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Phillies' Bryce Harper Commits to Team USA for 2023 World Baseball Classic

Erin WalshAugust 12, 2022

Tim Heitman/Getty Images

Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper has committed to play for Team USA at the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Harper joins Mike Trout, J.T. Realmuto, Paul Goldschmidt, Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado in committing to represent the United States on one of baseball's biggest stages.

Team USA now needs a left fielder, shortstop and a pitcher to complete a starting lineup.

Teams are allowed to carry 28 players, with rosters being made up of 13 pitchers and 15 position players.

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Team USA is looking good ๐Ÿ”ฅ <a href="https://t.co/hIk8xClnRs">pic.twitter.com/hIk8xClnRs</a>

The 2023 World Baseball Classic will begin with pool play on March 8 across four host citiesโ€”Taichung, Taiwan; Tokyo; Phoenix; Miami. It will end on March 21 at LoanDepot Park in Miami with the championship game.

Team USA will begin play in Pool C alongside Canada, Mexico, Colombia and a to-be-determined team from qualifiers this fall. The Americans won the last WBC in 2017.

This marks the first time Harper will represent the United States in a major, professional tournament. He previously played for Team USA as a member of the 2008 16U National Team and 2009 18U National Team.

Harper has emerged as one of the best outfielders in baseball since making his debut with the Washington Nationals in 2012, when he went on to be named Rookie of the Year and earn an All-Star Game selection.

The 29-year-old spent seven seasons with the Nationals, earning six All-Star Game selections, in addition to a Silver Slugger and MVP award in 2015 after hitting .330/.460/.649 with 42 home runs and 99 RBI in 153 games.

Harper joined the Phillies in 2019. He won his second Silver Slugger award and second MVP award in 2021 after hitting .309/.429/.615 with 35 home runs and 84 RBI in 141 games.

This season has been disappointing for the Nevada native due to injuries. He had been dealing with an elbow injury and serving as Philadelphia's designated hitter since April before suffering a broken thumb that his sidelined him since June.

Before being sidelined, Harper was hitting .318/.385/.599 with 15 home runs, 48 RBI and nine stolen bases in 64 games. He told reporters last week that he was hoping to return to the lineup in September.

Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson confirmed this week that Harper will likely continue to be the team's designated hitter when he returns from injury.

The Phillies are third in the NL East with a 62-49 record. They have a 77 percent chance to make the playoffs, per FanGraphs, and are currently occupying the second of three wild-card spots.

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