The World Baseball Classic is coming, and it will be a star-studded affair, with recognizable names dotting the lineups for the 16 participating nations.With pool play set to get underway at four first-round sites in less than a month (March 6-12), rosters for each team were unveiled live on MLB
The World Baseball Classic is coming, and it will be a star-studded affair, with recognizable names dotting the lineups for the 16 participating nations.
With pool play set to get underway at four first-round sites in less than a month (March 6-12), rosters for each team were unveiled live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Wednesday night.
Here are some facts and figures to know about the players who will be taking part in this year's event:
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
• The most-represented Major League team on WBC rosters is the Tigers, who are sending a whopping 15 players from their organization to the WBC. The Mets (13), Cardinals (11), Indians (11), Mariners (11), Royals (11), Blue Jays (10), Braves (10), Dodgers (10), Phillies (10), Twins (10) and Yankees (10) are next on the list.
• The 15 players the Tigers are sending to this year's Classic aren't the most in the tournament's history, though. The Mets had 16 players in the 2009 WBC. The Tigers' number this year is tied for the second-highest in any Classic with the Twins, who also sent 15 players in 2013. (Interestingly, that increased to 16 during the tournament, when Minnesota signed the Netherlands' Curt Smith, who hit .321 with a homer in that WBC, to a Minor League deal.)
• World Baseball Classic tickets
• Looking only at players currently on their organization's 40-man roster, the Mets (nine) edge the Tigers (eight) and Phillies (eight) for the highest level of representation. The Mets will have Jeurys Familia, Jose Reyes and Hansel Robles play for the Dominican Republic, Ty Kelly for Israel, Gavin Cecchini and Brandon Nimmo for Italy, and Seth Lugo, Rene Rivera and T.J. Rivera for Puerto Rico.
• The Tigers and Marlins are the only teams with three 40-man-roster players on the U.S. squad. Detroit will send second baseman Ian Kinsler and pitchers Michael Fulmer and Alex Wilson, while Miami will send outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich and catcher A.J. Ellis.
• The Giants have the fewest organizational representatives (3). They also are tied with the Angels and Reds for having the fewest participants off their 40-man roster (three), although that San Francisco trio is an impressive one, with Johnny Cueto set to pitch for the Dominican Republic, and shortstop Brandon Crawford and catcher Buster Posey set to play for the U.S.
• Nine of the 16 teams have at least one player who has been an All-Star in the Majors, with 63 individual All-Stars in total among this year's WBC teams. The field also includes 25 players who were All-Stars in 2016.
• The U.S. has a tournament-high 19 All-Stars, led by Andrew McCutchen and Posey, with five selections apiece. The Dominican Republic is next with 16 All-Stars, followed by Venezuela with 10.
• Those nine teams combine for 181 total All-Star appearances. The Dominican is on top in that category with 48, thanks in large part to Robinson Cano (seven) and Jose Bautista (six). The U.S. has 44 total appearances, and Venezuela has 42, including 11 by Jose Cabrera. Puerto Rico (19), Canada (11) and Mexico (10) also reached double digits.
• Rules for 2017 WBC
• Five WBC participants have won a Rookie of the Year Award, including both of the past two honorees in the American League: the Dominican Republic's Hanley Ramirez (2006 National League), Puerto Rico's Carlos Beltran (1999 AL) and Carlos Correa (2015 AL) and the U.S.'s Posey ('10 NL) and Fulmer (AL '16).
• There are four MVP Award winners (Cabrera, Posey, McCutchen and Justin Morneau) and three Cy Young Award winners (Felix Hernandez, Bartolo Colon and Eric Gagne) on WBC rosters. The only countries to have one of each are Canada (Gagne and Morneau) and Venezuela (Hernandez and Cabrera, a two-time MVP). The U.S. is the only squad featuring two different MVPs in Posey and McCutchen, who went back to back in the NL from 2012-13. Colon is playing for the Dominican Republic.
• The 2017 WBC also features award-winners from outside the Major Leagues. Team Japan includes 2015 Nippon Professional Baseball MVP Tetsuto Yamada and '14 NPB MVP Tomoyuki Sugano. The Cuban team includes 2014 Cuban National Series MVP Yosbany Torres, '13 Series MVP Freddy Alvarez and three-time Series MVP Alfredo Despaigne.
• Twenty players will have participated in all four World Baseball Classics. That list includes Major Leaguers like Cabrera, Beltran, Morneau, Reyes, Yadier Molina (Puerto Rico), Adrian Gonzalez (Mexico), Francisco Rodriguez (Venezuela) and Seunghwan Oh (Korea).
• The Dominican Republic, the defending WBC champions, will bring back nine players from their gold-winning 2013 squad -- including big MLB names like Cano, Ramirez, Reyes, Nelson Cruz and Carlos Santana. Puerto Rico, the runners-up in '13, will have 13 returning players, notably including Major Leaguers like Beltran, Molina and Angel Pagan.
Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.