Italy launch World Baseball Classic programme

Italy launch World Baseball Classic programme
Manager Mike Piazza introduced 13 players under contract with MLB organizations who have already committed to play. Piazza and his staff will manage the first Future Stars Game, featuring 28 prospects, on 13 November.

The Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (FIBS) introduced the World Baseball Classic programme at the Olympic Committee (CONI) headquarters in Rome during an event named Mission Classic.

Manager Mike Piazza, an MLB Hall of Fame catcher, introduced 13 players under contract with MLB clubs who have committed to represent Italy:

PITCHERS (4) Matt Festa (Seattle Mariners), Joey Marciano (San Francisco Giants), Andre Pallante (St. Louis Cardinals), Mitchell Stumpo (Arizona Diamondbacks)
CATCHERS (2) Vito Friscia (Philadelphia Phillies), Brett Sullivan (San Diego Padres)
INFIELDERS (3) David Fletcher (Los Angeles Angels), Nicky Lopez (Kansas City Royals), Vinny Pasquantino (Kansas City Royals),
OUTFIELDERS (2) Ben DeLuzio (St. Louis Cardinals), Dominic Fletcher (Arizona Diamondbacks)
UTILITIES (2) Sam Haggerty (Seattle Mariners), Miles Mastrobuoni (Tampa Bay Rays)

"Today, I'm introducing a group of players committed to our project," said Piazza. "We won't have much time to prepare for the World Baseball Classic. We are spending a week together that is instrumental to our purpose."

Piazza also thanked FIBS, CONI and the Italian American Baseball Foundation (IABF) for supporting him.

Piazza's staff includes Blake Butera, Michele Gerali, Alberto D'Auria, Rolando Cretis, Jack Santora, Chris De Norfia and Brian Sweeney.

Butera is a 2021 minor league manager of the year. Gerali has played and coached in Italy's top league. D'Auria and Cretis are former National Team stars. Santora (2006, 2009, 2013), DeNorfia (2009, 2013) and Sweeney (2013) represented Italy in the World Baseball Classic.

World No. 17 Italy will compete in Group A in Taichung, Taiwan, and face the hosts and World No. 2 Chinese Taipei, No. 8 the Netherlands, No. 9 Cuba and No. 13 Panama,

Sunday, 13 November, the World Baseball Classic staff will oversee an intrasquad game between 28 of the top prospects in the country, including six alums of the XXX WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, in the inaugural Future Stars Game in Arezzo.


PITCHERS (5) Claudio Scotti, Alex Bassani, Gabriele Quattrini, Daniele Di Monte, Matteo Marelli
CATCHERS (2) Giulio Monello, Marco Ragionieri
INFIELDERS (4) Filippo Venditti, Williams Wong, Gabriele Angioi, Daniele Di Persia
OUTFIELDERS (3) Tommaso Battioni, Alessandro Volpe, Andrea Pasotto


PITCHERS (5) Matteo Bocchi, Mattia Aldegheri, Enrico Zanchi, Simone Carnevale, Giacomo Taschin
CATCHERS (2) Alberto Mineo, Andres Annunziata
INFIELDERS (4) Samuele Gamberini, Manuel Zazza, Edoardo Cornelli, Federico Ricci
OUTFIELDERS (3) Riccardo Bertossi, Samuele Bruno, Alessandro Barbona