Recently the Dutch baseball federation released the names of the MLB players that were added to the preliminary roster for the upcoming 2017 World Baseball Classic.
On this list, the following MLB players were mentioned: Andreltons Simmons, Jonathan Schoop, Didi Gregorius, Xander Bogaerts, Jurickson Profar and Kenley Jansen.
According to Baseball America Andrelton Simmons, Jonathan Schoop and Xander Bogaerts are confirmed players for the upcoming tournament. So with this trio, the Kingdom of the Netherlands will have third base, shortstop and second base covered.
Andrelton Simmons had a rough start with the Anaheim Angels after being traded by the Braves. Early in the season he injured his thumb and needed surgery. But as the season continued, Simmons found his groove and finished the season with a decent .281 BA. Despite being nominated for the 2016 Gold Glove, Simmons could not threepeat.
Nevertheless, Simmons had some nice plays in 2016.
Jonathan Schoop’s participation was confirmed earlier in November. The 25-year old second baseman of the Orioles had lesser numbers than in 2015. His average dropped from .279 to .267. He struck out 137 times in 2016 compared to 79 in 2015. But it must be said that Jonathan played all 162 games in the past season. With 25 homeruns it is clear that he has some pop in his bat. On the defensive side, Schoop did a nice job in 2016. In 162 games, Jonathan committed only eight errors.
Xander Bogaerts will likely play third base for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He has some experience at the position as the Red Sox projected him as their future third baseman in 2013 and asked manager Hensley Meulens to let him play as a third bagger.
In 2016 the Aruban shortstop had a terriffic year at bat. For the biggest part of the season his batting average topped .300 only in the last month it dropped below the .300 mark to finish at a more than respectable .294. Xander also showed that he has some power as he hit 21 homeruns during the season.
In 157 games Xander committed twelve errors resulting in a fielding percentage of .979.
Next to these MLB players, there is a confirmation of a former MLB player as Wladimir Balentien of the NPB’s Yakult Swallows confirmed through Facebook messenger that he will play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.