Team USA roster announced for the World Baseball Classic
With the World Baseball Classic soon approaching the roster for Team USA has been revealed. There are 27 players on the roster, so we’re going to look at some of the standout players from each position. This is no perfect “dream team” but it certainly does feature some of the best players in the MLB. The team will be managed by one of the all time greats, Joe Torre, and should prove to be a fun team to follow.
Pitcher: Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey is representing the Blue Jays for Team USA. At the age of 37 Dickey went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA in 2012, pitching 233 innings while racking up 230 strikeouts. Dickey has had a long and rough career, it’s high time he sit back and enjoy the results of the hard work he has put in over the years.
Catcher: Joe Mauer is expected to primarily catch but also get some time in at first base and DH. Mauer boasts a .323 career batting average over nine seasons. In 2012 the big lefty hit .319 with 10 homeruns and 85 RBI’s. Mauer’s bat and leadership will be much appreciated on the team USA roster.
Firs Base: Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees will play first base despite having a down year in 2012. The Yankee first baseman hit .251 in 2012 with 24 homers and 84 RBI’s. The Yankees hope to see Tex bounce back in 2013 and a good WBC could be a start.
Second Base: Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds is expected to see a lot of time at second base. Phillips had an average year in 2012, toting a .281 average with 18 homeruns.
Third Base: New York Mets fan favorite David Wright will play third base for the WBC. Wright had a great bounce back year in 2012, hitting .306 with 21 homers, 93 RBI’s while also swiping 15 stolen bases. Wright battled injuries a few years ago but seems to have recovered and is ready to gear up a little earlier in 2013.
Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies will patrol the middle infield at shortstop for Team USA. Rollins has a down year in 2013, but at the age of 33 he has a lot of baseball left in him and hopes to make an impression in the spring.
Outfield: Ryan Braun, the Brewers superstar, will play left field. Braun faced several steroid allegations a few years back but has not let that derail an otherwise stellar career. Braun has consistently been hitting better each year and plays spectacular defense as well. Braun will be a tremendous asset to the Team USA roster as they venture through the championship.
One other outfielder of note is Boston’s own Shane Victorino. Victorino is the only member of the Red Sox on team USA. Victorino’s bat has been slowing down over the years but he makes up for it with stellar defense and his bright personality.
Those are a handful of the 27 players on Team USA. The World Baseball Classic clashes with many MLB Spring Training schedules, yet it also provides an opportunity for baseball players around the world to meet and play the greatest game on earth. Don’t forget to check here for more updates and of course root for your favorites.