A Look at Team Czech Republic in the 2023 World Baseball Classic

Last year, the Czech Republic shockingly clinched a birth into the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The European nation is not well-known for being a baseball power. In fact, many of the players on its qualifying roster from 2022 have full-time jobs outside of baseball. Now set to head to Japan in March, the Czech Republic will look to keep up with some of the world’s best countries with a roster that includes a handful of current and former Minor Leaguers and one MLB veteran.

Related: A Look at Team Netherlands for the 2023 World Baseball Classic


  • Jeff Barto
  • Filip Capka
  • Tomas Duffek
  • Lukas Ercoli
  • Lukas Hlouch
  • Michael Kovala
  • David Mergans
  • Marek Minarik
  • Jan Novak
  • Daniel Padysak
  • Ondrej Satoria
  • Martin Schneider
  • Jan Tomek
  • Boris Vecerka

Compared to some of the other world powers in the World Baseball Classic, Czech Republic’s pitching staff will not boast much in the way of start power. The only two notable names that have been in MLB organizations are Jan Novak and Boris Vecerka. Novak spent two seasons (2014-15) in the Orioles organization, both of which were in the Gulf Coast League. 19-year-old Boris Vecerka is currently a member of the Diamondbacks organization.

RHP Daniel Padysak will also suit up for Team Czech Republic. Padysak has never played in affiliated ball, but did play collegiately at Charleston Southern and pitched for the Savannah Bananas in 2022. With Savanah, Padysak went 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA and 21 strikeouts over 24.1 innings.

Position Players

Much like with the pitching staff, most of the position players are Czech-based. However, veteran Minor League catcher Martin Cervenka and Eric Sogard will be a part of the Czech Republic. Cervenka spent ten seasons in the Minors from 2011-2021. the 30-year-old catcher made it as high as AAA. Sogard, meanwhile, brings 11 years of MLB experience to the Czech Republic national teams. Most recently, the 36-year-old played 78 games with the Cubs in 2021. Sogard hit .249/.289/.314 with one home run and eight extra base hits in 78 games.

In the same group with Australia, South Korea, and Japan, it won’t be easy for the Czechs to make much noise in the WBC. But, this group already defied the odds once before.

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