Team Venezuela- Outfielder Anthony Santander
Of the countries that have not won a World Baseball Classic, Venezuela seems to be the most likely to win its first in 2023. Venezuela has a strong talent pool led by Braves superstar Ronald Acuna and former MVP Jose Altuve. While well past his prime, former MVP Miguel Cabrera has represented Venezuela in the past and will have an opportunity to do so again. In the outfield, should Acuna choose to represent Venezuela he will be the clear star and should help lead the team out of pool play. Since Acuna and Santander are both right fielders, Anthony will likely have to move to left field with David Peralta or Odubel Herrera in center. Again, this is all dependent on who decides to play but there should be a path for Anthony to start many games in the WBC for Venezuela because of his offensive success over the past few seasons for the O’s.
Anthony led the O’s with 33 homers last season and has proven power from both sides of the plate. Defense is a bit of a liability for Santander as he has dealt with a lingering ankle injury over the past few seasons that has slowed him down.
All in all, this should be an exciting World Baseball Classic for baseball fans as this should be the most talented Classic yet. For O’s fans, many of the most talented teams should have at least one Orioles representative who could make a meaningful impact.