Mets prospect Dominic Hamel has the fate of Team Puerto Rico on his shoulders

World Baseball Classic Pool D: Puerto Rico v Israel
World Baseball Classic Pool D: Puerto Rico v Israel / Jasen Vinlove/Miami Marlins/GettyImages

New York Mets pitching prospect Dominic Hamel is getting a taste this spring of what it’s like to go against some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball and from around the world. On Wednesday night, he’ll take the mound for Team Puerto Rico against the Dominican Republic. The winner advances. The loser goes home—or maybe just to spring training in Florida or Arizona.

Team Puerto Rico is 2-1 with a win in the game started by Marcus Stroman, a loss in the one where Jose Berrios was chased early, and an 8-inning perfect game in their most recent performance with Jose De Leon on the mound in the first. This start will be Hamel’s first of the tournament.

Update: Puerto Rico has since announced Dominic Hamel will no longer be starting in this game.

Mets prospect Dominic Hamel gets his chance to be a hero for Puerto Rico

Hamel is coming off of a successful 10-3, 3.25 ERA in the minors for the Mets. He started in St. Lucie and finished with Brooklyn. Considered by as the organization’s second best pitching prospect behind only Blade Tidwell, he is currently projected to make his MLB debut sometime in 2024.

Throughout the first-round of the WBC, Mets fans have had reason to cheer for a couple different clubs. Team Puerto Rico with Hamel, Edwin Diaz, and Francisco Lindor on the roster is one of them. For anyone looking for some deeper tracks as a reason to root for Team Puerto Rico, Johneshwy Fargas is also on the roster.

Although he was born in Arizona, Hamel’s presence on Team Puerto Rico comes from the heritage on his mother’s side. To honor her and that side of his bloodline, he accepted a position with the ball club.

Going against Hamel in this game is longtime MLB veteran Johnny Cueto. Mets fans may remember him most from the 2015 World Series. It’s a little clash of the Mets’ future against a ghost of the past.

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