It has been 48 hours since the US Women’s Soccer Team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to secure back-to-back World Cups victories. As the country celebrates the fourth World Cup, there is some thought as to when and who will be a part of the next US National Team to bring home glory. USA Baseball has a strong chance to be that team.
In 2017, Marcus Stroman, Nolan Arenado, Alex Bregman, Adam Jones and Christian Yelich hoisted the trophy to win their first World Baseball Classic. Since then, there have been more emerging superstars that could come on and help the US become the second country to repeat at the WBC (Japan won the first two WBC tournaments). There is also a possibility of some players coming back to be a part of history.
Without further ado, here is a list of players we would like to see play for the United States in the 2021 World Baseball Classic.
- Marcus Stroman
- Gerrit Cole
- Walker Buehler
- Aaron Nola
- Blake Snell
- Max Fried
- Michael Kopech
- Brent Honeywell
- Brendan McKay
- Forrest Whitley
- Zack Britton
- Craig Kimbrel
- Corey Knebel
- Josh Hader
Back in 2017, Chris Archer, Sonny Gray, Drew Smyly and Marcus Stroman made up the rotation. If Stroman were to return, he would lead the new guard on the road to glory. Gerrit Cole's appearance could be a one-off, but he would definitely go great behind Stroman. Walker Buehler and Aaron Nola are a couple of young arms that have become the some of the best that the National League has to offer. Buehler has taken over the team that has been dominated by Clayton Kershaw for years and Nola has worked to become the next great ace in the history of the Phillies. Rounding out the rotation is American League Cy Young award winner Blake Snell. These five would make up what some might consider a dream rotation.
Michael Kopech, Brent Honeywell, Brendan McKay, and Forrest Whitley are the young arms that will be starting pitchers for their respective clubs in the near future. It would be an honor for them to represent their country on the grandest stage. The tournament would give these players a chance to showcase their talent and become household names.
Craig Kimbrel, Corey Knebel, and Josh Hader are some of the best late inning pitchers as they come. These three would handle the seventh, eighth and ninth innings and be calm under pressure with runners on base. They would be great additions to the roster and would be dependable options for the next manager of Team USA.
- Buster Posey
- J.T. Realmuto
- Zack Collins
When the next Classic comes around, Buster Poseywill be 33. However, I don’t think this will stop him from putting on the Stars and Stripes one more time. He hit .267 with 2 home runs and four RBI’s in the 2017 Classic and one more appearance would be a great way to conclude his international playing career.
J.T. Realmutois the younger catcher that could backup Posey. One could imagine that the two would split the time evenly behind the plate as Posey’s age will play a factor. The Phillies catcher hits for contact, owning a career slash line of .278/.327/.441. He would fight to get on base, which is valuable when going up against power house countries such as the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Japan.
Zack Collinswould be a fresh face to the fold. The Chicago White Sox 24-year-old catcher made his debut in June and has been learning what it is like to be a Major League catcher. Why not groom him to be the great catcher to represent team USA? The experienced pitching staff would help him out greatly and the added experience of Posey and Realmuto could play dividends for his career down the road.
- Pete Alonso
- Nolan Arenado
- Alex Bregman
- Trea Turner
- Max Muncy
- Matt Chapman
Nolan Arenado and Alex Bregman would be the sole returning infielders from the last championship. They are the best in the game at their position and bring a lot of power to the lineup. Imagine if new comer, and friend to Arenado, Matt Chapman was on his left. Chapman does have experience at shortstop as he saw some time at short in the minors. Chapman can go deep at any moment and is a defensive wizard. Nothing would get by the left side of the infield as the three best gloves can man the position.
Pete Alonso is also a new fresh face for team USA. The 24-year-old has made a name for himself during his rookie campaign, slashing .280/.372/.634 with 30 home runs and 68 RBI’s. He would be 26-years-old when the Classic comes around and will be entering his prime. He could be the next great first baseman that has made an appearance for team USA. He could split time with Buster Posey and fellow new comer Max Muncy. Muncy has had quite the introduction to the league the last two seasons. He hit 35 home runs in 2018 and had already hit 22 thus far at the All-Star Break. Muncy has positional flexibility as he can play second and third base.
The last player to round out the infield is Trea Turner. Turner could play anywhere in the infield, which would make him a natural fit for this team. He has some pop in his bat and could deliver in clutch situations. With all this talent in the infield, who does the manager pencil in to start?
- Christian Yelich
- Mike Trout
- Cody Bellinger
- George Springer
- Aaron Judge
Of all the members in this group Mike Trout is definitely the dream. Trout turned down the opportunity to represent the USA last go around, but I predict that he will put on the navy-blue cap in 2021. He expressed his thoughts to Mike Digiovanna about the WBC back in 2017:
“I mean, definitely, in the future, for sure," Trout told Digiovanna. "If I get the opportunity to do it again, I'll probably do it."
Trout is considered to be the best to ever play the game. Even if it is a one-off appearance, it would be some for number 27 to take the field and represent Team USA on one of the biggest stages in international play.
Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger would take the corner infield spots. The two have already combined for 61 home runs this year and would add even more power to a stacked lineup. Yelich represented team USA in 2017, with the tournament helping to Yelich to become a household name.
Aaron Judge would slide into the DH/ fourth outfielder role. His height would allow him to steal any home runs hit his way but could tear the cover off the ball when at the plate. Whether it be Petco Park, Chase Field, Marlins Park or Dodger Stadium, he can take the ball deep anywhere. George Springer rounds out the outfield/ designated hitter role. He is better defensively than Judge and could got on base in crucial situations. Springer didn’t participate in the WBC but will give it a go this time around.