The Dominican Republic gets underway at the World Baseball Classic this coming week at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Dominican Republic will compete in Pool C during the first round of the WBC. Pool C includes Venezuela, Spain, Puerto Rico, as well as the Dominican Republic.
Among the many Major League Baseball players on the Dominican team, the team’s best hitter has to be MLB all-star, Robinson Cano. The New York Yankees second baseman will compete for the Dominican Republic, even though he owns a dual citizenship with the United States and the Dominican Republic. Cano is proud of his U.S. citizenship, however “I still have to play for the Dominican, even if I didn’t want to,” said the native of San Pedro de Macoris during an interview. “If I played for the U.S., I don’t think they would ever let me come home.”
Cano won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger for the Yankees last season at second base. The 30-year-old played in 161 games batting .313 with a .379 on base percentage, 33 homers and 94 RBI. Set to become a free agent after the 2013 season, Cano is on track for a major payday.
Cano will join other major league infielders Erick Aybar, Edwin Encarnacion, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Leury Garcia and Miguel Tejada on the Dominican team.
Cano and the Dominican Republic take on Venezuela, Thursday at 6:30 p.m. eastern, in their first game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Justin Soderberg is a Boston Red Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, ”Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google. To read more articles from Justin Soderberg, click here.