Didi Gregorius spent part of 2023 with the Algodoneros de Union Laguna in the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol. He’s on the roster for the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the 2023 European Championships. (Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The No. 7-ranked Kingdom of the Netherlands announced their roster for the 2023 European Championships which will be held in the Czech Republic from September 24 to October 1.
The relegation and placement rounds will be from September 28-30. The gold medal and bronze medal games will be on October 1.
The 2023 European Championships will have six venues during the international senior event: Eagles Prague in Prague, Arrows Park Ostrava in Ostrava-Poruba, BrnoField in Brno, Třebíč Na Hvězdě in Třebíč, YD Baseball Arena Brno in Brno, and Strawberry Field Blansko in Blansko will be the host sites.
The Netherlands has the most titles in the European Championships with 24 since the event started in 1954. The Kingdom has won the gold at the European Championships at the last four events in 2014, 2016, 2019, and 2021.
Evert-Jan ‘t Hoen will return to the coaching staff for the Netherlands as the manager at the 2023 European Championships. Hoen was the quality control coach at the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Tjerk Smeets will return as the bench coach, the same position he held at the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Third base coach Ben Thijssen will also return to the Netherlands coaching staff from the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
The rankings that will qualify countries for the Premier 12 will be released on Dec. 31, 2023. The Premier 12 will be played after the professional seasons in Major League Baseball, Nippon Professional Baseball, the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, Korean Baseball Organization, and Liga Mexicana de Beisbol have concluded.
The Netherlands were one of five teams in the European Championship that were represented during the 2023 World Baseball Classic along with Italy, Israel, Great Britain, and host nation Czechia.
The Netherlands ended up 2-2 and did not qualify out of Pool A in Taiwan of the 2023 World Baseball Classic due to being placed in a five way tie with Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Italy, and Panama from the Team Quality Balance run differential for runs for and runs against.
The 2023 European Championships roster for the Netherlands will consist of players from the Netherlands, Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba, and the Netherlands Antilles. All the players listed on the roster are professional free agents, players that are with Major League Baseball organizations in the lower affiliate level of the minor leagues, Federashon Beisbol Kòrsou AA League, Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, Honkbal Hoofdklasse operated by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Baseball en Softball Bond, and the independent leagues in the United States and Canada.
The Netherlands also played a series of exhibition games at Rotterdam Baseball Weekend against the Czech Republic from September 16-18, prior to the European Championships.
There will be four groups listed during the European Championships for the participating countries. Group A: Austria, host nation Czech Republic, Spain, and Greece. Group B: Hungary, Italy, Great Britain, and Sweden. Group C: The Netherlands, Ukraine, Croatia, and France. Group D: Belgium, Germany, Israel, and Switzerland.
The WBSC Europe website and social media pages will have all the listed information on streaming the European Championships on their YouTube and Facebook page.
2023 Netherlands Schedule 2023 European Championships
Sunday September 24, 2023
11:30 a.m. EDT – France vs. Netherlands – MBS Brno, Brno-jih-Komárov
Monday September 25, 2023
5 a.m. EDT – Netherlands vs. Ukraine – MBS Brno, Brno-jih-Komárov
Sunday September 26, 2023
11:30 a.m. EDT – Croatia vs. Netherlands – MBS Brno, Brno-jih-Komárov
2023 Netherlands Roster 2023 European Championships
CFA-Current Free Agent
Tom de Blok (Curaçao Neptunus)
Shairon Martis (Curaçao Neptunus)
Kevin Kelly (Curaçao Neptunus)
Mike Green (Curaçao Neptunus)
Aaron de Groot (Curaçao Neptunus)
Lars Huijer (HCAW)
Juan Carlos Sulbaran (Lexington Counter Clocks)
Wendell Floranus (Tigres de Quintana Roo)
Mike Bolsenbroek (Heidenheim Heideköpfe)
Eric Mendez (Detroit Tigers)
Jiorgeny Casimiri (Toronto Blue Jays)
Sicnarf Loopstok (Ottawa Titans)
Dashenko Ricardo (Royal Scorpions)
Didi Gregorius (CFA)
Juremi Profar (Capitales de Québec)
Delano Selassa (HCAW)
Sharlon Schoop (Santa Maria Pirates)
Shervyen Newton (Kansas City Royals)
John Polonius (Curaçao Neptunus)
Roger Bernadina (Curaçao Neptunus)
Jiandido Tromp (Lake Erie Crushers)
Ademar Rifaela (Generales de Durango)
Dwayne Kemp (Curaçao Neptunus)
Ray-Patrick Didder (San Diego Padres)
2023 Netherlands European Championships Coaching Staff
Evert-Jan ‘t Hoen – Manager
Tjerk Smeets – Bench Coach
Michael Duursma – Hitting Coach
Diegomar Markwell – Pitching Coach
Jair Jurrjens – Bullpen Coach
Eugene Kingsale – First Base Coach
Ben Thijssen – Third Base Coach