The World Baseball Classic returns to the baseball spotlight this spring, and the Greenville Drive have 10 alums featured among the rosters of the 16 teams competing.
Highlighting the Drive alums in the World Baseball Classic is Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2011), who will suit up for the Netherlands as part of a strong infield that includes five starting major leaguers. Bogaerts also played for the Netherlands in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, and he is coming off a standout year in Boston that included 21 homers, 89 RBI and a .294 batting average.
Australia has three Drive alums on their roster. Outfielder Mitch Dening (2009) will play in his third World Baseball Classic, as he previously suited up in 2009 and 2013. Pitchers Justin Erasmus (2011-12) and Daniel McGrath (2014) are in Australia's designated pitcher pool, meaning they are not on the active roster for the first round, but can be added should Australia advance further in the tournament.
Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin (2008) and infielder Chih-Hsien Chiang (2007) are on Chinese Taipei's roster for the World Baseball Classic. Lin was selected as the MVP of the Futures Game in 2008 while a member of the Drive.
Israel's roster for pool play includes catcher Ryan Lavarnway (2009) and outfielder Mike Meyers (2015). Lavarnway, who cracked 21 homers as a member of the Drive, last saw major league action with the Braves and Orioles in 2015. Meyers spent the 2016 season with the Salem Red Sox and hit .272 in 111 games.
Outfielder Reymond Fuentes (2010) will play for Puerto Rico. Fuentes made his major league debut with the Padres in 2013, and he saw major league time with the Royals this past season, hitting .317 in 13 contests.
Left-handed pitcher Franklin Morales, who made a major league rehab appearance with the Drive in 2013, is a member of Venezuela's designated pitcher pool for the tournament.
First round pool play for the World Baseball Classic begins on Monday, March 6th, and the championship game will be held on Wednesday, March 22nd at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.