The 2023 World Baseball Classic is officially underway and there are several players from the Los Angeles Dodgers that are representing their respective countries in the tournament.
Mookie Betts and Will Smith are representing USA, Freddie Freeman is representing Canada, Julio Urias and Austin Barnes are representing Mexico, and Trayce Thompson is representing Great Britain. Players not on the 40-man roster that are playing in the WBC include Jose Ramos (Panama), Adam Kolarek (Israel), and Liam Doolan (Australia).
This is going to be great theatre for baseball fans around the world, but unlike the Premier League with the World Cup, MLB is not stopping action for the tournament. There are still Spring Training games to play and several players on the Dodgers roster will benefit from their teammates going to the WBC.
3 Dodgers who will benefit the most from more playing time thanks to the World Baseball Classic
3. Diego Cartaya
Both Dodgers catchers on the active roster are going to the WBC, so top prospect Diego Cartaya is going to get plenty of time to get his feet wet against MLB-level competition. Cartaya is not going to make the MLB roster any time sooner than September, but this will be a great chance for him to get reps and for Dodgers fans to become familiar with him.
Cartaya is the 14th-ranked prospect in baseball on MLB Pipeline and is yet another example of the Dodgers cashing in with talent behind the plate. In 95 MiLB games last season Cartaya slashed .254/.389/.503 with 22 home runs and 72 RBI.
While he's produced at a high level in the minors, there's reason to believe that he's only going to get better. Cartaya is still just 21 and won't turn 22 until September. If the 21-year-old can succeed in his Spring Training chances, then it will be a great sign for his big-league future.