Wladimir Balentien played for The Netherlands at the World Baseball Classics 2023. (Photo by Henk Seppen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Caneros De Los Mochis added designated hitter Wladimir Balentien to their 2023-24 winter season roster.
Last season, Los Mochis made it to the Caribbean Series for the first time since 2003, earning third place during the event held in Caracas, Venezuela.
Balentien is coming off playing in the World Baseball Classic for the Netherlands, where he played in all four games, batting .364 with four hits in 11 at-bats, one RBI, and two walks during the tournament.
In February, he played in the Caribbean Series for Curacao, which made its first-ever appearance in the tournament. Curacao went 2-5 at the Caribbean Series, and Balentien played in six games, batting .200 in 25 at-bats with five hits and one RBI, walking twice and striking out six times.
During the 2022-23 winter league season, Balentien played for Gigantes Del Cibao in the Liga De Beisbol Profesional de la Republica Dominicana, where he played in 13 games with 45 plate appearances, hitting .163 with seven hits, two home runs, five RBI, drawing two walks, and striking out 16 times during his short stint.
During the 2022 season, Balentien took his talents to the Liga Mexicana De Beisbol circuit with the Saraperos De Saltillo organization where he played in 18 games with 77 plate appearances he batted .231 recorded 15 hits, four home runs, 11 RBI, drawing 11 walks, and striking out 14 times.
Balentien, after playing in the major leagues for three seasons from 2007-09, went to Japan for 11 seasons with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows and the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Nippon Professional Baseball. During his career in Japan, he batted .266 with 1,001 hits, 301 home runs, and 794 RBI.
He was a six-time NPB All-Star, won the 2013 Central League Most Valuable Player Award, three-time Central League Home Run Regular Season Leader, and was a 2020 Japan Series Champion with SoftBank.