The Dominican Republic is, without a doubt, one of the favorites to win the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
The event, organized by MLB, will be played in Chinese Taipei, Japan, and the United States.
The Dominicans will play in Miami, and they are in Pool D.
That happens to be one of the most difficult groups in the tournament, if not the hardest: they will have to face Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Israel, and Nicaragua.
There is no fear in DR’s roster, though.
In fact, they are all smiles as they travel to Miami to play the group phase.
Wheels up to Miami for the #WorldBaseballClassic!
📸: @ncboomstick23 pic.twitter.com/vpgNvS4zC5
— World Baseball Classic (@WBCBaseball) March 6, 2023
You can see Julio Rodriguez, Manny Machado, Teoscar Hernandez and other smiling stars next to DR’s general manager, Nelson Cruz.
Cruz has been vocal about his country’s chances to win its second WBC title.
They are looking to bring back 2013 memories, when they won the event in dominant fashion.
This time, they will have J-Rod, Machado, Sandy Alcantara, Johnny Cueto, Cristian Javier, Gary Sanchez, Willy Adames, Robinson Cano, Rafael Devers, Wander Franco, Eloy Jimenez, Juan Soto, and many other stars.
Soto’s participation is still in question as he is nursing a left calf injury.
While the lineup could sure use his excellent hitting skills, there is more than enough firepower to make up for his potential absence.
Unlike the United States, the Dominicans do have a pair of aces in Javier and Alcantara.
The latter just won the Cy Young award in the National League and the former should have been a candidate in the American League.
This team, despite the absence of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with a knee ailment, has power, speed, depth, and top-tier pitching.
This squad is built for big things.NEXT: MLB Players Discuss Their Famous Look-Alikes