2015 WBSC Premier12

The 2015 WBSC Premier12 was an international baseball championship sponsored by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), the inaugural event of the WBSC Premier12. It was held from November 8 to 21 in Taiwan and Japan.[1] The South Korean national team won the championship, and split a US$1 million prize.[2][3]

2015 WBSC Premier12
Tournament details
Host countriesJapan
DatesNovember 8–21
Final positions
Champions South Korea (1st title)
Runners-up United States
Third place Japan
Fourth place Mexico
Tournament statistics
Games played38
Attendance235,951 (6,209 per game)
Most valuable player Kim Hyun-soo

The top twelve teams in the WBSC World Rankings qualified to participate in the tournament, which began with two groups of six teams playing in a round-robin format for the first round. The tournament then continued with the top four teams in each group playing in the knockout stage, leading to the championship game.[1] In the final, South Korea defeated United States 8–0 to win their first WBSC Premier12 title, and became the first nation to win the championship.[4][5][6] Japan finished in third place, while Mexico finished in fourth place.[7] South Korea's Hyun-soo Kim won the Most Valuable Player Award. Shohei Ohtani of Japan had the lowest earned run average of the tournament, and Hayato Sakamoto, also of Japan, was named the tournament's most outstanding defensive player.[5] The next edition 2019 WBSC Premier12 will be hosted in Japan[8]


Top 12 Rankings as of November 22, 2014[9]
1 Japan785.18BFA
2 United States766.02COPABE
3 Cuba662.98COPABE
4 Chinese Taipei605.48BFA
5 Netherlands433.50CEB
6 Dominican Republic379.18COPABE
7 Canada353.52COPABE
8 South Korea340.90BFA
9 Puerto Rico291.50COPABE
10 Venezuela269.00COPABE
11 Italy196.18CEB
12 Mexico136.78COPABE

The twelve highest-ranked national teams (as of the 2014 end-of-the-year world rankings) qualified to participate in the inaugural 2015 WBSC Premier 12, based on the most recent WBSC World Rankings, which were updated on November 22, 2014.[10] The membership in the top twelve in the world rankings, which are updated only once every year, was unchanged from 2013. In fact, there was no movement at all between the 7th and 15th positions in the rankings.

  Qualified 12 teams


The majority of teams in the tournament missed the October 10 deadline for submitting rosters.[11] Major League Baseball (MLB), which sponsors the World Baseball Classic, declined to allow players on MLB 40-man rosters to participate in the tournament.[12] The final rosters included a mix of MLB prospects (such as Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Brett Phillips and Chicago White Sox outfielder Jacob May for the United States), former MLB veterans (such as Curaçaoan infielder Andruw Jones and Dominican infielder Pedro Feliz) and non-MLB stars (including Japanese pitchers Shohei Ohtani and South Korean infielder Park Byung-ho).[11]


For the first stage, the twelve teams were divided into two groups of six. Each team played five games in a round robin format.[10] With the exception of the first game of the tournament, a contest between Japan and South Korea at the Sapporo Dome, Taiwan hosted all games in the group stage at four different ballparks.[13]

The top four teams from each group then advanced to a single-elimination tournament. The semifinal and final round were held in Japan while the location of the quarterfinal, the first round of the playoff stage, was initially undetermined.[14] Thirty-eight games were played over fourteen days, culminating in the consolation game and championship game at the Tokyo Dome on the final day of the tournament.[15]


Fox Sports was awarded broadcast rights in Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Netherlands and Turkey. Dutch public broadcast network NOS will also air the tournament in the Netherlands. Rights were also awarded to Eleven Sports Network in Belgium, Poland, Singapore and Malaysia; beIN Sports in Indonesia, Singapore and Oceania; LeTV and PPTV in China; Sky Net in Myanmar; Solar TV in the Philippines; i-CABLE in Hong Kong; OSN in the Middle East and North Africa; SBS in South Korea; Videoland in Taiwan; CIRT in Cuba; and Sportsnet in Canada. In Japan, Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, TV Asahi and J Sports will all be carrying the tournament.[16]

For areas not covered by the event's broadcast partners, the event will be livestreamed for free on the WBSC's YouTube channel.[16]


