The World Baseball Classic is returning in 2017 for its fourth annual tournament. In the upcoming tournament, the Orioles will send four different players to represent four different countries.
For the second consecutive tournament, Adam Jones will be a part of Team USA. Jones first joined the U.S. team in 2013 where he was the lone O’s representative for the home country.
Unfortunately for Jones and the U.S. team in 2013, they were only able to reach the qualifier round of Pool 2 where they were eliminated by the Dominican Republic.
Jonathan Schoop will also be participating in his second consecutive World Baseball Classic with Team Netherlands. Schoop was born in Curaçao; an island nation in the Caribbean. Since Curaçao is a Dutch colony, that allows Schoop to play for their national team.
In the 2013 tournament, Schoop and Team Netherlands finished in fourth place after losing to the Dominican Republic in the semifinals.
Going back for his third WBC is Hyun soo Kim, who will play for South Korea. This is the first time Kim will go as a member of the Orioles as he was still playing in the KBO for the Doosan Bears the last two times he participated in the tournament.
In the 2009 tournament, Kim’s first appearance in the WBC, South Korea finished 2nd in the entire tournament. In his next go at it, South Korea failed to exit the first round but were able to place good enough to be automatically invited back for the 2017 tournament.
For the first time in his career, Manny Machado will make an appearance in the WBC. He will play for Team Dominican Republic since both of his parents are of Dominican descent despite Machado being born in the United States. Alex Rodriguez was able to do the same thing in 2009 but unfortunately did not play in the tournament due to an injury.
I have never really followed the World Baseball Classic that closely but with more notable names for the Orioles going to participate, it will definitely peak my interest a little more than usual.