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Professional Baseball Leagues Around the World

BaseballWhile it’s true that for many decades baseball was considered “America’s favorite pastime,” it’s really grown into a global sport since those days. While North America’s Major League Baseball is still the premier organization in the world and the highest level at which the game is played, there are now plenty of professional associations elsewhere as well.

The main hubs for the sport are in Latin America and Southeast Asia, notably South Korea, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Japan.

In this article, we’re going to look into some of the other professional baseball leagues around the world. We’ll examine how many teams they employ, who their winningest franchises are, and how many years they’ve existed.

Tons of MLB talent get their start overseas or spend their offseason sharpening their skills in winter leagues. Let’s explore where it is they play before and after making it to the big show.

Also, it’s wise to remember that many online bookmakers take bets on leagues other than the MLB. So, if you’ve been missing your sports gambling in the offseason, we may have some decent options for you during the winter.

Keeping up with the different pros from around the world will not only give you an advantage when players finally do make the jump to Major League Baseball, but it will keep your baseball handicapping sharp in the MLB offseason.

Major League Baseball

  • Location: North America (29 teams in US, 1 in Canada)
  • Number of Teams: 30
  • Championship: World Series
  • Years Active: 1903 – Present
  • Teams:
Team NameLocationHome StadiumChampionships Won
Baltimore OriolesBaltimore, MarylandOriole Park at Camden Yards3
Boston Red SoxBoston, MassachusettsFenway Park8
New York YankeesNew York City, New YorkYankee Stadium27
Tampa Bay RaysSt. Petersburg, FloridaTropicana Field0
Toronto Blue JaysToronto, OntarioRogers Centre2
Chicago White SoxChicago, IllinoisGuaranteed Rate Field3
Cleveland IndiansCleveland, OhioProgressive Field2
Detroit TigersDetroit, MichiganComerica Park4
Kansas City RoyalsKansas City, MissouriKauffman Stadium2
Minnesota TwinsMinneapolis, MinnesotaTarget Field3
Houston AstrosHouston, TexasMinute Maid Park1
Los Angeles AngelsAnaheim, CaliforniaAngel Stadium1
Oakland AthleticsOakland, CaliforniaOakland–Alameda County Coliseum9
Seattle MarinersSeattle, WashingtonSafeco Field0
Texas RangersArlington, TexasGlobe Life Park in Arlington0
Atlanta BravesAtlanta, GeorgiaSunTrust Park3
Miami MarlinsMiami, FloridaMarlins Park2
New York MetsNew York City, New YorkCiti Field2
Philadelphia PhilliesPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaCitizens Bank Park2
Washington NationalsWashington, D.C.Nationals Park0
Chicago CubsChicago, IllinoisWrigley Field3
Cincinnati RedsCincinnati, OhioGreat American Ball Park5
Milwaukee BrewersMilwaukee, WisconsinMiller Park0
Pittsburgh PiratesPittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPNC Park5
St. Louis CardinalsSt. Louis, MissouriBusch Stadium11
Arizona DiamondbacksPhoenix, ArizonaChase Field1
Colorado RockiesDenver, ColoradoCoors Field0
Los Angeles DodgersLos Angeles, CaliforniaDodger Stadium6
San Diego PadresSan Diego, CaliforniaPetco Park0
San Francisco GiantsSan Francisco, CaliforniaAT&T Park8

Major League Baseball is the pinnacle of the sport. The enormous salaries guarantee that the North American top-tier organization will continue to attract the most exceptional talent from around the world and field the best teams that money can buy. The MLB is comprised of two separate leagues, the National League (NL) and the American League (AL).

At the moment, the two leagues operate under slightly different rulesets and only compete in interleague games a set number of times each year. But the two legal entities attached to the NL and AL were dissolved in recent years, making them more like two conferences under the MLB umbrella rather than the independent corporations they were in the past. Over time, it’s expected that they’ll standardize their rules and play each team an equal number of times each season.


As it stands, there are fifteen teams in each league, for a total of 30 Major League teams.

They are divided into three divisions per league, with five teams per division. The team with the best record in each division earns an automatic spot in the playoffs, while the two teams with the best records despite not winning their divisions get wildcard berths. They then compete through a total of four rounds of playoffs, culminating in the best-of-seven World Series between the NL and AL champs.

