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Four Alumni to Participate in World Baseball Classic
The Netherlands, Australia, Chinese-Taipei, and Italy all represented
01/24/2013 8:50 AM ET
Bogaerts, Dening, Lin, and Rizzo all set to play in 2013 event.
Bogaerts, Dening, Lin, and Rizzo all set to play in 2013 event. 
The Greenville Drive will be well-represented on the international baseball stage in March, as four former Drive players will suit up and play for their countries in the third-ever World Baseball Classic, which begins on March 2nd.

Three of these four Drive alumni will be participating in the same opening round pool for three different countries. Pool B begins on March 2nd and games will be played in Taichung, Taiwan.

Infielder Xander Bogaerts will play for The Netherlands. The 20-year old has established himself the past two seasons as one of the elite prospects in all of baseball. Across two levels in 2012, he hit 20 homers and drove in 81 runs while posting a .307 average. For the Drive in 2011, Bogaerts socked 16 homers in just 265 at-bats.

Outfielder Mitch Dening will suit up for his home country of Australia. He played in Greenville in 2009, hitting .261 with three homers and 20 stolen bases in 106 games. He reached AA with the Red Sox organization in 2011 and is currently playing in the Australian Baseball League.

Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin is on the provisional roster for Chinese Taipei. Lin spent the past six seasons in the Red Sox organization, including a nine-game stint in Boston in 2012, before being claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros. In 2008 with the Drive, Lin was named MVP of the Futures Game and hit .249 with 33 stolen bases.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo is playing for Italy. Rizzo has had a whirlwind minor league career, as Boston traded him to San Diego for the 2011 season, and San Diego traded him to the Chicago Cubs for the 2012 season. He took over at first base for the Cubs in midseason and flourished, hitting .285 with 15 homers in 87 games. Rizzo spent time in Greenville in 2008 and 2009, hitting a combined .317 with nine homers in 85 games.

Rizzo and Italy are in Pool D with the U.S., Mexico and Canada. That pool begins play in Phoenix, Arizona on March 7th.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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