED and USA

www.wbsc.org|31-Oct-2019 15:14

GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- Four National Teams with very mixed results at the inaugural 2015 WBSC Premier12 global baseball championship will collide in Group A, which opens on Saturday, 2 November, and features world No. 2 USA, No. 6 Mexico, No. 8 Netherlands and No. 12 Dominican Republic.

USA, the top-ranked nation from the Americas, won silver in 2015 and highlight the group, while Mexico reached the bronze medal game and finished fourth.

The Netherlands come into the global tournament as Europe’s top-ranked baseball nation.

The Netherlands and USA will open their 2019 Premier12 together on Saturday at Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico. This contest will be a rematch of the 2015 Premier12 quarter-final, which was won by USA, 6-1. In the last 10 meetings between their Men’s National Teams, USA carry a 9-1 record against Netherlands. The European squad last defeated the US in 2011, at the Baseball World Cup, which the Netherlands went on to win.

Baseball powerhouse Dominican Republic, the lowest-ranked nation in the event, did not register a win in 2015 and will look to make history in their opening game as they face Mexico – a team they have not defeated at a world-level, major event since the 1973 Baseball World Cup.

Team USA’s roster boasts MLB.com’s number five prospect Jo Adell, an outfielder in the LA Angels organisation. The 20-year-old hit .289 across three levels in 2019, and became the youngest active position player in the AAA-Pacific Coast League. Only one player from the USA’s 2015 campaign returns to the 2019 roster, 29-year-old RHP Brooks Pounders.

The Dominican Republic’s roster is highlighted by two-time MLB All-Star Ervin Santana, who has recorded 149 wins and 1,926 strikeouts in a 15-year big league career. None of the 2015 Dominican side return to the 2019 Premier12 roster.

Another MLB All-Star will take the field for The Netherlands with Jair Jurrjens continuing a decorated international career. Jurrjens last represented Netherlands at a major tournament at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. The Netherlands field one of the most experienced rosters at this year’s Premier12, with 14 players returning from their 2015 team.

Mexican pitcher Ryan Verdugo will make his Premier12 debut in 2019, and made history in 2018, throwing the first perfect game in Chinese Professional Baseball League history. Verdugo struck out eight and only needed 92 pitches to navigate nine perfect innings against Chinatrust Brothers on 7 October 2018. Mexico welcome back OF Juan Perez and C Humberto Sosa – who combined for 17 hits in their 2015 Preimer12 campaign.

The top two finishers from each group will advance to the Super Round in Japan.