Sports

Green in line to play at World Baseball Classic

TAYLOR GREEN HAS his sights set on joining Team Canada later this month. - PHOTO SUBMITTED
TAYLOR GREEN HAS his sights set on joining Team Canada later this month.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

Taylor Green could be joining Joey Votto and Justin Morneau on Team Canada at the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Green, a two-time Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Player of the Year, is a good bet to join 2010 National League MVP Votto of the Cincinnati Reds,  and 2006 American League MVP Morneau of the Minnesota Twins on Team Canada.

Team Canada's 28-man roster for the March 2-19 tournament will be announced in mid January. Green is one of 147 Canadian players under contract with professional clubs, including 17 on Major League rosters.

The Canadian national senior men's baseball team has competed in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic, though it has yet to make it out of the first round. Recently, the team finished third in the 2011 World Cup and won gold at the 2011 Pan Am Games. Canada is ranked No. 5 in the world, according to the IBAF rankings.

Canada will open its 2013 Classic schedule against Italy on March 8 in Phoenix, Arizona. Canada is in Pool D at the 28-team tourney. Canada's other first round games will take place in Phoenix on March 9 against Mexico and March 10 against the United States. At the completion of the first round, the top two teams in each of the four pools will advance to the second round.

Canada failed to advance out of the first round in the first two Classics, suffering a surprising 6-2 defeat to Italy in Toronto the last time the tournament was held in 2009.

In the inaugural 2006 tournament, Canada upset a star-studded American team 8-6 in the group stage but failed to advance after a 9-1 loss to Mexico.

First-baseman Morneau of the Twins and third-baseman Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays have been named to Canada's provisional roster. Along with Courtenay utility infielder Green, Victoria's Michael Saunders, an outfielder with the Seattle Mariners, is expected to be named to the squad.

Green represented Canada at the 2007 World Cup in Taipei, Taiwan. The team qualified for a spot in the 2008 Summer Olympics, but Green did not make the team.

This past season in 58 games with the Brewers, the versatile 26-year-old infielder hit .184 with three home runs and 14 RBI.

Green was drafted by the Brewers in the 25th round (745th pick) of the 2005 MLB Draft. He made his professional debut playing for the Rookie League Helena Brewers in 2006.

After a stellar rise through the minors, Green was promoted to the major leagues in 2011. He made his debut Aug. 31 as a pinch hitter, singling in his first at bat.

Green is currently being used as a utility infielder and pinch hitter for the Brewers. He hit his first major league home run off of Carlos Mármol in a win against the Chicago Cubs on June 6, 2012.

Green attended Mark R. Isfeld Senior Secondary School and played high school ball for the Parksville Royals of the British Columbia Premier Baseball League.

 

He went on to play two years of collegiate baseball at Cypress College, where he was named a First Team Orange Empire Conference All-Star and Junior College 1st Team All-American.

 

 

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