World Baseball Classic 2013 Rosters: Key Players to Watch During First Round

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World Baseball Classic 2013 Rosters: Key Players to Watch During First Round
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

The 2013 World Baseball Classic is set to get underway this weekend, as 16 teams from around the globe will begin the first round, a four-group round-robin format that will narrow the field down to eight teams.

The Dominican Republic, Japan (two-time defending champion), the United States and Venezuela are among the favorites to win this year.

But while the Japanese squad is loaded with talented players whose names remain unknown to American baseball fans, some of the other top contenders will be led by current major-league superstars.

In anticipation of this year's global baseball event, let's highlight some key players to watch.

 

Robinson Cano, Dominican Republic, 2B

Elsa/Getty Images

New York Yankees star Robinson Cano is arguably the best second baseman in baseball today. At age 30, Cano is in the prime of his career—and the numbers prove it.

Cano hit a career-high 33 home runs last season with the Bombers, and he has batted .300 or better in each of his past four seasons in the Big Apple.

But Cano's greatness isn't limited to the plate. He finished 2012 with a .992 fielding percentage, recording 435 assists, 285 putouts and 92 double plays, while picking up just six errors all year.

On a Dominican Republic team loaded with star talent, Cano stands out as one of the top offensive and defensive infielders in the game.

 

Ryan Braun, United States, OF

Another player who is entering his baseball prime is American star outfielder Ryan Braun, who has been a consistent offensive machine for the Milwaukee Brewers in recent seasons. He has driven in numerous runs and gone yard often for Milwaukee.

Braun led the National League with 41 home runs in 2012 and has blossomed into a dependable player in left field.

The United States will have a lot of firepower to work with, but few players on the planet are capable of generating as much offense as Braun, who boasts a career .568 slugging percentage.

 

Miguel Cabrera, Venezuela, 3B/1B

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Last year's Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera will be swapping his Detroit Tigers jersey for a Venezuelan one this March.

Cabrera's recent success on the diamond has been well-documented. He is the reigning American League MVP, and he is coming off a season in which he recorded career-bests in hits (205), home runs (44) and RBI (139). With the offensively-gifted Cabrera leading the way, Venezuela has to be considered one of the favorites to win this year's tournament.

Although he will hold his own defensively, you won't want to miss Cabrera at the plate, where he is sure to shine.

 

World Baseball Classic 2013 Rosters (via WorldBaseballClassic.com)

Australia

PITCHERS
Adam Bright
Tim Kennelly
Steven Kent
Shane Lindsay
Chris Oxspring
Ryan Rowland-Smith
Andrew Russell
Dushan Ruzic
Warwick Saupold
Ryan Searle
Clayton Tanner
Brad Thomas
Matthew Williams
Brendan Wise
CATCHERS
Allan de San Miguel
Matt Kennelly
INFIELDERS
James Beresford
Josh Davies
Brad Harman
Justin Huber
Luke Hughes
Mike Walker
Stefan Welch
OUTFIELDERS
Corey Adamson
Mitch Dening
David Kandilas
Joshua Roberts
Chris Snelling

 

Brazil

PITCHERS
Gabriel Asakura
Rafael Fernandes
Murilo Gouvea
Hugo Kanabushi
Kesley Kondo
Daniel Missaki
Rafael Moreno
Oscar Nakaoshi
Ernesto Noris
Andre Rienzo
Thyago Vieira
Carlos Yoshimura
CATCHERS
Diego Franca
Bruno Hirata
INFIELDERS
Felipe Burin
Alan Fanhoni
Iago Januario
Daniel Matsumoto
Pedro Okuda
Leonardo Reginatto
Lucas Rojo
Marcio Tanaka
OUTFIELDERS
Tiago Magalhaes
Mike Magario
JC Muniz
Paulo Orlando
Jean Tome
DESIGNATED HITTERS
Reinaldo Sato

 

Canada

PITCHERS
Andrew Albers
Phillippe Aumont
John Axford
Jesse Crain
Mark Hardy
Jim Henderson
Shawn Hill
Jay Johnson
Chris Leroux
Trystan Magnuson
Scott Mathieson
Dustin Molleken
Jameson Taillon
CATCHERS
Chris Robinson
John Suomi
INFIELDERS
Taylor Green
Cale Iorg
Brett Lawrie
Jonathan Malo
Justin Morneau
Pete Orr
Jimmy Van Ostrand
Joey Votto
OUTFIELDERS
Tyson Gillies
Adam Loewen
Michael Saunders
Rene Tosoni
DESIGNATED HITTERS
Tim Smith

 