The MLB season begins in the spring when they prepare for the season and play through the summer. When fall rolls around, it’s playoff time! The season traditionally ended in October, though that’s been pushed back to early November in recent years.

KBO League

  • Location: South Korea
  • Number of Teams: 10
  • Championship: Korean Series
  • Years Active: 1982 – Present
  • Teams:
Team NameCityHome StadiumChampionships Won
Hanwha EaglesDaejeonDaejeon Hanbat Baseball Stadium1
Kia TigersGwangjuGwangju-Kia Champions Field11
LG TwinsSeoulJamsil Baseball Stadium2
NC DinosChangwonMasan Baseball Stadium0
Nexen HeroesSeoulGocheok SkyDome0
Doosan BearsSeoulJamsil Baseball Stadium5
KT WizSuwonSuwon Baseball Stadium0
Lotte GiantsBusanBusan Sajik Baseball Stadium2
Samsung LionsDaeguDaegu Samsung Lions Park8
SK WyvernsIncheonMunhak Baseball Stadium3

The KBO League is the top level of professional baseball in South Korea. It’s also the most popular of all the professional sports associations in their country. Their season is 144 games long for every team, with each franchise playing every other squad a total of 16 times during the regular season. This equals a total number of 720 games each KBO campaign.

The sport of baseball is believed to have been introduced to Korea by missionaries in the 19th century. The popularity of the game gradually grew over time, with the KBO being founded in 1981. It wasn’t until Korean pitcher Chan Ho Park signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers that things really exploded. Since Park’s 1994 debut, the country has produced numerous star players, many of whom have made legitimate impacts in the MLB. Some examples of Korean-born players who made the jump to Major League Baseball are Hyun-jin Ryu, Hee-seop Choi, Bong Jung-keun, Byung-hyun Kim, Shin-Soo Choo, and Jung-ho Kang.


At the conclusion of the KBO League’s regular season, five teams advance to the playoffs, based on their overall record. The post-season is arranged a bit like a video game, with the lowest-seeded teams forced to keep working their way up the ladder against tougher opponents. Meanwhile, the top-ranked teams just wait for their competitors to reach their level.

First, the fifth-place team and the fourth-place side face off in the Wild Card round. The fourth-place team can advance with a single win, but the club with the fifth-best record must win twice in a row. The Wild Card winner then goes up against the franchise which finished in third. This round is a best-of-five series, so the first to three wins moves on. The winner of that round then matches up with whoever finished in second place. Again, the first side to three wins moves on.

The team with the best regular-season record waits to compete in the KBO Korean Series championship. Whoever wins between the second-place squad and their opponent then moves on to the last round. The championship series is a best-of-seven ordeal, with the winner receiving the honor of being named that season’s champion. Some years, they’ll go on to face the champs from other Asian organizations, but this is not always the case.

Nippon Professional Baseball

  • Location: Japan
  • Number of Teams: 12
  • Championship: Japan Series
  • Years Active: 1950 – Present
  • Teams:
Team NameCityHome StadiumChampionships Won
Chunichi DragonsNagoya, AichiNagoya Dome2
Hanshin TigersNishinomiya, HyōgoHanshin Koshien Stadium2
Hiroshima Toyo CarpHiroshima, HiroshimaMAZDA Zoom-Zoom Stadium Hiroshima3
Tokyo Yakult SwallowsShinjuku, TokyoMeiji Jingu Stadium5
Yokohama DeNA BayStarsYokohama, KanagawaYokohama Stadium2
Yomiuri GiantsBunkyō, TokyoTokyo Dome22
Chiba Lotte MarinesChiba, ChibaZOZO Marine Stadium4
Fukuoka SoftBank HawksFukuoka, FukuokaFukuoka Yahuoku! Dome8
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham FightersSapporo, HokkaidōSapporo Dome3
Orix BuffaloesOsaka, OsakaKyocera Dome Osaka4
Saitama Seibu LionsTokorozawa, SaitamaMetLife Dome13
Tohoku Rakuten Golden EaglesSendai, MiyagiKobo Park Miyagi1

Nippon Professional Baseball is the highest level of the game available in Japan. The twelve-team consortium was founded in 1950 as a result of the reorganization of the Japanese Baseball League. It was decided that the NPB would be divided into two separate leagues, similar to the MLB’s original setup.

