A Look at Team Italy in the 2023 World Baseball Classic

We continue our look at the teams set to take the stage in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Team Italy is set to play in Pool A, an interesting group that also features the Netherlands, Chinese Taipei, Panama, and Cuba. Can Italy make it past the group stage in 2023? If Italy can, it will need a collection of Italian-American MLBers to come through.

Related: A Look at Team Dominican Republic in the 2023 World Baseball Classic


Team Italy is set to bring a collection of current and former Major Leaguers to Taiwan next month. Among those names include Samuel Gaviglio and Matt Festa. The Brooklyn-born Festa proved to be a useful arm for the Mariners last season. The 29-year-old strick out 64 over 54 innings for the M’s.

One name that should stand out on this list is former Mets star Matt Harvey, who is attempting yet another comeback. Harvey, who is currently a free agent, last pitched in the majors in 2021 with the Orioles. The righty recorded a 6.27 ERA with the O’s that season.

Position Players

Royals fans will get a chance to see the ‘Italian Nightmare” in the World Baseball Classic this March. Vinnie Pasquantino, who was one of the league’s best hitters over the final two months of the 2022 season, batted .295/.383/.450 with ten home runs and 26 RBIs over 298 PA in 2022. Pasquantino isn’t the only active MLB player on Team Italy, as David Fletcher and Nicky Lopez also made the roster.

Italy will also have two notable prospects in Dominic Fletcher and Sal Frelick. Fletcher, the younger brother of David Fletcher, hit .312/.378/.486 with 12 home runs and 72 RBIs between Amarillo (AA) and Reno (AAA) in 2022. Former first-round pick Sal Frelick, meanwhile, could make his MLB debut this season. Frelick batted .331 across three levels in the Minors last year.

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