A Look at Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic

Six years ago, the United States won the World Baseball Classic. Set to defend the title in 2023, the U.S. will bring a roster that not only compares quite well to that 2017 team, but one that might be better on paper. Let’s take a look at how Team USA shakes out at the moment, starting with the pitchers.

Related: A Look at Team Canada in the 2023 World Baseball Classic


It’s hard to state that Team USA has any weaknesses. But if we had to pick one area that could use some improvement, it’s the rotation. With the likes of Max Fried, Dylan Cease, Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander not a part of Team USA, the Americans will instead trot out a rotation that should feature Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, and Diamondbacks RHP Merrill Kelly.

Team USA’s bullpen should be a strength, as two of the game’s best closers — Devin Williams and Ryan Pressly — should make for an intimidating duo at the back-end of games. Middle-relief options include Brooks Raley, Jason Adam, and Daniel Bard.

We should note that Team USA will not have two pitchers, Nestor Cortes and Clayton Kershaw, for the WBC in March. Cortes sustained a hamstring strain earlier this month, while Kershaw pulled out at the start of Spring Training.

Position Players

Team USA’s crop of position players is set to feature the reigning NL MVP in Paul Goldschmidt, four 2022 Gold Glove winners, and eight Silver Slugger recipients from a year ago. Goldschmidt will headline a stacked infield, one that should feature teammate Nolan Arenado on the other corner of the field and Phillies star Trea Turner at short.

While Team USA’s outfield won’t have Bryce Harper, it will have three of the game’s best outfielders in Mike Trout, Kyle Tucker, and Mookie Betts. Aside from the Dominican Republic, it’s hard to find an outfield that is as deep as that trio. Not to mention, manager Mark DeRosa will also have Cedric Mullins and slugger Kyle Schwarber at his disposal, as well.

With an incredibly deep lineup, the defending champions should be the odds-on favorite to repeat in 2023. But, it won’t be easy.

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