Big names on preliminary World Baseball Classic roster for Team Kingdom of the Netherlands

AMSTERDAM - This March Team Kingdom of the Netherlands will once again look to shock the baseball world during the World Baseball Classic. Manager Hensley 'Bam Bam' Meulens and his staff have been working on the preliminary 50-man roster and have released some of the names on that list. Major League superstars such as Xander Bogaerts and Kenley Jansen have been listed on the roster. 

The preliminary roster for Team Kingdom of the Netherlands, that reached the semi-finals in the two previous editions, also lists current Major Leaguers such as free agent outfielder Jurickson Profar, Detroit Tigers infielder Jonathan Schoop, Atlanta Braves catcher Chadwick Tromp and free agent infielders Didi Gregorius and Andrelton Simmons. Ozzie Albies, the Atlanta Braves star second baseman, is still recovering from a season ending injury and will not join the team for the WBC. 
Besides these household names, Meulens has also been able to add two more players with Major League experience under their belt. Brothers Joshua and Richie Palacios, born and raised in Brooklyn, have made their MLB debuts in recent seasons and are eligible to play for Team Kingdom of the Netherlands as their mother is from Curaçao. 
2017 World Baseball Classic standout Wladimir Balentien, who most recently played in the Mexican Winter League, had already committed to playing in the World Baseball Classic. As did Pedro Strop, who pitched for the Dominican Republic in an earlier edition, but is eligible to play for the orange squad as well. 
Top Prospect 
In Ceddanne Rafaela Meulens and his staff have added one of the biggest prospects of the Kingdom and professional baseball to the preliminary roster. Rafaela is a top prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization and was named Minor League Player of the Year for them in 2022. The Curaçaoan, who plays both shortstop and center field, made a good first impression with the team during the Kingdom Series, a mini training camp in advance to the WBC on Curaçao this past November. 
Like in editions past, the Dutch 'Honkbal Hoofdklasse', the top league in the Netherlands, will also see representatives on the roster. Former Major League pitcher Shairon Martis (Curaçao Neptunus) and Lars Huijer (HCAW) have been two of the best starting pitchers in the Hoofdklasse in recent years and are on the preliminary roster as well. 
If all Major League stars will be on the final roster for this World Baseball Classic is still unclear. The free agent status for some of the players could impact their decision to play. The final roster is not due until February. 
Coaching staff 
Manager Meulens' coaching staff will host some very experience former Major Leaguers. Curaçao Kid Andruw Jones, currently on the Hall of Fame ballot, will be the bench coach and Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven will be the pitching coach. Mike Harkey, former pitching coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks and current bullpen coach for the New York Yankees, will make his debut on the coaching staff for Team Kingdom of the Netherlands as the bullpen coach. 
The full coaching staff: 
Hensley Meulens – Manager 
Andruw Jones – Bench coach 
Evert-Jan 't Hoen – Quality control coach 
Bert Blyleven – Pitching coach 
Tjerk Smeets – Hitting coach 
Sharnol Adriana – Assistant Hitting coach 
Mike Harkey – Bullpen coach 
Eugene Kingsale – First base coach 
Ben Thijssen – Third base coach 
Wim Martinus – BP Pitcher/Assistant coach 
Martijn Verhoeven – Data analyst