Team Panama celebrates after a home run by Jose Ramos during Game 7 of Pool A between Team Panama and Team Italy at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on Saturday, March 11, 2023 in Taichung City, Taiwan. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Federacion Panamena de Beisbol announced their official roster for the Pan American Qualifiers on June 3.
Panama will carry players that played in this past 2023 Beisbol Mayor league that ended in the beginning of May, players with Major League Baseball experience and played in independent leagues in the United States who are now free agents, along with players that suited up for Panama at the 2023 World Baseball Classic in March.
Panama will not carry minor leaguers who aren’t listed on the 40-man roster of Major League Baseball organizations or players from independent professional leagues worldwide.
Jhadiel Santamaria, Edgar Munoz, Erasamo Caballero, Harold Arauz, Davis Romero, Severino Gonzalez, and Luis Castillo are among the returning players for Panama that played in the World Baseball Classic.
Panama is ranked 14th in the World Rankings after finishing 13th in the World Baseball Classic. In Pool A of the World Baseball Classic in Taichung, Taiwan, Panama went 2-2 and found itself in a five-way tie with the Netherlands, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, and Italy, but did not advance due to Total Quality Balance tie-breaking criteria.
The 2023 World Baseball Classic was only the second time that Panama has ever appeared in the tournament, after qualifying in October 2022 by beating Brazil 4-0 at Rod Carew Stadium on home soil.
Panama has not medaled at the Pan American Games and has not appeared in the event since 2011 at Pan American Baseball Stadium in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico, where they went 0-3, losing to Mexico, the United States, and the Dominican Republic.
The last time Panama medaled at a senior event was the 2003 Baseball World Cup, losing to South Korea in the gold medal game in Havana, Cuba. They placed second at the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador, losing to Puerto Rico in the gold medal game.
Panama has never won gold at any senior event hosted by World Baseball Softball Confederation, nor at senior events that used to be sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation prior to April 2013.
Panama named Hipolito Ortiz as the 2023 Pan American Qualifiers manager, and he will be the only coach returning from the World Baseball Classic coaching staff.
Panama’s first game of the 2023 Pan American Qualifiers will be against World No. 13 Canada on June 16 at 10 a.m. EDT at Estadio Nacional de Beisbol in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The other three nations participating in the event are host nation No. 29 Argentina, No. 40 Peru, and No. 43 Honduras. The Pan American Qualifiers will have all games played from June 16-21 at Estadio Nacional de Beisbol.
The baseball portion of the 2023 Pan American Games will be from October 21-27 at the Baseball and Softball Center in Cerrillos, Chile. Three nations have already earned qualification for the 2023 Pan American Games: Chile as the host nation; Colombia for placing first in the 2021 Junior Pan American Games; and Brazil, for placing first in the 2022 South American Championships.
The top three nations that finish in the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador, from June 24 to July 1 at Parque de Pelota Saturnino Bengoa will qualify for the 2023 Pan American Games.
2023 Panama Pan American Qualifiers Roster
Luis Ramos (Darien)
Harold Arauz (Chiriqui)
Manuel Campos (Los Dantos)
Juilo Denis (Bocas del Toro)
Severino Gonzalez (Bocas del Toro)
Davis Romero (Cocle)
Gilberto Chu (Bocas del Toro)
Carlos Rodriguez (Colon)
Jonathan Amaya (Panama Oeste)
Luis Machuca (Bocas del Toro)
Carlos Sanchez (Bocas del Toro)
Adolfo Reina (Los Santos)
Erasamo Caballero (Chiriqui)
Jhadiel Santamaria (Colon)
Jason Patterson (Colon)
Enoc Watts (Colon)
Eduardo Thomas (Panama Metro)
Jorge Bishop (Colon)
Gertudis Tello (Herrera)
Jhony Santos (Chiriqui Occidente)
Jose Mordock (Veraguas)
Luis Castillo (Cocle)
Edgar Munoz (Colon)
Abraham Rodriguez (Panama Metro)
2023 Panama Pan American Qualifiers Coaching Staff
Manager – Hipolito Ortiz
Bench Coach/First Base Coach – Carlos Munoz
Pitching Coach – Cristobal Lopez
Third Base Coach – Manuel Rodriguez