Richmond's Jimmy Van Ostrand has been named to Canada's roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
The 28-year-old prospect with the Washington Nationals was one of 23 players named to the team by Baseball Canada. The roster features 12 players who played in the majors this past season including Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, Russell Martin of the Pittsburgh Pirates, John Axford of the Milwaukee Brewers, Jesse Crain of the Chicago White Sox, Michael Saunders of the Seattle Mariners and Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays. The remaining five roster spots will be filled at a later date.
Back in September, Van Ostrand helped Canada clinch a WBC berth by capturing the qualifying tournament in Germany. The starting first baseman finished the tournament with four home runs and a sizzling .538 batting average, with nine nine runs and 11 RBI.
He began the 2012 season playing for an the independent team - the Sugar Land Skeeters. Van Ostrand later signed with the Nationals and was assigned to their Class-AA team - the Harrisburg Senators - where he batted .310 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs in 80 games.
"I'm pleased to see that our roster consists of many players that have worn the Canadian colours before with our national teams program," said Canadian manager Ernie Whitt. "The familiarity our players have with one another, and the coaching staff, will be beneficial in a short tournament like the World Baseball Classic."
Canada will open the World Baseball Classic against Italy on March 8 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, while other first round games will take place at Chase Field in Phoenix on March 9 against Mexico and March 10 against the United States.
At the completion of the first round, the top two teams in each of the four pools will advance to the second round.