By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News
The long wait to see which players will represent Israel at World Baseball Classic qualifiers this week is over.
Team Israel’s 28-man roster (see below) includes two former Major Leaguers (player/coaches Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler), three Israelis, and 23 minor-leaguers. Because the MLB season is still underway, no current Major Leaguers are on the roster. Also missing are a number of Triple-A and even Double-A players whose teams wanted them around as potential call-ups later this month.
The double-elimination tournament takes place Sept. 19-23 in Jupiter, Fla., and pits Israel against teams from France, Spain, and South Africa. Whoever prevails will earn a spot in the main World Basic Classic competition, in November 2013. If Israel wins, the team it fields in 2013 likely will include a number of Major Leaguers (such as Kevin Youkilis, who already has committed to play) and Triple-A players.
Additional commentary on this week’s roster is shown below the table.
Team Israel: Roster for the WBC qualifying tourney
27 COLVIN, David RHP 23 Mill Valley, CA Clinton LumberKings (A) Seattle Mariners
34 KAPLAN, Jeff RHP 27 Dana Point, CA Binghamton Mets (AA) New York Mets
36 KOPP, David RHP 26 Coral Springs, FL Erie SeaWolves (AA) Detroit Tigers
16 LEICHMAN, Alon RHP 23 Kibbutz Gezer, Israel N.A. N.A.
22 LIPETZ, Shlomo RHP 33 Tel Aviv, Israel N.A. N.A.
10 LORIN, Brett RHP 25 Laguna Niguel, CA Mobile Bay Bears (AA) Arizona Diamondbacks
21 PERLMAN, Max RHP 24 Jupiter, FL Stockton Ports (A+) Oakland A's
(-) ROTHEM, Dan RHP 35 Tel Aviv, Israel N.A. N.A.
26 SCHUMER, Justin RHP 24 Houston, TX San Jose Giants (A+) San Francisco Giants
28 ZEID, Josh RHP 25 New Haven, CT Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) Houston Astros
14 BERGER, Eric LHP 26 Goldsboro, NC Columbus Clippers (AAA) Cleveland Indians
35 BLEIER, Richard LHP 25 Davie, FL Frisco Roughriders (AA) Texas Rangers
17 GOULD, Jeremy LHP 24 Buffalo Grove, IL Savannah Sand Gnats (A) New York Mets
29 URLAUB, Jeff LHP 25 Scottsdale, AZ Stockton Ports (A+) Oakland A's
37 CUTLER, Charlie C 26 San Fransico, CA Altoona Curve (AA) Pittsburgh Pirates
3 MARDER, Jack C/IF 22 Calabasas, CA High Desert Mavericks (A+) Seattle Mariners
19 RICKLES, Nick C 22 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Burlington Bees (A+) Oakland A's
6 DECKER, Cody 1B 25 Santa Monica, CA San Antonio Missions (AA) San Diego Padres
25 FREIMAN, Nate 1B 25 Wellesley, MA San Antonio Missions (AA) San Diego Padres
9 ORLOFF, Ben 2B 25 Simi Valley, CA Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) Houston Astros
2 SATIN, Josh 2B 27 Hidden Hills, CA Buffalo Bisons (AAA) New York Mets
33 HAERTHER, Casey 3B 24 West Hills, CA Arkansas Travelers (AA) Los Angeles Angels
7 LEMMERMAN, Jake SS 23 Coronoa del Mar, CA Chattanooga Lookouts (AA) Los Angeles Dodgers
15 GREEN, Shawn OF 39 Des Plaines, IL N.A. N.A.
24 GUEZ, Ben OF 25 Houston, TX Toledo Mud Hens (AAA) Detroit Tigers
18 KAPLER, Gabe OF 37 Hollywood, CA N.A. N.A.
31 PEDERSON, Joc OF 20 Palo Ato, CA Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (A+) Los Angeles Dodgers
23 WIDLANSKY, Robbie OF/3B 27 Plantation, FL Bowie Baysox (AA) Baltimore Orioles
Here are some other facts and observations on Team Israel’s roster for the qualifiers:
- Of the 23 minor leaguers on the roster, three ended the 2012 season with a Triple-A team, 12 at the Double-A level, six at A-advanced, and two with a Single-A team.
- Adam Greenberg, a former Major Leaguer who is trying to mount a comeback, was invited to Jupiter for tryouts but is not on the roster.
- Josh Satin, who played briefly for the New York Mets in 2011 and 2012, is the only player with MLB experience.
- The youngest player on the roster is 20-year-old outfielder Joc Pederson, who is ranked the Los Angeles Dodgers’ No. 3 prospect by MLB.com. The oldest player is 39-year-old Shawn Green, whose 15-year MLB career included five seasons with the Dodgers and ended with the New York Mets in 2007. Green’s 328 career HRs are second only to Hank Greenberg’s 331 among Jewish ballplayers.
- Israeli player Alon Leichman plays for Cypress College, a community college in California.
- During the qualifiers for the 2012 European Championship, Israeli pitcher Shlomo Lipetz was masterful, giving up just one earned run over 16-and-a-third innings while striking out 18 and walking three.
- Three players on Team Israel are 6-foot-7-inches tall: pitchers Brett Lorin and Max Perlman, and 1B Nate Freiman. At 5-foot-8-inches, Alon Leichman is the shortest.
- Nate Freiman and Cody Decker, teammates on the San Antonio Missions (AA), finished 2nd and 3rd in HRs this season among Texas League players.
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