USA Baseball Team Looks Like A Powerhouse

(Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

 

The teams for each country in the 2023 World Baseball Classic are starting to take shape.

The last world baseball classic we saw was in 2017.

When Team USA was crowned champions.

Now, they are coming back with plans of repeating.

Some players have already committed to playing on Team USA and this team looks loaded.

The team features three former MVPs in the outfield Mookie Betts, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout.

Trout has also been named captain of the team.

Also, they have a favorite for 2022 NL MVP, Paul Goldschmidt at first base.

The rest of the infield includes Trevor Story, Tim Anderson, and Nolan Arenado.

Story is a two-time all-star, Anderson a former batting champion, and Arenado a seven-time all-star and nine-time gold glove winner.

The catcher is three-time all-star J.T. Realmuto and the bench includes Pete Alonso who has won two home-run derbies and Cedric Mullins who completed a 30-30 season in 2021.

Also, Astros outfielder, Kyle Tucker, was the most recent addition to the team.

He provides more depth to an already loaded outfield.

While no pitchers have yet to make their commitment to the team, there are plenty of great options available.

The coaching staff for this team is also full of former MLB players.

The manager is Mark DeRosa, the hitting coach is Ken Griffey Jr., and the pitching coach is Andy Pettitte.

Goldschmidt and Arenado are the only two players that committed to the 2023 team that were also on the 2017 team.

So, the lack of experience in the WBC format could be the only issue that faces Team USA.

 

WBC Format

The World Baseball Classic is set up in four pools.

Team USA will play in pool C, where they face four other teams in a round-robin format.

The top two teams from each pool advance to the next round and meet in the quarterfinals.

Pool C consists of the United States, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, and a fifth qualifying winner.

The top two teams will move on to play the top two of Pool D.

Then the winner of that pool moves on to the semi-finals and so forth.

With the championship game being held at loanDepot Park in Miami.

The other MLB host park includes Chase Field in Arizona.

The past four WBC winners include Japan (2x), Dominican Republic, and the aforementioned United States in 2017.

This is baseball’s version of the Olympics and players all around the MLB return to their home countries to compete.

 

Team USA’s Competition

The 2017 runner-up, Puerto Rico, is looking to bring back another strong team including Carlos Correa, Jose Miranda, and Marcus Stroman.

Yes, that Marcus Stroman, the same pitcher who won MVP for Team USA in the 2017 WBC.

Stroman has dual eligibility in the USA and Puerto Rico so he plans to play for PR this time around.

Dominican Republic has the best chance to unseat team USA if their top options all commit to playing.

Some of the names DR can roster are Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rafael Devers, Julio Rodriguez, and Sandy Alcantara.

The DR is loaded with baseball talent and could easily match team USA in that category.

Other MLB commitments include Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (Venezuela) and Dodgers first-baseman Freddie Freeman (Canada).

Also, it will be interesting to see if Shohei Ohtani commits to team Japan for the WBC.

The MLB mega-star has yet to publicly announce a decision.

The WBC is set to begin in March 2023, and the talent on display from Team USA is going to be fun to watch.

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