Fresh off his rookie season, Chicago White Sox infielder Tyler Saladino will play for the Philippines at the World Baseball Classic qualifier next month, per Jon Morosi.
Saladino, who was called up prior to the All-Star break last season, is projected to be the White Sox opening day shortstop in 2016. In his rookie campaign, Saladino got off to a hot start, but finished with a .225 clip at the plate to go along with four home runs and 20 RBI. He also swiped eight bases, good for an 80 percent steal rate.
Saladino will be making the transition back to shortstop this year following the acquisition of third baseman Todd Frazier from the Cincinnati Reds. Last year, Saladino saw the majority of his playing time come at third, but also played 63 innings at short. During his five years in the minors, he appeared at shortstop, third base, second base and first base.
Tim Anderson, the club’s No. 1 prospect, could take over for Saladino later on during the season, but is expected to start the year in the minors. Anderson hit .312 with Double-A Birmingham last season with 46 RBI and also swiped 49 bases.
Anderson is one of 20 players, including eight among the top 30 prospects in the pipeline, to receive non-roster invites to spring training camp at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona.
EDIT: Although it was announced yesterday that Saladino would play in the qualifier, he retracted that development earlier tonight and will no longer play, citing that the qualifier was too close to Spring Training.