The final continental qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics begins one week from today in Florida. Eight teams will compete for a single guaranteed berth to Japan, while the second- and third-place teams will head to Mexico shortly thereafter for the Final Olympic Qualification Tournament. Those two teams will face Australia, the Netherlands, and Taiwan for the final place in the Olympiad.
The Americas Olympic Baseball Qualifier is split into eight groups. Group A features the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and the United States. Meanwhile, Group B has Canada, Colombia, Cuba, and Venezuela. The top two teams in each round move to the Super Round, in which each of the teams plays those from the other pool. The relevant pool result from Round 1 also carries over for a third result in the round. No Championship game is set.
Seven key prospects stand out on the rosters: Cesar Prieto, Simeon Woods Richardson, Julio Rodríguez, Triston Casas, Jeter Downs, Jarren Duran, and Matthew Liberatore. Well-known internationals and big leaguers expected in Florida include Frederich Cepeda, Alfredo Despaigne, José Bautista, Ervin Santana, Matt Kemp, David Robertson, Matt Wieters, Anibal Sánchez, Robinson Chiriños, Homer Bailey, and John Axford.
The schedule is below, with rosters for each of the eight teams, divided by group, following.
May 25, 4 p.m., West Palm Beach: USA – Canada
May 26, 1 p.m., Lawnwood Complex (Ft. Pierce): Dominican Republic 4 – Venezuela 2
May 26, 7 p.m., Vero Beach: USA – Canada
May 26, 7 p.m., Lawnwood Complex (Ft. Pierce): Cuba 9 – Dominican Republic 4
May 27, 7 p.m., Vero Beach: USA – Venezuela
May 28, 1 p.m., Lawnwood Complex (Ft. Pierce): Dominican Republic – Venezuela
Key veterans: José Bautista, Melky Cabrera, Emilio Bonifacio
Key prospects: Jeison Guzman, Luis Liberato, Julio Rodriguez
Key veterans: Isaac Benard, Dwight Britton, Ofilio Castro, Wuillians Vasquez
Key prospects: Dilmer Mejía, Ismael Munguia
Key veterans: Iván De Jesús, Osvaldo Martínez, Rey Navarro, Jesmuel Valentín
Key prospects: None.
United States (Preliminary)
Key veterans: Homer Bailey, Logan Forsythe, Todd Frazier, Anthony Gose, Edwin Jackson (also eligible for Germany), Jon Jay, Matt Kemp, David Robertson, Matt Wieters
Key prospects: Jonathan Bowlan, Triston Casas, Jarren Duran, Matthew Liberatore, Joe Ryan, Simeon Woods Richardson
Key veterans: John Axford, Scott Richmond
Key prospects: Trevor Brigden, Brendan McGuigan, J.D. Osborne
Key veterans: Sugar Ray Marimon
Key prospects: Jerry Downs, Jeter Downs
Key veterans: Yosvani Alarcon, Erisbel Arruebarrena, Frederich Cepeda, Alfredo Despaigne, Yadir Drake
Key prospects: Cesar Prieto
Key veterans: Robinson Chiriños, Andrés Machado, Hernán Pérez, Jose Rondón, Anibal Sánchez
Key prospects: Jhonathan Díaz