Baseball United Reveals Rosters for Dubai All-Star Showcase
44 of Baseball United’s recently drafted players will compete on East and West All-Star Teams
Published October 27, 2023
DUBAI, UAE (October 27, 2023) – Dubai-based Baseball United announced today the official rosters for the league’s inaugural event – next month’s All-Star Showcase in Dubai. Forty-four players – 22 on each team – will participate in the two-game series between Baseball United East All-Stars and Baseball United West All-Stars. The Showcase will be held on November 24th and 25th at Dubai International Stadium. Tickets are now on sale at baseballunited.com/tickets.
“We are honored to bring many of our best players to Dubai for our first-ever professional games,” said Kash Shaikh, Chairman, CEO, and Majority Owner, Baseball United. “Our All-Stars come from 16 different countries and have played at the highest levels of professional baseball. This is truly something the region has never seen. Our fans will get to witness history. It’s the perfect way to launch our league.”
Seventy-five percent of Baseball United’s All-Stars have played at the Major League Baseball (MLB) level, with others competing in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball Organization and other international leagues and tournaments.
Baseball United East All-Stars
The Baseball United East All-Stars are led by MLB legend, Bartolo Colon, a four-time MLB All-Star and the winningest Latin American-born pitcher in MLB history. Colon, who was selected 16th overall by the Karachi Monarchs in Baseball United’s inaugural Draft, will be the East team’s starting pitcher on Opening Night, November 24th. When he takes the field in Dubai, he will become one of the oldest professional players in history. Colon turned 50 earlier this year.
The East team’s starting infield has a total of 32 years MLB playing experience, with players from the Dominican Republic, the United States, Curaçao, and Venezuela. The group includes:
- First baseman, Jefry Marte, who hit 15 home runs in 88 games for the Los Angeles Angels in 2016, and 24 home runs in Japan’s Nippon League in 2021. Marte was selected 20th overall in Baseball United’s recent Draft by the Karachi Monarchs.
- Second baseman, Shed Long, who was drafted out of high school by the Cincinnati Reds in 2013 and played for the Seattle Mariners as recently as 2021. Long was selected 19th overall by the Mumbai Cobras in Baseball United’s Draft.
- Shortstop, Andrelton Simmons, who played 11 years in MLB and won four Gold Glove awards – two each with the Atlanta Braves and the Angels. Simmons was selected in the first round – eight overall – in the Baseball United Draft by the Mumbai Cobras.
- Third baseman, Pablo Sandoval, who played 14 years in MLB and won three World Series Championships, a World Series MVP, and reached two MLB All-Star games. Sandoval had over 1,000 hits and 150 home runs during his MLB career. He was the first selection by the Falcons - one of two UAE-based Baseball United franchises – and the fourth overall pick in the Baseball United Draft.
The East team’s outfield is comprised of a trio of former MLB players, including:
- Former MLB first-round draft pick, Dwight Smith Jr., who batted .331 with 22 home runs in the Atlantic League (Independent) this year. Smith Jr. was selected 17th overall by Baseball United’s Wolves franchise.
- Former Detroit Tigers and current Canadian National Team member, Jacob Robson, who was drafted 22nd overall by the Cobras.
- Former Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels prospect, Dillon Thomas, who most recently played for the Guerreros de Oaxaca of the Mexican League. Thomas was chosen 11th overall by the Falcons in the Baseball United Draft.
The starting catcher for the East All-Stars is 7-year MLB veteran and Venezuelan star, Hector Sanchez. Sanchez was selected 30th overall by the Karachi Monarchs.
The starting Designated Hitter for the Baseball United East All-Stars is 29-year-old Courtney Hawkins, who was selected in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox. In 2022, Hawkins was named the Atlantic League Player of the Year after hitting 48 home runs and 125 RBI. The Wolves selected Hawkins with the 15th overall pick in the Baseball United Draft.
The East All-Star reserves include position players Carlos Garcon (Catcher, Cobras), Brantley Bell (IF, Cobras), Rusney Castillo (OF, Falcons), and Gabriel Guerrero (OF, Falcons). East pitchers include David Huff (LHP, Monarchs), Akeel Morris (RHP, Cobras), Brian Schlitter (RHP, Wolves), Shingo Hirata (RHP, Monarchs), Dovydas Neverauskas (RHP, Wolves), Reggie McClain (RHP, Wolves), Konsta Kurikka (RHP, 22), and Severino Gonzalez (RHP, Falcons).
Gonzalez will start the second game of the All-Star Showcase, on November 25th.
