Head Coach Drew Spencer has announced his roster for Great Britain’s long-awaited bow in the World Baseball Classic Tournament this March.
The 30-man squad is anchored by GB veterans including Michael Roth, Daniel Cooper, Alex Webb and Alex Crosby and features standouts from the team’s ground breaking Qualifier success last September in Regensburg including Seattle Mariners catching prospect Harry Ford, infielders Justin Wylie and Nick Ward and talismanic Bahamian outfielder Anfernee Seymour.
Joining them from the MLB ranks are relief pitchers Ian Gibaut and Andre Scrubb, of the Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros, who have made a combined 100 appearances from big league pens across the 2020-22 seasons, with Scrubb coming off the back of a successful winter representing the Toros in the Dominican Winter League.
Infielder Darnell Sweeney brings big league nous from ‘cups of coffee’ with both the Phillies and Blue Jays, and a storied baseball background, having made almost 500 AAA appearances across a 12 year career, mostly spent with the Dodgers rganisation, and delivered a 900 OPS and 13 home runs for the Kansas City Monarchs of the American Association in 2022.
Reliever Graham Spraker and outfielder Chavez Young add to the depth of quality in an all-time GB squad, bringing over 200 AAA appearances between them with Young’s 800 OPS in the high-calibre Puerto Rico Winter League placing him on the cusp of the Blue Jays big league squad.
Elsewhere, recent Cardinals draftee Joseph King and Orioles reliever Ryan Long bolster a pitching staff which includes Regensburg returnees Donovan Benoit, Chavez Fernander, Camrin Opp, Michael Petersen and Tahnaj Thomas.
Alongside Roth and fellow former big leaguers Akeel Morris and Vance Worley in the GB starting pitching battery will be McKenzie Mills, whose back-to-back role with Morris was so pivotal in Germany and newcomer Tyler Viza; the Edinburgh born hurler pitched the CTBC Brothers to a Taiwan Series win in the 2022 CPBL holding WBC calibre line-ups to an impressive 2.51 ERA over his second-half stint.
Spencer’s off-field staff will be burnished by the return of GB Baseball veteran and San Francisco Giants First Base Coach Antoan Richardson and Mariners AAA Hitting Coach (and GB legend) Brad Marcelino. Former Field Manager, and new Salem Red Sox skipper, Liam Carroll returns to the fold as General Manager, with regular GB coaching faces Zach Graefser, TS Reed, Conor Brooks, Jonathon Cramman and Will Lintern also back in supporting roles.
GB’s bid for world glory gets underway versus their US hosts in Phoenix on 11 March 2023, with games against Colombia, Mexico and Canada to follow. The squad will begin their preparation with warm-up games versus the Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals in early March at those clubs’ Spring Training facilities.
The BFN will be out in Phoenix offering you daily updates from the backfields to the big dome. See you out there.
