The World Baseball Classic came to a close last night,$ as Japan defeated Korea 5-3 in 10 innings in a terrific game.
Japan won their second straight World Baseball Classic with Daisuke Matsuzaka winning his second MVP in the WBC.
I have created an All-Tournament team of sorts. I have picked the ones I thought outperformed the others and who might deserve to be on an All-Classic team if there was one.
The best catcher had to have been Ramon Hernandez of Venezuela. He played in six games and hit .368 with two homers and five runs batted in.
Only three other catchers had one more than him. No doubt, Hernandez was vital to Venezuela's run in the World Baseball Classic.
Adrian Gonzalez earns my pick at first base. Gonzalez only batted .273 in six games but had a 1.044 OPS in the Classic.
He hit two homers and drove in seven runs for Mexico.
Tae Kyun Kim of Korea definitely earns a spot on this all-star squad, whether it is at shortstop or second base.
Kim collected a total of 10 hits, three homers and 11 runs batted in. He had a .345 AVG and a 1.176 OPS. Kim was a great player for the Korean team, but too bad his team came up short.
Shuichi Murata of Japan was a clutch player for the Japanese, coming through in big games on numerous occasions.
He ended up with two homers and seven RBIs in the Classic. He added a .320 average, among the best averages playing in the semi-finals and finals.
Jimmy Rollins of the U.S. had a superb Classic, batting over .400 and stealing four bases.
He was the best among shortstops, putting himself on base numerous times. But he only scored four runs and had two homers and four runs batted in.
Frederich Cepeda was part of the power house Cuba that was shocked in the WBC this year. Cepeda led all of the Classic in homers with three and he collected 11 RBIs to go with it.
He slugged .958 and had a .500 batting average, one of the best in the whole tournament.
Ichiro was a key component for Japan's win over Korea in the final game. Suzuki knocked in two runs in the top of the 10th to win the game for Japan.
If it wasn't for him, the game would have gotten out of control and possibly been regrettable. Ichiro's performance in the final game, 4 for 6, earns him the spot in this team.
Karim Garcia has been absent from Major League Baseball for a long time but something must be going right for him overseas. Garcia hit three homers and drove in five runs for Mexico.
He had a phenomenal .421 batting average. Granted, he only played in five games, but still, for someone who hasn't seen genuine major league stuff, he still did pretty well.
There is no doubt in my mind that Dice-K deserves to be here. He was undefeated in the whole tournament, again, and won the World Baseball Classic MVP, again.
Matsuzaka was 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA. In his career in the Classic, he has a total of six wins, zero losses, and a 1.95 ERA. WOW!
Closing out the team is Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod had three saves for the Venezuelan team and did not give up a single run in the five games he appeared in.
Apparently, he is still on fire and was the best closer in the World Baseball Classic.