Six teams play in the Pacific League, while the others play in the Central. Like Major League Baseball, the two groups use different rulesets. In the Pacific, teams use a designated hitter, while the Central does not. The actual rules for an average game are close but slightly different than in the US. The NPB uses a smaller ball, strike zone, and field. The ball is wound more tightly as well. Their games can also end in a tie, as there’s a cap on the number of extra innings allowed.

American scouts consider the top-tier Japanese organization AAAA, meaning it’s a higher level of play than AAA minor leagues in the States, but not quite as competitive as the MLB.

Japanese players really began to get some attention after Hideo Nomo left the Kintetsu Buffaloes to join the LA Dodgers, where he won Rookie of the Year and threw two no-hitters over 14 seasons in the States.

After Nomo, an exodus of Japanese talent rushed to Major League Baseball. Superstars like Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui went on to achieve massive success overseas, winning championships and MVP awards. In fact, since Hideo Nomo first jumped ship, over 60 Nippon Professional Baseball players have tried their hand at the MLB game. This eventually led to the “posting system,” which requires Major League clubs to compensate their home squads and negotiate reasonably with foreign talent.

The NPB’s historically most dominant team is the Yomiuri Giants. Playing out of Tokyo, the Giants have won 22 Japan Series. To reach this final series, teams must first endure a 146-game regular season, playing six games per week while getting every Monday off. At the end of the season, the second- and third-place clubs play a best-of-three series at the second-placed side’s home stadium. The winner moves on to a best-of-five matchup with the league’s top-seeded squad. The Pacific and Central champions then face off for the Japan Series.

Chinese Professional Baseball League

  • Location: Taiwan
  • Number of Teams: 4
  • Championship: Taiwan Series
  • Years Active: 1989 – Present
  • Teams:
Team NameCityHome StadiumChampionships Won
Chinatrust BrothersTaichung CityTaichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium7
Lamigo MonkeysTaoyuan CityTaoyuan International Baseball Stadium5
Fubon GuardiansNew Taipei CityXinzhuang Baseball Stadium3
Uni-President 7-Eleven LionsTainan CityTainan Municipal Baseball Stadium9

The Chinese Professional Baseball League is a four-team organization located in Taiwan. The CPBL was founded in 1989, and the sport’s popularity peaked in 1997 when there were two separate leagues and eleven total clubs. Since those days, several match-fixing scandals have rocked the game, turning many viewers off of the product entirely.

The season runs concurrent with the MLB, starting in March and playing until October. In June or July, the league takes a break for the all-star game, which marks the midway point of the season. Teams can win the first or second half of the season to qualify for the playoffs. Three teams are eligible for the post-season, which is played out over two rounds. The squad that wins the championship then moves on to the Asia Series, where they compete against top clubs from the KBO, Nippon League, and Australian Baseball.

Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League is quite a bit behind the rest of the world when it comes to their professional league. The low pay and lack of free agency leave very little power for the players. As such, the teams are mostly filled with Japanese minor leaguers and AA-level athletes from around Asia.

Puerto Rico Baseball League

  • Location: Puerto Rico
  • Number of Teams: 4
  • Championship: League Championship & Caribbean World Series
  • Years Active: 1938 – Present
  • Teams:
Team NameCityHome StadiumLeague Championships WonCaribbean Series Won
Criollos de CaguasCaguasParque Yldefonso Solá Morales115
Gigantes de CarolinaCarolinaRoberto Clemente Stadium20
Indios de MayagüezMayagüezIsidoro García Baseball Stadium182
Cangrejeros de SanturceSanturce, San JuanHiram Bithorn Stadium145

The leading professional baseball league in Puerto Rico is called Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente, named after the all-time Puerto Rican great. There are currently only four teams competing in the association. Following each season, the champion advances to the Caribbean Series, where they match up against other championship sides from Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Venezuela.


While the Puerto Rican league itself is small, an enormous amount of Major League Baseball’s top talent comes from the tiny island nation. This is a winter league, meaning it acts as a jumping-off point for athletes trying to climb their way to the big leagues.

In 1995, the Senadores de San Juan fielded a team that included Roberto Alomar, Carlos Delgado, Rubén Sierra, Carlos Baerga, Bernie Williams, Juan González, Edgar Martínez, Rey Sánchez, and Carmelo Martínez.

They were called “the Dream Team,” a fair name, as they’d most definitely give any MLB team a ton of trouble. In the Caribbean Series, the super-squad was unstoppable. They went 6-0 in the tournament, giving the Dominican Republic team, led by Pedro Martinez and Jose Rijo, their only two losses in the competition.

