(Blogathon ’16) 2017 WBC Team USA Projections Version 0.1

This post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

We are over a year from the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and the road will no doubt be filled with commitments, pull-outs, unusual nationality switches, injuries, trades, new contracts, personal decisions and god-knows-what-else still on the way. But, for now, let’s just imagine everybody is available: who’d be on Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic?

Perhaps it would look something like this. Now, a reminder of the WBC roster rules:

  • Any player coming off a major injury or who has a history of injuries is unlikely to participate. This is especially true for the pitchers. (This “rule” is being ignored for version 0.1)
  • Players that will be on new teams are less likely to participate, but shouldn’t be completely ignored, with the exception of pitchers. (This “rule” is being ignored for version 0.1)
  • Teams are made up of 28 players, of which 13 of them must be pitchers and two of them catchers.
  • The pitch count rules make relievers extremely important.

Catchers (3): Buster Posey, Stephen Vogt, Derek Morris

First Baseman (2): Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo

Second Basemen (1): Dee Gordon

Third Basemen (2): David Wright, Josh Donaldson

David Wright is basically the closest thing that Team USA has to a given and after his performances in 2009 and 2013 he’s probably in if he has any sort of good season in 2016. If we were going strictly by performance, it’d be Donaldson and Manny Machado (who might play for the Dominican), with Kris Bryant also being a very real possibility.

Shortstop (2): Troy Tulowitzki, Brandon Crawford

Utility (1): Ben Zobrist

The greatest utility player of his generation.

Outfield (4): Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, Kevin Kiermaier

Or maybe Adam Jones. Or maybe Lorenzo Cain. Or maybe A.J. Pollock. Or maybe Jason Heyward. Or maybe…. really, even ALL FOUR of the guys I have in this pie-in-the-sky version 0.1 were to pull out (doubtful, as I seem to remember Harper and/or Trout saying they wanted in for 2017 shortly after they said he wasn’t in for 2013), it’s likely that Team USA will have one of the best outfields in the event.

Starting Pitchers (4): Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Jake Arrieta, Max Scherzer

Like outfield, the sheer depth of American pitching means that it’s likely they will, on paper, have one of the best staffs in the WBC even if there are plenty of pull-outs. And, given that this is the WBC and the starting pitchers are the hardest players to have participate, there will be plenty of pull-outs. Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel, the various Mets, Sonny Gray, etc. are all possibilities.

Relief Pitchers (9): Wade Davis, Darren O’Day, Dellin Betances, Trevor Rosenthal, Tony Watson, Zach Britton, Carson Smith, Ken Giles, Will Harris

 

And so, that’s Version 0.1 of my Team USA projections. Version 1.0, which will include actual consideration as to whether I think somebody will actually take part or not (for example, I doubt Zack Greinke would play), will come out sometime in the future. But until then…. feel free to imagine how the team would do if it looked like this.

 

At 11 AM: Dominican Republic WBC Projections 0.1

This post has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

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6 thoughts on “(Blogathon ’16) 2017 WBC Team USA Projections Version 0.1

  1. Pingback: Every Piece from the 2016 Blogathon | The Baseball Continuum

  2. This would be a mean line up

    2B Dee Gordon
    CF Mike Trout
    LF Bryce Harper
    DH Giancarlo Stanton
    C Buster Posey
    1B Paul Goldschmidt
    SS Troy Tulowitzki
    3B Nolan Arenado
    RF Jason Heyward
    P Kleyton Kershaw

  3. 2B- Dee Gordon, ideal lead off man who can tear up the basepaths
    CF- Andrew McCutchen, will be 30, but still has all 5 tools
    LF- Mike Trout, best player in baseball
    RF- Bryce Harper, only other player on Trout’s level
    1B- Paul Goldschmidt, the American Albert Pujols while playing for BAD Arizona clubs
    DH- Giancarlo Stanton, if he could stay healthy, he could challenge Harper and Trout
    C- Buster Posey, still will be the best catcher in baseball
    SS- Troy Tulowitzki, again, if he’s healthy, he’s the best SS in the game by far
    3B- Kris Bryant, uber kid is the next big thing, and will be the fixture of the US lineup, for now, he’s 9th

    SP- Clayton Kershaw, best pitcher in baseball
    Chris Sale, Very quietly doing just as well as Kershaw
    Max Scherzer, best righty in the game
    David Price, has been dominant his whole career

    This would be close to the US “1st” team. Like the article says, half of them won’t go, especially the pitchers. But if they pulled a trick from US Basketball, and decided to end the debate about who really is the best in the world, this lineup would do exactly that.

    • he’s from america jackass…. i’m italian too but I was born in New Jersey so that makes me American lol you can’t be serious

  4. Pingback: 2017 WBC Team USA projections Version 1.0 | The Baseball Continuum

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