China

PITCHERS
Tao Bu
Kun Chen
Shuai Li
Wenming Li
Xin Li
Yu Liu
Jiangang Lu
Xia Luo
Qingyuan Meng
Song Ran
Haifan Yang
Yanyong Yang
Dawei Zhu
CATCHERS
Wei Dong
Weiqiang Meng
Wei Wang
INFIELDERS
Xu An
Ray Chang
Fujia Chu
Delong Jia
Yubing Jia
Lei Li
Shu Okamura
Yufeng Zhang
OUTFIELDERS
Xiao Cui
Jingfeng Lai
Zhenhong Lu

 

Chinese Taipei

PITCHERS
Hung-Wen Chen
Chin-Chih Huang
Hung-Chih Kuo
Yi-Hao Lin
Yu-Ching Lin
Ching-Lung Lo
Wei-Lun Pan
Jen-Ho Tseng
Chien-Ming Wang
Ching-Ming Wang
I-Cheng Wang
Yao-Lin Wang
Yao-Hsun Yang
CATCHERS
Ta-Hung Cheng
Chih-Kang Kao
Hung-Yu Lin
INFIELDERS
Chiang-Ho Chen
Yung-Chi Chen
Yen-Wen Kuo
Chih-Sheng Lin
Han Lin
Yi-Chuan Lin
Cheng-Min Peng
OUTFIELDERS
Cheng-Wei Chang
Chien-Ming Chang
Szu-Chi Chou
Che-Hsuan Lin
Dai-Kang Yang

 

Cuba

PITCHERS
Freddy Alvarez
Danny Betancourt
Diosdany Castillo
Odrisamer Despaigne
Vladimir Garcia
Norberto Gonzalez
Yander Guevara
Raciel Iglesias
Ismel Jimenez
Darien Nunez
Yadier Pedroso
Wilber Perez
Alexander Rodriguez
CATCHERS
Frank Morejon
Yosbany Peraza
Eriel Sanchez
INFIELDERS
Jose Abreu
Erisbel Arruebarruena
Jose Fernandez
Raul Gonzalez
Yulieski Gourriel
Andy Ibanez
Luis Rivera
OUTFIELDERS
Alexei Bell
Frederich Cepeda
Alfredo Despaigne
Guillermo Heredia
Yasmany Tomas

 

Dominican Republic

PITCHERS
Santiago Casilla
Angel Castro
Juan Cedeno
Samuel Deduno
Octavio Dotel
Kelvin Herrera
Fernando Rodney
Wandy Rodriguez
Atahualpa Severino
Alfredo Simon
Pedro Strop
Jose Valverde
Jose Veras
Edinson Volquez
CATCHERS
Francisco Pena
Carlos Santana
INFIELDERS
Erick Aybar
Robinson Cano
Edwin Encarnacion
Leury Garcia
Hanley Ramirez
Jose Reyes
Miguel Tejada
OUTFIELDERS
Nelson Cruz
Alejandro De Aza
Melky Mesa
Ricardo Nanita
Moises Sierra

 

Italy

PITCHERS
Justin Cicatello
Chris Cooper
Tim Crabbe
Tiago Da Silva
Jason Grilli
Alex Maestri
John Mariotti
Luca Panerati
Nick Pugliese
Dan Serafini
Brian Sweeney
Matt Torra
Pat Venditte
CATCHERS
Drew Butera
Tyler LaTorre
INFIELDERS
Jeff Bianchi
Chris Colabello
Mike Costanzo
Anthony Granato
Juan Infante
Alex Liddi
Nick Punto
Anthony Rizzo
Alessandro Vaglio
OUTFIELDERS
Lorenzo Avagnina
Mario Chiarini
Chris Denorfia
Stefano Desimoni

 

Japan

PITCHERS
Takeru Imamura
Kenta Maeda
Kazuhisa Makita
Masahiko Morifuku
Atsushi Nomi
Kenji Otonari
Hirokazu Sawamura
Tadashi Settsu
Toshiya Sugiuchi
Masahiro Tanaka
Tetsuya Utsumi
Hideaki Wakui
Tetsuya Yamaguchi
CATCHERS
Shinnosuke Abe
Ryoji Aikawa
Ginjiro Sumitani
INFIELDERS
Yuichi Honda
Hirokazu Ibata
Nobuhiro Matsuda
Kazuo Matsui
Hayato Sakamoto
Takashi Toritani
OUTFIELDERS
Hisayoshi Chono
Atsunori Inaba
Yoshio Itoi
Katsuya Kakunaka
Sho Nakata
Seiichi Uchikawa

 

Netherlands

PITCHERS
Johnny Balentina
David Bergman
Leon Boyd
Robbie Cordemans
Kevin Heijstek
Jonatan Isenia
Diegomar Markwell
Shairon Martis
Mark Pawelek
Tom Stuifbergen
Berry Van Driel
Loek Van Mil
Orlando Yntema
CATCHERS
Sebastiaan Nooij
Dashenko Ricardo
INFIELDERS
Xander Bogaerts
Yurendell de Caster
Quintin De Cuba
Jonathan Schoop
Andrelton Simmons
Curt Smith
Hainley Statia
OUTFIELDERS
Wladimir Balentien
Roger Bernadina
Michael Duursma
Andruw Jones
Randolph Oduber
Kalian Sams

