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Mar '20 06

Rosters and Coaching Staffs Announced for Pool 1 of World Baseball Classic Qualifier

2021 World Baseball Classic Comments Off on Rosters and Coaching Staffs Announced for Pool 1 of World Baseball Classic Qualifier

Press release Major League Baseball

World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) today announced the rosters and coaching staffs for Pool 1 of the World Baseball Classic Qualifier, which will be played March 13th-18th at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona.  Pool 1 of the Qualifier will feature the National Teams of Brazil, France, Germany, Nicaragua, Pakistan and South Africa.  The top two teams in Pool 1 will advance to compete in the 2021 World Baseball Classic, which marks the fifth installment of the event featuring many of the world’s greatest players.  For the first time, the WBC will include 20 competing National Teams.

Team Brazil will once again be led by Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, who led the squad to its first WBC appearance in 2013 after winning the Qualifier in Panama City, Panama in November 2012.  Larkin also managed Team Brazil at the WBC Qualifier played in Brooklyn, New York in September 2016.  Former All-Star outfielder Steve Finley will return for a second time as hitting coach and 21-year veteran pitcher LaTroy Hawkins will again serve as the team’s pitching coach.  The 28-man roster features 10 players affiliated with Major League Clubs, including infielder Dante Bichette (WSH), the son of former Major Leaguer Dante Bichette and brother of Toronto Blue Jays infielder Bo Bichette, as well as right-handed pitchers Igor Kimura (TB), Rodrigo Takahashi (ARI), Heitor Tokar (HOU) and Rafael Viana (TOR); left-handed pitcher Dylan Lee (MIA); outfielders Gabriel Maciel (MIN), Victor Mascal (HOU) and Jean Tome (SEA); and infielder Liam Sabino (STL).

Team France will be managed by legendary Major League manager Bruce Bochy, who retired following the 2019 season after 25 seasons managing the San Diego Padres (1995-2006) and San Francisco Giants (2007-2019).  Bochy, who compiled 2,003 career victories and won three World Series titles with the Giants (2010, 2012, 2014) during his managerial career, will be joined on his coaching staff by Giants third base coach Ron Wotus.  The 28-man roster features three players affiliated with Major League Clubs, including right-handed pitcher Jason Alexander (LAA) and infielders Alen Hanson (SEA) and Ernesto Martinez (MIL).  In addition, right-handed pitcher Brett Bochy, the son of Bruce, will compete for Team France.

Team Germany will be skippered by Steve Janssen, who has previous World Baseball Classic experience with the Netherlands.  Janssen, who served as the country’s pitching coach during their gold medal-winning 2011 Baseball World Cup, was the bullpen coach for the Netherlands as the team reached the semi-finals of the 2013 WBC.  Germany’s 28-man roster features five players affiliated with Major League Clubs, including infielders Marco Cardoso (BOS) and Brendan Donovan (STL); left-handed pitcher Lucas Jacobsen (TEX); and right-handed pitchers Niklas Rimmel (MIN) and Markus Solbach (LAD).

Nicaragua will be led for a second consecutive WBC Qualifier by former Major League outfielder and Nicaragua native Marvin Benard, who played nine seasons in the Majors for the Giants from 1995-2003.  Benard, who managed the squad in Mexicali, Mexico in March 2016, set career-highs with 562 at-bats, 163 hits, 36 doubles, 16 home runs, 64 RBI and 27 stolen bases during the 1999 season.  He spent the 2015 season as a hitting coach in the Padres organization, helping the Single-A Tri-City Dust Devils of the Northwest League to the league finals.  Nicaragua’s 28-man roster features five players affiliated with Major League Clubs, including catcher Rodolfo Bone (SF); left-handed pitcher Leonardo Crawford (LAD); infielders Cheslor Cuthbert (CWS), who has spent time in the Majors during each of the last five seasons with the Kansas City Royals, and Jesus Lopez (TOR); and outfielder Ismael Munguia (SF).

Pakistan will be managed for a second consecutive WBC Qualifier by Syed Fakhar Ali Shah.  Shah, who also serves as the Executive Director of the Pakistan Baseball Federation, led the country during their WBC debut in the Qualifier played in Brooklyn in September 2016.  The squad does not have any players affiliated with Major League Clubs on its 28-man roster.

South Africa, which will be participating in their fifth WBC event, will be managed by Andy Berglund.  Berglund, who served as a coach for South Africa during the last round of WBC Qualifiers in Blacktown, Australia in February 2016, previously managed the Czech Republic team during the 2012 WBC Qualifier in Regensburg, Germany.  He also served as a coach for the French National Team in the 2014 European Championship.  The 28-man roster features two players affiliated with Major League Clubs, including right-handed pitcher Kieran Lovegrove (LAD) and infielder Brendan Venter (ATL).  In addition, former Major League infielder Gift Ngoepe and his brother, Victor, will compete for the South African team.  Gift will be competing in his fourth WBC event after participating in the 2009 WBC, as well as the 2012 and 2016 Qualifiers.  He was the first-ever player from South Africa to play in the Majors, appearing in 28 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017, followed by 13 games for the Blue Jays in 2018.

