The second World Baseball Classic will kick off Thursday with Pool A action inside the Tokyo Dome in Japan while the other three pools will begin play Saturday and Sunday. For the most part, all those within the Mets organization left Sunday to join their respective teams.
We all know the obvious names participating from the Mets: Carlos Beltran (Puerto Rico), Carlos Delgado (Puerto Rico), Alex Cora (Puerto Rico), Pedro Feliciano (Puerto Rico), J.J. Putz (USA), David Wright (USA), Oliver Perez (Mexico), Jose Reyes (Dominican Republic), and Francisco Rodriguez (Venezuela). However the organization also has several other prospects and minor leaguers who were selected to take part in the tournament:
- SS Ruben Tejada (Panama) – The young infielder, known for his defense, made his full season debut last year in the FSL at just 18 and hit .229 in 131 games. He is a very good defensive shortstop and will most likely begin the season with St. Lucie again. He’s still just 19.
- 3B Shawn Bowman (Canada) – Shawn has slipped in organizational rankings over the last few seasons because of injuries, but the skills are still there. He lit up the FSL to begin 2008, hitting .340 (33-for-97) in 26 games which earned him a July promotion to Binghamton. A solid fielder, he needs to improve his plate discipline (just 2 BB in 113 AB at AA).
- 3B Stefan Welch (Australia) – Toby wrote in his top prospect series that the “Australian Welch has shown gap power from a line drive stroke and an tall thin frame as a teenager.” He hit .281 (71-for-253) in 63 games in the Appalachian League with 9 triples, 14 doubles, and 4 homers.
- OF Jesus Feliciano (Puerto Rico) – Now 29, he’s spent 11 seasons in the minors without getting a call-up to the majors. Jesus has been in the Mets organization since 2007 and hit .308 (157-for-509) with 3 homers, 21 doubles, and 55 RBI last season for Triple-A New Orleans.
this is a good opportunity for fans to see some of these prospects who they wouldn’t otherwise have had the the chance to see… they’ll be playing against premier talent and there’s no question that it’s an exellcent experience for younger players to go through and learn from… it can only help as they move up to higher levels…