The Houston Astros are well represented in the World Baseball Classic, but Major Leaguers aren’t the only players on the national stage. Along with Derek West, Astros prospects Ronel Blanco and Colton Gordon were also named to World Baseball Classic rosters Thursday.
Team Dominican Republic listed Blanco in the pitching pool for this year’s tournament. The right-handed reliever took the Dominican Winter League by storm this offseason, tossing 20.2 scoreless relief innings. He struck out 27 batters in 19 appearances, issuing five walks.
Team Israel named Gordon to its pitching staff. The lefty made a return from Tommy John surgery this past summer, climbing to High-A Asheville after 11 appearances between the Florida Complex League and Single-A. Gordon started five games in the Arizona Fall League, receiving Pitcher of the Week honors Nov. 9.
Former Astros Prospects in the World Baseball Classic
Michael Wielansky is playing for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic. Wielansky was released in March. This offseason, he was an infielder for the Federales de Chiriquí of the Panamanian Winter League, playing for Team Panama in the Caribbean Series.
Jonathan Bermudez is in the pitching pool for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Bermudez was named the 2021 Astros Minor League Pitcher of the Year, but Houston designated him for assignment in August 2022. The San Francisco Giants claimed him three days later and outrighted him to Triple-A Sacramento in September.
Here are the other former Houston farmhands playing in the World Baseball Classic: infielders Edwin Diaz (Puerto Rico) and Jonathan Araúz, utilityman Kiké Hernández (Puerto Rico), catcher Jaime Ritchie (Great Britain), left-handed pitcher Patrick Sandoval (Mexico) and right-handed pitchers R.J. Freure (Canada), Elieser Hernandez (Venezuela), Harold Arauz (Panama) and César Valdez (Dominican Republic).
Astros Assigned Numbers to Non-Roster Invitees
No. 91 Ross Adolph
No. 78 Luke Berryhill
No. 76 Devin Conn
No. 83 Marty Costes
No. 84 Justin Dirden
No. 86 Jimmy Endersby
No. 74 Austin Hansen
No. 87 Corey Julks
No. 81 Grae Kessinger
No. 73 Jaime Melendez
No. 72 Jayden Murray
No. 71 Joe Record
No. 70 Matt Ruppenthal
No. 89 Cesar Salazar
No. 82 Scott Schreiber
No. 69 Jairo Solis
No. 80 C.J. Stubbs
No. 63 Misael Tamarez
No. 90 Will Wagner
- Tickets for the Astros’ exhibition game against the Space Cowboys on March 27 at Constellation Field sold out Thursday.
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