The 16 teams participating in the 2013 World Baseball Classic announced their provisional rosters on Thursday.
The USA Roster is full of stars including former MVPs and last year’s NL Cy Young winner in R.A. Dickey. However, despite their talent each time, the USA has never reached the finals.
Canada released 27 names saving the last roster spot for Joey Votto who first has to pass a physical for insurance purposes since he missed part of last season. Its roster features 12 players who played in the Major Leagues in 2012 including first baseman Justin Morneau (Twins), catcher Russell Martin (Pirates), Jessie Crain (White Sox), and third baseman Brett Lawrie (Blue Jays).
The Dominican Republic has a roster also chocked full of stars from the big leagues. Its roster is complete with Major Leaguers except for one free agent. It includes stars such as Jose Reyes (Blue Jays), Hanley Ramirez (Dodgers), Nelson Cruz (Rangers), and Melkey Cabrera (Blue Jays). The only non MLB roster player is catcher Miguel Olivo.
Other big names that will be playing with their countries are Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela), Carlos Beltran (Puerto Rico), Yadier Molina (Puerto Rico), and Adrian Gonzalez (Mexico).
The two teams from the ’09 final, Japan and South Korea, are both without a single MLB player on their roster this time around. However, don’t ever count them out. Both teams will be well prepared and have a lot of talent and will still be one of the favorites in the tournament.
Some of the games top prospects, including who many feel is the No. 1 prospect, will be playing as well. Jurickson Profar (Rangers/Netherlands), Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox/Netherlands), Jonathan Schoop (Orioles/Netherlands), Eddie Rosario (Twins/Puerto Rico), and Phillippe Aumont (Phillies/Canada) among others will compete on the international stage.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.