2000 World Junior Championship

From BR Bullpen

The 2000 World Junior Championship was the 19th World Junior Championship. As usual, many future major leaguers took part.

South Korea won their third title. Tourney MVP Shin-soo Choo was 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA and fanned 33 in 21 innings, pitching in 6 of 8 games for his team, and also hitting .263. In the Gold Medal Game, he was 2 for 5 with a run against the US and got the win in the 9-7, 13-inning contest with 2 1/3 shutout innings of relief (spread over two appearances, with a stint in CF in between). He was not the only future major leaguer on the team as Dae-ho Lee hit .500 and slugged .967, tying for 2nd in average. Jung-ho Lee was 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA and 18 K, Tae-kyun Kim hit .433 and slugged .833 with 12 runs and 11 RBI and Dong-geon Kim was the All-Star shortstop. Choo was the All-Star LHP as well as the MVP.

The US had a 53-8 run differential in pool play but had lost to South Korea (otherwise 4-0) then beat Taiwan and Cuba in the playoffs. All-Star 1B Joe Mauer led the tourney in average (.559) and RBI (15) while slugging .941. Jeremy Bonderman (2-0, 3.07) was the All-Star RHP and J.J. Hardy (.438, 10 R) was an All-Star in the outfield. Brian Hall hit .375 and Jason Snyder (1-0, 1.29), Brandon League (1-0, 2.00), Michael Aubrey (2.53) and Drew Ehrlich (1-0, 2.61) all made the ERA leaderboard. Zack Segovia (0-1, 7.36), Chris Carter (.333, 10 RBI), Matt Chico (.353, 9 RBI; 0-1, 5.40), Mike Wilson, Bryan Bass, Donny Lucy and J.P. Howell were also on the team.

Cuba got the Bronze. Yorkis La Rosa (.394, 9 RBI) was an All-Star outfielder, while Donal Duarte hit .450, All-Star DH Pedro José Rodríguez, Jr. .435 with a .913 slugging and Yuniesky Betancourt .429 with 9 runs. Alexander Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00 ERA) and Yunier Rodriguez (1-0, 2.00) led the staff. They also had Joel Perez. William Plaza defected during the tournament.

Australia was unbeaten at 5-0 in pool play but fell to South Korea in the semifinals and to Cuba in the Bronze Medal Game. Justin Huber (.424, .727 SLG) was the All-Star catcher, All-Star 3B Scott Wearne (.500, .688 SLG, 11 R, 4 SB) tied for 2nd in average and Dan Floyd hit .417. Ben Rowe (1-0, 2.00) and Travis Blackley (0-1, 2.53) were their top pitchers.

Taiwan, coming off four straight Silver Medals, was 2-3 in the round-robin but outscored opponents 36-27 and wound up 5th. They had no All-Stars. Chih-Chiang Cheng hit .429 and Chun-Nan Liu was 1-0 with a save and a 2.38 ERA. Chun-Chung Huang was also on the team.

Mexico was 6th. Agustín Murillo was 4th in average (.467) and hit six doubles. Issmael Salas batted .394 and Carlos Garcia .405. Jesus Guzman (not clear which one) had a 1.88 ERA.

Canada placed 7th, going 4-1 in the round-robin but falling in their last two games. Russell Martin hit .414 with 12 runs and 12 RBI, while Cole Armstrong batted .400. Adam Loewen was 1-1 with a 1.23 ERA and Tim Grant 1-1, 2.25. Also on the team was Ivan Naccarata.

China was 8th. Weiliang Li had a 2.45 ERA.

The Netherlands finished 9th. René Cremer hit .444 and Norbert Lokhorst .391.

South Africa was 10th. Terence White hit a team-high .417.

Italy placed 11th. Andrea Sgnaolin led the team at .400 while Fabio Origlia hit .391.

Last-place Russia had something the six teams ahead of them did not have - an All-Star in OF Andrey Kripochin (.458). Alexander Polyakov hit .438 as well.

Source: 2001 Baseball Almanac