Five former Kernels selected to play in the 2013 World Baseball Classic
Erick Aybar (2003), Miguel Gonzalez (2005), Joel Peralta (2001-02), Nick Pugliese (2009) and Hainley Statia (2006) have been selected to play in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Aybar and Peralta will represent the Dominican Republic, Gonzalez will play for Mexico, Pugliese will play for Italy and Statia will represent the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The Dominican Republic squad (Aybar and Peralta) will face Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Spain in pool C in San Juan, Puerto Rico from March 7-10. Erick Aybar hit .308 with six HR, 10 triples, 57 RBI and stole 32 bases in 125 games for the 2003 Cedar Rapids Kernels. The team finished in 10th place at 66-72 under manager Todd Claus.
Aybar has hit .278 with 129 doubles, 33 triples, 32 HR, 251 RBI and stole 98 bases in his seven MLB seasons with the Angels thus far. He won the American League Gold Glove at shortstop in 2011.
Joel Peralta went 0-0 with 23 saves and a 2.13 E.R.A. in 41 games for the the Kernels in 2001. The Kernels finished 60-77 under manager Tyrone Boykin. Peralta returned to post a 5-0 record with 21 saves and a 0.95 E.R.A. in 41 games in 2002. Cedar Rapids posted a 81-58 mark under manager Todd Claus that season. The Kernels defeated Quad Cities before losing to Peoria in the semifinals of the Midwest League Playoffs.
Joel Peralta has posted a 10-21 record with a 3.94 E.R.A. in 407 games pitching for the Angels Royals, Rockies, Nationals and Rays. Peralta has appeared in more than 70 games each of the last two seasons with the Rays.
Mexico (Gonzalez) and Italy (Pugliese) will be facing each other along with the United States and Canada in pool D that will be held in Phoenix, Arizona from March 7-10. Miguel Gonzalez posted a 2-5 record with 8 saves and a 4.70 E.R.A in 28 games for the 2005 Cedar Rapids Kernels. He struck out 42 batters in 44 innings of work. Cedar Rapids finished the 2005 season with a 65-75 record under manager Bobby Magallanes. Miguel Gonzalez had a break out 2012 season going 9-4 with a 3.25 E.R.A. in 18 games including 15 starts for the Baltimore Orioles. He struck out 77 batters in 105 1/3 innings of work.
Nick Pugliese posted a 3-2 record with 2 saves and a 2.52 E.R.A. in 24 games for the 2009 Kernels squad. Pugliese struck out 46 in 35 2/3 innings of work while finishing 11 games as the Kernels squad finished with a 78-60 record under manager Bill Mosiello defeating the Peoria Chiefs in the opening round of the playoffs before losing in the semifinals to the Burlington Bees. Pugliese pitched in the Angels minor league system until 2011. He spent the 2012 season pitching professionally in Italy.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands (Statia) will be competing with South Korea, Australia and Chinese Taipei in pool B that will be held in Taichung, Taiwan from March 2-5. Hainley Statia hit .297 with 1 HR, 31 doubles, 38 RBI and stole 23 bases in 111 games for the 2005 Kernels squad. Cedar Rapids finished the 2005 season with a 65-75 record under manager Bobby Magallanes. Statia hit .279 for the Nashville Sounds (Triple-A Milwaukee) in 2012.