MLB Fan Creates The Perfect Team USA Graphic
Before the MLB season starts, the World Baseball Classic (WBC) will serve as a fine appetizer.
It will be the fifth edition of the tournament: Japan won in 2006 and 2009, the Dominican Republic lifted the trophy in 2013, and Team USA beat the competition in 2017.
Back then, the Americans had to work to put together a competitive roster: most star-level players declined to participate citing their preparations for the MLB season as the main reason.
This time around, however, Team USA is putting together an impressive, albeit slightly unbalanced roster.
Independent WBC writer Shawn Spradling put together each country’s preliminary roster on a Twitter thread.
Look at what Team USA has built so far:
Team USA Preliminary WBC Roster ?? pic.twitter.com/5Ue3c2N5Hy
— Shawn (@Shawn_Spradling) January 18, 2023
There is no Corbin Burnes, Justin Verlander, Dylan Cease, Shane McClanahan, Spencer Strider, Max Scherzer, Joe Musgrove, or Gerrit Cole in the rotation: most pitchers prefer to better monitor their workload and prepare under a normal spring training routine.
However, manager Mark DeRosa still found a way to recruit some top pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Logan Webb, Nestor Cortes Jr., Brady Singer, and lots of quality relievers.
The true power of Team USA, however, is in its group of position players.
They have All-Stars all around the lineup: catchers J.T. Realmuto and Will Smith, first basemen Paul Goldschmidt and Pete Alonso, middle infielders Trea Turner, Tim Anderson, Bobby Witt Jr., and Jeff McNeil, third baseman Nolan Arenado, and outfielders Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Cedric Mullins, Kyle Tucker, and Kyle Schwarber.
That’s incredibly impressive: you can almost build two lineups and still not lose any quality.
Other countries might have a slightly better pitching staff, but make no mistake: the Americans are among the favorites to win it all again.