In a statement provided by team Mexico’s GM for the World Baseball Classic, Alejandro Kirk is included on their preliminary roster. Rosters don’t need to be submitted until February 7th, but various reporters, players, media outlets, and players themselves have made commitments public.
Hailing from Tijuana, Mexico, Kirk joins a capable Mexico team. They’ll feature the likes of Randy Arozarena, Luis González, Alex Verdugo and Isaac Paredes, as well as Luis and Ramón Urías. Mexico is in Pool C and will be playing their first round out of Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. The pool will be a competitive one however, as they’ll be taking on the likes of the USA, Canada, and Colombia, among others.
I’m looking forward to watching Kirk in this tournament, as I’m confident he’ll find himself in the middle of this lineup and produce. With the WBC, naturally there’s some concerns for injury in a tournament that has nothing to do with the MLB regular season. However, competent load management should be possible. Kirk can DH just as well as catch his share of games during the tournament.
As Blue Jays fans know, Kirk is coming off a breakout season. A 3.9 bWAR, 126 OPS+, an exceptional season framing, more walks than strikeouts, and an All-Star nod, all happened in his age 23 season.
He figures to enter the 2023 regular season in a time-share behind the plate with Danny Jansen, who looked sharp last year in his own right. Both backstops will get their fair share of reps behind the plate and at designated hitter.
Getting to watch Kirk on an international stage is a treat, and I’m looking forward to it.
PS: Shawn Spradling (@Shawn_Spradling) on Twitter is the best follow for up to date WBC news. Thanks for the great work Shawn, keep it up!