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

Majority of FIFA sponsors demanding independent review on reforms

Zack Greinke expected to choose between Dodgers, Giants by end of week

Reports: David Price, Red Sox agree to seven-year, $217 million contract

LSU officials’ media leaks about Les Miles blew up in their faces

Sam Bradford returns to practice, but does it matter for broken Eagles?

Cam Newton won’t be ‘lured in’ by talk of undefeated season


Report: Miami job is Mark Richt’s 'if he wants it'

WATCH: Cowboys’ security guard being investigated for choking Panthers fan

Mariners ‘trying hard’ to trade Mark Trumbo before Wednesday’s tender deadline

Bill Belichick: Patriots always looking to improve win or lose

NFL: Refs did not blow calls on Ravens' blocked FG return

Roethlisberger: I’ll play through any injury but a brain injury

Ryan Kesler says the Ducks are 'too good not to be in the playoffs'

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

WATCH: LSU releases video to honor Leonard Fournette

Report: Jim Hackett’s tenure as Michigan’s interim AD is ending

Josh Norman pretends to be a movie character each game

Ex-Giants OL Chris Snee 'wanted to see the Jets lose all the time'

Kyle Long gives Bears tickets to trash collector who found wallet

Last of a dying breed: Kobe's retirement marks end of an era

Are the Houston Rockets looking to trade Ty Lawson?

Anonymous agent: Lakers have 'no plan and no leadership'

LeBron on never facing Kobe in Finals: 'I didn't hold up my end'

Jerry Jones expects Tony Romo to start another five years

Devon Still announces that daughter is cancer-free

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

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

QUIZ: Name every NCAA football national champion since 1950

Browns lose to Ravens as only the Browns know how

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Ranking top Heisman Trophy candidates

Have the New Orleans Saints given up?

This weekend in NFL stupid, ft. Rex Ryan

Missouri won’t accept a bowl bid at 5-7

Durant blasts media on behalf of Kobe

Josh McCown laments how he got job back from Manziel

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker