FREDERICK, MD -On Monday morning, the World Baseball Classic kicked off between South Korea and Israel from Seoul. The starting third baseman former team Israel was Ty Kelly, one of seven former Keys who are participating in the WBC. This group represents six different countries ranging from Team Israel to Chinese Taipei.
Kelly finished 0-for-4 with a walk in Israel's 2-1 victory over South Korea on Monday morning. A member of the Mets organization, Kelly became the 145th former Keys player to get called up to the Majors when he made his debut with New York last May 24. In 39 games with the Mets he batted .241 with one homer and seven RBIs. Originally drafted by the Orioles in 2009, Kelly passed through Frederick in 2012 and hit .346 in 76 games to go with nine homers and 41 RBIs. He was named a midseason Carolina League all-star.
Mychal Givens is the only ex-Key representing Team USA. After going 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA for Frederick in 2014, the right-hander made the midseason jump to Double-A Bowie before moving to the Orioles one year later. In 66 games with the Orioles in 2016, Givens was 8-2 with a 3.13 ERA in 66 contests. He finished fourth among American League relievers with 96 strikeouts.
Givens' teammates, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, suit up for team Dominican Republic and team Netherlands respectively. A three-time American League All Star, Machado hit .294 while setting career-highs in home runs (37) and RBIs (96) last season. Since debuting with the Orioles Machado has won two gold gloves.
Schoop also comes off a career season with the O's where he set personal-highs in home runs (25), RBIs (82), doubles (38), hits (164) and runs scored (82). He has played in 162 straight games. Schoop and Machado served as double play partners on the 2011 Keys Mills Cup Championship team.
Joining Machado on team Dominican Republic is Jumbo Diaz. Standing at 6'4'' and 278 lbs, Diaz went 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 26 games for Frederick in 2010, before making his Major League debut in June 2014 with the Cincinnati Reds. Diaz's 2016 campaign was his best yet with the Reds, going 1-1 with a 3.14 ERA in 45 games.
Although Allan de San Miguel and Chih-Hsien Chang have yet to play in the big leagues, both get to represent their countries on the world stage. A member of the orange and black from 2012-13, de San Miguel is one of two catchers on team Australia. In 2016, he shuttled between the Royals Triple-A and Double-A affiliates. Chang played 24 games for Frederick in 2014.
The 2017 season begins on Thursday, April 6 against the Carolina Mudcats at Nymeo Field. A full promotional schedule can be found here. Single game tickets go on sale on Friday, March 31, while ticket plans are currently available. Any fan who purchases or renews a ticket plan can choose between a Jonathan Schoop bobblehead or a Dylan Bundy gnome. For ticket information fans can call 301-815-9900 or visit frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.