MIAMI -- A Marlins catching prospect will be gaining some international experience next week in a World Baseball Classic qualifying event. Brad Haynal will play for the Philippines, which will be led by Tim Hulett, manager of the Rangers' Class A Northeast League affiliate in Spokane, Wash.
Haynal, 24, is one of two players in a big league farm system on the Philippines' roster for the World Baseball Classic qualifying round, set for Feb. 11-14 at Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney, Australia. The other is Angelo Songco, a first baseman in the Dodgers' organization.
Joining the Philippines in the six-game, double-elimination event in Sydney are South Africa, New Zealand and host Australia. The teams are competing for a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Haynal, a right-handed hitter, grew up in California and attended San Diego State University before becoming an 18th-round pick of the Marlins in 2014. In 2015, he hit .274/.362/.407 with four home runs and 34 RBIs for Class A Batavia in the Short-Season New York-Penn League. The catcher appeared in 68 games.
In 111 games over two Minor League seasons, Haynal has hit .267/.340/.387 with seven home runs and 61 RBIs.
Haynal is a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder who also has played 33 games at first base at Batavia. In his first two Minor League seasons, he played 282 innings at first base and 390 innings at catcher.
Two more WBC qualification rounds will take place before the MLB season starts. From March 17-20, Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany and Nicaragua will meet in Mexicali, Mexico, while Colombia, France, Panama and Spain will play March 17-20 in Panama City, Panama. The final group of four hopefuls will play from Sept. 22-25 at MCU Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.