The World Baseball Classic rosters are in and there are seven players from the Rangers organization listed – LHP Derek Holland (United States), OF Nelson Cruz and INF Leury Garcia (Dominican Republic), SS Elvis Andrus (Venezuela), C Jose Felix (Mexico) and OF Engel Beltre and OF Gabe Suarez (Spain).
Garcia still wasn’t fully committed Thursday, as he wanted to discuss it with the Rangers, but will have to make a decision by Friday. Garcia is a candidate for a bench spot with the team, which means more time in big-league camp could bolster his chances.
Jurickson Profar faced a similar decision early this spring, and decided to turn down an opportunity to play for the Netherlands in the WBC.
“These are young guys and it’s an unbelievable honor to represent your country,” Daniels said. “The flip side, it’s their first big-league camp. What’s missed in that too is that you’re not just trying to make the club on Opening Day, but that opportunity may be in May or July, and if you’re a young guy that time in front of the big-league manager and decision-makers is valuable. I understand these are tough calls.”
For prospects such as Felix who aren’t expected to compete for a big-league job, it’s an easy decision.
“Very excited,” Felix said. “I can’t wait.”
Said Holland: “It’s a very big honor to represent your country. And not only am I representing my country, I’m representing Texas and my hometown too.”
-- Drew Davison