Puerto Rico announce roster for WBSC Americas U-23 Baseball World Cup Qualifier

Puerto Rico announce roster for WBSC Americas U-23 Baseball World Cup Qualifier
The roster includes a mix of professional and amateur players. "This is the best team possible," commented manager Igor Gonzalez.

The Baseball Federation of Puerto Rico (FBPR) announced a 24-man roster for the WBSC Americas U-23 Baseball World Cup Qualifier, scheduled from 24 to 30 November in Managua and Masaya, Nicaragua.

The roster includes professional players active in the Puerto Rican Roberto Clemente Winter League (LBPRC), Minor League Baseball (MiLB), and independent leagues; collegiate players and athletes on the Superior Double-A league rosters.

Catchers Victor Torres (Double-A Chicago White Sox) and Oscar Santos (Single-A Arizona Diamondbacks) and infielders Yan Contreras (High Single-A Cincinnati Reds) and 19-year-old Jankel Ortiz (Rookie level Minnesota Twins) are among the players to watch. Shortstop Kenen Irizarry (pictured above), a WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup 2022 alum, is the most prominent of the players active in the local Double-A league. He recently made his debut for LBPRC's RA12.

Manager Juan Igor Gonzalez said he is thrilled with the selection: "This is the best team possible, and we aim at the podium."

"We are very proud of the agreement with LBPRC," commented Efrain Williams, FBPR executive director, "Yamil Benitez and the Players Association advocated the agreement. We need LBPRC support if we want Puerto Rico to enjoy international success."

World No. 12 Puerto Rico will face in Group A of the WBSC Americas Qualifier No. 2 Mexico, No. 9 Dominican Republic, No. 20 Nicaragua and No. 30 Argentina. Group B includes No. 6 Venezuela, No. 8 Cuba, No. 10 Panama, No. 13 Colombia, No. 28 Curaçao and No. 59 Costa Rica. The top four finishers will qualify for the V WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup, scheduled in 2024 at the Shaoxing Baseball Softball Sports Culture Center in China.