Thursday marks the beginning of competition for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Venezuelan team will face the Dominican Republic, Spain and Puerto Rico as part of Pool C in the first round.
Venezuela is led by, likely the best hitter in the WBC this season, Miguel Cabrera. The Detroit Tigers first baseman won the AL Most Valuable Player award, along with the Triple Crown in Major League Baseball last season. This marks the third WBC for Cabrera, however he has yet to make it to the championship. In addition, Pablo Sandoval and Marco Scutaro of the San Francisco Giants, Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians, Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers, as well as Cabrera’s teammate with the Tigers Omar Infante will round out the infield for Venezuela.
Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies, Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado of the Arizona Diamondbacks will round out the outfield. Catching for Venezuela is Parra and Prado’s teammate Miguel Montero, Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals and Ramon Hernandez of the Rockies.
In addition to the outstanding bats for the Venezuelan team, Cabrera’s teammate, Anibal Sanchez will lead the starting rotation. Henderson Alvarez of the Miami Marlins, Jhoulys Chacin of the Rockies and Carlos Zambrano will join Sanchez in the starting rotation.
The talent stacked Venezuelan team has the chance to win it all. New York Yankees minor league manager and Venezuela team manager, Luis Sojo, will lead the team into battle starting on Thursday. Don’t be surprised to see Venezuela in the championship come the middle of March.
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. In addition, Justin covers the Boston Red Sox minor league affiliate, Lowell Spinners at DownontheYarn.com.