Former UMainer & World Series MVP Gets Honor of Playing With National Team
2023 World Baseball ClassicUniversity of Maine BaseballJeremy Peña
Peña is ready to take off with Team Dominican Republic in this year's playing of the World Baseball Classic. The Dominican Republic is one of the favorites in the tournament of the 20 nations represented. The baseball-crazed country last won the tournament in 2013.
The Dominican Republic (Team DR) is set to face Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Israel, and Nicaragua in the first round. All of the games will be played in Miami. The teams with the two best records will advance to the quarterfinals, which will also be played in Miami. '
This is a tremendous honor for Peña, and a perfect way to follow up a sensational 2022.
Peña's rookie year was the stuff of legend. After a solid regular season, Peña took off in the playoffs. It was simply an unforgettable playoff run for the rookie, who took home honors of MVP in both the ALCS and World Series. He also became the first rookie positional player to ever win the World Series MVP. Not bad for the former Black Bear.
Jeremy Peña's Career
Peña's story is a tremendous one to begin with. The Rhode Islander was drafted out of high school in the 39th Round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves. However, Peña opted to go to college in hopes of improving his game and chances. He would play three years in Orono and was an absolute stud.
After an exceptional run at UMaine, Peña was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2018 Draft by the Houston Astros. Three years of solid play in the minors gave him the opportunity to take over for the exiting All-Star Carlos Correa at starting shortstop. Those are quite the gigantic shoes to fill.
However, Peña performed solidly in his rookie season. He finished with a batting average of .253, with 22 home runs and 63 RBI. He also had one of the highlights of the year when he went yard for his first career home run as his parents were being interviewed.
Team DR's first game is March 11 against Venezuela. All of the World Baseball Classic games will be televised on the Fox Sports family of networks.