Former Blue Jays 1B Rowdy Tellez plays a major role in eliminating Canada from World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic Pool C: Mexico v Canada
World Baseball Classic Pool C: Mexico v Canada / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

Wednesday afternoon, Team Canada faced off against Mexico in the World Baseball Classic with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line. While current Blue Jays prospect Otto Lopez was the x-factor in Canada's win against Colombia on Tuesday, it was former Blue Jays slugger Rowdy Tellez who was the difference maker in this contest between North American countries.

Batting in the cleanup spot, Tellez stepped up to the plate in the top of the first with two runners on and just one out. With the count at 0-2, Rowdy hit a ball over the head of the second baseman for a two-run single, giving Mexico the early lead. Tellez would then walk in two of his next three plate appearances and hit a solo homer in the 8th inning to give Mexico a 10-3 lead and seal a commanding victory over the Canadian team.

Tellez was a former top prospect in the Blue Jays system before making his debut with the team in 2018. In his first seven games in the Majors, he hit seven doubles, becoming the first player to do so since 1913, but struggled in his first full season in the bigs in 2019. He got off to a hot start in 2020, but missed the final half of the COVID-shortened season due to injury, and wasn't himself when he returned in 2021. Midway through that season, the Blue Jays would ship him off to Milwaukee in exchange for reliever Trevor Richards, and minor league pitcher Bowden Francis, who FanGraphs ranks as the club's 16th overall prospect. So far with the Brewers, Tellez has found some success, notably hitting 35 homers in 2022.

Tellez and Mexico, who were without Toronto catcher Alejandro Kirk, eliminated a Canadian team with three Blue Jays prospects in Otto Lopez, Dasan Brown, and Damiano Palmegiani, and will now face either the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico in Miami on either Friday or Saturday for a chance to play in the semifinals.

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