They say having at least one member of your team in the World Baseball Classic is better than nothing, and that’s exactly the case for Ben Zobrist as he’ll be representing the Tampa Bay Rays for Team USA.
Despite falling short of the playoffs, Zobrist’s 2012 season didn’t go unnoticed as he had a monster second-half of the season and finished the year batting .270 to go along with 20 home runs and 74 RBIs. Zobrist and Team USA will kick off the tournament on March 8 in Arizona against Mexico as the teams look to make a run at the title and put an end to Japan’s reign considering they’ve won the last two tournaments.
As for Zobrist and Tampa Bay heading into 2013, expectations will be high once again after finishing in third place in the AL East behind the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles with a 90-72 record. In fact, the Rays were in contention for one of the final playoff spots in the final weeks of the regular season, but they fell short of their goals after the Orioles and Texas Rangers took the final two Wild Card spots.
It certainly won’t be easy considering the division is one of the toughest in baseball, but they certainly have the talent to give the other four teams a run for their money. And if they do come out on top of the AL East in 2013, there’s a good chance Zobrist will be one of the main reasons why–which is why Team USA made a solid choice for the World Baseball Classic.
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