Team USA- Outfielder Cedric Mullins and Relief Pitcher Dillon Tate
This year’s World Baseball Classic looks to be the most stacked in history in terms of talent and Team USA is a good representation of that. They already have commitments from current superstars and former MVPs such as Paul Goldschmidt, Mookie Betts, and Mike Trout. The O’s have added talented players of their own in Cedric Mullins and Dillon Tate who look to give the United States their second consecutive championship.
Because of the sheer depth of talent, Mullins may not see the field every game but he does provide depth to the outfield. Cedric is the best defensive outfielder committed to Team USA thus far and he has shown a unique power-speed combination with the 30-30 season in 2021 that saw him represent the Baltimore Orioles as their lone All-Star. The speed and defense will be Mullins’ biggest assets that he will provide for Team USA and could likely be seen as a defensive replacement or pinch runner in late-game situations for the team.
Tate is coming off a career-best season that saw him steer a bullpen that helped the O’s to a 31-win improvement between 2021 and 2022. In 2022, Tate pitched to a 3.05 ERA in 67 relief appearances. He also pitched to a 132 ERA+ and 3.48 FIP so he was a legitimate threat in the back end of the Orioles bullpen. Dillon is not an overpowering reliever as he only struck out 7.3 batters per 9 innings but he also improved his control to a career-best 2.0 walks per 9.
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins and reliever Dillon Tate both will represent the United States.
The only other relief pitchers who have committed to Team USA have been David Bednar of the Pirates and Devin Williams of the Brewers. If the team does not add much more, Tate could be a key member of the bullpen and may play a role for the team in late-game situations. Because of this, it is reasonable to expect that Mullins and Tate could play a role for Team USA in close games and they could both be on the field at the end of some wins.