2023 Dominican Republic Baseball Roster Packed With Young Stars and Veteran Leaders

2023 Dominican Republic Baseball Roster Packed With Young Stars and Veteran Leaders
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The Dominican Republic's Talent-Laden 2023 Baseball Roster

The Dominican Republic has long been a hotbed for Major League Baseball talent, producing superstar players like Albert Pujols, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Juan Soto and many more. As the 2023 MLB season approaches, the Dominican Republic has unveiled a national team roster stacked with youthful talent and veteran leadership.

Dominican Stars Dot All Positions

Examining the Dominican roster position-by-position reveals elite talents at every spot on the diamond. The catching duties will likely be handled by 22-year-old Francisco Alvarez or 26-year-old Keibert Ruiz, both top prospects on the rise with the New York Mets and Washington Nationals respectively. Meanwhile, veteran first baseman Jose Abreu still produces at an All-Star clip for the Houston Astros entering his mid-30s.

The middle infield features two of the most exciting young shortstops in baseball: Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres and Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays. Both were ranked among the sport's top five prospects in recent years and possess unique five-tool skill sets at just 24 and 22 years old respectively. They'll team with second baseman Jose Altuve, the 31-year-old Houston Astros star chasing more World Series glory.

Outfield Loaded With MVP Candidates

The outfield options for the Dominican Republic border on embarrassment of riches. Twenty-three-year-old Juan Soto opted to join the talented San Diego Padres lineup via a midseason trade in 2022, immediately becoming one of baseball's most feared hitters. The Washington Nationals felt trading their young superstar was necessary given his impending free agency after 2024. Joining Soto among the outfield ranks is former AL and NL MVP winner Manny Ramírez, looking to continue mashing for the Cleveland Guardians at age 31 this season.

Yet another MVP candidate takes the third outfield spot in 27-year-old Eloy Jiménez of the Chicago White Sox. Despite injury issues cutting into his previous two seasons, Jiménez possesses top-tier tools across the board and already has an impressive 30+ home run campaign under his belt back in 2019. If he stays healthy in 2023, he is a threat to lead Chicago back into AL pennant contention with his vast potential.

Strong Rotation Anchored by Youth and Experience

The pitching staff for the Dominican Republic is seasoned by several veterans while also featuring numerous talented young arms. Taking the ball on opening day would likely be New York Mets ace Max Scherzer, the 39-year-old bound for Cooperstown boasting three Cy Young Awards and a World Series ring. However, 25-year-old phenom Cristian Javier of the Houston Astros showed in 2022 he has the right stuff to outpitch anyone, taking a no-hitter bid into the 8th inning multiple times last season.

The upstart Javier could pair with fellow young guns like Toronto Blue Jays right hander Alek Manoah, Tampa Bay Rays lefty Shane McLanahan or Minnesota Twins emerging stud Jhoan Duran to form an exciting rotation core. They all possess upper-90s fastballs and are poised to break out even further in 2023. More dependable veteran production could come from 32-year-old Carlos Carrasco of the New York Mets or the St. Louis Cardinals' ageless wonder Adam Wainwright, still going strong at 41 years old.

Battle-Tested Bullpen Options

Should any of those starting options falter or require injury substitutions, the Dominican Republic bullpen runs deep with talent. Flame-throwing Emmanuel Clase has seized the Cleveland Guardians' closer job at just 25 years old, bringing upper-90s heat that can't be taught. Setting up for him is New York Mets reliever Edwin Diaz, the 29-year-old left hander who embraces high leverage situations and carries 15+ strikeouts-per-nine ability.

Middle relief options range from crafty veterans like St. Louis Cardinals submariner JoJo Romero to promising talents such as Tampa Bay Rays 25-year-old J.P. Feyereisen, who boasts an upper-90s fastball and plus slider. And 34-year-old Kendall Graveman proved with the Chicago White Sox in 2022 he still has plenty left in the tank, leaning on his sinker and changeup to induce ground balls aplenty during his 30+ solid appearances.

Depth and Experience Makes this Team Dangerous

While stars like Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. grab the headlines as the Dominican Republic's most recognizable young talents, the full 28-man roster runs much deeper. The blend of seasoned veterans like Max Scherzer and Adam Wainwright mixed with rising prospects like Francisco Alvarez and Cristian Javier makes this team versatile and dangerous. Few international squads can match the Dominican Republic's depth across all facets of the game.

Of course, translating all that talent into championship glory requires chemistry and timing. Not every nation can mimic the dynastic run of Team USA basketball through the late 80s and early 90s. Yet with so many Dominican stars now playing for prominent MLB contenders, this group should mesh well when coming together for international tournaments like the World Baseball Classic.

Expect Deep WBC Run

The 2023 iteration of the World Baseball Classic provides the perfect showcase for this loaded Dominican roster to flex its muscles. The WBC expanded to 20 teams and groups in 2021, meaning top squads like the Dominicans must survive early round tests before reaching the knockout stage. Their mix of hitting, pitching and defense should allow them to emerge atop Group C over Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Israel and Nicaragua.

From there, a potential semifinals showdown with two-time WBC champion Japan or titleholder USA could await. Both of those baseball giants boast impressive MLB star power as well, perhaps even rivaling the Dominican's fearsome lineup. Still, if stars like Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. perform to expectations, the Dominican Republic should possess enough firepower to hang tight in a slugfest.

The pitching depth with MLB aces such as Max Scherzer details the difference, allowing the Dominican squad to reach its first WBC finals. And with such a deep roster full of top-tier professional talent, claiming that elusive first World Baseball Classic title becomes a genuine possibility.


Who are some of the top players on the Dominican Republic roster?

Some of the Dominican stars include Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Jose Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and veterans like Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco and Robinson Cano.

What tournament will the Dominican team compete in during 2023?

The Dominican Republic roster will aim to make a deep run or win the 2023 World Baseball Classic tournament, which takes place in March.

How has the Dominican Republic fared in past World Baseball Classics?

The DR team made the finals in 2013 but fell just short against Puerto Rico. They have yet to win the WBC tournament but are bringing their most talented roster ever in 2023.

Do the Dominicans have enough pitching to match their hitting talent?

Yes, their pitching staff is also deep, featuring top MLB starters like Max Scherzer and Carlos Carrasco along with talented youngsters Cristian Javier, Alek Manoah and others.

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