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]

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Green fires back at critics, compares them to ‘bitter females’

The Islanders are wasting a roster spot on Eric Boulton

Ben Foster: PEDs I took to play Lance Armstrong 'definitely damaged' my body

Falcons ‘anticipate’ Julio Jones plays Thursday against Saints

Mets fan critically injured after fight with Dodgers fans

Belichick to Patriots: We’ll ‘win a lot of games’ playing like that


Report: Taylor could be out several weeks with MCL sprain

Richard Jefferson: Cavs 'are a little pissed off' after Finals

Andrew Luck staying quiet on injury, status for Patriots game

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should sign Hardy to long-term deal

Doctors ‘optimistic’ Daniel Fells won’t lose foot to MRSA

Jaguar may have blocked for wrong team due to concussion

Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux is a win for fans, finally

NFL signs deal with TuneIn for live play-by-play broadcasts

NFL won’t allow Williams to wear pink all year to honor late mother

Rudy Gay has great reaction to low ESPN NBA player ranking

What's changed, what hasn't: NBA's Southwest Division

Schools, opposing coaches pay tribute to Steve Spurrier

DeAndre Hopkins on pace to shatter single-season target record

Urban Meyer has interesting response to QB questions

Cardinals, Dodgers hoping short rest leads to longer series

Jason Heyward did a cool thing no one cares about today

Four biggest turning points from Week 5 in the NFL

Seahawks have blown second-most fourth quarter leads since 2012

Olympic failure far outweighs US loss in CONCACAF Cup

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Every team Steve Spurrier played for, coached

What's changed, what hasn't: NBA's Southwest Division

DeAndre Hopkins on pace to shatter single-season target record

(Mis)handling David Price

Five fantasy things we learned from every NFL Week 5 game

Steve Spurrier: An American original

How the Royals cheated death

Citi Field gave Chase Utley chilly reception

Mike Moustakas fired up Royals with expletive-laced speech

Clayton Kershaw: MLB "bullied" into Chase Utley suspension

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker