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Melky Mesa withdraws from WBC

03/02/2013 10:08 AM ET
By Jon Lane

Melky Mesa is off to a strong start for the Yankees in Spring Training.(AP)
Melky Mesa has informed the New York Yankees that he will not be participating in the World Baseball Classic, reports The Journal News in Westchester, N.Y. Mesa was to suit up for Team Dominican Republic, but decided on his own accord to remain with the Yankees throughout Spring Training.

Mesa, 26, has a legitimate shot of breaking camp with the team and play left field until Curtis Granderson returns from a broken forearm in May. He's performed well in the Grapefruit season to date. On Friday he connected on his second home run and stole his second base, and leads the Yankees with four RBIs. Although a true center fielder, Mesa has earned a longer look in left and decided to take advantage of the opportunity.

Last season between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Mesa batted .264 with 23 home runs, 67 RBIs, and 22 steals. A member of the Yankees' 40-man roster for the second straight season, Mesa's left field competition includes non-roster veterans Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera, and fellow prospects Zoilo Almonte and Ronnier Mustelier.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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