Dominican Professional Baseball League

  • Location: Dominican Republic
  • Number of Teams: 6
  • Championship: National Championship & Caribbean World Series
  • Years Active: 1951 – Present
  • Teams:
Team NameCityHome StadiumLeague Championships WonCaribbean Series Won
Águilas CibaeñasSantiagoEstadio Cibao215
Estrellas OrientalesSan Pedro de MacorísEstadio Tetelo Vargas30
Gigantes del CibaoSan Francisco de MacorísEstadio Julián Javier00
Leones del EscogidoSanto DomingoEstadio Quisqueya174
Tigres del LiceySanto DomingoEstadio Quisqueya2410
Toros del EsteLa RomanaEstadio Francisco Micheli20

The “Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana” is another winter league in Latin America that works as a pipeline of talent to Major League Baseball in the US. The LIDOM is the Dominican Republic’s highest-level league, consisting of just six teams. Many of the prospects that start here end up in the MLB, though they also sign aging Major Leaguers to finish their career in the DR as well.

All six teams play a fifty-game round-robin schedule. The LIDOM season runs from October through December. The post-season consists of the teams with the top four records playing each other in another round-robin format, this time matching up against each opponent a total of six times. The two teams that finish their 18-game post-season with the highest records face off in a best-of-nine showdown for the championship. The winner goes on to the Caribbean Series.

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League

  • Location: Venezuela
  • Number of Teams: 8
  • Championship: League Championship & Caribbean World Series
  • Years Active: 1946-present
  • Teams:
Team NameCityHome StadiumLeague Championships WonCaribbean Series Won
Águilas del ZuliaMaracaiboEstadio Luis Aparicio El Grande62
Bravos de MargaritaPorlamarEstadio Nueva Esparta00
Cardenales de LaraBarquisimetoEstadio Antonio Herrera Gutiérrez40
Caribes de AnzoáteguiPuerto La CruzEstadio Alfonso Chico Carrasquel30
Leones del CaracasCaracasEstadio Universitario202
Navegantes del MagallanesValenciaEstadio José Bernardo Pérez122
Tiburones de La GuairaPlay in Caracas but representing La GuairaEstadio Universitario70
Tigres de AraguaMaracayEstadio José Pérez Colmenares100

The Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional is the highest tier of professional baseball attainable in Venezuela. The eight-team league was formed in 1945 after the game exploded in popularity after the world championships were played in Havana, Cuba. The South American country attracted players from all through the Caribbean and the US at this time, since their league was much more integrated. They even brought over Hall of Famer Satchel Paige.

Each team plays 63 games during the Venezuelan regular season. This means each of the eight teams plays every opponent nine times. At the conclusion of the campaign, the franchises are ranked in order of their records. The top six teams advance to the post-season.

In the playoffs, every series is a best-of-seven contest.

The first round sees the first-place team play the sixth, the second-ranked squad faces the fifth, while the third and fourth match up. The first three teams to win four games advance to the next round. Then, the two best teams that lost in the first round play each other for one last wildcard spot.

In the second round, the top-seeded team plays the wildcard, while the second- and third-ranked teams meet up with each other. The winners of those two best-of-seven series then match up in the finals. One last seven-game series is played before the Venezuelan League Champion is determined. That club then moves on to compete in the Caribbean Cup against other champs.

Colombian Professional Baseball League

  • Location: Colombia
  • Number of Teams: 4
  • Championship: League Championship
  • Years Active: 1948-1958, 1979-1988, 1994-present
  • Teams:
Team NameCityHome StadiumLeague Championships Won
Caimanes de BarranquillaBarranquillaEstadio Tomás Arrieta8
Tigres de CartagenaCartagenaEstadio Once de Noviembre6
Leones de MonteríaMonteríaEstadio 18 de Junio3
Toros de SincelejoSincelejoEstadio 20 de Enero1

Colombia’s top baseball league consists of four teams and plays in the winter, from October to January. This association is quite a bit behind other Latin American countries when it comes to skill and talent. While they’ve been accepted into the Caribbean Confederation of Professional Baseball, their teams are not yet allowed to compete for the Caribbean Series until their level of play improves.