The Qualifier will open on Friday, March 13th with a doubleheader featuring Pakistan vs. Brazil and Germany vs. France.  Tickets for all Qualifier games, including day passes for doubleheader days, are available at https://www.mlb.com/world-baseball-classic/schedule.  The complete schedule of Pool 1 games is as follows:

Game # Game Date Local (ET) Match-up
1 Fri., March 13 12:30 p.m. Pakistan vs. Brazil
2 Fri., March 13 7:30 p.m. Germany vs. France
3 Sat., March 14 12:30 p.m. Game 1 Winner vs. Nicaragua
4 Sat., March 14 7:30 p.m. Game 2 Winner vs. South Africa
5 Sun., March 15 12:30 p.m. Game 2 Loser vs. Game 3 Loser
6 Sun., March 15 7:30 p.m. Game 1 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser
8 Tues., March 17 12:30 p.m. Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner*
7 Tues., March 17 7:30 p.m. Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner*

(Winner Qualifies for 2021 WBC)

9 Wed., March 18 6:00 p.m. Game 8 Winner vs. Game 7 Loser

(Winner Qualifies for 2021 WBC)

Home team in Bold

*Home team designation determined by coin toss

Each of the two qualifying pools will feature a nine-game double elimination round with the top two teams from each pool advancing to the World Baseball Classic, scheduled for 2021. The four advancing teams will join the 16 countries – Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela – that received automatic invitations based on their performance in the 2017 tournament.

The Qualifiers were originally introduced prior to the 2013 World Baseball Classic and were held in Germany, Panama, Taiwan and the United States (Jupiter, Florida) during the fall of 2012.  Qualifiers in Australia, Mexico, Panama and the U.S. (Brooklyn, N.Y.) were played again prior to the 2017 WBC.  The inaugural World Baseball Classic was held in 2006, with ensuing editions in 2009, 2013 and 2017.


Last First Pos. MLB Org. Current Club
Arai Marcelo RHP
Bichette Dante INF WSH Fresno Grizzlies (AAA)
Burin Felipe INF
Carmo Gabriel C
Da Silva Tiago RHP
Fanhoni Allan INF
Fernandes Rafael RHP
Ito Vitor INF
Kikuchi Marcio C
Kimura Igor RHP TB DSL Rays2 (R)
Kitayama Keyne RHP
Koba Salomon INF
Lee Dylan LHP MIA Wichita Wind Surge (AAA)
Maciel Gabriel OF MIN Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels (A)
Mascai Victor OF HOU GCL Astros (R)
Missaki Daniel RHP
Nakaoshi Oscar RHP
Orlando Paulo OF
Pedrol Christian RHP
Reginatto Leonardo INF
Rienzo Andre RHP
Rojo Lucas INF
Sabino Liam INF STL State College Spikes (A)
Sales Felip RHP
Takahashi Rodrigo RHP ARI Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)
Tokar Heitor RHP HOU GCL Astros (R)
Tome Jean OF SEA Everett AquaSox (A)
Viana Rafael RHP TOR DSL Blue Jays (R)


Last First Position MLB Org.
Larkin Barry Manager CIN
Finley Steve Hitting Coach
Hawkins LaTroy Pitching Coach MIN
Noboa Joel Bench Coach CIN
Caldeira Jose Thiago Bullpen Catcher  
Guimaraes Marcos Coach
Camargo Luis Bullpen Catcher
Cunningham Sean Athletic Trainer


Last First Pos. MLB Org. Current Club
Acuna Ivan C
Alexander Jason RHP LAA Rocket City Trash Pandas (AA)
Amoros Lilian RHP
Auguste Donato RHP
Bochy Brett RHP
Boucheron Jacques OF
Brown Felix UTI
Camacho Yoimer RHP
Cespedes Leonel RHP
Clara Robyn RHP
Gleeson Dylan C
Habeck Marc Andre RHP
Hanson Alen INF SEA Tacoma Rainiers (AAA)
Hanvi Frederic OF
Jongerius Norbert OF
Lopez Yorfrank RHP
Martinez Ernesto INF MIL Rocky Mountain Vibes (R)
Moore Eric RHP
Murrey James RHP
Oliveros Rayner RHP
Ozanich Owen RHP
Paz Andy C
Perdomo Alexander INF
Pontiac Ismail LHP
Soriano Ariel INF
Vaugelade Yoann RHP
Walter Frederic INF
Zan Mael OF


Last First Position MLB Org.
Bochy Bruce Manager
Bochy Bjoe Bench Coach
Perez Keino Pitching Coach
Rothermundt Boris Coach
Smith Steve First Base Coach
Wotus Ron Third Base Coach SF
Lackmeche Theo Bullpen Catcher
Kuntz Lee Athletic Trainer