Full Great Britain Squad and Coaching Staff (Org in Brackets)
Donovan Benoit RHP R R 6’3” / 190cm 203lbs / 92kg 22/1/99 Key West, FL (CIN)
Daniel Cooper RHP R R 6’3” / 190cm 205lbs / 93kg 6/11/86 Newport Beach, CA
Chavez Fernander RHP R R 6’3” / 190cm 205lbs / 93kg 7/7/97 Freeport, Bahamas (DET)
Ian Gibaut RHP R R 6’3” / 190cm 250lbs / 113.5kg 19/11/93 Houston, TX (CIN)
Joseph King RHP R R 6’2” / 187cm 195lbs / 88.5kg 23/2/01 Redwood City, CA (STL)
Ryan Long RHP R R 6’6” / 198cm 225lbs / 102kg 19/10/99 Woodinville, WA (BAL)
McKenzie Mills LHP L L 6’5” / 195cm 255lbs / 115.5kg 19/11/95 Marietta, GA (Southern Maryland, ALPB)
Akeel Morris RHP R R 6’1” / 185cm 205lbs / 93kg 14/11/92 St. Thomas, USVI (Long Island, ALPB)
Camrin Opp LHP R L 5’10” / 177cm 185lbs / 84kg 11/4/95 Denver, CO (NYM)
Michael Petersen RHP R R 6’6” / 198cm 195lbs / 88.5kg 16/5/94 Middlesex, England (COL)
Michael Roth LHP R L 6’1” / 185cm 210lbs / 95.5kg 15/2/90 Greenville, SC
Andre Scrubb RHP R R 6’4” / 193cm 270lbs / 122.5kg 13/1/95 Fort Bragg, NC (HOU)
Graham Spraker RHP R R 6’2” / 187cm 187lbs / 85kg 19/3/95 Tucson, AZ (TBR)
Tahnaj Thomas RHP R R 6’4” / 193cm 210lbs / 95.5kg 16/11/99 Freeport, Bahamas (PIT)
Tyler Viza RHP R R 6’3” / 190cm 200lbs / 90.5kg 21/10/94 Edinburgh, Scotland (CTBC, Taiwan)
Vance Worley RHP R R 6’2” / 187cm 240lbs / 109kg 25/9/87 Sacramento, CA (Kane County, AAPB)
Alex Webb RHP R R 6’3” / 190cm 210lbs / 95.5kg 19/7/94 Surrey, Canada
Harrison (Harry) Ford C R R 5’10” / 177cm 200lbs / 90.5kg 21/2/03 Atlanta, GA (SEA)
Ural Forbes C R R 6’1”/185cm 230lbs/104kg Nassau, Bahamas
Lucius Fox INF R R 6’1” / 185cm 192lbs / 87kg 2/7/97 Nassau, Bahamas (WAS)
Nick Ward INF L R 5’10” / 177cm 185lbs / 84kg 19/10/95 Kennett Square, PA (PHI)
Darnell Sweeney S R 6’1″/185cm 205lbs/93kg 01/2/91 Hollywood, FL (Kansas City, AAPB)
BJ Murray INF S R 6’0” / 182cm 205lbs / 93kg 20/1/00 Nassau, Bahamas (CHC)
Alex Crosby INF L R 6’2” / 187cm 215lbs / 97.5kg 30/7/93 Vacaville, CA (Southern Maryland, ALPB)
Justin Wylie INF R R 5’10” / 177cm 194lbs / 88kg 26/8/96 Lancaster, CA (New Jersey, FLPro)
Trayce Thompson OF R R 6’3” / 190cm 219lbs / 99.5kg 15/3/91 Ladera Ranch, CA (LAD)
D’Shawn Knowles OF S R 6’0” / 182cm 165lbs / 75kg 16/1/01 New Providence, Bahamas (LAA)
Anfernee Seymour OF S R 6’1” / 185cm 175lbs / 79.5kg 24/6/95 Nassau, Bahamas (Charleston, ALPB)
Matt Koperniak OF L R 6’0” / 182cm 200lbs / 90.5kg 8/2/98 London, England (STL)
Chavez Young OF S R 6’0” / 182cm 200lbs / 90.5kg 8/7/97 Freeport, Bahamas (TOR)
Drew Spencer, Manager
Antoan Richardson, Bench Coach: Director of Strategy (SFG)
Brad Marcelino, Bench Coach: Director of Hitting SEA
Zach Graefser, Pitching Coach
TS Reed, 3rd Base Coach
Albert Cartwright, 1st Base Coach
Conor Brooks, Bullpen Coach
Jonathon Cramman, Associate Hitting Coach
Gary Anderson, Head of Delegation
Glen Robertson, Federation Coordinator
Liam Carroll, General Manager/S&C Coach (BOS)
Alan Dean, Athletic Trainer
Jesse Guffey, Athletic Trainer (LAD)
Will Lintern, Video Coordinator
Gavin Marshall, Batting Practice Pitcher
Hailey Yanez, Massage Therapist
Lee MacPhail, Advance Scout