Retired 15-year MLB veteran, Dennis Cook, will manage the Baseball United East All-Stars, along with Co-Manager, Miguel Tejada. Tejada was a six-time MLB All-Star and former American League MVP.
Baseball United West All-Stars
The Baseball United West All-Stars are captained by eight-time MLB All-Star second baseman, Robinson Cano. Cano won a World Series Championship with the New York Yankees in 2009, and a World Baseball Classic Championship with the Dominican Republic in 2013 at which he was named MVP. Cano, who is also a Co-Owner of Baseball United, was selected sixth overall in the Baseball United Draft by the Wolves.
Former MLB All-Star, Jair Jurrjens, will be the starting pitcher for the West All-Stars on Opening Night. Jurrjens, who posted double-digit wins three times for the Atlanta Braves from 2008 to 2011, was selected 10th overall by the Wolves in the Baseball United Draft.
The rest of the starting infield for the Baseball United West All-Stars includes:
- First baseman, Alex Liddi, who played for the Seattle Mariners from 2011 through 2013, and for the Chinatrust Brothers of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) in 2019. He is the first player born and raised in Italy to play in MLB and the CPBL. Liddi was selected fifth overall by the Falcons in the Baseball United Draft.
- Shortstop, Didi Gregorius, who played 11 years in MLB, most notably with the New York Yankees, where he hit 20 or more home runs in three straight seasons from 2016 – 2018. Gregorius was the top pick by the Wolves franchise, and third player chosen overall in the Baseball United Draft.
- Third baseman, Brandon Laird, who played in MLB as well as the NPB, including five years where he hit over 30 home runs for the Nippon-Ham Fighters and the Chiba Lotte Marines. Laird was selected with the 40th overall pick by the Cobras.
The West team’s outfielders are all U.S.-born stars:
- Justin Williams, who was originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2013 MLB Draft and played for the Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals. Williams was the 13th overall pick in the Baseball United Draft by the Cobras.
- Phil Ervin, a former first round MLB Draft pick who played four seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. Ervin was the seventh overall draft pick in the Baseball United Draft by the Monarchs.
- Steven Moya, who played three seasons for the Detroit Tigers in MLB, and four seasons in the NPB. Moya was the first selection by the Karachi Monarchs in the Baseball United Draft, going second overall.
The starting catcher for the West All-Stars is five-year MLB veteran Wilin Rosario, who had back-to-back 20+ home run campaigns with the Colorado Rockies in 2012 and 2013. Rosario also had back-to-back 30+ home run seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) with the Hanwha Eagles. Rosario was the 24th overall pick in the Baseball United Draft by the Wolves.
The starting Designated Hitter for the Baseball United West All-Stars is 39-year-old Alejandro De Aza, who played ten years in MLB for the Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, and four other teams. De Aza was taken 23rd overall by the Falcons.
The West All-Star reserves include position players Carlos Martinez (Catcher, Monarchs), Drew Ward (IF, Monarchs), Connor Panas (OF, Wolves), and Denis Phipps (OF, Monarchs). West pitchers include Robbie Ross (LHP, Cobras), A.J. Schugel (RHP, Monarchs), Akeem Bostick (RHP, Cobras), Andre Rienzo (RHP, Falcons), J.D. Hammer (RHP, Falcons), Mitch Lively (RHP, Falcons), Tiago da Silva (LHP, Cobras), and #1 overall draft pick, Karan Patel (RHP, Cobras). Patel will start the second game of the All-Star Showcase for the West squad on November 25th.
Long-time MLB coaching veteran, John McLaren, will manage the Baseball United West All-Stars, along with Co-Manager, Chris Sabo. Sabo was a three-time MLB All-Star, World Series Champion, and member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.
To purchase tickets for the All-Star Showcase, fans can visit baseballunited.com/tickets. Early bird tickets start at 49 AED ($13) for Outfield Boxes and 199 AED ($54) for luxury Diamond Club seats behind Homeplate.
To learn more about Baseball United, visit baseballunited.com.
About Baseball United
Baseball United is the first-ever professional baseball league focused on the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent, beginning play November 2023 in Dubai, UAE. Our mission is to inspire one billion new fans to fall in love with baseball. The ownership group includes award-winning business leaders and inspiring baseball legends, including Barry Larkin, Mariano Rivera, Adrián Beltré, Felix Hernandez, and Ryan Howard. In addition to our professional league, the Baseball United ecosystem spans youth development, federation partnerships, media and content production, merchandise, and non-profit outreach. With 25 nationalities represented on our team rosters and a new suite of entertainment-based game changes, Baseball United is working to create a new future for baseball in one of the fastest growing and most culturally rich regions in the world.
Kavon Jones – firstname.lastname@example.org