The winter league is owned by the Renteria Foundation, a charity created by former MLB shortstop Edgar Renteria. Initially, there were six franchises who would play 50 games each, with the top four advancing to an additional post-season round-robin. But now, with only four clubs, it’s unclear whether or not everyone qualifies for the playoffs.

In the playoffs, the remaining teams each play 12 more games. The squads that emerge with the two best records then face off in the league championship. Caimanes de Barranquilla is currently the most successful team in the league with eight titles, though they’ve yet to be able to test themselves against the Caribbean Series sides.

Mexican League

  • Location: Mexico
  • Number of Teams: 16
  • Championship: Serie del Rey
  • Years Active: 1925-present
  • Teams:
Team NameCityHome StadiumLeague Championships Won
Acereros de MonclovaMonclova, CoahuilaMonclova0
Algodoneros de Unión LagunaTorreón, CoahuilaRevolución2
Generales de DurangoDurango, DurangoFrancisco Villa0
Rieleros de AguascalientesAguascalientes City, AguascalientesAlberto Romo Chávez1
Saraperos de SaltilloSaltillo, CoahuilaFrancisco I. Madero3
Sultanes de MonterreyMonterrey, Nuevo LeónMonterrey9
Tecolotes de los Dos LaredosNuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas Laredo, TexasNuevo Laredo, Uni-Trade5
Toros de TijuanaTijuana, Baja CaliforniaGasmart1
Bravos de LeónLeón, GuanajuatoDomingo Santana1
Diablos Rojos del MéxicoIztacalco, Mexico CityEstadio Fray Nano16
Guerreros de OaxacaOaxaca City, OaxacaEduardo Vasconselos1
Leones de YucatánMérida, YucatánParque Kukulcán Alamo3
Olmecas de TabascoVillahermosa, TabascoCentenario 27 de Febrero1
Pericos de PueblaPuebla City, PueblaHermanos Serdán5
Piratas de CampecheCampeche City, CampecheNelson Barrera2
Tigres de Quintana RooCancún, Quintana RooBeto Ávila12

The Mexican Baseball League is a sixteen-team group that’s classified as an AAA minor-league organization. The sixteen clubs are split into two units of eight, divided by North and South divisions. Teams play 114 games each in the regular season. At the conclusion of the regular season, the teams with the five best records in each division advance to the playoffs.

The playoffs go on for four rounds with best-of-seven series all along the way. Once a champion is crowned in each division, the two squads meet up in the Serie Del Rey. One last best-of-seven showdown takes place, with the winner claiming that year’s Copa de Zaachila, the championship cup.

The winningest team in Mexican Baseball League history is the Diablos Rojos del Mexico.

They’ve won sixteen titles and 22 division championships since being founded in 1940. As an AAA league, the winner of their tournament does not go on to compete in the Caribbean Series.

Mexican Pacific League

  • Location: Mexico
  • Number of Teams: 8
  • Championship: Liga Mexicana del Pacífico Champion & Caribbean World Series
  • Years Active: 1945-present
  • Teams:
Team NameCityHome StadiumLeague Championships WonCaribbean Series Won
Águilas de MexicaliMexicali, Baja CaliforniaB’Air41
Cañeros de Los MochisLos Mochis, SinaloaEmilio Ibarra Almada30
Charros de JaliscoGuadalajara, JaliscoPanamericano00
Mayos de NavojoaNavojoa, SonoraManuel “Ciclón” Echeverría20
Naranjeros de HermosilloHermosillo, SonoraSonora162
Tomateros de CuliacánCuliacán, SinaloaTomateros112
Venados de MazatlánMazatlán, SinaloaTeodoro Mariscal92
Yaquis de ObregónCiudad Obregón, SonoraYaquis72

The Mexican Pacific League is an independent association that plays their ball in the winters. The eight-team league plays from October through December. Each year, the league champion advances to the Caribbean Series to compete with other Latin American countries from the Caribbean and South America.

Four different Pacific League franchises have advanced to the Caribbean Series and won on two separate occasions, most recently in 2002. The best team historically has been Naranjeros de Hermosillo, with sixteen titles including two Caribbean Series champions, the most recent of which came in 2014.

