Local catcher Tyler LaTorre was selected to play for Italy in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, it was announced on MLB.com on Thursday, when rosters for the 16 qualifying teams were released.
LaTorre re-signed with the San Francisco Giants organization following its World Series victory. He has competed with the parent club in several spring trainings will likely start the season in Triple-A again.
The WBC begins March 2. Italy plays Mexico in its first game March 7 in Arizona.
Italy competes in Pool D with the United States, Mexico and Canada.
LaTorre, an Aptos High alum, and the Italian National team repeated as the European champions in September. Italy beat the host Netherlands, 8-3, to finish 9-0 at the European Championship.
LaTorre — signed by the Giants as a free agent out of UC Davis in 2006 — played in eight games in Europe and batted .500 with 14 hits — including six doubles and two home runs — nine RBIs and nine runs scored.
Last season in the minors, he batted .278 [27 of 97] in 42 games with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, recording six doubles, two home runs, 15 RBIs and 14 runs scored.