ST. LOUIS – Baseball is a global game, and some of the top talents from all around the world are preparing for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
The international competition returns in March for the first time in six years after a few pandemic-related delays. The upcoming World Baseball Classic will be the fifth tournament since its debut in 2006.
The World Baseball Classic will run through the heart of MLB Spring Training (March 8-21) and consists of 20 international teams. Miami, Phoenix, Taiwan and Japan will all host several games.
Rosters are taking shape for the event, and it appears the Cardinals will be well-represented. Four Cardinals have committed to the United States team. Many others are expected to play for teams overseas.
Here’s a closer look at who has committed or is expected to play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic:
United States Team
United States, looking to defend its 2017 WBC championship, will showcase four Cardinals veterans. In Goldschmidt, the reigning NL MVP. In Arenado, a ten-time Gold Glove winner. In Wainwright, a recent record-breaker (MLB battery starts) prepping his sendoff season. In Mikolas, a durable innings-eater.
Non-United States Teams
- Genesis Cabrera (Dominican Republic)
- Tommy Edman (Korea)
- Giovanny Gallegos (Mexico)
- Matt Koperniak (Great Britain)
- Lars Nootbaar (Japan)
- Andre Pallante (Italy)
Two relief pitchers (Cabrera and Gallegos) and outfield prospect (Koperniak) are natives of their WBC teams. Edman, Nootbaar and Pallante are not, but have a chance to represent those countries due to their family ties. WBC will allow players to represent a country if one of the players’ parents is born in that territory.
Who else might join?
- Willson Contreras (Venezuela)
- Moises Gomez (Venezuela)
- Ivan Herrera (Panama)
- Tyler O’Neill (Canada)
- Juan Yepez (Venezuela)
None of these players have formally or reportedly committed to a World Baseball Classic team, though worth following as the tournament comes closer. Brendan Donovan, a Germany native, would also be a strong candidate if Germany had a team in this year’s pool.