Angels players and coaches that could be a part of the 2028 Olympics

Which Angels players should be a part of the 2028 Summer Olympics?
Patrick Sandoval: Mexico v Japan
Patrick Sandoval: Mexico v Japan / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

First reported by Evan Drellich of The Athletic, we could finally see something baseball fans have been wanting since the beginning in 2028: Major League Baseball players playing in the Summer Olympics.

In an owners' meeting this week, an executive’s presentation showed how it could be done in 2028 when the Olympics return to Los Angeles. There are tons of hurdles this proposal would have to get past in order to pass, specifically a signoff from the MLBPA to mess with midseason breaks. Major League Baseball has been hesitant in the past to send players to the games because they always take place right during the season, and competition could cause injury to a player who is under contract.

Which Angels could make an impact at 2028 Olympics?

In the 2020 Olympics, which took place in 2021, only six countries qualified for the baseball event. It ended up being a two-horse race between the United States and Japan. The World Baseball Classic has been a great alternative the last two times around, with USA and Japan winning in 2017 and 2023 (with the COVID-19 pandemic falling in between).

There is so much to talk about on this topic, which could including a World Baseball Classic being used as a qualifier in some way. Which Angels could we see in the 2028 Summer Olympics?

Mike Trout
World Baseball Classic Championship: United States v Japan / Jasen Vinlove/Miami Marlins/GettyImages

Let’s start with the obvious one, Mike Trout. 2028 is still four-plus years away and Trout would be 36, pushing 37 years old. I would not put anything past the man, just like I’d never bet against him. Shohei Ohtani would be in his mid-30s as well. You must start looking at players that are, at most, in their late 20s to get a plausible prediction.

First player I’d be looking at is José Quijada representing Venezuela. He played a key role in their team’s bullpen efforts in last year’s WBC. He’d be only 32 when the Summer Games would arrive in Los Angeles in 2028. Venezuela is known for their power hitters and not so much for their pitching.

Patrick Sandoval would be the biggest name from the 2024 Los Angeles Angels roster to watch out for. Sandoval pitched like an ace for Team Mexico, and even outshined former Los Angeles Dodgers ace Julio Urías. Sandoval had a 1.23 ERA for Team Mexico, which included big time outings against runner-up Team USA and the eventual champions Team Japan. He looked like the best Angels representative out there last season before Ohtani’s heroics in the WBC Championship Game. He showed he could rise to the occasion in pressure situations, facing two of the most dangerous lineups in the tournament as well. He’d be only 31 when the 2028 Olympics would start. Some names I will watch out for as possible contributors if the Olympics include MLB talent would be Luis Rengifo for Team Venezuela and Logan O’Hoppe, Reid Detmers, and prospects Jordyn Adams, Sam Bachman, and Ben Joyce for Team USA. Finally, would Mike Scioscia be the coach of Team USA, since he did coach Team USA in the last Olympics?

You've got to remember the differences in rosters between just the World Baseball Classic teams over three-year time periods. The Angels also have the worst-ranked farm system in MLB. I believe if this were to be done, you would have to have eight teams at least. USA would get an automatic bid being the host country. Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cuba, and Canada would also feel like possibilities. The teams on the rise who could make noise to get in the field would be Israel, South Korea, Great Britain, Australia, Panama, Chinese Taipei, and Columbia. I never count out the Netherlands either.  

Randy Arozarena
World Baseball Classic Pool C: Great Britain v Mexico / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

Major League Baseball is no longer just “America’s Game.” More talent seems to come out of Japan, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other nation than ever before. Regardless of country of origin, the Angels have a lot of work if they want representatives in the Olympics in 2028.