Team Israel sprinted out of Pool A with a perfect record on the strength of an offense that scored 21 runs on 36 hits in three games, so it makes sense the Most Valuable Player of that pool would be an Israeli slugger.The distinction went to catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who
Team Israel sprinted out of Pool A with a perfect record on the strength of an offense that scored 21 runs on 36 hits in three games, so it makes sense the Most Valuable Player of that pool would be an Israeli slugger.
The distinction went to catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who was voted Pool A MVP by members of the media on Thursday. Lavarnway batted .556 (5-for-9) with four walks while catching all three victories. He homered, drove in three runs and finished pool play with a .692 on base percentage and .889 slugging percentage.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Lavarnway had a big hit in Israel's eighth-inning rally against Korea in the opener, and he also erased a crucial baserunner with a caught stealing later in the game. Israel shocked many when it defeated Korea, 2-1, in extra innings to begin an undefeated run that also included wins over the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei.
Currently signed to a Minor League deal with the Athletics, Lavarnway has played in parts of five seasons in the Majors, most recently in 2015 with the Braves. He's hit .198 with seven home runs and 40 RBIs in 134 career big league games with the Red Sox, Orioles and Braves. Lavarnway grew up in California and starred for Yale University. His mother is Jewish, which made him eligible to participate for Team Israel.
The World Baseball Classic runs through March 22. In the U.S., games air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament is being distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.