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Newmarket pitcher competing for Canada at World Baseball Classic

'Enjoy the moment, embrace it all,' Texas Rangers prospect Mitch Bratt says of opportunity
2021-07-16-Mitchell Bratt supplied-JQ
Newmarket pitcher Mitchell Bratt will compete in the World Baseball Classic next month.

Newmarket’s Mitch Bratt will join Major League Baseball players as part of the World Baseball Classic starting in March.

The 19-year-old pitcher was named to the 30-player Team Canada roster Feb. 9. The former Newmarket Baseball Association player will be part of the pitching crew, competing for Canada against 19 other participating nations in March.

“It’s such a great feeling to be surrounded by the guys, who I considered to be role models growing up,” Bratt said. “Be able to play alongside them … Enjoy the moment, embrace it all.” 

The Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers prospect has had a strong season playing for their affiliate, the Down East Wood Ducks. He had a 2.45 ERA in 19 games, including 99 strikeouts in 80 and two-thirds innings pitched. 

“I learned a lot about myself as a pitcher and as a person,” he said of the season. “The Texas Rangers, they’ve really helped me get in the routine of how things work and the professional lifestyle.”

Canada’s roster will feature plenty of major league pros, with 10 on the team who played in 2022. The Canadian squad will also be managed by former Toronto Blue Jays catcher Ernie Whitt and six-time all-star Freddie Freeman.

“There’s nothing better than international baseball and the intensity of the World Baseball Classic,” Whitt said in a news release. “I know our team will be ready to compete once the tournament begins next month.”

Bratt said the team needs to build chemistry quickly, given that only a few teams advance in the classic.

“Baseball may be an individual game. At the end of the day, if the team’s winning, that’s all that matters,” he said.

What role Bratt will play on the pitching staff has not yet been disclosed to him. 

“I’m just honestly looking to make the most of the situation I’ve been given … Just kind of learn as much as I can embrace the entire opportunity.” 

The young pitcher added that he feels confident about his chances to make it into Major League Baseball, but knows there is still a process to come before that happens.

“I know I’m quite a few years away,” he said. “We’re still a ways away, but just build off it every season and get one step closer.” 

Canada will compete as part of Pool C against Colombia, Great Britain, Mexico and the United States. It will be playing against one team each day between March 12 and 15, with a pair of exhibition games against the Chicago Cubs March 8 and the Seattle Mariners March 9. More Information is available on