The USA Baseball Premier12 roster is set, and it features four Red Sox top prospects: infielders Bobby Dalbec and C.J. Chatham, in addition to pitchers Tanner Houck and Noah Song.
The team will partake in the World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 tournament starting Nov. 2 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The US will compete in a pool that includes the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, with the first game coming against the Netherlands.
The top two teams from the pool will advance to the Super Round in Tokyo Nov. 11-16. The tournament gives the US its first shot at qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.
The 28-man US team is made up of players not on major league 40-man rosters. The Red Sox feature the most players on the team with four.
Dalbec hit .239 with 27 homers between Triple A Pawtucket and Double A Portland this past season.
He wasn’t among Boston’s September call-ups, but Alex Cora kept him around the clubhouse for a week to get him some major league experience. With Mitch Moreland hitting free agency, Dalbec could be an option for the Sox at first base next season.
C.J. Chatham, a second-round pick by the Sox in 2016, hit .298 with five homers for Pawtucket and Portland.
Houck, the Sox’ first-rounder in 2017, posted a 4.01 ERA between Portland and Pawtucket.
Houck profiles as a seventh-inning reliever, though (tentatively) he will start for the USA squad. The righthander has a funky delivery and can rack up strikeouts against righties. He punched out 23 righties in Pawtucket this season and 41 in Portland.
He and Chatham are also playing in the Arizona Fall League.
Chatham entered Thursday hitting .250 with four doubles in 48 at-bats for the Peoria Javelinas while Houck has a 3.14 ERA in 14 ⅓ innings with 15 strikeouts. Chatham profiles up the middle and doesn’t hit for much power, but he’s a good athlete and is getting some reps during in the fall league.
The most interesting case in all of this is Song, a fourth-round pick in 2019 out of Navy. He was originally supposed to start his two-year military service commitment this November, but Song is in the process of seeing if that could change. In the meantime, while that’s under review he’s been cleared to pitch for the USA team.
Song pitched just 17 innings in short-season Single A for the Lowell Spinners and allowed just two earned runs while striking out 19. He features a four-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, changeup, slider) and quite possibly could have gone higher in the draft if he didn’t have his military commitment. He will be a reliever on the Premier12 roster and, as of now, he scheduled to start flight school in December.
The US team will be managed by Joe Girardi and his coaches will include Scott Brosius and Willie Randolph.
The US team
OF Jo Adell, Angels
LHP Clayton Andrews, Brewers
INF Alec Bohm, Phillies
INF C.J. Chatham, Red Sox
INF Jake Cronenworth, Rays
INF Bobby Dalbec, Red Sox
RHP Brandon Dickson, Orix Buffaloes
RHP Parker Dunshee, Athletics
INF Xavier Edwards, Padres
RHP J.P Feyereisen, Brewers
LHP Brian Flynn, Royals
C Taylor Gushue, Nationals
RHP Tanner Houck, Red Sox
RHP Spencer Howard, Phillies
RHP Tyler Johnson, White Sox
C Erik Kratz, Yankees
RHP Wyatt Mills, Mariners
OF Mark Payton, Athletics
RHP Brooks Pounders, Mets
LHP Clayton Richard, Blue Jays
OF Brent Rooker, Twins
RHP Connor Seabold, Phillies
RHP Noah Song, Red Sox
LHP Caleb Thielbar, GBraves
LHP Daniel Tillo, Royals
C/OF Daulton Varsho, Diamondbacks
INF Andrew Vaughn, White Sox
OF Drew Waters, Braves
Roly de Armas
Julian McWilliams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.