By Nicholas Troiano
The World Baseball Classic is a tournament that features the best baseball players from all over the world. It is played every four years and has 16 competing nations.
The United States has never won a WBC.
The field of the 2017 WBC contains countries that have won WBC titles in the past.
Japan and the Dominican Republic are the only teams to ever win a title in the competition. Team Japan won it all in both 2006 and 2009. The Dominican Republic team captured the most recent championship in 2013.
The United States are looking to win its first title in tournament history, and although their team is filled with All- Stars, there are a lot of stand out players missing. There has been a lot of controversy over top American players like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper skipping the WBC.
“I think this team has enough talent to win it all, they have a lineup that is filled with top line MLB all stars. I don’t have a problem with some players sitting out,” said sophomore Chris Clark.
The talent has been shown so far during the tournament as the United State’s has played their way into a semi-final appearance against team Japan. 22-year-old Alex Bregman has led the United State’s team in hitting with a .500 batting average in the competition.
“If the United State’s can get by Japan, who is arguably the best team left in the field, I believe they will have no problem with the winner of the Puerto Rico- Netherlands game,” said sophomore Arthur Natale.
United States will go up against a Japanese team that contains four players who are hitting over .400 in the tournament. The Japanese will face United State’s pitcher Marcus Stroman, who is a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The other semi-final matchup features Puerto Rico and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The team from Puerto Rico defeated the United State’s team 6-5 on March 17.
The Netherlands have failed to finish better than fourth in any WBC to date.
“I think that Puerto Rico is going to win over the Netherlands because they have more experience playing deep in the tournament,” said sophomore Denis Alevis.
The 2017 World Baseball Classic has been filled with high quality performances from the world’s best ball players.
The Puerto Rico and Netherlands semi-final was held on March 20.
The United States played their semi-final matchup against Japan on March 21 and the championship game is March 22 at 9 p.m.
Publisher’s note: The paper was produced prior to the results of the semi-finals or the championship.