June 22, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals players Carlos Beltran (3) and Yadier Molina (4) celebrate after scoring against the Kansas City Royals during the second inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
(Author's Note: Imagine a world in which MLB allows its greatest stars to leave the American stage for a month to represent their respective countries on the world stage at the London Olympics. This post is part of a series outlining what the top national team rosters would look like in such a ridiculous, and admittedly fun, scenario.)
QUICK THOUGHT: There are some very, very good players here, namely Stanton, Beltran, Rios and Molina, but filling out the infield took some effort. Talent is coming up the pipeline, though: Twins second baseman Eddie Rosario, Padres outfielder Reymond Fuentes and Astros shortstop (and 2012 No. 1 overall pick) Carlos Correa are all on the way.
QUICK THOUGHT: When you're putting guys like Felipe Lopez, Angel Sanchez and a retired Jorge Posada in the starting lineup, expecting much from the bench would probably be unfair. Torres and Soto have both had All Star-level seasons in the big leagues before, but they haven't played at that level in 2012.
QUICK THOUGHT: Their ace retired after an up-and-down season at age 35. Their No. 2 starter is Jonathan Sanchez. Their No. 3 starter made 16 starts for the Nationals in 2010 and has never returned. Their No. 4 starter is a reliever with Houston. Their No. 5 starter is walking five guys per nine innings in Double-A. When it looks like this, you basically just try to outscore everybody.
QUICK THOUGHT: A mixed litter of mediocrity, Lopez is the best option and ideally you'd have him facing primarily left-handed hitters. People have argued for a while now that looping Puerto Rico into the MLB Draft in 1990 has stunted the development of talent there, and while young guys are still coming, this roster is fairly underwhelming.
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