 

South Korea

PITCHERS
Woochan Cha
Won Jun Chang
Taehyon Chong
Wonsam Jang
Kyung Eun Noh
Seunghwan Oh
Heesoo Park
Jae Weong Seo
Seunglak Son
Seung Song
Wonsang Yoo
Hisang Yoon
Sukmin Yoon
CATCHERS
Kabyong Jin
Minho Kang
INFIELDERS
Jeong Choi
Keunwoo Jeong
Jungho Kang
Sangsu Kim
Taekyun Kim
Dae Ho Lee
Seung Yuop Lee
Sihyun Son
OUTFIELDERS
Junwoo Jeon
Hyunsoo Kim
Jin Young Lee
Yongkyu Lee
Ahseop Son

 

Mexico

PITCHERS
Alfredo Aceves
Marco Estrada
Yovani Gallardo
David Hernandez
Rodrigo Lopez
Luis Mendoza
Oliver Perez
Horacio Ramirez
Cesar Ramos
Dennys Reyes
Francisco Rodriguez
Sergio Romo
Fernando Salas
Oscar Villarreal
CATCHERS
Jose Felix
Ali Solis
Sebastian Valle
INFIELDERS
Jorge Cantu
Luis Cruz
Adrian Gonzalez
Edgar Gonzalez
Walter Ibarra
Efren Navarro
Ramiro Pena
Gil Velazquez
OUTFIELDERS
Eduardo Arredondo
Karim Garcia
Luis A. Garcia

 

Puerto Rico

PITCHERS
Giancarlo Alvarado
Jose Berrios
Hiram Burgos
Fernando Cabrera
Xavier Cedeno
Jose De La Torre
Nelson Figueroa
Efrain Nieves
Orlando Roman
J.C. Romero
Andres Santiago
Mario Santiago
Giovanni Soto
Javier Vazquez
CATCHERS
Martin Maldonado
Jose Molina
Yadier Molina
INFIELDERS
Mike Aviles
Irving Falu
Luis Figueroa
Andy Gonzalez
Carlos Rivera
Pedro Valdes
OUTFIELDERS
Carlos Beltran
Jesus Feliciano
Angel Pagan
Alex Rios
Eddie Rosario
Andres Torres

 

Spain

PITCHERS
Richard Castillo
Rhiner Cruz
Eric Gonzalez
Ivan Granados
Ricardo Hernandez
Chris Manno
Eddie Morlan
Leslie Nacar
Yoanner Negrin
Antonio Noguera
Sergio Perez
Richard Salazar
Nick Schumacher
CATCHERS
Salomon Manriquez
Adrian Nieto
Blake Ochoa
INFIELDERS
Barbaro Canizares
Paco Figueroa
Jesus Golindano
Jesus Merchan
Nestor Perez
Yunesky Sanchez
OUTFIELDERS
Rafael Alvarez
Engel Beltre
Jose Cruz
Daniel Figueroa
Yasser Gomez
Gabe Suarez

 

United States

PITCHERS
Jeremy Affeldt
Heath Bell
Mitchell Boggs
Steve Cishek
Tim Collins
Ross Detwiler
R.A. Dickey
Gio Gonzalez
Luke Gregerson
Derek Holland
Craig Kimbrel
Chris Perez
Glen Perkins
Vinnie Pestano
Ryan Vogelsong
CATCHERS
J.P. Arencibia
Jonathan Lucroy
Joe Mauer
INFIELDERS
Willie Bloomquist
Brandon Phillips
Jimmy Rollins
Mark Teixeira
David Wright
Ben Zobrist
OUTFIELDERS
Ryan Braun
Adam Jones
Giancarlo Stanton
Shane Victorino

 

Venezuela

PITCHERS
Henderson Alvarez
Ronald Belisario
Jhoulys Chacin
Enrique Gonzalez
Deolis Guerra
Cesar Jimenez
Wil Ledezma
Jose Mijares
Ramon A. Ramirez
Juan Rincon
Francisco Rodriguez
Anibal Sanchez
Alex Torres
Carlos Zambrano
CATCHERS
Ramon Hernandez
Miguel Montero
Salvador Perez
INFIELDERS
Elvis Andrus
Asdrubal Cabrera
Miguel Cabrera
Omar Infante
Mario Lisson
Pablo Sandoval
Marco Scutaro
OUTFIELDERS
Carlos Gonzalez
Gerardo Parra
Martin Prado
Alex Romero

 

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