The World Baseball Classic (WBC) kicks off its 2023 tournament this week at four locations across the globe. Twenty teams qualified for this year’s event which kicks off Tuesday, March 7th and culminates in Miami. Team USA won the tournament the last time it was played in 2017. This round was originally scheduled for 2021 but was postponed due to Covid safety concerns.
Our Oakland A’s are well represented with eight players from the organization playing on six international teams.
· Adrián Martínez, a 26-year-old right handed pitcher is playing for the Team Mexico.
· Jordan Díaz, a 22-year-old infielder is playing for Team Columbia.
· Denzel Clarke, a 22-year-old Center fielder will be playing for Team Canada. Clark is ranked #13 in the MLB Pipeline.
· Zack Gelof, a 23-year-old 2nd baseman will be representing Team Israel in the classic. He’s the A’s #3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline and is expected to make the major league roster this season.
· Jake Fishman, a 28-year-old left-handed pitcher who signed with he A’s in the offseason. He will be representing Team Israel. Fishman has some MLB time pitching 11 innings with the Marlins last season.
· Miguel Romero, a 29-year-old righty reliever playing for Team Cuba. He has been a member of the A’s organization since 2017 but has not logged any time with the major league club.
· James Gonzalez, a 22-year-old lefty pitcher who will be representing Team Panama in the Classic. He’s been in the A’s organization since 2019, entirely in the minors.
· Joshwan Wright, a 22-year-old utility player will also be representing Team Panama. The A’s signed Wright in 2017 where he has remained in the minor league system.
Former A’s star, 37-year-old Yoenis Cespedes is also playing for Team Cuba. The Oakland fan-favorite last played in the major leagues for the New York Mets in 2020. He played in eighteen games in the Dominican League this winter, fueling rumors of a comeback to MLB.
2023 World Baseball Classic teams
Pool A (Group play in Taichung, Taiwan)
· Chinese Taipei
Pool B (Group play in Tokyo, Japan)
· Czech Republic
Pool C (Group play in Phoenix, Arizona)
· Great Britain
· United States
Pool D (Group play in Miami, Florida)
· Dominican Republic
· Puerto Rico
The final four battle it out March 19-21 at loanDepot Park, home of MLB’s Miami Marlins. All televised games will be available on Fox or FS1 & FS2 networks.