Wilmington, DE - With the fourth World Baseball Classic drawing near, the Kansas City Royals organization is well represented in the tournament. The parent affiliate of the Wilmington Blue Rocks will have 11 players on WBC rosters, including players that once took the field at Frawley Stadium. Danny Duffy, Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Mauricio Ramos and Jake Kalish all find their names penciled on their country's roster for the tournament which begins March 6.
Duffy will represent the U.S.A. team in this year's WBC. He spent the entire 2009 season and had a brief stint in 2010 with the Blue Rocks. As a starter in the Blue Crew's rotation, the southpaw put together solid numbers, going 9-3 with a 2.94 ERA in 27 starts. Last season with the Royals, the 28-year-old turned in perhaps his best season in the majors with a 12-3 record and a 3.51 ERA. His 12 wins and 188 strikeouts paced the Royals staff.
Hosmer joins his teammate on the U.S.A. squad. A fan favorite at Frawley Stadium, Hosmer played in 114 games as a member of the Blue Rocks between 2009 and 2010. He had a composite .320 batting average, eight homers and drove in 61 runs during that span and won the Carolina League batting crown in 2010. Last season, the first baseman was named to his first All-Star game. He finished the year hitting to the tune of .266 while setting career high's with his 25 home runs and 104 RBIs.
Perez is another household name that suited up in a Blue Rocks uniform before making it to Kansas City. The backstop spent the 2010 season in Wilmington and in 87 games, hit an impressive .283 with eight home runs and 63 runs batted in. With the Royals last year, Perez hit .247, smacked 22 home runs and drove in 64 runs. The four-time All-Star will represent his native country Venezuela in the WBC.
Ramos will represent Columbia in the tournament after finishing last season in Double-A Northwest Arkansas. The 25-year-old infielder was part of the 2015 Blue Rocks team that made it to the Mills Cup Finals. That season, Ramos was a staple in the lineup and hit .265 with eight home runs and 59 RBIs in his team leading 123 games.
Kalish is the most recent Blue Rock to be named on a WBC roster. The left-handed hurler was promoted to Wilmington in early June last season. In 18 appearances Kalish went 3-0 with a solid 2.48 ERA and picked up a pair of saves. Kalish will represent Israel.
Other former Blue Rocks that are slated to participate in the WBC are Carlos Beltran (Puerto Rico), Sugar Ray Marimon (Columbia) and Jamie Romak (Canada).
Wilmington opens its 2017 campaign at Frawley Stadium on Thursday, April 6 against the Potomac Nationals. Season seats, mini plans and group packages for the Blue Rocks' 25th season are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit the team's website at www.BlueRocks.com. To learn more about what is on tap for the Rocks' 25th season celebration, check out www.BlueRocks/25thseason.com.
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