3 Rays Players Who Will Benefit from the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is approaching, with pool games kicking off in less than a month and the Rays will be featuring many of their top stars entering the mix.
With guys such as Arozarena representing team Mexico and Wander Franco representing the Dominican Republic, the Rays will have a heavy present for this year's World Baseball Classic, however, there are some players that will benefit from playing in this year's event.
While some of these Rays representatives have had some big moments in their career, for others, this is their first chance to be able play on a big stage, and there are three that will benefit from this experience.
INF Wander Franco
Although Franco is one of the superstars in the game of baseball, this may be the biggest stage he has been able to perform on in his young MLB career.
A top prospect coming to the big leagues, Franco had gotten his first lick of the postseason last year, however, with an early departure for the team in Cleveland, he will get his first true World Series level type of games, which should help him heading into the season.
Also being a part of a team that will feature top young stars in the game such as Vlad Jr., Manny Machado, Robinson Cano and a stacked infield, it should be a good learning experience as well for Franco and should catapult him into what fans are hoping will be another impressive season.
C Francisco Mejia
Another top prospect as a member of the Sand Diego Padres, Mejia getting the chance to play for the Dominican Republic team will be a great opportunity for the young backstop.
Although Mejia may have to battle with Sanchez for the starting role for the DR, this may be the setup he will thrive with.
So far through his Rays career, Mejia hasn't lived up to his full expectations you could say which brings into question if he can be the starting catcher for the Rays year in and year out.
This WBC event will be a great chance for Mejia to show the Rays his starter capabilities which have been shadowed by Mike Zunino for the last few seasons, giving him a chance to build himself up heading into the regular season, which will be beneficial for Mejia going forward this season.
INF Jonathan Aranda
Aranda, who dominated for the Durham Bulls last season, will participate in his first WBC this season and with playing time being a commodity in the infield, Aranda sliding into the infield for team Mexico should be a beneficial thing for him, allowing him to get some more playing time as a starter.
Aranda has starter capabilities for the Rays, with the corner positions in the infield being a mystery, but with the infield position being congested, Aranda may not get as much playing time as he may intend.
That's why with playing in the WBC, Aranda will have a chance to be able get more playing time with what should be a competitive team Mexico group in Pool C and it should be a great opportunity for Aranda in his young career.
Here are the Full List for the Rays participants in the 2023 World Baseball Classic