Former Twins Luke Hughes and Brad Thomas lead the Australian team, with Ryan Rowland-Smith, Justin Huber, Chris Snelling, Shane Lindsay, and Chris Oxspring also sporting MLB tenures. The majority of the players on the roster are Australian Baseball League veterans. James Beresford is a Twins farmhand in spring training.
Yes, Loek Van Mil is on the team. But five-time All-Star and MVP runner-up Andruw Jones, who signed on to play in Japan this year, headlines a deep roster. Roger Bernadina and Andelton Simmons are currently on the rosters of the Nationals and Braves, respectively, and WBC hero of late Shairon Martis has a very outside chance of making the Twins out of spring training this year. Top Boston prospect Xander Boergarts is on the team, as is Twins prospect Tom Stuifbergen. Bert Blyleven is the Dutch pitching coach, of course, and he’s working under manager Hensley Muelens, San Francisco’s hitting coach.
Eleven players return from 2009’s roster, when the team lost to Japan in the Championship. Jae Weong Seo pitched parts of six seasons in the Majors and Seung Song pitched seven years in the minors, topping out as Baseball America’s #60-rated prospect in 2002 as a flame-throwing 22 year old; he was later traded to Montreal for fellow Korean pitcher Sun-Woo Kim, who is not playing in the tournament. Names to remember: Hyun-Soo Kim and Tae-Kyun Kim.
Former Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang headlines the team from Taiwan, a country with a rich baseball history that has seen gambling and game-fixing scandals retard the development of a native pro league. MLB exports have been increasing in recent years, and this team is most likely deeper than it appears on paper.