The 2013 World Baseball Classic kicks off on Saturday from locations around the globe, but only the winners and runner-ups of each pool can advance to the second round.
All 16 competing nations have players connected to professional baseball in the United States. Plenty of these players are still fighting their way through the minor league system, and there are also several experienced veterans without current contracts that will want to show MLB teams that they still have something left in the tank.
Of course, many of these rosters will also feature active major league stars as well. Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, R.A. Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Craig Kimbrel, Yadier Molina and Jose Reyes are just a few of the big names that will suit up in the third edition of the WBC.
Read on to see which eight countries will survive the initial stage of games.
*The teams listed first in the following slide titles are the projected winners of the respective pool.