The 2017 World Baseball Classic begins on March 6 with Korea playing against Israel in Seoul, South Korea.
Also in Pool A with Israel and Korea is the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei. Team Israel includes current Mets utility guy Ty Kelly. It also has former Met Ike Davis the roster, along with right-handed pitchers Tyler Herron and Josh Zeid whom both finished the 2016 in the Mets minor leagues. The Mets are represented on the Netherlands squad by lefty prospect Nelmerson Xavier Mariano Silvano Angela.
Pool B is led my the two-time champion Japanese team. They will be joined by Cuba, China and Australia and they begin play on March 7 in Tokyo, Japan. The younger brother of Yoenis Cespedes, Yoelkis is on the Cuban roster.
The team from the Dominican Republic has Mets right-handed relievers Jeurys Familia and Hansel Robles and infielder Jose Reyes. Pool C is very strong with Canada, United States, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Play will begin for this pool on March 9 at Marlins Park in Florida. The Dominican team are the defending champs having won in 2013.
The USA team doesn’t have any current Mets on their roster, but does include Tyler Clippard, Daniel Murphy and Michael Fulmer. Team Colombia has Mets right-handed pitching prospects Nabil Crismatt and Ezequiel Zabaleta alongside former Met Dilson Herrera. Crismatt is our number 26 prospect here at MMO.
The final group, Pool D, has teams from Italy, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Mexico. They will began play on March 9 in Jalisco, Mexico. Team Italy includes two Mets prospects in outfielder Brandon Nimmo and infielder Gavin Cecchini. Outfielder Michael Conforto declined the invitation to play for Italy.
Team Puerto Rico has a strong Mets showing with catcher Rene Rivera, infielder T.J. Rivera and right-handed pitcher Seth Lugo. Team Mexico’s roster includes Mets reliever Fernando Salas and Mets minor league catcher Xorge Carrillo.
The biggest surprise omission from the final rosters is Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. He was part of the preliminary roster for Venezuela, but was left off the official roster that has shortstops Alcides Escobar and Freddy Galvis.
The second round of play starts on March 11 in Tokyo with the top two teams from Pool A and B, and on March 14 at Petco Park in San Diego with the top two teams from Pool C and D.
The 2017 World Baseball Classic will begin its final on March 20 at Dodgers Stadium in a three-game single elimination round.