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Predicting Team USA’s 2017 WBC Roster

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Baseball's Olympics return in the Spring.
Baseball’s Olympics return in the Spring.

In 2017 the World Baseball Classic returns. Standing back and taking a look at the possible players the United States could have on its 28 man roster is quite intriguing, mainly because it would be incredibly stacked. Here are my predictions on who should take the field wearing the red, white and blue. The team will be managed by former World Champion and 3x Manager of the Year Jim Leyland, and the skipper’s squad has the potential to be quite powerful. (Disclaimer: These are just predictions,  players have the right to decline an invitation to the team.)

OUTFIELD:

Right: Bryce Harper (WSN)

Center: Mike Trout (LAA)

Left: Ryan Braun (MIL)

Backup outfielders: Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

Just missed the cut: Jackie Bradley Jr., Adam Jones, Jason Heyward

INFIELD:

Third: Josh Donaldson (TOR)

Shortstop: Corey Seager (LAD)

Second: Daniel Murphy (WSN)

First: Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

Catcher: Buster Posey (SF)

Utility/Backups: Kris Bryant (CHC, 1B,3B, OF), Ben Zobrist (CHC, Just about everywhere), Brian McCann (NYY, C), Jonathan Lucroy (MIL,C), Eric Hosmer (KC, 1B)

Just missed the cut: Evan Longoria,  Dustin Pedroia, Jason Kipnis, Troy Tulowitzki

STARTING ROTATION:

  1. Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
  2. Madison Bumgarner (SF)
  3. Jake Arrieta (CHC)
  4. Stephen Strasburg (WSN)
  5. Max Scherzer (WSN)

Just missed the cut: Zack Greinke, Adam Wainwright, Dallas Keuchel, Chris Archer, Noah Syndergaard, Chris Sale

BULLPEN:

Closer: Andrew Miller (NYY)

Set-Up: Wade Davis (KC), Dellin Betances (NYY)

Middle Relief: David Robertson (CWS), Craig Kimbrel (BOS), Zach Britton (BAL), Tony Watson (PIT), Will Harris (HOU)

Possibilites: Will Smith (MIL), Jonathan Papelbon (WSN), Mark Melancon (PIT)

OFFICIAL LINEUP:

  1. Mike Trout CF
  2. Bryce Harper RF
  3. Buster Posey C
  4. Giancarlo Stanton DH
  5. Paul Goldschmidt 1B
  6. Josh Donaldson 3B
  7. Ryan Braun LF
  8. Daniel Murphy 2B
  9. Corey Seager SS

Just to reiterate, these are just predictions and it is possible that nothing remotely close to this lineup could be assembled. There’s no telling if Leyland will invite any of these players and even if he does, there’s no telling any of them will accept (though that seems unlikely). The tournament will begin just as MLB Spring Training gets underway, so players may opt to stick with their team rather than go to the tournament. Either way, baseball is baseball and the tournament will surely live up to its “classic” billing.

Let me know your picks!

David Yarger @YagaBomb24
David Yarger
@YagaBomb24

 

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