2017 WBC Team USA projections Version 1.0

Back during the Blogathon, I did a super-hypothetical projection of what the World Baseball Classic team for the USA would look like if everybody took part, regardless of whether I actually thought they would or not. I called it Version 0.1.

Now, though, it’s time to be more realistic. Not everyone will take part, especially among the pitchers. And, what’s more, the roster will not be a simple gathering of talent. No, there will be role-players: Mark DeRosa, Ben Zobrist, and Willie Bloomquist were on previous WBC teams partly (or, in the case of Bloomquist, almost entirely) because they could play multiple positions. The bullpens will not simply be closers, there will be set-up men and specialists who would only be known to the die-hards.

In addition, there are likely to be rule changes that will allow teams to add players as the tournament goes on, primarily aimed at making it easier for some pitchers to play but who are skittish about going during the early rounds where they might not have had as much time to prepare. For simplicity’s sake, this version of the projections is going to only use a 28-man roster, but sometime in the future I will make projections that reflect the new rules once we officially know what they are.

Now, before we begin (after the jump), a reminder of the WBC roster rules/general wisdom that I use to make these:

  • 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.
  • Players that will be on new teams are less likely to participate, but shouldn’t be completely ignored, with the exception of pitchers.
  • Teams are made up of 28 players, of which 13 of them must be pitchers and two of them catchers. (This may change pending rule changes.)
  • The pitch count rules make relievers extremely important.

(Go below the jump for the projections)

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(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.

2013 WBC Team USA projections Version 2.2

It’s time for another round of WBC projections for Team USA! Like last time, players who have been absolutely super-confirmed to be playing are in italics. I note the changes from last time where applicable.

A refresher on my selection rules/assumptions:

  • 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.
  • Players that will be on new teams are less likely to participate, but shouldn’t be completely ignored, with the exception of pitchers.
  • 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.

Go after the jump for the projections:

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2013 WBC Team USA projections Version 2.1

THE LATEST PROJECTIONS CAN BE FOUND HERE.

Well, with some players beginning to confirm their inclusion or non-participation in the WBC, here are my latest projections. While Team USA is hurt by the fact that Bryce Harper (who likely wants to spend the spring preparing for what will be just his third year as a professional) and David Price are apparently not going to take part, it is bolstered by the fact that Joe Mauer and David Wright have confirmed that they are in. Starting with this set of projections, players who have confirmed that they are participating will be italicized.

A refresher on my selection rules/assumptions:

  • 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.
  • Players that will be on new teams are less likely to participate, but shouldn’t be completely ignored, with the exception of pitchers.
  • 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.

Now, go after the jump for the full look:

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2013 WBC Team USA projections Version 2.01

(EDITED IN ON DEC. 31: As of this writing, the most recent projection for the United States can be found here.)

With more stuff coming out about what players might or might not be taking part in the WBC, here’s another update of how Team USA looks. As we get closer to the tournament and some players start to drop out (Chris Sale, for example, has said he will probably won’t take part), it becomes clear that America’s best strength is it’s depth. Other countries have a line of superstars, but not much below that, but Team USA has a player pool that lets it take a licking but keep on ticking. Sale is out, you say? Well, there’s still plenty of good lefty starters like Gio Gonzalez, Wade Miley, Matt Harrison, C.J. Wilson, Madison Bumgarner, Cliff Lee, Derek Holland….

You get the idea.

A refresher on my selection rules/assumptions:

  • 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.
  • Players that will be on new teams are less likely to participate, but shouldn’t be completely ignored, with the exception of pitchers.
  • 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.

Now, go after the jump for the full look:

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2013 WBC Team USA projections Version 2.000001

(EDITED IN ON DEC. 31: As of this writing, the most recent projection for the United States can be found here.)

AGAIN, THIS IS AN OLD PROJECTION, GO TO THE ABOVE LINK FOR THE MOST RECENT!

With Derek Jeter’s injury last night, I already have to make a modification to yesterday’s projected roster. This roster is exactly the same as yesterdays, with the only difference being Jimmy Rollins replacing Derek Jeter (and changes to the lineup as a result).

A refresher on my selection rules/assumptions:

  • 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.
  • Players that will be on new teams are less likely to participate, but shouldn’t be completely ignored, with the exception of pitchers.
  • 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.

So after much research and thought, go after the jump for my latest projections for Team USA.

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