The Dominicans feature plenty of major leaguers and a star-studded infield that includes Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Robinson Cano, Edwin Encarnacion, Erick Aybar and even the ageless Miguel Tejada. The starting pitching is a little weak, with the Twins Sam Deduno the team’s top righty starter.
In contrast to the Dominicans, the hometown team features a star-studded outfield of Carlos Beltran, Alex Rios and Angel Pagan. Eddie Rosario is playing in the outfield but, with the team’s relatively weak infield, he may see time at second base as the tournament progresses. Fellow top Twins prospect JO Berrios is pitching for the Puerto Ricans, as is former Twin JC Romero.
With three stocked teams in their pool, Spain has little chance of advancing past the opening round. Infield prospect Alejandro Sanchez signed a seven-year contract with the Braves as a 17 year old in 2010.
With Miguel Cabrera, Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval and Elvis Andrus in the infield, and Anibal Sanchez and Carlos Zambrano are pitching, the Venezuelans boast a well-rounded roster full of MLB players. Deolis Guerra of the Twins is on the roster, as is former Twin Juan Rincon.
This will be a difficult group to advance from, with three deep teams laden with MLB talent. The Puerto Ricans should get an edge from playing in front of home crowds in San Juan, and the balanced Venezuelan roster should give the Dominicans a run for their money.