With a star-studded ensemble of major league players, the World Baseball classic is officially underway.
20 teams will compete in the WBC, which is being played from March 8 to March 21, and the Rays have a long list of players participating in the series.
According to MLB.com, Jason Adam (United States), Jonathan Aranda (Mexico), Randy Arozarena (Mexico), Christian Bethancourt (Panama), Trevor Brigden (Canada), Wander Franco (Dominican Republic), Andrew Gross (Israel), Joe LaSorsa (Italy), Francisco Mejía (Dominican Republic), Isaac Paredes (Mexico), Harold Ramírez (Colombia), and Graham Spraker (Great Britain) will all be playing for their respective home countries.
The Rays first player to take the field in the World Baseball Classic was Christian Bethancourt. Particularly meaningful to me as an immigrant from Panama, I tuned in to watch Bethancourt showcase his skills to the world, and he did not disappoint. He got two hits in four at bats, including a double and an RBI single. He was also walked twice and stole a base. However, where he most excelled was behind the plate, as he called a masterful game for seven innings. After the game was well out of reach for their opponent (Chinese Taipei), the Panamanian team moved Bethancourt to first base for the rest of the game, displaying the versatility the Rays covet so much.
A strong start to the Rays players in the WBC, I look forward to seeing what everyone else will do in the series. If you want to watch our Rays players in the World Baseball Classic, the rest of the games can be found on FOX, FS1, FS2, Tubi and FOX Deportes. The full daily schedule can be found here.