Teams from around the world will meet in March to compete in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and several former Baysox players find themselves sprinkled among the final 16 rosters. The international tournament was last played in 2013 with the Dominican Republic taking home the championship. Eight former Baysox players will represent six different teams when the competition begins on March 6.
Reliever Mychal Givens (2014-15) will represent the Orioles on Team USA. He spent two seasons as a Baysox relief pitcher, enjoying a breakout 2015 campaign that also saw him make his Major League debut. Givens pitched in 35 games with Bowie in 2015 and went 4-2 with a 1.73 ERA, 15 saves and 79 strikeouts over 57.1 innings. He spent the entire 2016 season in the Orioles bullpen, going 8-2 with a 3.13 ERA and 96 strikeouts over 66 games and 74.2 innings of work.
Brothers Jonathan (2012) and Sharlon Schoop (2014-16) will represent Team Netherlands in the WBC. The Netherlands team includes players from Dutch colonies in the Caribbean, including Curacao, where Jonathan and Sharlon are from. Sharlon, 29, has played parts of the last three seasons in Bowie after beginning his Minor League career in the Giants organization in 2005. In 2012, Jonathan, 25, hit .245 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI in 124 games with the Baysox. He has spent the last three seasons as the Orioles starting second baseman, hitting .267 with 25 home runs and 82 RBI in 2016.
Former Baysox Manny Machado (2012) and Jumbo Diaz (2010-11) will be teammates on Team Dominican Republic. Machado played in 109 games for the Baysox in 2012, hitting .266 with 26 doubles and 59 RBI before being promoted directly to Baltimore for his Major League debut. Born in Hialeah, Fla., Machado is a three-time American League All-Star and has served as the Orioles starting third baseman since his promotion in August 2012. Diaz spent parts of two years as a relief pitcher in Bowie. He served as the Baysox closer for much of the 2011 season, earning a team-high 22 saves and pitching to a 1.41 ERA over 34 games. After spending two years in the Orioles Minor League system, Diaz moved on to the Pirates and then Reds, where he made his Major League debut in 2014. In three seasons with the Reds, Diaz has appeared in 142 games and recorded a 3.65 ERA.
Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (2013-14) will pitch for Team Venezeula in the WBC. The left-handed starter began his professional career in the Orioles Minor League system before being traded to Boston in the deal that brought Andrew Miller to Baltimore in 2014. In parts of two seasons in Bowie, Rodriguez went 7-10 with a 4.55 ERA while making 27 starts. He made 20 starts for the Red Sox in 2016, going 3-7 with a 4.71 ERA.
Former Orioles first round draft pick Adam Loewen (2006) will represent Team Canada as a pitcher in the WBC. Drafted by the Orioles as a pitcher, Loewen went 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA in nine games (eight starts) with the Baysox in 2006. He made his Major League debut later that season but injuries ultimately forced him to convert to an outfielder in 2009. Loewen returned to pitching in 2014 with the Phillies and has appeared in 28 games as a pitcher over the last two seasons with Philadelphia and Arizona.
Catcher Allan De San Miguel (2012) will play for Team Australia in the WBC. He spent part of the 2012 season in Bowie, hitting .225 with 18 RBI in 31 games with the Baysox. The Perth, Australia native spent parts of three seasons in the Orioles Minor League system and also played on the Perth Heat of the Australian Baseball League from 2010-2015. He spent the 2016 season in the Royals organization.
Full schedule information for the tournament is available on www.worldbaseballclassic.com. The first round includes round robin pool play in Seoul, Tokyo, Miami and Jalisco, Mexico. The top two teams out of each four team pool will advance to the second round in Tokyo and San Diego and the top four teams will advance to the championship round in Los Angeles beginning March 20.
The 2017 Bowie Baysox season is presented by Money One Federal Credit Union. The Baysox 2017 home opener will be Thursday, April 14 against the Harrisburg Senators at 6:35 p.m. Don't miss out as the team prepares to celebrate its 25th Season. Ticket plans are available at www.baysoxshop.com.