Boston Red Sox in the World Baseball Classic

WBC

The rosters for the upcoming World Baseball Classic were released on February 9th, and the Boston Red Sox have 12 players participating in the event, with some being prospects. With all these players playing, that means that if the USA is not on, Red Sox fans can tune in to see their players and see what they have for the 2023 season and beyond.  

Verdugo
DARREN HARTWELL

OF Alex Verdugo – Mexico

Verdugo was selected by Mexico to play in the WBC. Verdugo was traded to the Red Sox in the Mookie Betts trade and has become a fan favorite in Boston for his style of play. Each season shows progress in Verdugo, who is entering his seventh season in the majors. Last season his home runs numbers were down, only hitting 11, but he had the most hits, doubles, and RBI he has ever had in his career. He will be a star player on Mexico’s roster.

OF Jarren Duran – Mexico

Duran, like Verdugo, will be playing for Mexico in the WBC. Duran got his first taste of the big leagues in 2021, playing in 33 games, then last season, he would appear in 58 games. The numbers are not quite exactly where Red Sox fans would like to see them, but he has come to spring training, and it looks like he has revamped his swing in the hopes he will have a better season. The one number for Duran that does need to change is his strikeouts; in those 58 games last year, he struck out 63 times. Duran on team Mexico will be nice to see and see if the mechanics he has changed can help him for his future.

October 15th, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) hits a single against the Houston Astros during the first inning in game one of the 2021 ALCS at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

3B Rafael Devers – Dominican Republic

Devers will play for the Dominican Republic in the WBC. Devers is the Red Sox superstar player signing a 10-year $313.5 million contract extension to stay in Boston. Devers’ best season was in 2019, when he had 54 doubles and 32 home runs, driving in 115 runs and hitting .311. Last season Devers hit .295 hitting 27 home runs and driving in 88 runs on a Red Sox team that finished last in the American League East. Devers is a difference maker and will be a force on a stacked Dominican Republic roster that will do a lot of damage in the WBC.

OF Masataka Yoshida – Japan

Yoshida will play for Japan in the WBC. Yoshida signed with the Red Sox on December 15th, bringing over numbers like a .336 batting average, hitting 21 home runs, and driving in 89 runs. He also had an OBP of .449, so he is a player that gets on base and will give the Red Sox a solid leadoff hitter with those numbers. Yoshida playing for Japan will be Boston fans’ first chance to see Yoshida in action, so those Japan games will be watched by Red Sox fans for sure.

SP Nick Pivetta – Canada

Pivetta will play for Team Canada in the WBC. Pivetta is expected to be an innings eater for the Red Sox in the regular season. In his Red Sox tenure, he has made 65 starts going 21-20 with a 4.47 ERA striking out 363 batters. He has pitched over 150 innings in both his full seasons with Boston since being traded by the Phillies. He will be a reason to watch team Canada.

Kike
JUSTIN LEGER

OF Kike Hernandez – Puerto Rico

Hernandez will play for team Puerto Rico in the WBC. The story of the offseason after Trevor Story got hurt was who would be the Red Sox starting shortstop, and it appears they are planning for it to be Hernandez. In the WBC, however, he will be team Puerto Rico’s centerfielder. Hernandez is looking to put his down season in 2022 behind him and go back to the player he was in the 2021 season when he helped the Red Sox reach the ALCS.

3B Edwin Diaz – Puerto Rico

Diaz will join Kike Hernandez and play for team Puerto Rico in the WBC. Diaz was signed by the Red Sox to a minor league contract on January 19th. He will start the season playing in Worchester, and he has appeared in a total of 717 career games in the minors, hitting 69 home runs and driving in 298 runs, and hitting .215. The chance of him being called up by the Red Sox are slim, but it is a player in the minor leagues that Red Sox fans can watch play in the WBC.

RP Richard Bleier – Israel

Bleier will play for team Israel in the WBC. Bleier comes to the Red Sox from the Miami Marlins when they traded Matt Barnes to Miami. Bleier adds depth to the Red Sox bullpen, having pitched 299 2/3 innings in his major league career, posting an ERA of 3.06. Bleier also has published a 1.201 career WHIP, having appeared for the Yankees, Orioles, and Marlins in his career. Bleier will be a solid play to tune into Israel games to watch and look at a nice bullpen arm for the Red Sox.

C Jorge Alfaro – Columbia

Alfaro will play for team Columbia in the WBC. Alfaro comes over to the Red Sox on January 16th on a minor league deal trying to earn a spot with the team once spring training breaks and the season starts. Alfaro has played for three teams throughout his career: the Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins, and San Diego Padres. Alfaro has played in 478 games over his seven-year career, hitting 47 home runs, driving in 194 runs, and hitting .256 all-time. Alfaro will be a player to watch when he returns to spring training, but Red Sox fans will have to check out team Columbia to see if Alfaro could be a catcher on their roster come opening day.

RP Rio Gomez – Columbia

Gomez will pitch for team Columbia along with Alfaro in the WBC. Gomez was drafted by the Red Sox in the 36th round of the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft, and he has made it all the way up to AA playing for the Portland SeaDogs. He has been mostly a relief pitcher in the organization, but he did make two starts for Portland last season. He posted a record of two wins and one loss last season and had a 6.55 ERA, he is looking to make it to Worchester this season, but he most likely will start the season in Portland, but Red Sox fans can watch him on Team Columbia.

Jansen
JUSTIN LEGER

RP Kenley Jansen – Netherlands (DPP)

Jansen will play for the Netherlands in the WBC. He is currently listed as a DPP, which means he is listed in the designated pitcher pool, which means Jansen will not appear unless the Netherlands makes it to the semifinals. Jansen will be the Red Sox closer for the 2023 season, coming over from the Atlanta Braves. Jansen has recorded 391 saves in his career, with 350 coming from his time with the Dodgers, and he would save 41 games for the Braves last season. Jansen helps make the Red Sox bullpen for this season a force, and fans can see him if the Netherlands makes the semifinals.

RP Norwith Gudino – Venezuela (DPP)

Gudino will pitch for Venezuela in the WBC. Like Jansen, Gudino is a DPP, but it appears he will make the roster for the first round. Gudino signed with the Red Sox on December 5th and was assigned to Worchester, where he is expected to pitch this year. Gudino has spent his whole career in the San Francisco Giants organization. Now he will be in the Red Sox organization. Last season he appeared in 26 games, making six starts. He would go 3-5 with an awful 8.87 ERA pitching in 47 2/3 innings. Gudino hopes he can have a better season in 2023, and Red Sox fans will have to watch Venezuela to see if he can get himself back to normal.  

CJ

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