Overview Of Chicago White Sox Players Playing In 2013 World Baseball Classic

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World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic
Gary A. Vasquez- USA TODAY Sports

Every four years baseball fans are treated to a clash of our world’s countries competing for one ultimate goal. Known as the World Baseball Classic, this tournament brings together players from all different leagues, who all have one common objective; win the WBC for their country.

Although the World Baseball Classic doesn’t quite create the amount of buzz that the Olympics do, the WBC is still an event many baseball fans look forward to. For many baseball fans the Classic provides much more than just entertainment.

Aside from thrilling baseball, the WBC gives fans the opportunity to watch players from their MLB teams perform on a big stage. Whether it’s young prospects given the chance to play for their country, or veteran players trying to win the Classic for their respective nation, MLB fans get a great preview of some of their teams talent for the up and coming season.

The Chicago White Sox have five players in their organization that were named to WBC rosters. Among the five players named, Hector Santiago seems to be the only one who has decided to decline the offer to play for his country. From young prospects, to key contributors from last year’s squad, the White Sox are well represented in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

In order to get all White Sox fans ready for the 2013 Classic, which is slated to begin on Mar. 2, here is a preview of all the White Sox players named to WBC rosters. Lets hope all White Sox players participating in the 2013 World Baseball Classic can stay healthy, and get ready for the 2013 season.

Matt Malecha is a Chicago White Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattMalecha.

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Alex Rios- Team Puerto Rico OF

Alex Rios- Team Puerto Rico OF
Jerry Lai- USA TODAY Sports

Already a participant of two World Baseball Classics, Alex Rios will play for Team Puerto Rico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. In 17 at-bats for Team Puerto Rico in previous World Baseball Classics Rios has one homerun and two RBI. Team Puerto enters the 2013 Classic ranked 12th in the world by the IBAF (International Baseball Federation) and has finished 5th in the last two World Baseball Classics. Coming off of his best year in the MLB, Rios looks to be a key factor in Puerto Rico’s success in the 2013 WBC. What White Sox fans will want to focus on in regards to Rios’ play in the WBC is if the veteran outfielder looks like the player from last year that so often carried the Sox offense.

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Andre Rienzo- Team Brazil P

Andre Rienzo- Team Brazil P
Kirby Lee- USA TODAY Sports

Andre Rienzo, one of the Chicago White Sox highest rated pitching prospects, will pitch for Team Brazil (ranked 20th by IBAF) in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Rienzo posted a 7-3 record with a 2.53 ERA in 18 starts for Class A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte in 2012. The young right-hander figures to be one of Team Brazil's top pitchers in the 2013 Classic. As far as Rienzo’s chances of making the White Sox opening day roster, most consider him a long shot. However, if Rienzo puts together a dominating 2013 World Baseball Classic, the White Sox may be more inclined to give him a roster spot to open the 2013 season.

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Andy Gonzalez- Team Puerto Rico IF

Andy Gonzalez- Team Puerto Rico IF
Kirby Lee- USA TODAY Sports

Joining White Sox right fielder, Alex Rios, Andy Gonzalez will pay for Team Puerto Rico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Gonzalez broke into the MLB with the White Sox back in 2007. Since playing for the Cleveland Indians in 2008, and the Florida Marlins (now the Miami Marlins) in 2009, Gonzalez hasn't appeared in a MLB game. In 2013, Gonzalez will be a part of the White Sox Minor League Camp. Gonzalez will be used primarily as a utility man for Team Puerto Rico in the 2013 WBC.

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Hector Santiago- Team Puerto Rico P

Hector Santiago- Team Puerto Rico P
Rick Osentoski- USA TODAY Sports

Although offered a spot to pitch for Team Puerto Rico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Hector Santiago has elected to decline the offer. After a successful rookie season (4-1record, 3.33 ERA) with the White Sox, Santiago has chosen to skip the 2013 WBC because of his dedication to the Sox. Santiago has been preparing this off-season to be a starting pitcher for the White Sox in 2013. By forgoing the Classic, Santiago will have three extra weeks in the spring to work with the White Sox. While most indications point to the left-hander starting the year in the bullpen, Santiago wants to be able to use this spring as an opportunity to show the Sox coaching staff that he can be used as a starter in 2013.

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Jesse Crain- Team Canada P

Jesse Crain- Team Canada P
Dennis Wierzbicki- USA TODAY Sports

Ranked 6th by the IBAF, Team Canada looks to be a contender in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Having already been a member of Team Canada in the 2009 and the 2006 Classics, Jesse Crain will be an important arm in Canada’s bullpen. Crain has been dominant in all his outings for Team Canada. In the 2009 tournament, Crain struck out four over 1 1/3 innings of work. During the 2006 Classic, the right-hander threw two scoreless innings while picking up a save. With the departure of Brett Myers this off-season, Crain is one of the top candidates to win the role as the White Sox right-handed setup man. The 2013 WBC will be a perfect audition for Crain, who figures to be out on the mound for Team Canada in some pressure-packed situations.

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