Group A Group A and Quarterfinals Group B
Douliu, Taiwan Taichung, Taiwan Tianmu, Taiwan
Douliu Baseball Stadium Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium Tianmu Baseball Stadium
Capacity: 15,000 Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 10,500
Group B and Quarterfinals Group B Semifinals and Finals
Taoyuan, Taiwan Sapporo, Japan Tokyo, Japan
Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium Sapporo Dome Tokyo Dome
Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 40,467 Capacity: 46,000

Group stage

Group A

Pos Team Pld W L RF RA RD PCT GB Qualification
1  Canada 5 5 0 23 10 +13 1.000 Advance to playoff stage
2  Cuba 5 3 2 18 22 4 .600[lower-alpha 1] 2
3  Netherlands 5 3 2 40 21 +19 .600[lower-alpha 1] 2
4  Puerto Rico 5 2 3 28 26 +2 .400[lower-alpha 2] 3
5  Chinese Taipei (H) 5 2 3 27 25 +2 .400[lower-alpha 2] 3
6  Italy 5 0 5 4 36 32 .000 5
(H) Host
  1. Cuba defeated the Netherlands 6–5.
  2. Puerto Rico defeated Chinese Taipei 7–4.
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
November 9 18:35 Netherlands  7–4  Chinese Taipei   Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 3:55 16,188
November 10 12:35 Italy  1–7  Puerto Rico   Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 3:37 483
November 10 18:35 Canada  5–1  Cuba   Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 3:21 639
November 11 12:35 Cuba  6–5  Netherlands   Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 3:21 674
November 11 18:35 Puerto Rico  0–2  Canada   Douliu Baseball Stadium 2:51 335
November 11 18:35 Chinese Taipei  7–1  Italy   Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 2:53 8,517
November 12 12:35 Puerto Rico  7–8  Cuba 10 Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 3:50 281
November 12 18:35 Netherlands  16–1  Italy 7 Douliu Baseball Stadium 3:08 119
November 12 18:35 Canada  9–8  Chinese Taipei   Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 3:45 10,245
November 14 12:35 Puerto Rico  7–11  Netherlands   Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 3:33 308
November 14 18:35 Italy  0–4  Canada   Douliu Baseball Stadium 2:29 500
November 14 18:35 Cuba  1–4  Chinese Taipei   Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 3:33 17,503
November 15 12:35 Chinese Taipei  4–7  Puerto Rico 12 Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 4:41 17,436
November 15 18:35 Italy  1–2  Cuba   Douliu Baseball Stadium 2:21 1,200
November 15 18:35 Canada  3–1  Netherlands   Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 2:31 218

Group B

Pos Team Pld W L RF RA RD PCT GB Qualification
1  Japan (H) 5 5 0 31 14 +17 1.000 Advance to playoff stage
2  United States 5 3 2 31 24 +7 .600[lower-alpha 1] 2
3  South Korea 5 3 2 29 14 +15 .600[lower-alpha 1] 2
4  Mexico 5 2 3 23 30 7 .400[lower-alpha 2] 3
5  Venezuela 5 2 3 26 36 10 .400[lower-alpha 2] 3
6  Dominican Republic 5 0 5 20 42 22 .000 5
(H) Host
  1. United States defeated South Korea 3–2.
  2. Mexico defeated Venezuela 6–4.
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
November 8 19:08 South Korea  0–5  Japan   Sapporo Dome 3:37 28,848
November 10 12:05 Mexico  6–4  Venezuela   Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 2:58 800
November 10 18:05 Dominican Republic  5–11  United States   Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 3:02 500
November 11 12:05 Venezuela  7–5  United States   Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 3:20 500
November 11 18:00 South Korea  10–1  Dominican Republic   Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 3:56 600
November 11 18:08 Mexico  5–6  Japan   Tianmu Baseball Stadium 3:36 6,523
November 12 12:00 Venezuela  2–13  South Korea 7 Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 2:51 1,010
November 12 18:05 United States  10–0  Mexico 8 Tianmu Baseball Stadium 2:47 531
November 12 18:08 Japan  4–2  Dominican Republic   Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 3:02 3,500
November 14 12:00 Dominican Republic  6–8  Venezuela   Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 2:59 1,112
November 14 18:00 South Korea  4–3  Mexico   Tianmu Baseball Stadium 3:30 2,500
November 14 18:08 Japan  10–2  United States   Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 3:27 10,437
November 15 12:05 Mexico  9–6  Dominican Republic   Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 3:21 1,000
November 15 18:00 United States  3–2  South Korea 10 Tianmu Baseball Stadium 4:08 2,000
November 15 18:08 Venezuela  5–6  Japan   Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 3:22 6,547

