Unlike the past three seasons, there will be no European team or representation of the WBSC in this year’s Asia Winter League. The organization of the tournament did not disclose a reason.
In 2015, a European All-Star team debuted in the Asia Winter League. They weren’t quite successful. Sure the team won some games but in general, they could not keep pace with the talents from Asia. In 2016 it was no different. The team earned some wins but the teams from Taiwan, Korea, and Japan proved to be too strong in most of the cases. Also, a team formed by the Word Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) could not leave a lasting impression.
In the years, Europe sent a delegation, the team mainly contained talented players from Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. Some exceptions were players from Germany, Poland, and even Romania. After two not very successful participations, the WBSC decided to form a team with a lot of players from the USA. There were some players from Europe as well but the bulk of the team came from American competitions. The team was managed by the former skipper of team Kingdom of the Netherlands and Belgium native Steve Janssen.
So this year only teams from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan will participate. In a period of three weeks, each of the following teams will play sixteen games.
Taiwan: CPBL Farm Team All-Star.
Japan: NPB East Farm Team All-Star.
Japan: NPB West Farm Team All-Star.
Korea: KBO Farm Team All-Star.
Japan: JABA All-Star (Industrial League)
According to the Team CPBL manager, the formation of the CPBL squad is the same as last season. The management team will select the young players that they think have the best chance to make it to the first team in the future.