Baltimore Orioles Players We May See in the World Baseball Classic
Team Dominican Republic- Shortstop Jorge Mateo and Closer Felix Bautista
It does not appear that either player has committed to Team Dominican Republic but each player would be eligible as they were both born in the DR and both players were successful enough this season that they should be given the opportunity to represent their home country. The Dominican has a history of success in the WBC as they won the classic in 2013 and made a deep run behind then-Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. The DR has plenty of talent available as Machado should return to the team and young phenoms such as Sandy Alcantara and Julio Rodriguez may represent the country.
Similar to Mullins, Mateo may not have the opportunity to start for the Dominican should he choose to play, but he should provide the team with valuable defense and baserunning in late-game situations. Mateo was the everyday shortstop for the Orioles this season and continued to play because of his elite defense and baserunning abilities. Offensively, he struggled to an 81 OPS+ with a .221/.267/.379 slash line. However, he did lead the American League with 35 stolen bases which did help his offensive output.
Bautista was the closer for the Orioles after Jorge Lopez was traded to the Twins and provided a spark to the bullpen with his velocity and strikeout ability. Felix could easily be the DR closer if he chooses to join the team and should overpower opposing hitters from any country. If the DR wants to repeat their 2013 success then having a lockdown closer like Bautista is critical.