Olympic Baseball Teams 2021 Rankings
Ranking the best Olympic Baseball Teams in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo right now
By Test User | August 4, 2021
(Don’t forget to rank your Top Olympic teams at the end of this article for a chance to win a $50 gift card or the equivalence of this amount of your country)
The game of baseball returns to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo after being eliminated after the 2008 Summer Olympics. While the 2020 Summer Olympics were delayed due to COVID-19 last season, they have resumed during the summer of 2021. One of the highlights of many baseball fans around the world is seeing the game return to the field hosting teams from all over the world. Despite the return, the teams in action this season is limited with only six teams returning to compete this season.
Those six teams that qualified to play baseball at the 2020 Summer Olympics include the United States, Dominican Republic, Israel, South Korea, Mexico and the host nation Japan. While the talent level of professional baseball players will be exhibited with current professionals from the other countries as well as minor leaguers and former MLB stars from the United States. With that said, the top stars from the game of baseball will not be competing as rules state no player on a current MLB 40 man roster are eligible to compete.
Nonetheless, the talent is on full display with the 2020 Summer Olympics baseball. Here is our rankings of the six 2020 Olympic baseball teams:
Top 6 Olympic Teams
On paper the Mexican Olympic Baseball team was solid from top to bottom led by former five time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez. However their past success and proven talent couldn’t contain Israel in a key elimination game as the team was eliminated with a 12-5 loss.
The team led by former major leaguer Benji Gil failed to reach the final four and a chance to compete for a medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2021.
In addition to the former All-Star, team Mexico had former MLB players Danny Espinosa, Ryan Goins, Oliver Perez and Manny Banuelos. In the key loss, Mexico saw Gonzalez go 2 for 4 at the plate while driving in one of the team’s five runs while Joey Meneses also went 2 for 4 at the plate with one run batted in.
One of the six teams competing for the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics will be Israel. Israel qualified for Olympic qualifiers after finishing top five during the 2019 European Baseball Championship.
That success allowed Israel to qualify for the Africa/Europe 2020 Olympic qualification tournament; a tournament they would eventually win to earn a spot to compete at the Olympics. The roster is led by head coach Eric Holtz who has experience coaching as an assistant coach on the 2013 Team USA squad that won the gold at the Maccabiah Games as well as the head coach of the 2017 gold medal team.
The team is built around a solid list of players while being headlined by former MLB All-Star Ian Kinsler as well as other former MLB players Danny Valencia and Ryan Lavarnway. In the team’s key win over Mexico to keep them alive Valencia led the charge with a key home run while going 2-4 at the plate and driving in three runs.
The success would end on Tuesday August 3rd, as Israel was eliminated on two runs in the ninth by Dominican Republic in the team’s 7-6 loss.
The team to watch out of the final four teams heading into play on Wednesday August 4th, 2021 is this Dominican Republic team. The Dominican Republic continues to be a key contributor to the game of baseball including the play within MLB, however the restrictions have limited many of the country’s best players from playing this summer.
That said, the Dominican Republic is still loaded with a full line of powerful bats to power the lineup with their limitations and question marks coming on the mound.
Leading the 2020 Dominican Republic Olympic Baseball team is manager Hector Berg who will have his hands full in trying to lead his team in slowing down the United States in their head to head contest.
The upside to this team is the power potential at the plate led by former MLB All-Stars Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista. In the team’s 7-6 win to avoid elimination Bautista and Cabrera went 2 for 6 with one run scored and one run driven in while Jeison Guzman and Johan Mieses each picked up home runs.
The Dominican Republic will need their veterans to step up while their pitching needs to turn in a strong performance on Wednesday August 3rd, 2012 to move on to have a chance to play for a Gold Medal while a loss forces them into the Bronze Medal game.
Results Update: Bronze Medal
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When thinking about baseball it is hard not look past Team USA as one of the power houses among all the teams in play at the Olympics. However, due to the restrictions in place Mike Scioscia and the team has looked to a long list of former big leaguers to help fill out their roster.
This group of players include former All-Stars Todd Frazier and Matt Kemp in the lineup while the pitching is headlined by Homer Bailey and Edwin Jackson.
Despite the potential, USA has a difficult task at moving forward going up against a solid Dominican Republic team on Wednesday.
In their last matchup the teams bullpen failed to hold a 6-5 lead late allowing the tying run to score in the bottom of the ninth before allowing the winning run to cross the plate in the bottom of the 10th. The offense has been powered by Triston Casas who has two home runs during Olympic play this season.
The big question for the rest of play is can the team’s pitching including their bullpen stay consistent to help the team win a Gold Medal.
Results Update: Bronze Medal
One of the most all around teams from the six Olympic Men’s Baseball teams is South Korea. South Korea who surprised many back in the last Olympics baseball was played in during 2008 took home the Gold Medals showcasing their ability to do everything including producing at the plate and on the mound while also playing solid defense.
With no real strength at one position, South Korea has the talent to win the Gold Medal in the 2020 Olympics.
In their first two wins, South Korea was paced by Hyun-soo Kim who was seven for nine at the plate with two runs scored. Kim, who spent time over in the United States playing for both the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies continues to showcase his ability to hit and play with the best players around the world.
In addition to Kim, the team will rely on their pitching who has seen their bullpen allow zero runs over their last two wins while their starters have allowed just four total runs.
With the debates over which team could have landed at number one on the list of the Top 6 Olympic Baseball teams in 2020, the one team that just can’t be overlooked is the host nation team of Japan.
Japan, who opened play with a bye, defeated Team USA 7-6 in a thrilling late winning comeback to remain within the winner’s side of the 2020 Olympic Baseball knockout stage bracket. The team who many might be unknown to fans around the world, is loaded with stars including former MLB All-Star and New York Yankee starter Masahiro Tanaka.
However Tanaka struggled against Team USA allowing three runs over just 3.2 innings while the bullpen filled in for 6.1 innings to allow a comeback. As the team misses Shohei Ohtani as he continues to dominate Major League Baseball this season, the team still has talent to help them contend for the Gold Medal. The talent includes both Seiya Suzuki and Tetsuto Yamada. Yamada is a former Central League MVP and Home Run Leader while being named to six NPB All-Star teams.
Meanwhile Suzuki is possibly the best overall hitter in Olympic play this season. Suzuki led the Central League in batting average and On Base Percentage (OBP) in 2019. In addition, Suzuki has four Best Nine Awards and five NPB All-Star teams.
Results Update: Gold Medal
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