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Dominican Republic Superstars Announce Participation in 2023 World Baseball Classic

Image Credit: World Baseball Classic

New York- Baseball’s most exciting and dramatic event returns this upcoming March. That being none other than the famous World Baseball Classic. The most talented ball players from across the globe are set to battle it out on the biggest stage in deciding who’s the best of the best. The tournament will take place from March 8th – March 21st next year in four separate cities. 

2023 World Baseball Classic – Pool Play and Location 

Image Credit: World Baseball Classic

Taichung, Taiwan – POOL A 

Tokyo, Japan – POOL B

Phoenix, Arizona – POOL C

Miami, Florida – POOL D

Several star talents have recently announced participating in the World Baseball Classic for their respective national teams. The Dominican Republic National Team is projected to be one of the greatest rosters ever laid out in the tournament’s history. The following three players announced their participation for the upcoming WBC in representing the Dominican Republic.

Juan Soto – Washington Nationals – Right Fielder 

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

2022 Statistics: .243 BA, 20 HR, 45 RBI, .403 OBP

Image Credit:Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Within the first five seasons of his career, Soto has accomplished nearly every award imaginable. Capturing a World Series championship at the age of 20, a two-time All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger along with the prized title of the Home Run Derby Champion leading up to last month’s mid summer classic at Dodger Stadium. Somehow, and someway, Soto remains climbing up the leaderboards within the baseball pantheon. 

Per usual for the 23-year-old, Soto finished the 2021 season on a historic level. One that sketched his name among Latino legends. In 151 games played on the year, the Santo Domingo native totaled 29 HR, 95 RBI with a .465 on base percentage. Yes, you read that right… a .465 OBP. In more than 46% of his at bats, Soto reached base safely. 

📸 Photo Credit: Bill Menzel, Latino Players for Latino Sports

On top of the absurd numbers, he consistently represents the sport on a global scale in prestige fashion. The bat flips and intimidating “Soto shuffles” while up to the plate grows excitement for fans and viewers across the world. For the continuous impact on and off the field, Soto was awarded the coveted 2021 National League LatinoMVP. 

Beginning in 1989, the LatinoMVP has been recognized as the most prestigious award given to Latin ballplayers and viewed by many across the industry as a “Latin Grammy”. 

In today’s game, Soto is the baseball icon Dominicans view as their born and breaded megastar. Soto recently announced he will play a part in representing the Dominican Republic in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. 

Sandy Alcántara – Miami Marlins – Starting Pitcher

Azua, Dominican Republic

2022 Statistics: 9-4 record, 1.99 ERA, 138 K, 0.944 WHIP

Image Credit: Major League Baseball

To start off, the Marlins would not be above water this season without the incredible performances from the Azua native. Miami stands 13-8 this season with their ace on the mound. Constantly going deep into ball games, Alcántara raises his name upon the pitching pedestal each and every outing. In 17 of 21 outings this season, the 26-year-old flamethrower has gone at least 6.0 innings pitched. 

With 149.1 IP on the year, Alcántara leads all pitchers across MLB in innings pitched by a wide margin. The second in the category this season is Philadelphia Phillies RHP Aaron Nola totaling 138.2 IP. 

Alcántara was named the National Pitcher of the Month for June. In six June outings, he finished 4-2 with a 1.89 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 47.2 innings pitched. Receiving the nod for the mid summer classic in Los Angeles, Alcántara became an All Star for the first time in his career. At such an elite level this season, baseball fans are predicting his name to appear on the Latino Sports ballot for the notable National League Starting Pitcher LatinoMVP award. 

Along with Soto and many perennial All Star names, Alcántara will join the Dominican Republic National Team for the 2023 World Baseball Classic this upcoming March. 

Rafael Devers – Boston Red Sox – Third Baseman

Sanchez, Dominican Republic 

2022 Statistics: .324 BA, 22 HR, 55 RBI, .379 OBP

Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Red Sox fans know the underlying impacts a ballplayer like Devers provides to their team on all aspects. Devers defines the ultimate team-first mentality, meaning the goal at hand is to come out of the day with a win. The 25-year-olds passion for the sport shows through his thrilling blend of offensive power and willingness to go all in on defense. Whether it be during postseason runs or losing contention for the playoffs in the regular season, former and current teammates of Devers continually praise his leadership skills. 

Since making his MLB pro debut in 2017, Devers has constantly marked his name among Red Sox greats in franchise records. A major piece to Boston’s 2018 World Series title over the LA Dodgers, Devers has raised the bar season after season. In 2019, Devers set a franchise record with the most hits in a single season before turning 23 years old. 

Rafael Devers – 195 hits (2019)

Xander Bogaerts – 194 hits (2015)

Ted Williams – 193 hits (1940)

The championship presence from Devers has led him to be the cornerstone of Boston’s long term plans for success. With his free agency window opening, Devers will indeed be one of the most pursued targets when available.

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers gives Red Soxs a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning with a home run to right field. (Bill Menzel/ Latino Sports)

Although he is battling through a brief IL stint due to right hamstring inflammation, Devers remains tied 3rd across the American League in hits (113) this season. His numbers have him in the conversation for AL MVP with Yankees Aaron Judge, Astros Yordan Álvarez, and Angels Shohei Ohtani leading the charge as of today. 

Last week, Devers announced he will join Alcántara and Soto in the 2023 World Baseball Classic as they stack up the star-studded Dominican Republic National Team.

“Follow us on instagram@latinosportsoficial for updates and exclusive content”

Robert Rizzo writes for Latino Sports

Follow on Twitter: @RobertRiz994

Email: RobertRiz994@gmail.com

Watch Sports with Rich live on Tuesday Nights at 10pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with host Rich Mancuso.

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