A rubric was developed to determine which teams have been the most historically successful at the World Baseball Classic, the only international tournament where Major League Baseball players have been allowed to compete. The points rubric awards progressively more points the further a national team went in the knock-out tournament. The results show Japan has easily been the most successful nation at the World Baseball Classic.
16 pts – Champion
8 pts – Runner-Up
4 pts – Reached Semi-Finals
2 pts – Reached Final 8 Teams
TOP 5 MOST SUCCESSFUL NATIONS
1. JAPAN – 56 pts.
Japan is easily the most successful team in the history of the World Baseball Classic, having won the tournament on three of five occasions. They won the inaugural edition in 2006. Former American League MVP Shohei Ohtani helped the team win the most recent tournament in 2023. The team also featured many players from Japan’s baseball league. Japan has a strong baseball tradition and a talent-rich pool of players. They are known for their disciplined and fundamentally sound approach to the game.
2. UNITED STATES – 32 pts.
Baseball originated in the United States and the world’s top professional league is in the country. However, despite having strong rosters composed of Major League Baseball players, the team has only managed to win the World Baseball Classic one out of five times. The U.S. team was also the runner-up in 2023, but lost to Japan by a score of 3-2. The team has featured many former American League MVPs, including Mike Trout and Mookie Betts.
3. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – 22 pts.
The Dominican Republic has also consistently played well at the World Baseball Classic. The country has a deep pool of talent and a passion for baseball that runs deep. The national team won the 2013 edition of the tournament, defeating Puerto Rico in the championship game by a score of 3-0. The Dominican Republic team is known for its power-hitting lineup, featuring MLB stars such as Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Jose Bautista.
4. PUERTO RICO – 22 pts.
Despite not being an independent country, Puerto Rico has its own national baseball team. The team reached the championship game in both 2013 and 2017. Although they fell short of the title on both occasions, their performances in those tournaments were impressive. Puerto Rico has a rich baseball tradition and a roster that includes a mix of MLB players and minor league players. The veteran MLB catcher, Yadier Molina, played in four tournaments for Puerto Rico.
5. CUBA – 18 pts.
Despite facing challenges such as limited resources and restrictions on player defection, Cuba has been successful in many international baseball competitions, including the World Baseball Classic. Although they have not won a title yet, they have consistently performed well in the tournament, reaching the finals in the inaugural edition in 2006 and the semifinals in 2023. Yoenis Cespedes and Aroldis Chapman are two Cubans that have played multiple times in the World Baseball Classic.
HISTORIC RANKING TABLE OF ALL NATIONAL TEAMS