Meaningful baseball is closer than you think it is... depending on your definition of “meaningful.” The World Baseball Classic begins in two weeks, kicking off a showcase of some of the top talent from all over the world.
Here are the members of the Phillies organization that will be suiting up for their countries in the World Baseball Classic:
Rixon Wingrove (MiLB)
Noah Skirrow (MiLB)
Malik Binns (MiLB)
Nick Ward (MiLB)
Brian Marconi (MiLB)
Vito Friscia (MiLB)
Erubiel Armenta (MiLB)
Jesus Cruz (MiLB)
Jaydenn Estanista (MiLB)
Vimael Machin (MiLB)
If you’re strictly rooting in the interest of seeing current Phillies do well, the obvious two standout teams are USA and Venezuela, with a combined 5 members of the Major League roster.
Realmuto, Turner, Schwarber and the rest of Team USA will be playing in Pool C while Alvarado, Suarez and Team Venezuela will be playing in Pool D. The top two teams in each pool will advance to the second round, which gives both USA and Venezuela a good chance of moving on.
USA’s first game is March 11 against Great Britain and Venezuela’s first game is also March 11 against tournament-favorites Dominican Republic. The full tournament schedule can be found here.
Gregory Soto (Dominican Republic), Garrett Stubbs (Israel), and Taijuan Walker (Mexico) round out the eight Phillies Major Leaguers appearing in the tournament.
On paper, one really good note is that the Phillies organization has the second most players competing in the World Baseball Classic (18), and that number doesn’t even include some of the franchise’s top contributors like Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Seranthony Dominguez. Harper committed to playing for USA prior to his offseason Tommy John surgery, and Dominguez was originally rumored to be playing for Dominican Republic, but is not on their final roster. The Phillies’ contingent also only includes one of the organization’s top 30 prospects (Jaydenn Estania, No. 26).
Notable former Phillies Major Leaguers playing in the World Baseball Classic
Nick Pivetta (Canada), Phillippe Aumont (Canada), Adam Loewen (Canada), Scott Mathieson (Canada), Jorge Alfaro (Colombia), Enyel De Los Santos (Dominican Republic), Jean Segura (Dominican Republic), Hector Neris (Dominican Republic), Vance Worley (Great Britain), Ty Kelly (Israel), Vinny Nittoli (Italy), Didi Gregorius (Netherlands), Roger Bernadina (Netherlands), Hyun Soo Kim (Korea), Jojo Romero (Mexico), JC Ramirez (Nicaragua), Severino Gonzalez (Panama), Yacksel Rios (Puerto Rico)