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Former Rev Shawn Hill will pitch for Team Canada in World Baseball Classic, joining host of other Atlantic League Alums in tournament

Hill-Shawn-56_WorldBaseballClassic

The third World Baseball Classic Tournament will begin on March 2 during spring training, in Florida, Arizona and sites around the world.  The finals are slated for San Francisco’s AT&T Park from March 17-19.  Since the last World Baseball Classic prior to the 2009 season, the Atlantic League has passed the mark of over 100 former players reaching Major League Baseball.  Concurrently, the league’s footprint is continuing to grow in the international game as well.

The headliner in the WBC for the Revolution, and most likely the best Atlantic League Alum in the competition is Canada’s Shawn Hill.  In his final five starts in York last season, Hill did not allow a run, setting a new franchise scoreless innings streak at 27 and 2/3.  His contract was then purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays on June 18, the team he was last in the Majors with in 2010.  By September 29, Hill was summoned back to Toronto, becomming the third Revolution alum to reach the big leagues, and the second to go from York to the Majors in one season.  (Tike Redman, Revs to Orioles in 2007.)  That day he earned the winning decision for the Blue Jays, over the Yankees and Andy Pettitte no less, becoming the first former Revs pitcher to earn a Major League win.  The Mississauga, Ontario native will be a top of the rotation starter for Canada in the WBC.

Following the season, Hill was released by Toronto and opted to sign with the Detroit Tigers, where he will go to Major League spring training around his Team Canada duties.  If he does not make Detroit’s final 25-man roster, his likely destiniation is Triple-A Toledo.  Should he pitch well there, a call-up to the big leagues would be likely for sometime in 2013.

Below is a list of the former Atlantic League players suiting up for their country, or adopted country in this year’s WBC.  (If anything is confusing, remember that certain players are allowed to pitch for their nation of “heritage.”)  Every WBC game will be televised on MLB Network, so bookmark the schedule and remember to watch all of these familiar faces, or if you find yourself on a spring training vacation, check them out in person!

AUSTRALIA
RHP Chris Oxspring:  Somerset, 2011
MLB:  San Diego, 2005

IF Justin Huber:  Somerset, 2011
MLB:  Kansas City, 2005-2007/San Diego, 2008/Minnesota, 2009

CANADA
LHP Shawn Hill:  York, 2012
MLB:  Montreal, 2004/Washington, 2006-2008/San Diego, 2009/Toronto, 2010 & 2012

IF Jimmy Van Ostrand:  Sugar Land, 2012

CHINESE TAPEI
RHP Ching Lung Lo:  Lancaster, 2012

ITALY
LHP Chris Cooper:  York, 2007

LHP Dan Serafini:  Bridgeport, 2010 & 2012
MLB:  Minnesota, 1996-1998/Chicago Cubs, 1999/San Diego & Pittsburgh, 2000/Cincinnati, 2003/Colorado, 2007

RHP Brian Sweeney:  Somerset, 2011
MLB:  Seattle, 2003/San Diego, 2004 & 2006/Seattle, 2010

PUERTO RICO
RHP Nelson Figueroa:  Long Island, 2006
MLB:  Arizona, 2000/Philadelphia, 2001/Milwaukee, 2002/Pittsburgh, 2003-2004/New York Mets, 2008-2009/Philadelphia & Houston, 2010/Houston, 2011

IF Luis Figureoa:  Sugar Land, 2012
MLB:  Pittsburgh, 2001/Toronto, 2006/San Francisco, 2007

SPAIN
RHP Nick Schumacher:  York, 2011

IF Paco Figueroa:  Southern Maryland, 2012

IF Yunesky Sanchez:  Southern Maryland, 2011/Somerset, 2012

OF Gabe Suarez:  Long Island, 2007/Camden, 2008/Long Island, 2009-2010/Newark, 2010

-Paul Braverman

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