Today the Dutch baseball federation came with a press release in which the roster of team Kingdom of the Netherlands was revealed. This team will face team Samurai Japan in a set of friendly matches. Biggest surprise is name of Jurickson Profar, the infielder from Curacao who is currently used as utility man by the Texas Rangers. In 2016, Profar has played all infield positions and also left field. At bat Profar was not quite impressive with an average of .239.
After a long absence due to a shoulder inury, Profar returned to the MLB in 2016. During the course of 2015 Profar returned to baseball in a minor league rehab. He played for A Full Season Hickory and for AA Frisco for which he hit a combined .256.
Next to Profar, Jair Jurrjens played in the Major League. Jurrjens spent (parts of) eight seasons in the Bigs, mainly with the Atlanta Braves but also with the Detroit Tigers, the Baltimore Orioles and the Colorado Rockies.
The reason why the Dutch were able to add Profar is that this game is regarded a practice game for the upcoming 2017 World Baseball Classic. It was not mentioned why other MLB players from the Dutch Kingdom will not participate.
The Dutch will take on the Japanese on November 12 and 13. The roster of the Japanese is loaded with NPB players. Besides Jurickson Profar, the Dutch will work with a roster of mainly Dutch hoofdklasse players with the additions of several (former) minor league players.
The Dutch roster contains:
Tom de Blok (L&D Amsterdam), Mike Bolsenbroek (Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg), Bayron Cornelisse (Curaçao Neptunus), Berry van Driel (Curaçao Neptunus), Wendell Floranus (Vallejo Admirals), Lars Huijer (Vaessen Pioniers), Jair Jurrjens (no team), Kevin Kelly (Curaçao Neptunus), Diegomar Markwell (Curaçao Neptunus), Loek van Mil (Curaçao Neptunus), Jim Ploeger (HCAW), Juan Carlos Sulbaran (St. Louis Cardinals organization) and Orlando Yntema (Curaçao Neptunus)
Gianison Boekhoudt (Curaçao Neptunus), Dashenko Ricardo (Curaçao Neptunus), Shawn Zarraga (Los Angeles Dodgers organization)
Yurendell de Caster (no club), Dwayne Kemp (Curaçao Neptunus), Dudley Leonora (Kinheim), Stijn van der Meer (Houston Astros organization), Juremi Profar (Texas Rangers organization), Jurickson Profar (Texas Rangers), Sharlon Schoop (Baltimore Orioles organization), Nick Urbanus (L&D Amsterdam)
Gilmer Lampe (L&D Amsterdam), Christopher Garia (Vaessen Pioniers), Randolph Oduber (Curaçao Neptunus), Kalian Sams (Quebec Capitales)
Manager: Hensley Meulens
Field manager: Steve Janssen
Bench coach: Andruw Jones
Hitting-coach: Sidney de Jong
Third base coach: Ben Thijssen
First base coach: Wim Martinus
One of the players that the Dutch will face may be phenom Shotei Otani. This pitcher can also play as an outfielder or DH due to his exceptional hitting skills. During the 2016 NPB season, he hit a ver respectable .326. As pitcher he recorded a 10-4 record and a 1.86 ERA.