Ken Griffey Jr. added to Team USA as hitting coach for the World Baseball Classic, which includes Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, others

The World Baseball Classic US coaching staff will feature some familiar faces, including one of the most recognizable figures in MLB history.

Ken Griffey Jr. has joined the coaching staff of the World Baseball Classic as a hitting coach, it was announced Tuesday. The Kid was announced along with five other coaches – including pitching coach Andy Pettitte – who will serve on coach Mark DeRosa’s staff.

The World Baseball Classic, set to return in March 2023 after being suspended due to COVID, already has several notable players for Team USA including Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado and Mike Trout.

Griffey ranks seventh in MLB history with 630 homers and is known for having one of the smoothest swings the game has ever seen. How that translates to coaching is TBD.

MORE: Meet Munetaka Murakami, Japan’s young slugging phenomenon

Who is on the Team USA coaching staff?

Team USA manager will be Mark DeRosa, who played 16 seasons from 1998 to 2013 for the Braves, Rangers, Cubs, Guardians, Cardinals, Giants, Nationals and Blue Jays. A .268 career player who retired with exactly 100 home runs, DeRosa has since served on MLB The Show as an announcer and as an analyst for the MLB network.

His staff is joined by Griffey as a hitting coach and Pettitte as a pitching coach to DeRosa. His bench coach will be Jerry Manuel, an analyst for the MLB Network.

Surname role
Markus DeRosa Manager
Jerry Manuel bench trainer
Ken Griffey Jr. beat coach
Andy Pettitte pitching coach
Lou Collier 1. Basic Trainer
Dino Ebel 3. Basic Trainer
David Righetti Bullpen Trainer

They’re going to have a lot of talent to work with, but it’s hard to tell how much coaching is really going on at the WBC. After all, it’s essentially an all-world tournament.

What is Ken Griffey Jr. doing in retirement?

Though Griffey played for multiple teams during his MLB career, his heart has always been in Seattle.

The legendary slugger has been involved with the Mariners since October 2021, becoming the first former player to own the team. As of June 2021, he also serves on the Baseball Board of Directors.

Griffey is also the senior advisor to the commissioner, another post he took on in 2021.

His focus in this function is on promoting young talent in football.

MORE: When will Bryce Harper return?

Who plays at the World Baseball Classic?

Several great players have been nominated for the World Baseball Classic, including Captain Trout.

Arenado and Harper are some of the other notable names along with Trevor Story, Paul Goldschmidt and JT Realmuto.

player position
Mike Trout (C) FROM
Bryce Harper FROM
Cedric Mullins FROM
Paul Goldschmidt 1B
Peter Alonso 1B
Trevor story 2 B
Nolan Arenado 3B
JT Realmuto C

Other names should be popping up in the near future, and the list is unofficial as of now.

When does the World Baseball Classic start?

The World Baseball Classic begins on March 8, 2023, but qualifiers begin September 16-21 in Regensburg, Germany and September 30-October 21 in Panama City, Panama. 5.

Team USA, the reigning champions, begin in Pool C. Their tournament begins March 11 at Chase Field, home of the Diamondbacks, against Canada, Colombia, Mexico and another qualified Team TBD.

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