While the rest of metro Denver is working themselves into a frenzy for the Broncos-Steelers contest, I turn my attention to the complete list of Rockies players on the World Baseball "Classic" provisional rosters. First, the players who appeared in the majors for Colorado last season: David Cortes (Mexico), Jeff Francis (Canada), Luis Gonzalez (Venezuela), Matt Holliday and Brian Fuentes (US of A), Byung-Hyun Kim and Sunny Kim (Korea). Free agent signing Jose Mesa is on the list for the Dominican Republic. And now for the system guys:
Adam Bright (Australia): Left-handed relief prospect. He's just young enough to have made the very bottom of the organizational depth chart in last year's Baseball America Prospect Handbook. 4-2, 3.38 ERA, 6 saves, 7.17 K/9 for AA Asheville in 2005. He's genuinely Australian, born in Melbourne. Last July the Asheville Citizen-Times did a feature on Bright in which the pitcher addresses one of the things baseball is trying to accomplish with the WBC: "Baseball is not really considered a sport in Australia. If you don't play rugby or soccer, then not many people really care."
Manuel Corpas (Panama): Righty reliever. He was born in '82 in Panama City and played for High A Modesto last year (3-2, 3.78, 2 saves, 6.78 K/9). He's not in any of the prospect books, as you would expect for a guy relieving at his age and level.
Ching-Long Lo (Taiwan): AKA "Dragon." The Rockies signed the 6'6" righty out of Taiwan when he was 16, and to their credit they've handled him with extreme caution since. BA notes that Colorado had Lo shelf his splitter for his first three years as a pro to avoid elbow problems. He struggled a bit at Asheville last year (7-9, 5.65, 6.77 K/9 in 24 starts) but he just turned 20 in August. Lo has a long way to go yet but has been a regular name on top prospect lists since his signing. Given how gently the Rockies have moved him along thus far, he'll probably repeat AA in 2006.
Maruis Loupadiere (Panama). A righthanded outfielder, he hit .262/.326/.310 for rookie-league Casper last year. He's not going to push Carlos Lee for playing time for Panama. Not a lot of info on this guy out there, but he does have a build like mine -- 6'1", 150 -- and a great name.
Miguel Ojeda (Mexico). Colorado claimed this catcher off waivers in October and designated him for assignment in December after the Yorvit Torrealba trade. In 399 major league at-bats he's hit .221/.308/.353.
Nelson Robledo (Panama). Organizational-type righty catcher. .239/.328/.326 as the starter for Asheville last year. Wow, Panama is taking two Rockies hitters to the WBC and they both had slugging percentages lower than their OBPs last season.