Playoff stage

Quarterfinals Semifinals Gold Medal
B4  Mexico 4
A1  Canada 3
B4  Mexico 1
B2  United States 6
A3  Netherlands 1
B2  United States 6
B2  United States 0
B3  South Korea 8
B3  South Korea 7
A2  Cuba 2
B3  South Korea 4 Bronze Medal
B1  Japan 3
A4  Puerto Rico 3 B4  Mexico 1
B1  Japan 9 B1  Japan 11


Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
November 16 12:30 Mexico  4–3  Canada   Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 2:43 250
November 16 12:30 Netherlands  1–6  United States   Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 2:56 503
November 16 18:30 South Korea  7–2  Cuba   Intercontinental Baseball Stadium 3:30 370
November 16 18:30 Puerto Rico  3–9  Japan   Taoyuan Int'l Baseball Stadium 3:14 8,000

Though Canada led Group A with a 5–0 record, they were upset in the quarterfinals by Mexico. Zack Segovia led the United States to a victory over the Netherlands.[17][18] South Korea defeated Cuba, taking a 5–0 lead over Cuba by the second inning.[19] Japan defeated Puerto Rico behind the pitching of Kenta Maeda.[20]


Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
November 19 19:00 South Korea  4–3  Japan   Tokyo Dome 3:50 40,258
November 20 19:00 Mexico  1–6  United States   Tokyo Dome 3:07 5,105

South Korea had lost to Japan in round-robin play.[20] Japan led their semifinal matchup 3–0 going into the ninth inning, but South Korea scored four runs in the final inning to defeat Japan. Meanwhile, the United States defeated Mexico 6–1, scoring four runs in the fifth inning, to advance to the championship round.[21]

Third place game

Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
November 21 13:00 Mexico  1–11  Japan 7 Tokyo Dome 2:26 N.A.

In the third place game, Japan defeated Mexico 11–1, with the game ending after seven innings due to the mercy rule. Japan's Tetsuto Yamada hit two home runs, and Sho Nakata and Nobuhiro Matsuda each hit a home run, and the score was 8–0 after two innings.[6]


November 21, 2015 19:00 at Tokyo Dome
 South Korea1015000018130
 United States000000000050
WP: Kim Kwang-hyun (1–1)   LP: Zack Segovia (2–1)
Home runs:
KOR: Park Byung-ho (2, in 4th, 3 RBI)
USA: None
Attendance: 40,411 Game Time: 3:39

In the championship game, Lee Yong-kyu of South Korea recorded a run batted in (RBI) double in the first inning off of Zack Segovia. Kim Hyun-soo had an RBI double in the third inning, and scored two more runs on a double in the fourth inning. Park Byung-ho hit a home run off of Brooks Pounders to left field in the fourth inning. Kim finished the game three hits, including two doubles that scored runs. Kim Hyun-soo and Jeong Keun-woo also had three hits apiece, and Jeong recorded a run batted in with a bases loaded walk in the ninth inning.[4][5]

The United States had defeated South Korea during their sole matchup during group play by a score of 3–2 in extra innings. Kim later explained that the South Korean team made adjustments to better prepare for the fastballs thrown by United States pitchers. Before the game, United States players Brett Eibner, J. B. Wendelken, and Jake Barrett became ineligible to play in the championship game as they had been added to the 40-man rosters of their respective Major League Baseball organizations.[5]

Final standings


Following 38 global games, the WBSC announced the first-ever Premier12 All-World Team. WBSC also announced the individual awards winners.[22]

Prize money

The WBSC announced that it would be giving away $3,800,000 in prize money to participants, distributed as follows:

  • Winner: US$1,000,000
  • 2nd Place: US$600,000
  • 3rd place: US$400,000
  • 4th place: US$300,000
  • 5–8th place: US$225,000 each
  • 9–12th place: US$150,000 each[2]


Despite South Korea's victory in the entire tournament, many South Korean fans and officials were angered and complaining of how the 2015 WBSC Premier League was heavily biased in favor of the co-host nation Japan's team, and that they purposefully set up in advance of Korea's team under disadvantage by restraining them from practicing and giving them rather complicated schedules and obstacles[23] (that including of a stadium fire) that other countries did not needed to go through or have. The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) was also under fire for not doing enough to solve the issues of Japan's favorable play in the tournament. Jeong Keum Jo, KBO's representative official, stated that the KBO has numerously filed a complaint to Japan of the corrupt play, but was only advised to understand that the premier league had to be successful, and so was dismissed.

