The 5th World Baseball Classic is about to begin. With the United States, Japan, and the Dominican Republic as favorites, players from the Phillies can be found all around the tournament. Let’s look at who they’re playing for before the games get started.
United States of America
For the biggest Phillies’ stars look no further than the good ol’ US of A. There are 3 Phillies on the roster and all of them are stars. Newly acquired Trea Turner will most likely be the starting shortstop for the US. Tim Anderson and Bobby Witt Jr. are also on the roster.
The BCIB (best catcher in baseball) will also presumably start for the US squad. JT Realmuto is one of 3 catchers on the roster with Will Smith and Kyle Higashioka. Since catcher is a physically demanding position, Smith and Realmuto should split time fairly evenly with Higashioka being their backup.
The reigning National League home run leader will also fight for the red, white, and blue. Kyle Schwarber hit 46 homers in the 2022 season and another 6 in the postseason. He’ll have to fight for playing time as the other outfielders are Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, Cedric Mullins, and Kyle Tucker.
Venezuela will feature the best lefties the Phillies have to offer. Outside of maybe Pablo Lopez, Ranger Suarez is the best starter the lone representative of South America has to offer. Ranger had a 1.23 ERA in the playoffs for the Phillies in 2022.
Jose Alvarado had a breakout year for the Phillies in 2022. The lefty fireballer had a 3.18 season ERA after having an 8.36 ERA on June 12th. Alvarado could be the closer for team Venezuela.
Another new Phillie for 2023 will pitch for Mexico in the WBC. Taijuan Walker signed a 4-year $72 million contract with the Phillies in the winter. He had a 3.98 ERA over his last 2 years with the Mets.
Jesus Cruz is currently signed with the Phillies on a minor -eague deal. He appeared in 8.2 innings for the Braves in 2022 and allowed 6 ER. He’ll also pitch for team Mexico.
Erubiel Armenta will turn 23 during the tournament on March 11th. The birthday boy lefty had a 3.60 ERA for High-A Jersey Shore in 40 IP. He is a reliever.
Honorable mention: Old friend JoJo Romero will also pitch for Mexico.
Team Italy will feature 2 Phillies minor leaguers.
Vito Friscia will be the youngest catcher for Italy. He was drafted by the Phillies in the 40th round of the 2019 draft. He primarily played for Double-A Reading last season where he hit .245/.374/.415.
LHP Brian Marconi will pitch for Italy. He appeared in 53 games between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2022 with a 4.40 ERA. He graduated from Cherokee High School in Marlton.
Honorable mention: Vinny Nittoli only pitched in 2 games as a Phillie in 2022 but will never be forgotten.
Team Israel will feature the DJ stylings of the Phillies’ backup catcher Garrett Stubbs. Stubbs was a great personality in the Phillies’ clubhouse in 2022. He also contributed with his bat at a high level. He set personal bests in each section of his triple slash at .264/.350/.462.
He should see plenty of playing time. Ryan Lavarnway is Israel’s only other catcher with major league experience.
Vimael Machin will represent the Phillies for Team Puerto Rico. He has played at every infield position in the major leagues. He was hitting .364 during Spring Training. He was signed to a minor league deal in January.
Team Netherland will feature 1 Phillies pitching prospect. Jaydenn Estanista was just ranked the Phillies’ 27th-best prospect by MLB.com. The 21-year-old righty can hit 97 MPH with his fastball. He had a 2.01 ERA for the FCL Phillies in 2022.
Noah Skirrow had a 4.36 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A last season. He had a 3 ERA in 4 starts as an Iron Pig. He’ll join former Phillie Phillippe Aumont as a starter for Team Canada.
Rixon Wingrove will represent his native Australia in the WBC. He hit 12 homers with an .815 OPS in 67 games as a Phillies prospect at Jersey Shore in 2022. He is primarily a first baseman.
Malik Binns will pitch for Great Britain. The righty had a 5.01 ERA in Clearwater in 2022. He has a 9.7 BB/9 in the minors.