The World Baseball Classic announced the rosters of the four participating countries in the Brooklyn Qualifier: Brazil, Great Britain, Israel and Pakistan.These four will take on each other from September 22 through September 25 at MCU Ballpark, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones (A Short Season affiliate of the New York Mets in the New York-Penn League).
Israel will have around 20 affiliated minor league players on its roster. Next to those, the team will have former MLB pitcher Jason Marquis, former MLB infielder Ike Davis, AAA player Josh Satin and Craig Breslow on its roster. The players are:
Alex Katz (White Sox), Jared Lakind (Pirates), R.C. Orlan (Nationals) and Ryan Sherriff (Cardinals), Corey Baker (Cardinals), Bradley Goldberg (White Sox), Tyler Herron (Mets), Dean Kremer (Dodgers), Troy Neiman (Rockies), Joey Wagman (Oakland) and Josh Zeid (Mets); infielders Scott Burcham (Rockies), Cody Decker(Red Sox), Nate Freiman (Red Sox) Ty Kelly (Mets), Zach Borenstein (Diamondbacks), Michael Meyers (Red Sox), Rhett Wiseman (Nationals), Ryan Lavarnway (Blue Jays) and Nick Rickles (Nationals).
Brazil will be managed by Barry Larkin (who is also involved with the MLB Europe Elite Camp). Four years ago he guided the Brazilians to a spot in the main tournament.
Steve Finley will be on his staff as hitting coach and LaTroy Hawkins will be Brazil’s pitching coach. Larkin’s 28-man roster contains nine affiliated players including left-handed pitcher Edilson Batista (Red Sox); right-handed pitchers Andre Rienzo (Marlins), Rodrigo Takahashi (Diamondbacks) and Thyago Vieira (Mariners); infielders Christian Lopes (Blue Jays), Tim Lopes (Mariners) and Leonardo Reginatto (Twins); outfielder Gabriel Maciel (Diamondbacks); and catcher Luis Paz (Dodgers).
Liam Carroll will be at the helm of team Great Britain. On his staff will be Trevor Hoffman as the team’s pitching coach. Great Britain’s roster will contain twelve affiliated players:
Chris Reed (Marlins), Michael Roth (Rangers), Blake Taylor (Mets). Jacob Esch (Marlins);, Jasrado Chisholm (Diamondbacks), Jordan Serena (Angels),Kyle Simmons (Pirates), Todd Isaacs (Indians), Reshard Munroe (Reds), Byron Murray (Giants),Champ Stuart (Mets) and Chris Berset (Reds).
The big unknown will be Pakistan. The team has no affiliated players on its roster and all are from the local leagues. Since baseball is in its infacy pretty much in Pakistan, it will not be hard to predict their finish at this tournament: fourth.
The country has participated Asia Baseball Cups, a tournament in which the lesser known baseball countries in Asia participate. Since 2012 the tournament is split up in Divisions and Pakistan won each volume of it. Currently Pakistan is ranked 23rd in the WBSC (World Baseball and Softball Confederation) world ranking.
The WBC Qualifier will be played with the well known double elimination system. Any team that loses two games is out of the tourney.
The winner of this tournament will play in Group B at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea. It will take on teams like South Korea, Chinese Taipeh and Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The expected final standings of this Qualifier:
2. Great Britain
Nr. 2 and 3 are a bit hard to predict because the number of affiliated players are almost even on both squads. Even though the number of affiliated players on a squad doesn’t say much about the quality of the team, with the number of affiliated players and former MLB players, Israel will be clearly the favorite to win this group.