Winn makes USA's 30-man roster

Winn named to Team USA's 30-man roster

SAN FRANCISCO -- The hottest ticket this March will be for the U.S. squad's games in the World Baseball Classic, and it's fitting that the hottest Giant of 2005 can see them up close and personal -- without buying a ticket.

Randy Winn had a scorching September, leading the Majors with 51 hits, an astounding .447 average and an .877 slugging percentage to earn National League Player of the Month honors, and on Tuesday, it was announced that the 31-year-old outfielder has been named to the 30-man U.S. team.

Winn is the lone San Franciscan on the U.S. team after slugger Barry Bonds, who initially agreed to participate in the tournament, pulled out to concentrate on getting healthy for the regular season.

The WBC features more than 400 players from 16 countries competing in the event, which will run March 3-20, with the semifinals and final slated at PETCO Park in San Diego.

"It's a real honor to be chosen to represent the US for the WBC," said Winn. "I'm really excited and looking forward to the opportunity to challenge the other countries."

Winn had strictly been an American Leaguer for six seasons, playing for Tampa Bay and Seattle, but when acquired in a midseason trade with the Mariners for catcher Yorvit Torrealba and pitcher Jesse Foppert, Winn made the transition to the new league a smooth and powerful one.

Winn, returning to his Bay Area roots, hit .359 for the Giants over 58 games, clubbing 14 homers and driving in 26 runs, while adding a .680 slugging percentage and a .391 on-base percentage.

Asked to explain his phenomenal final month, Winn replied he "only looks at the whole season -- it always averages out."

Talk about way above average, Winn's total of 11 homers in September was matched by only Houston's Lance Berkman, Cleveland's Travis Hafner and Boston's David Ortiz, and his highlight-reel season included hitting for the cycle on Aug. 15 at Cincinnati, becoming only the eighth San Francisco player to accomplish the feat.

Countries participating in the WBC are: Pool A -- China, Chinese Tapei, Japan, Korea; Pool B -- Canada, Mexico, South Africa, U.S.; Pool C -- Cuba, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Panama; Pool D -- Australia, Italy, Dominican Republic, Venezuela.

Winn will be playing against his Giants teammates when the U.S. squad squares off at Scottsdale Stadium in a March 5 exhibition match. The U.S. will also play South Africa in a WBC clash there on March 10.

The Giants are expected to sign Winn to a multiyear contract in the near future.

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.