With the World Baseball Classic returning for the first time since 2017, and the tournament starting on March 8th, rosters for competing teams have officially been announced and multiple Pirates players will be participating in this exciting event. Which Pirates players will be playing in the World Baseball Classic and what teams will they be representing next month?
Team USA: Right-Handed Pitcher David Bednar
After a strong All-Star campaign with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2022, fan favorite David Bednar has been named the lone Pirates player to represent Team U.S.A in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Last season, David Bednar posted an impressive 2.61 ERA, a 2.44 FIP, struck out 69 batters, only allowed 16 walks, and had a 1.12 WHIP across 51.2 innings pitched.
As the full-time closer for the Pirates, Bednar put together 19 saves, struck out 32.9% of batters faced, and was arguably the most reliable arm out of a severely inconsistent Pirates bullpen. With a dominant three-pitch mix consisting of a high 90's four-seam fastball, a solid curveball, and split-finger fastball, Bednar is bound to be a dominant reliever and could potentially close games in the World Baseball Classic for Team USA.
As one of the most exciting players on the Pirates roster, he will be fun to watch this tournament and in spring training. He will be joined by fellow NL Central players Devin Williams, Adam Wainwright, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, and Miles Mikolas as representatives for Team USA.