Former Tribe Players Representing Nine Different Countries during World Baseball Classic

Former Tribe outfielder Andrew McCutchen will represent the United States in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. (Photo by Bill Gentry)

By Ben Matos / Indianapolis Indians | March 9, 2017 4:03 PM ET

The World Baseball Classic has been around since 2006 and since that time, fans have seen droves of players come through Indianapolis. Many of these players have gone from wearing the Indians' colors, to wearing the colors of their respective nations.

This year's WBC will feature 21 former Indianapolis Indians players who will represent nine different countries. If fans are lucky, they may catch a glimpse of a former Tribe player performing on the world stage.

Here are some former Tribe players competing in the WBC:

OF Andrew McCutchen, United States

Cutch has been a Pittsburgh Pirate for his entire career. The 2013 National League Most Valuable Player had in interesting offseason in the midst of trade rumors, but for now will remain in Pittsburgh. McCutchen will play for the United States on an already deep outfield roster that also includes Major League stars Giancarlo Stanton, Adam Jones and Christian Yelich. He previously had stints in Indianapolis from 2007 to 2009. He hit .300, while slugging 14 home runs and stealing 48 bases in his career with the Tribe.

OF Gregory Polanco, Dominican Republic

Fans are just getting a taste of Polanco's full potential in Pittsburgh so far in his young career. He has been so good that he will start as an outfielder on a veteran-stacked Dominican Republic squad that won the World Baseball Classic in 2013. Polanco spent some time with the Indians from 2013 to 2014, appearing in 71 games overall. He made a significant impact in his time with the Tribe, hammering seven homers and driving in 51 runs.

LHP Wil Ledezma, Venezuela

Ledezma's career as a major league ballplayer may be nearing its end, but he will still be representing Venezuela during the World Baseball Classic for the second time in his career. The left-hander will likely come out of the bullpen for Venezuela, which is where his presence was felt while with the Indians in 2010. Ledezma recorded eight saves in 38.1 innings pitched and registered a 0.94 ERA.

RHP Chris Leroux, Canada

Chris Leroux is a seasoned veteran playing in his third World Baseball Classic. In his short time with the Indians, Leroux mostly came out of the bullpen and earned a career record of 10-3 with a 2.95 ERA in 53 appearances. Leroux has played for the Florida Marlins, the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates, and has even had a stint in Japan for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. One team he has consistently played for since 2009 has been his home country, Team Canada.

LHP Oliver Perez, Mexico

Perez is one of the few players in The Classic who has played in each one since its start in 2006. Each tournament, Perez has represented a different big league organization. During his first WBC, he was a member of the Pirates organization and even had a rehab stint with the Indians the same year of the Classic. He only started in nine games during his time with the Tribe, but in those starts, he recorded 38 strikeouts.

RHP Ernesto Frieri, Colombia

Ernesto Frieri is another Tribe alum who has bounced around many organizations. He currently plays in Colombia and will represent Team Colombia in the WBC. During his short span as a member of the Tribe, Frieri appeared in seven games, had a 3.86 ERA, posted a .200 average against and recorded one save.

RHP Zack Thornton, Israel

Thornton is one of the players on this list who had a recent stretch with the Indians. He joins the sleeper squad of Israel and will likely come out of the bullpen. Thornton's short time with the Indians was memorable as he went 5-1 with a 2.57 ERA in 32.2 innings. Thornton is representing Israel for the first time in his career.

C Francisco Cervelli, Italy

Cervelli is only the second player in the full group who appeared in an Indians uniform in 2016. He came to Indianapolis last year during a rehab stint. He played in three games and hit .400 while driving in one run. Cervelli will represent Italy in his second WBC, his first since 2009.

Here is the full list of former Indianapolis Indians players and the years they played for the Tribe participating in the 2017 WBC:

United States

OF Andrew McCutchen/2007-09
INF Josh Harrison/2011, 2013, 2015

Dominican Republic

OF Jose Bautista/2005-06, 2008
RHP Jose "Jumbo" Diaz/2012
OF Starling Marte/2012, 2014
OF Gregory Polanco/2013-14
OF Mel Rojas Jr. /2014-16
RHP Cesar Valdez/2011


RHP Jeanmar Gomez/2013
RHP Deolis Guerra/2015
LHP Wil Ledezma/2010


RHP Chris Leroux/2011-12


INF Luis Cruz/2008-09
LHP Jorge De La Rosa/2004
LHP Oliver Perez/2005-06


RHP Ernesto Frieri/2014


LHP Jeremy Bleich/2015
RHP Zack Thornton/2013-14


C Francisco Cervelli/2016
RHP A.J. Morris/2014-15


INF Yurendell Decaster/2005-07

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

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