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Article: Twins (And Former Twins) In The World Baseball Classic

eddie rosario jose berrios kennys vargas justin morneau hector santiago
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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 06:41 PM

MLB unveiled the World Baseball Classic rosters this evening on MLB Network, and the Minnesota Twins organization has several current and former players (MLB or minor league) playing in the tournament.

It's no surprise that Australia leads the way in terms of former and current Twins organization players with 14, but Puerto Rico also has seven players with Twins roots. Several other countries have at least one player with some tie to the Twins organization.The WBC is coming next month. It is the reason the spring training is starting earlier across baseball. But let's take a look at the teams that have current or former members of the Twins organization.


Let's start Down Under where there are 14 players with Twins ties.

Current Twins minor leaguers RHP Todd Van Steensel, LHP Lachlan Wells and OF Aaron Whitefield are on the team. Wells will be joined by his twin brother Alexander, a member of the Orioles organization.

James Beresford will again represent the green and gold of Australia. He remains a free agent following his long-awaited MLB debut last September. Former Twins big leaguers Liam Hendriks and Luke Hughes are also on the roster.

There are a bunch of former Twins minor leaguers also on the Australian roster: RHP Tim Atherton, C Allan De San Miguel, RHP Josh Guyer, RHP Peter Moylan, OF Trent Oeltjen, IF/OF Logan Wade, and RHP Matt Williams. Also, former Twins Rule 5 pick, LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith, is on the team.


We expected the Twins to be well represented on the Puerto Rico team. Big leaguers Kennys Vargas, Eddie Rosario, Hector Santiago and Jose Berrios are on the team.

RHP Dereck Rodriguez, who along with Rosario helped capture the Caribbean Series championship for Puerto Rico this past weekend, is a surprise addition to the team. He pitched very well in the Puerto Rico Winter League.

Finally, former Twins LHP JC Romero is still pitching, and he is on the team as well. Another former Twins player, catcher Rene Rivera, is also on the roster.


Oh Canada! The team has three former Twins big leaguers on its roster. Justin Morneau is still looking for a big league team to sign him this year, but he's on the WBC roster. Andrew Albers signed a deal with the Braves. The lefty will pitch for Canada. OF Rene Tosoni is also on the team again.


Colombia has two current Twins minor leaguers on its WBC roster. Yohan Pino was another guy who put in his dues in the minor leagues before finally getting a shot with the Twins. He also saw time with the Royals. He is returning to the Twins this spring. 1B Reynaldo Rodriguez has been in the system for a few years now. He played a huge role last spring in giving Colombia a berth in the WBC with a strong Qualifier.


The Netherlands has a lot of players from Curacao on its roster. One of them, RHP Shairon Martis, spent a season with the Twins and even pitched some in September for the big club.

Tom Stuifbergen played hero for the first Netherlands WBC team when he pitched four scoreless innings in a game that eliminated the strong Dominican team from the first round. 7-footer Loek Van Mil had a couple of stints in the Twins organization including in April of 2016.


Only former Twins RHP Sam Deduno and LHP Fernando Abad have any ties to the Twins organization from the Dominican roster.


Three former Twins minor leaguers are on the Venezuelan roster. Omar Bencomo pitched for the Twins AA and AAA rosters the last couple of seasons. He's a free agent now. Former top prospect Deolis Guerra is a reliever on the team. Finally, Yangervis Solarte, who always hit well in the Twins minor leagues, has put together a solid MLB career as a third baseman for the Yankees and Padres.


The team from Israel has three former Twins on their roster too. We all remember the Jason Marquis era. Also, outfielder Sam Fuld is on the roster. And, Craig Breslow, former and current Twins LHP will be on their staff.


Italy was the team that surprised a lot of people in the previous WBC. Drew Butera and Chris Colabello both played a big role in that, and they'll hope to do the same in 2017.


Ray Chang spent a couple of seasons in the Twins organization. Remember the story of Denard Span going up to Chang, thinking he was the newly-signed Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Span politely bowed, introduced himself and asked if he knew any English. To which Chang responded "Sure I do. I'm from Kansas City."

Chang is retiring after the WBC to work for MLB.


Chi-Wei Hu is not on the roster, but former Twins prospect Kuo Hua Lo - who spent the first four months of 2016 with the Kernels - is pitching for them.


Well, there are not any current Twins on the roster. There was some talk that Brian Dozier might make the roster, but he didn't. However, one Minnesotan and former Twins player, Pat Neshek, is on the Team USA roster.

That's it, and that's a lot. So, are we cheering at all for Australia? Maybe Puerto Rico? Or... USA! USA! USA!

Discuss your thoughts on the WBC, the players, and what it should do going forward.

Click here to view the article
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#2 notoriousgod71


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Posted 08 February 2017 - 07:32 PM

The saddest thing is Canada and Mexico in different pools.

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#3 Thrylos


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Posted 08 February 2017 - 07:49 PM

Couple more former Twins:


Rene Rivera with Puerto Rico and Fernando Abad with the Dominican

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#4 Pardon My Dinger

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 07:54 PM

Bert's not a coach for the Dutch?

Rap name: LL Cool Bean.

#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 08:42 PM


Couple more former Twins:


Rene Rivera with Puerto Rico and Fernando Abad with the Dominican


Correct... thank you... That puts the number at, I believe, 42. 

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#6 Shaitan


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Posted 08 February 2017 - 10:02 PM

Surprised Johann isn't trying to pitch.

#7 bluechipper


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Posted 09 February 2017 - 09:21 AM

Thanks for the article. I'll be rooting for Purto Rico and Canada to make it out of pool play.

#8 gunnarthor


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Posted 09 February 2017 - 09:51 AM

I hope Morneau is the MVP of the tourney and gets a nice big league contract.


Also, really exciting that Rodriquez made the PR team.  Perhaps there's something there after all.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: eddie rosario, jose berrios, kennys vargas, justin morneau, hector santiago