Italian Baseball League

  • Location: Italy
  • Number of Teams: 8
  • Championship: Italian Baseball Series (Scudetto)
  • Years Active: 1948 – Present
  • Teams:
Team NameCityHome StadiumScudettos Won
Polisportivo Padule BaseballSesto FiorentinoMunicipal Stadium1
Parmaclima ParmaParmaStadio Quadrifoglio10
Novara Baseball ClubNovaraSilvio Piola Stadium0
T&A San MarinoSan MarinoStadio di Baseball di Serravalle4
Rimini Baseball ClubRiminiStadio dei Pirati13
UnipolSai BolognaBolognaGianni Falchi Baseball Stadium9
Angel Service NettunoNettunoStadio Steno Borghese17
Tommasin PadovaPadovaStadio Euganeo0

The Italian Baseball League is considered the highest level of play in all of Europe. There are eight teams, each of which plays 42 regular-season games. Their schedule is organized into a sequence of three-game series, and they compete in two rounds against each team, giving them a total of six games against each opponent.

The four teams that finish the season with the best record advance to the post-season. Those four clubs then do another round-robin playoff against only each other. When all the games are played, the two squads with the best records move on to the championship. The final series is best-of-seven, with the winner taking home the Scudetto.

There are three Major League Baseball players that competed in the Italian League. Jason Simontacchi pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals from 2002 – 2007 with a win-loss record of 26-17 and a 5.09 ERA. Chuck Carr played for Rimini before playing in the MLB for eight years. In 1993, he was the National League’s stolen base leader. The last noteworthy Italian League player is Junior Guerra. Junior is Venezuelan but pitched for T & A San Marino before he was picked up by the Brewers.

Australian Baseball League

  • Location: Australia and New Zealand
  • Number of Teams: 8
  • Championship: Championship Series – Claxton Shield
  • Years Active: 2009 – Present
  • Teams:
Team NameCityHome StadiumChampionships Won
Adelaide BiteAdelaide, South AustraliaDiamond Sports Stadium0
Brisbane BanditsBrisbane, QueenslandHolloway Field3
Canberra CavalryCanberra, Australian Capital TerritoryNarrabundah Ballpark1
Melbourne AcesMelbourne, VictoriaMelbourne Ballpark0
Perth HeatPerth, Western AustraliaBaseball Park4
Sydney Blue SoxSydney, New South WalesBlue Sox Stadium0
New ZealandTBDTBDN/A
Winterball KoreaGeelong, VictoriaTBDN/A

The Australian Baseball League was founded in 2009, though it carries the name of an earlier league that folded in 1999. Like the previous organization, the winners of the modern ABL are awarded the Claxton Cup. This league is another of baseball’s winter leagues, which gives MLB franchises another place to stash prospects and get them some reps during the offseason. In fact, prior to 2016-17, Major League Baseball owned 75% of the league.

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All ABL franchises are owned by the league itself, with all players getting paid directly from the league and a set pay scale determined by tiers and experience levels.

Coming into 2018, the group has expanded from six teams to eight, with one new club planned for New Zealand and an all-Korean team slated to play out of Geelong, Victoria.

Following the regular season, the top four teams based on record typically advance to the post-season. However, with the recent expansions and history of constant changes, it’s unclear what the plan for 2018-19 will be. It seems that the top two teams will be given home semi-finals series, while the league championship will be played wherever the highest-seeded remaining team wants to go. The eventual champion will receive the Claxton Cup.

The cup winner will then proceed to the Asia Series. There, the top Australian club will compete against the best teams from the top leagues in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. The series is held in November and follows a round-robin format, with each team only playing once. The top two teams finally face off in a single-elimination championship game to determine the entire series.

The Wrap-Up

As you can see, there is professional baseball being played all over the world for a variety of reasons. Some leagues are playing legitimately high-level ball, while others serve as feeder organizations to the more significant associations. Korea and Japan both produce a ton of great players, many of whom jumped to the MLB, but only after starting their careers in their home country. The influx of talent to the US is a bonus, but it’s not the purpose of those organizations.

These Latin American winter leagues, on the other hand, are almost exclusively used to find and develop prospects. Major League Baseball is chock full of Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Venezuelan players.


In fact, many of the best players of all time come from those countries. They play in the winter to accommodate MLB prospects that will be with their minor-league teams during the summer. This way, they get experience throughout the entire year, playing against good competition.

While baseball may not have the foothold it once did with viewership in the United States, it’s apparently still spreading around the world. More and more countries are picking up the game and starting their own leagues, often with the financial backing of Major League Baseball. Between the many associations and the World Baseball Classic, it won’t be long until we see even more diversity in the MLB and on rosters for clubs all around the world.