Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/20/14

I won't try to sell you on the validity of the World Baseball Classic.  The tournament itself comes at a time which most major leaguers are more concerned with losing weight and getting warmed up and less about serious competition.  This is likely the cause of the last U.S. team being inhabited by the likes of Jeremy Guthrie and Mark DeRosa.  Still, there is some upside.  Much of the top amateur international talent (Matsuzaka, Darvish, Chapman) has been brought center stage as a result of the Classic, and generally anything that allows American professionals to compete against the Japanese, Koreans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Venezuelans is must see television.  But what if money or the upcoming season played no factor in the selection of players competing?  What sort of dream squad could the United States build in an effort to dethrone the Japanese as the two-time defending champions? Catcher - This one is really just a two-way race between Joe Mauer and Buster Posey due to Brian McCann's injury issues in 2012.  Given that Posey is the reigning MVP and is among the best defensive backstops in the Major Leagues, he gets the edge here.   Buster Posey First Base - Though there are a lot of quality first basemen in baseball, most pale in comparison to Prince Fielder.  Though to round out the field, we should mention the likes of Allen Craig, Corey Hart and Mark Teixiera. Prince Fielder Second Base - This would likely be the most contested of all the selections.  For the United States, they would have the opportunity to choose from Aaron Hill, Ben Zobrist, Dustin Pedroia, Brandon Phillips, and Ian Kinsler as the top tier, and solid options such as Howard Kendrick, Jason Kipnis, Neil Walker, Darwin Barney, and Dustin Ackley as backups.  Hill had a career season with Arizona, Zobrist is the most athletic of the bunch, Pedoria has the best resume and Phillips is just plain awesome.  Given his ability to hit for average, I believe Pedroia narrowly edges out his competition here.  Dustin Pedroia Shortstop - The three names that pop out here are Ian Desmond, Jimmy Rollins, and Derek Jeter.  They all offer offensive upside, and defensively, Desmond is slightly below average, Jeter at this stage in his career is simply adequate and Rollins is still defending at a high level.  Though the other options are intriguing, I believe the most complete player of the bunch is Jimmy Rollins, with Jeter's broken ankle in October relegating him to the sidelines for the competition. Jimmy Rollins Third Base - Though there are many good Americans that can man the hot corner, the two that stand out at this stage in their careers are David Wright and Chase Headley.  Headley is younger and coming off a monster season for the Padres, but Wright is the hero of the last Classic for the Americans and has performed at a high level for longer.   David Wright Outfielders - Along with second base, this will be the most widely contested selection.  There isn't any reason to slot a RF, LF or CF, it seems it would be most beneficial for the Americans to field three CF if at all possible.  This first selection is probably the best player on the planet, Mike Trout.  For the next two spots, there should be a strong competition between the likes of Ryan Braun, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Holliday, Bryce Harper, Adam Jones, Jason Heyward, and Josh Hamilton.  After the positive test on Ryan Braun, many fans may be hesitant to allow him to represent America, but I get the feeling that he probably performed up to the same numbers in 2012 without the aid of performance enhancers.  For the final spot, you could choose Hamilton, McCutchen or Adam Jones and you wouldn't be wrong.  For this case though, I'll pick McCutchen, given his defensive upside and the fact that he put up eye-popping numbers in a pitching friendly environment.  Mike Trout Ryan Braun Andrew McCutchen Designated Hitter - For the final spot, I feel it should be a contest of simple offensive upside, or for lack of a better term, who can flat-out mash.  The three highest contenders are the aforementioned Josh Hamilton, Giancarlo Stanton and slugger Billy Butler.  Butler is a career .300 hitter that gets on base and posted career numbers in 2012.  Hamilton's numbers speak for themselves, he's among the elite hitters in baseball.  Stanton has more power than any hitter in baseball.  He's young and coming off a career season.  In fact, Stanton is the very man I think of when I think of a great power hitter.  So he takes the final spot.   Giancarlo Stanton Starting Pitching - There are so many great American pitchers right now.  You could really choose any three and they'd be great.  Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Matt Cain, Chris Sale, Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Jered Weaver, Cole Hamels, and Madison Bumgarner seem to inhabit the top tier.  To pick three seems like a crime, and there would be tons of disappointed fans no matter who we choose.  But Verlander, Kershaw and Price are the top three pitchers in baseball in my mind.  Unquestionably, I believe they cold shut down any offense the rest of the World provides.   Justin Verlander Clayton Kershaw David Price Relievers - Again, to pick merely five relievers seems like a crime, but we'll venture on just for the sake of building a team that can finally bring pride to the Americans for winning their own game.   Craig Kimbrel Sergio Romo Jake McGee Greg Holland David Robertson [follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Rick Barnes not expected back at Texas

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' for Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

The Seahawks are already winning the NFL Draft

Fiancée takes stand at Aaron Hernandez's murder trial

Thunder announce Kevin Durant to miss rest of season

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

Ranking the NBA's hottest coaching seats

The beginning of the end for Notre Dame

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rick Barnes not returning to Texas?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.