Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 1/4/13

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]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Blake Griffin may still return to Clippers despite Chris Paul exit

Report: Miguel Montero to be DFA’d after calling out Jake Arrieta

Report: Eight teams already interested in Zach Orr

Report: Clippers agree to trade Chris Paul to Rockets

What to expect from United States Men’s National Team in Gold Cup

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Knicks targeting Raptors GM Ujiri to replace Jackson

Bryce Harper fuels Cubs speculation with Instagram post

Mike Trout progressing towards return before All-Star break

There's nowhere for Chris Paul to go

Mother Nature stops Tim Tebow's St. Lucie debut

Carson Palmer not sure if 2017 will be his last NFL season

Top NBA free agents available

Box Score 6/28: New York loses its zen

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

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

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker