2012 Glens Falls Pitcher Nick Pivetta with the Potomac Nationals (photo credit: MLB.com)
MIAMI – Two former Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) players are slated to represent their respective countries in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Mel Rojas, Jr., a member of the 2009 and 2010 Amsterdam Mohawks and a Mohawk Hall of Famer, will play for the Dominican Republic, while 2012 Glens Fall pitcher Nick Pivetta will play for Team Canada.
Canada and the Dominican Republic are grouped in Pool C for the round robin portion of the tournament, and will kick off pool play on Thursday, March 9th, at 6:00 p.m. ET at Marlins Park.
A third-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2010 MLB Draft, this year will be Rojas’ eight in professional baseball. The Atlanta farmhand spent the bulk of the 2016 season with Triple-A Gwinnett, after being traded by the Pirates to the Braves last May. In 64 games with Gwinnett, he batted .270 with 10 homers, 34 RBIs and, 62 runs scored. The son of former Montreal Expo pitcher, Mel Rojas, Sr., has spent parts of the past three seasons at the Triple-A level and is looking to make his long-awaited MLB debut in 2017.
In Amsterdam, Rojas played in Shuttleworth Park during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, until he was scooped up by the Pirates out of Wabash Valley Community College. In 61 combined games with the Mohawks, he batted .307 with 37 runs, 28 RBIs, and 13 extra-base hits. He helped the club win the 2009 New York Collegiate Baseball League (NYCBL) title in 2009, and after his brief stint in 2010, Perfect Game crowned him the league’s top prospect and best athlete.
Since being selected by the Nationals in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Draft – and being sent to the Phillies in exchange for Jonathan Papelbon in 2015 – Pivetta has seen his stock quickly rise as he’s ascended the minor league ladder. He earned All-Star honors in each of the past three seasons, including a spot in the 2016 Eastern League All-Star Game as a member of Double-A Reading. He then went on to post a 2.55 ERA with 27 strikeouts in five starts at with Triple-A Lehigh Valley at the end of the season. This year’s Spring Training marks the first in major league camp for the 6-foot-5 righty from Victoria, British Columbia, who is ranked Philadelphia’s 12th-best prospect, according to MLB.com, and is expected to be one of Team Canada’s top arms.
During the summer of 2012, Pivetta fanned 16 batters in 20.1 innings of work for Glens Falls under its former moniker, the Golden Eagles. Following a breakout sophomore season at New Mexico Junior College, Perfect Game named him the third-best junior college prospect.
For more information on the 2017 World Baseball Classic, please visit www.worldbaseballclassic.com.