Every four years, some of the best baseball players from around the globe come together to represent their countries in the World Baseball Classic. Players from leagues all over the world join in, and obviously Major League Baseball players are no exceptions.
The Yankees have several players from throughout the organization representing their respective countries. With the first round of play over and the second a little over halfway complete, it seemed like a good time to check in and see how they’re doing.
WBC Stats: 6 G, .347/.385/.652, 4 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI
No Yankee has played better in the WBC than shortstop Didi Gregorius. He has absolutely been on fire in the tournament and helped Team Netherlands advance to the championship round, where they will play the winner of Pool F. Gregorius’ best game of the tournament had to come this past Monday when he doubled, homered, and drove in five runs.
DIDI SMASH #wbc https://t.co/T1M8Z36cZh— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) March 13, 2017
Hopefully he can keep it going when he comes back to the team and the regular season begins.
WBC Stats: 2 G, 0.00 ERA, 2 IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K
Dellin Betances has only gotten into two games for the dominant Dominican Republic team but he has pitched well overall. Though he’s walked a few batters, he’s also struck out a couple and only allowed one hit in the tournament, while giving up no runs. He’s overall been fine, but there isn’t much to work with here either. I’m sure as we get into the season Dellin will go back to stomping out the competition.
WBC Stats: 2 G, 0.00 ERA, 3 IP, 0 H, BB, 5 K
Tyler Clippard is expected to work the seventh inning for the Yankees and be the bridge that leads to Betances and Aroldis Chapman. Just like he is overshadowed on the Yankees, he’s overshadowed on Team USA with the presence of Andrew Miller (sobs) and David Robertson (sobs more). Clippard, though, has pitched very well for the American team. He’s only allowed one baserunner on a walk, but outside of that he’s done everything that’s asked of him. He looks ready to start the season.
WBC Stats: 3 G, 0.00 ERA, 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K
Tommy Layne has been called on quite a few times for Team Italy and has delivered for the most part. Though Layne hasn’t allowed a run to score, it can’t exactly be comforting that he’s walking almost a batter per inning. Though I guess it’s part of his M.O.
He wasn’t exactly a comfortable bullpen option for Joe Girardi, but to his credit, only 20 percent of his inherited runners scored
So yeah, that checks out.
WBC Stats: 3 G, .222/.417/.222, SB, 3 K
While Gregorius has been on fire, it’s prospect Tito Polo who has been the biggest surprise Yankee thus far in the tournament. Polo, acquired from the Pirates last year in exchange for Ivan Nova, hasn’t really hit much but has sparked Team Colombia with his overall charisma and defensive prowess.
"He's a big part of this team -- not just on the field, but off the field as well," said Colombia manager Luis Urueta. "He's got a good personality, and guys love him. He's treated as a rookie on this team, but in reality, he's been one of the leaders for what he's done in the field. He's kind of the ignition to the team, the way he runs and plays defense. He's a guy that can fire up a team at any time, and we're happy to have him."
That’s not to say he hasn’t hit at all. Over the weekend, he was a key part of the team’s win against Canada. Polo advanced Jhonatan Solano on a groundball, and then later on singled and stole second on his way to scoring the go-ahead run.
WBC Stats: 3 G, .214/.267/.214, 3 H, 2 RBI, 4 K
Donovan Solano hasn’t made much of an impression during the WBC, especially with fellow Yankee Tito Polo stealing the spotlight for Team Colombia. Solano has had a rough go during the tournament, but it’s not like he’s expected to carry the team on his back. Though Solano did drive in his brother Jhonatan Solano for Colombia’s first run in their win over Canada. It’s probably been the highlight of his tournament.
WBC Stats: 1 G, 4.50 ERA, 2 IP, 4 H, R, HR, K
Giovanny Gallegos was chosen by PSA’s Andrew Mearns as a sleeper prospect before the start of the 2016 season. He went on to have a breakout year, which likely led to him being called upon for Team Mexico. But with more experienced players like Sergio Romo and
Vidal Nuno Roberto Osuna on the roster, there wasn’t much opportunity for Gallegos.
Luckily, and most importantly, everyone has stayed healthy. There’s still another week of play left, so let’s hope it can stay that way.
Note: Luis Severino is listed on the Dominican Republic’s roster as part of their designated pitcher pool (DPP) but hasn’t been called on, so he’s with the Yankees. Michael Pineda was listed as eligible, but doesn’t appear to part of Team D.R.’s DPP which...yeah that makes sense. Kellin Deglan pulled out of competition for Team Canada due to a shoulder injury.