Feb. 9, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Â¢ÃƒÆ’Â¢’Â¬” Former Virginia shortstop Daniel Pinero was chosen Wednesday (Feb. 8) to compete for Team Canada in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Pinero is the first Virginia alum to play in the WBC, which began in 2006 and is in its fourth installment this year.
The premier global baseball competition will begin with first-round pool play in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Mexico, with every game airing on MLB Network. Canada joins Colombia, Dominican Republic and United States in Pool C, which will be played at Marlins Park in Miami from March 9-13. Canada opens pool play on March 9 against the tournament’s defending champion, Dominican Republic, and also is scheduled to play Colombia on March 11 and the U.S. on March 12.
The second round is slated for March 12-19, with Pool A and B winners and runners-up meeting in another round-robin format in Tokyo, while the teams that emerge from Pools C and D will match up at Petco Park in San Diego.
The four teams that emerge from the second round will head to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for the semifinals on March 20-21 and championship game on March 22.
Canada’s roster includes seven players who competed in Major League Baseball last season as well as eight more who have MLB experience.
Pinero played at Virginia from 2014-16 and was a key member of UVA’s 2014 and 2015 teams that advanced to the College World Series Finals, including UVA’s 2015 National Championship squad. He was named to the 2015 CWS All-College World Series Team after hitting a team-high .391 (9-for-23) with a .462 on-base percentage in the CWS.
Pinero was selected in the MLB Draft three times, including in the ninth round (265th overall) of the 2016 draft by the Detroit Tigers. He was a 20th-round pick by the Houston Astros coming out of high school in 2013 and was picked in the 36th round in 2015, also by the Tigers. He batted .271 in 50 games during his rookie season between Rookie ball and single-A.
A two-time All-ACC selection, Pinero batted .340 with a team-high 20 doubles, four home runs and 39 RBI in 59 games at shortstop in 2016 for Virginia. His .441 on-base percentage ranked second on the team. A .302 career hitter, Pinero started and played in 194 of UVA’s 197 games over the 2014-16 seasons with 213 hits and 149 runs.
Pinero played some of his best baseball late in the 2016 season and was named to the ACC All-Tournament Team as well as the Charlottesville Regional All-Tournament Team. Over his final 18 games of the season, he batted .414 (29-for-70).