Salvador Perez, Bobby Witt Jr. & Brady Singer headline 2023 World Baseball Classic rosters

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Major League Baseball tonight announced the rosters for the 2023 World Baseball Classic, which include 10 players from the Kansas City Royals organization.

Royals shortstop and 2022 Les Milgram Player of the Year winner, Bobby Witt Jr., will don the stars and stripes for Team USA alongside 2022 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year winner, Brady Singer, marking each of their first appearances in the tournament.

2015 World Series MVP, Salvador Perez, will represent his native Venezuela for the third consecutive World Baseball Classic (also: 2013, 2017), and will be joined by teammates Max Castillo and Carlos Hernández, who each made their first WBC rosters.

Team Italy will be represented by a pair of Royals infielders in Nicky Lopez and Vinnie Pasquantino, each claiming their first WBC roster spot.

MJ Melendez will don the Puerto Rican flag on his uniform, as he reports for his first World Baseball Classic, while Ronald Bolaños (Team Cuba) and Robbie Glendinning (Team Australia) will also represent their native countries for the first time.

Several Royals staff members will represent their own home countries, including Tony Medina, the Royals Minor League/Latin America Medical Assistant Coordinator, who will work with Team Dominican Republic as their Athletic Trainer for the fifth World Baseball Classic of his career. Team Panama will be managed by Luis Ortiz, Kansas City’s International Scouting Supervisor. Luis Perez, the Royals Major League Strength Coach/Translator will work with Team Venezuela as a Strength & Conditioning Coach, and Mike “Swanee” Swanson, the club’s Senior Advisor of Communications & Broadcasting, will represent Team USA as their PR Liaison, after working the past two WBC’s in the same role for the Dominican Republic.

Serving as the fifth installment of the tournament, this year’s World Baseball Classic has expanded to 20 teams for the first time in history. The tournament will feature five-team pools in the first round for round-robin play. The top two teams in each of the four first round pools will advance to the quarterfinals, while the top two teams from each quarterfinal pool will advance to the Championship Round. The defending World Baseball Classic Champion United States will begin its first round on Saturday, March 11 at 10:00 p.m. ET against Great Britain, live from Chase Field. MLB Network will provide live on-site coverage from the semi-finals and finals at loanDepot Park, from March 19–21. MLB Network will also produce the world feed for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

A complete list of Kansas City’s 10 World Baseball Classic participants is below:

Ronald Bolaños, RHP, Cuba
Max Castillo, RHP, Venezuela
Robbie Glendinning, IF, Australia
Carlos Hernández, RHP, Venezuela
Nicky Lopez IF, Italy
MJ Melendez C/OF, Puerto Rico
Vinnie Pasquantino, IF, Italy
Salvador Perez, C, Venezuela
Brady Singer, RHP, USA
Bobby Witt Jr., IF, USA

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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