Last First Pos. MLB Org. Current Club
Amon Pascal OF
Brenk Eric INF
Cardoso Marco INF BOS GCL Red Sox (R)
Donovan Brendan INF STL Palm Beach Cardinals (A)
Ehmcke Maik OF
Grigsby Logan RHP
Guhring Simon C
Jacobsen Lucas LHP TEX Down East Wood Ducks (A)
Koch Sascha RHP
Kotowski Kevin OF
Larry Shawn OF
Lutz Donald INF
Marquez Enorbel LHP
Maxwell Bruce C
Moorer Demetrius OF
Rimmel Niklas RHP MIN GCL Twins (R)
Schmidt Alexander INF
Schuller Sven RHP
Schulz Philip RHP
Solbach Markus RHP LAD Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA)
Sommer Luke LHP
Spann Julius RHP
Stahlman Tim RHP
Thaqi Benjamin RHP
Thieben Daniel RHP
Von Schamann Dalton RHP
Wilhelm Maurice RHP
One Roster Spot TBD


Last First Position MLB Org.
Janssen Steve Manager
Cichocki Clemens Coach
Beckman Bernard Coach
Deuren Kris Coach
Williams Troy Coach NYY
Winkler Markus Coach
Ahrens Vincent Bullpen Catcher
Wright Dan ATC


Last First Pos. MLB Org. Current Club
Alegria Benjamin INF
Alen Luis C
Benard Isaac RHP
Bermudez Jimmi RHP
Bone Rodolfo C SF AZL Giants Orange (R)
Britton Dwight OF
Bucardo Jorge RHP
Bucardo Wilber RHP
Calderon Jilton OF
Castellon Luis INF
Castro Ofilio INF
Crawford Leonardo LHP LAD Tulsa Drillers (AA)
Cuthbert Cheslor INF CWS Charlotte Knights (AAA)
Espinoza Berman RHP
Flores Fidencio RHP
Garcia Picardo Sheyder LHP
Garcia Elvin LHP
Garrido Jesus RHP
Gutierrez Elias RHP
Leon Nelson RHP
Lopez Jesus INF TOR New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)
Marin Ivan INF
Munguia Ismael OF SF San Jose Giants (A)
Reyes Elmer INF
Teller Carlos LHP
Tellez Junior RHP
Valle Norlando OF
Vasquez Wuillians INF


Last First Position MLB Org.
Bernard Marvin Manager
Guido Sandor Bench Coach
Murillo Cairo Pitching Coach
Roa Jenry Bullpen Coach
Roa Yader Coach
Sanchez Julio Coach
Estrada Rafael Bullpen Catcher
Pena Manny Athletic Trainer DET


Last First Pos. MLB Org. Current Club
Afridi Syed Amin INF/RHP
Ali Asad INF
Ali Jawad INF
Ansari Iyad C
Asghar Amir Bernard RHP
Bhatti Umair Imdad C
Bilal Muhammad Ahsan RHP
Butt Adnan OF
Chaudhery Omar Idrees RHP
Ehsan Muhammad RHP
Farid Ahsan RHP
Hussain Faqir INF
Hussain Muhammad INF
Jamashaid Arsalan INF
Javed Muhammad Taimoor RHP
Khan Adam RHP
Khan Inayat Ullah RHP
Muhammad Wali RHP
Nadeem Tariq OF
Sadiq Muhammad OF
Shah Syed Ali RHP
Shah Syed Muhammad C
Ur Rehman Fazal OF
Usman Muhammad LHP
Virk Abubakar RHP
Zakir Muhammad INF
Zawar Muhammad Sumair OF
Zohaib Muhammad LHP


Last First Position MLB Org.
Shah Syed Fakhar Ali Manager
Ahmed Usman Coach
Bhatti Amir Imdad Coach
Butt Basit Murtaza Coach
Shaffer Danny Coach
TBD   Coach
Asad Muhammad Bullpen Catcher
Alvidrez Juavier Athletic Trainer



Last First Pos. MLB Org. Current Club
Baglione Tyrone INF
Baylis Derick RHP
Blount Adrian OF
Boltman Darren INF
Botha Kyle C
Bouillon Brandon C
Cahill Garth RHP
Cree Kieran RHP
Ebersohn Rowan LHP
Elario Jared RHP
Feldtman Dayle C
Jacobs Dean LHP
Lewis-Walker Robert RHP
Lovegrove Kieran RHP LAD Tulsa Drillers (AA)
Matthee Haydn OF
Moore Kieran LHP
Ngoepe Gift INF
Ngoepe Victor INF
Norman Andrew OF
Phillips Jonathan INF
Ripepi Jayson RHP
Smith Benjamin OF
Smith Brandon LHP
Smith Darryn RHP
Smith Tyler INF
Townend Kevin RHP
Unsworth Dylan RHP
Venter Brendan INF ATL Rome Braves (A)


Last First Position MLB Org.
Berglund Andy Manager
Bennett Gavin Coach
Gravenorst Chad Coach
Horsman Vince Coach TOR
Johnstone Kevin Coach
Perez Fernando Coach
Milne Tyrone Bullpen Catcher
Oloski Kevin Athletic Trainer

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