Additional claims are that Japan purposefully pulled the semifinal match schedule to Thursday as a last-minute change when it was announced that South Korea was going to be Japan's opponent; sponsorship and money is said to be the reason of the schedule change.[24] This meant that Korean players were to wake up at 3:30 am to take the flight from Taiwan to Japan, while Japanese players were able to rest and practice more during that time. Korea claims this was to purposefully tire the Korean team ahead of the game.[25][26] On top of that, further criticism came in when Japan had organized Koda Kawaguchi, a Japanese umpire for the game that of between South Korea and Japan, as it was considered to be a further sign of pro-Japan bias during the tournament.[27] When the game ended with an unexpected South Korean victory, Japan's television networks moved the tournament broadcasting time from 7 PM to 3:45 AM, causing stir in South Korea once more pointing out of how it was unnecessary to do such, and that it was to show fewer people of the highlights.[28]

See also

  • List of sporting events in Taiwan


  1. Coskrey, Jason (January 19, 2015). "Japan to co-host Premier 12 baseball world tourney". The Japan Times. Tokyo. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  2. "WBSC announces $4 Million Prize Money for #Premier12". Mister Baseball. October 27, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  3. Axisa, Mike (November 20, 2015). "USA and South Korea advance to Premier 12 championship game". CBS Sports. New York. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  4. "S. Korea pounds U.S. 8–0 for championship". Yonhap. Seoul. November 21, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  5. Coskrey, Jason (November 21, 2015). "South Korea crushes U.S. to win Premier 12 title". Japan Times. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  6. Dexter, Grant (November 22, 2015). "S Korea win Premier 12". Taipei Times. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  7. "Japan KO's Mexico 11–1 to win bronze at WBSC Premier12". WBSC. November 21, 2015. Archived from the original on November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  8. "WBSC awards Premier12 2019/Olympic Qualifier hosting rights to Japan's NPB for 2nd Round and Finals".
  9. "World Rankings WBSC". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Archived from the original on November 30, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  10. Cole, Bryan (January 20, 2015). "WBSC announces details for Premier 12 championship". Beyond the Box Score. SB Nation. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  11. Manuel, John (October 21, 2015). "U.S. Unveils Premier 12 Roster As Start Of Event Nears". Baseball America. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  12. "MLB players won't be at Premier 12". Japan Times. September 4, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  13. "2015 WBSC Premier12 > Schedule and Results > Opening Round". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  14. "2015 WBSC Premier12 > Schedule and Results > Quarterfinals". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  15. "Schedule, bracket unveiled for WBSC Premier12". Mister Baseball. June 25, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  16. "WBSC Premier12™ Broadcast Rights Awarded Around The World". World Baseball Softball Confederation. November 4, 2015. Archived from the original on November 18, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  17. "Mexico upsets Canada to snatch WBSC Premier 12 semifinal berth". focustaiwan.tw. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  18. Earle Couper. "Canada loses 4–3 to Mexico in quarter-finals of Premier 12 baseball tourney". Comox Valley Record. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  19. "Cuba Ousted at Premier 12 by South Korea". Havana Times.org. November 18, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  20. "Japan shuts down Puerto Rico to make Premier 12 semifinals". The Japan Times. November 17, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  21. "U.S. Beats Mexico, Will Meet South Korea In Premier 12 Final". BaseballAmerica.com. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  22. "WBSC Premier12 All-World Team announced". WBSC. November 21, 2015. Archived from the original on November 24, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  23. "[엿보기] 뒤죽박죽 경기 시간, '어수선'했던 선수단 분위기" (in Korean). Sports World. November 11, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  24. "[단독속보]일본, 엔화로 준결승 일정도 바꿨다" (in Korean). 스포츠조선. November 16, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  25. "Koreans Complain of Pro-Japan Bias at Premier 12". The Chosun Ilbo. November 20, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  26. "<프리미어12> 日 '스케줄 횡포'에 야구대표팀 "피곤하다"" (in Korean). Yonhap Agency. November 18, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  27. "<프리미어12> 한·일전에 일본인 심판…또 상식 밖 운영" (in Korean). Yonhap Agency. November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  28. "치졸한 일본, 한국 결승전 새벽녹화중계 변경" (in Korean). 스포츠조선. November 20, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
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