With the 2023 World Baseball Classic just 26 days away, Major League Baseball and USA Baseball together have announced the final roster that will represent the red, white, and blue next month as it looks to defend its title.
This year’s roster boasts a wealth of talent on the biggest stage of the game as well as an abundance of experience on the international front. Of the 30 players on the roster, 11 are USA Baseball alums and four have won a medal with Team USA, including Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt who helped the stars and stripes win its first-ever World Baseball Classic in 2017.
Additionally, the squad boasts 20 Major League Baseball All-Stars, 11 Silver Slugger Award recipients, eight World Series Champions, four Gold Glove Award winners, four MLB Most Valuable Player Award honorees, four batting title champs, three Rookies of the Year, and one Cy Young Award winner.
The roster, by position, is as follows:
- Infielders: Pete Alonso (NYM), Tim Anderson (CWS), Nolan Arenado (STL), Paul Goldschmidt (STL), Jeff McNeil (NYM), Trea Turner (PHI), Bobby Witt, Jr. (KC)
- Outfielders: Mookie Betts (LAD), Cedric Mullins (BAL), Mike Trout (LAA), Kyle Tucker (HOU)
- Catchers: Kyle Higashioka (NYY), J.T. Realmuto (PHI), Will Smith (LAD)
- Right-Handed Pitchers: Jason Adam (TB), Daniel Bard (COL), David Bednar (PIT), Nathan Eovaldi (TEX), Kendall Graveman (CWS), Merrill Kelly (ARI), Lance Lynn (CWS), Miles Mikolas (STL), Ryan Pressly (HOU), Brady Singer (KC), Adam Wainwright (STL), Devin Williams (MIL)
- Left-Handed Pitchers: Nestor Cortes (NYY), Clayton Kershaw (LAD), Brooks Raley (TB)
- Designated Hitter: Kyle Schwarber (PHI)
With the event quickly approaching, St. Louis Cardinals players Arenado, Goldschmidt, and Adam Wainwright recently spoke to the media about the opportunity to play together and represent Team USA on the World Baseball Classic stage.
“I’m very proud to be representing our country. I think it’s great, the patriotic guy in me loves wearing the red, white, and blue. I can’t wait to do that for our great USA team,” said Wainwright when asked about being able to put the Team USA jersey on for the first time.
For Arenado, his experience of representing the U.S. and winning gold at the 2017 edition of the World Baseball Classic was like no other, and knew that if given the chance this year he would take full advantage of the opportunity.
“There’s just something special about representing your country. It’s just different. It feels different than wearing a major league uniform. It’s an unbelievable honor. After the 2017 one, my goal was to hopefully to still be playing well enough to make the team again. That was always a goal of mine and now that the opportunity is here, I want to do it. I’m glad to see the best players in the game are wanting to do it too,” Arenado when asked about returning to this year’s roster.
Like Arenado, Goldschmidt remembers the journey to gold six years ago. Not only is he looking forward to taking the field with some of the best in the game, but he also knows what it will take for Team USA to defend its title.
“[In 2017] we had guys that either didn’t play much or played out of position and were willing to do whatever it took. That’s what it took for us to win last time, and that’s what it will take this time. It can’t be about you, and you can’t have the mentality of just going to prepare for spring training. You’re not going to win like that. Whatever team wins is going to have to be all in and be very unselfish,” said Goldschmidt when asked about what it will take for Team USA to defend its title.
This year’s squad will be led by General Manager Tony Reagins and Manager Mark DeRosa, while Jerry Manuel (bench coach), Andy Pettitte (pitching coach), Ken Griffey Jr. (hitting coach), Lou Collier (first base coach), Dino Ebel (third base coach) and Dave Righetti (bullpen coach) will make up the rest of the coaching staff.
Before first round action, Team USA will play a pair of exhibition games against the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels on March 8 and 9, respectively, in Arizona.
The stars and stripes will open up play at the World Baseball Classic on March 11 when it faces Great Britain at 9 p.m. ET at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. They will additionally match up with Mexico, Canada, and Columbia as part of first round action.
The quarterfinal round is slated for March 17-18 while the semifinals and finals are set for March 19-21 at loanDepot park in Miami, Florida.
Stay up to date on the latest information by visiting USABaseball.com or following @USABaseball on social media.