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]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Texas Tech using fake Twitter accounts to track players

Nike creates custom Air Jordan shoes in tribute to Craig Sager

Browns wanted ‘second-round pick and then some’ for Gordon

Report: Eric Berry to sign next week, be ready to play in Week 1

Lochte to be summoned to appear in Rio, charged with making false report

Carlos Ruiz traded to Dodgers

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

What's missing for each Premier Leauge team?

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

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

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

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