The Puerto Rico WBC roster for 2017 has been announced, and they will look to improve on their silver medal from 2013. The small island is hoping to build on its 2017 Caribbean Series title and bring home another championship in March.
The Puerto Rico lineup will be filled with some of the youngest superstars in the game right alongside some veterans.
Returning to the infield for Puerto Rico will be Mike Aviles who hit .329 with a home run and 9 RBI in 2013. He will be right alongside newcomers to the WBC in superstars Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor. Rounding out the infield are some promising young talents in Javier Baez, who got hot for the Cubs in the playoffs, the Twins Kennys Vargas, and the Mets T.J. Rivera.
While the infield is full of young talent, the outfield features to tried and true veterans that will be big contributors to the club. Led by future Hall of Fame inductee Carlos Beltran the outfield will be a formidable one. However, Beltran struggled last go around in the WBC hitting just .188 as the DH. His fellow outfielder Angel Pagan led the offense for Puerto Rico in 2013 hitting .364 with a team lead 12 hits and 2 stolen bases.
Calling the pitches and shutting down the running game will be perennial all-star Yadier Molina. Molina is returning after a decent 2013 WBC. He will be looked upon to handle the pitching staff more than anything.
Roman is coming off a stellar winter season where he lead the Criollos de Caguas to the Caribbean Series title. During the Caribbean Series he pitched 10.0 innings allowing just 1 run. If he can repeat this, Puerto Rico will make another run at the title.
Texas Rangers’ reliever Alex Claudio will be a big lefty arm in the bullpen for Puerto Rico. Seattle revliever Edwin Diaz looks to hold down the 9th for Puerto Rico. Diaz had 18 saves a season ago for the Mariners. The elder statesman in the pen will be J.C. Romero. The 40-year old last pitched in the big leagues in 2012. He has continued pitching in independent leagues and with different AAA teams up until 2015. He did pitch this winter in Puerto Rico.
2017 Puerto Rico WBC Roster:
Designated Pitcher Pool:
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.