Dipoto: What stands out from Mariners in World Baseball Classic

Mar 16, 2023, 2:52 PM

Mariners Julio Rodriguez...

Julio Rodríguez of Team Dominican Republic celebrates with teammates on March 13, 2023. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

(Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

The World Baseball Classic has moved on from pool play to single-elimination games, and plenty of Mariners have taken part in the action, from established stars to a young prospect.

That young prospect, 20-year-old catcher Harry Ford, shined for Great Britain, slugging two home runs in pool play.

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“I think it’s awesome. And really, you’re bringing out a little bit of Harry’s personality,” Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said during his weekly conversation with Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk. “He is such a mature kid and a gifted player, and I think you’ve seen that as well … He’s such an explosive athlete and thrilled that he’s part of our organization.”

Ford was Great Britain’s best player in the tournament as well as during qualifying last year, and in international play has became someone that fans “can really latch onto,” Dipoto said.

“I love that Harry had success and handled it as as well as he did in terms of interacting with social media, the interviews that he did,” Dipoto said. “He looks like a seasoned pro and he’s 20 years old, which I’m thrilled for him and for us.”

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What about members of the Mariners’ MLB squad who have been in the tournament? Dipoto shared his thoughts on them, as well.

“(Matt) Brash had an outstanding outing. His outing for Team Canada (against Great Britain) was about as good a single inning as you can throw,” Dipoto said of the young Seattle reliever. “Dynamic stuff, precision … a nasty slider. He was a standout in his brief tournament.”

The Dominican Republic had the most Mariners on its roster in outfielders Julio Rodríguez and Teoscar Hernández plus reliever Diego Castillo.

“Julio always grabs attention. He did some big things, he did some things to get noticed,” Dipoto said. “He’s been on those stages before, which is insane to say for a 22 year old who’s just really getting started, but his star is shining as bright as anybody’s … Really thrilled with where Diego Castillo is. We saw it here before he left for WBC. Particularly, his first outing for Team Dominican was excellent.”

Most of the teams with Mariners have been eliminated from the tournament, leaving only third baseman Eugenio Suárez, who plays for undefeated Venezuela.

“Geno’s the metronome. He’s quietly productive and when you look up, you’re gonna get the 3 for 4 with a homer, you’re gonna get the 1 for 3 with an RBI to right (field),” Dipoto said. “He’s just such a pro and I’m thrilled for him and the Venezuelan team that they get to move on, and I’m even more thrilled that the rest of our players are coming home.”

Listen to the full Jerry Dipoto Show at this link or in the player below.

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