Earlier this week Jason Wojciechowski wrote on Baseball Prospectus about the prospect of several states including California and Ohio forming their own teams for this years World Baseball Classic. Something that bewildered me was that he left out the baseball powerhouse that is Minnesota. I mean we have Joe Mauer and...
Well anyway, it's basically a forgone conclusion that the great state of many lakes will be seceding from the Union. The petition has like 4,000 signatures. So I think it's a good idea to blatantly steal Jason's wonderful idea and try to form the WBC roster of the People's Republic of Minnesota.
Like Jason, I'll adhere to the classic roster of 12 pitchers and 13 batters. Let' see what Minnesota has to offer:
C Joe Mauer
DH Dan Johnson
1B Ike Davis
3B Jack Hannahan
LF Jamie Hoffmann
RF Justin Gominsky
CF T.J. Bohn
SS A.J. Pettersen
2B Brian Raabe
Starts off pretty good, y'know. Mauer's a hell of a hitter. Let's just appreciate that first lineup slot for a minute.
Okay, time's up, moving on to the rest of the lineup. Dan Johnson isn't bad, he had one of the biggest hits in Tampa Bay history, so admire that about him. Ike Davis has a redeeming quality too, he's hit 58 home runs in just over 2 full seasons. Ike will also get on base a fair bit and play a mean defensive first base, scooping out the terrible throws that will inevitably come the middle infield (more on that later).
In the cleanup spot we have Jack Hannahan. So we've now locked up good defense in the corners. Hannahan's not a good hitter, per say, but he'll be able to handle Rodrigo Lopez of Mexico. Rounding out the actual major leaguers on the P.R.M's lineup is Jamie Hoffmann. He's a bit of a hitter and once picked by the Yankees in the Rule V draft.
Gominsky and Pettersen both attended the U of Minnesota in addition to being native sons. That's about where the nice things I have to say about them are expended and as my preschool teachers taught me, "If you have nothing to say, talk about T.J Bohn." Weird that she knew I'd be writing this one day. Bohn did reach the majors and had success in Indy ball as recently as 2011. Second baseman Brian Raabe hasn't played pro ball since the 90's, which is to say, Minnesota isn't a factory of middle infielders.
Uhhhh moving on.
Cole De Vries
Like our hitters, we have one star in Johnson. De Vries is competent as is Hand. Rosin is a wild card.
So, maybe the People's Republic of Minnesota wouldn't contend with the big boys. But I bet they could hang in there with Thailand, Italy, Brazil and maybe, maybe Great Britain.
Thanks to Andrew B. Johnson on his research assistance