World Cup Roster - Netherlands

Outlook - The Netherlands has developed into one of the better teams of Europe.  They shocked the Dominican Republic twice in the World Baseball Classic and showed that they could be one of the better teams in the world.  They have yet to have a top three finish in the World Baseball Cup, but they are myworld’s favorites to do that this year.

World Cup Record - 56-110

Top Three Finishes - None

Best Player - Bert Blyleven, who was just elected to the Hall of Fame this year.  No pitcher in the game of baseball had a better curveball than Blyleven.  While he was born in the Netherlands he was raised in California.  He also lived briefly in Canada.  He is the only player from the Netherlands to win the American League rookie of the year award, winning that as a teenager in 1970.  Blyleven could be a little feisty with the press and contributed border line numbers (short of 300 wins, usually a benchmark for a Hall of Famer), one of the reasons it took him so long to be selected.

Roster: The numbers below are their minor league numbers for those that played in the United States:

Catcher: Sidney de Jong (L&D Amsterdam), Shawn Zarraga (Brewers, .272, 4, 35), Bas Nooji (L&D Amsterdam)

First Base: Curt Smith (Independent League),

Middle Infield: Mariekson “Didi” Gregorius (Reds, .289, 7, 44), Sharlon Schoop (Giants, .218, 4, 21), Jonathan Schoop (Orioles, ..290, 13, 71), Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox, .260, 16, 45)

Third Base: Michael Duursma (Vaessen Pioniers), Vince Rooi (L&D Amsterdam)

Outfield: Kalian Sams (Twins, .231, 24, 66), Danny Rombley (UVV), Shaldimar Daantji (DOOR Neptunus), Dwayne Kemp (DOOR Neptunus), Bryan Engelhardt (Corendon Kinheim)

Left handed Pitcher: Diegomar Markwell (DOOR Neptunus)

Right Handed Pitcher: David Bergman (Corendon Kinheim), Leon Boyd (DOOR Neptunus), Rob Cordemans (L&D Amsterdam), Shairon Martis (Nationals, 8-6, 3.05), Orlando Yntema (UVV), Tom Stuifbergen (Twins, 6-9, 4.29), Juan Carlos Sulbaran (Reds, 9-6, 4.60), Barry van Driel (DOOR Neptunus), Nick Stuifbergen (Corendon Kinheim), Arshwin Asjes (DOOR Neptunus)

Players to Watch - The infield will be filled with slick infielders.  Gregorius (Didi) is one of the top prospects with the Reds while Schoop should see a top 30 appearance next year for the Orioles. Kemp is a veteran of the 2009 World Baseball Classic as is Vince Rooi, who had an eight year minor league career that began in 1999. The pitching will be the big difference for the Netherlands. Their top starters should be Diegomar Markwell and Rob Cordemans. Shairon Martis has resurrected his career with the Nationals and Juan Carlos Sulbaran shut down Cuba in the Honkball tournament in the Netherlands.  The big achilles heel could be the bats and the lack of a lefthander in the bullpen.

Strange Fact - Shairon Martis pitched the first no hitter in the 2006 World Baseball Classic against of all teams, Panama. Martis was also a member of the Curaca team that won the 2002 Senior World Series in Bangor, Maine. Another player on that team was Jair Jurrjens.  That team also included Sharlon Schoop and a catcher Kenley Jansen that was converted into a pitcher, taking over the closer job for the Dodgers last year.  Arshwin Ashes and Curt Smith also played for that team, but their major league careers have stalled.

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