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Full Team USA Player Grades for the 1st Round of the World Baseball Classic

Zak SchmollAnalyst IMarch 10, 2013

Full Team USA Player Grades for the 1st Round of the World Baseball Classic

1 of 29

    Team USA has had me on the edge of my seat. Of course, whenever you enter a competition involving America's pastime, you expect America to do a pretty good job.

    An opening game loss to Mexico cast shadow over America's performance. From that point on, they were playing with the mindset of "Win or go home."

    How did that work out for them?

    Well, as you know by now, they did advance to the second round, and there were some critical players who made that happen. Here are my complete grades for each player on the roster throughout the first three games. 

LHP Jeremy Affeldt

2 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: No action

    Saturday against Italy: 1.0 IP, 1 K

    Sunday against Canada: No action

    Analysis:

    It is hard to really accomplish much in one inning, but he did his job. He served as a successful bridge between Ryan Vogelsong and Ross Detweiler to keep Team USA alive.

    Grade: B+

C J.P. Arencibia

3 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 0-2, 2 K

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: No action

    Analysis:

    I'm sorry to do this, but with a stat line like that...

    Grade: F

RHP Heath Bell

4 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: No action

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: 1.0 IP, 1 K, 1 W

    Analysis:

    That he got the victory in a decisive game certainly counts for something. His performance was definitely solid, and even though I would not label it as spectacular, he did what he had to do.  

    Grade: B+

SS Willie Bloomquist

5 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: No action

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: 0-0, 1 R

    Analysis:

    He did his job the one time he was called upon, so I guess I can't complain. However, pinch-running and scoring a run is not really that impressive.

    Grade: C

RHP Mitchell Boggs

6 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: No action

    Analysis:

    He didn't make anything worse, and he didn't make anything better. However, I have to admit that his performance has been a little bit substandard compared to his usual self. And that's disappointing. 

    Grade: D

LF Ryan Braun

7 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K

    Saturday against Italy: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K

    Sunday against Canada: 1-5, 1 SB, 2 K

    Analysis:

    He hasn't necessarily blow away the competition, but his all-around skills have been put on display throughout the tournament. Braun should produce more hitting from the middle of the lineup, but these numbers are not bad whatsoever.

    Grade: B-

RHP Steve Cishek

8 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 0.2 IP, 1 BB

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: 0.1 IP, 1 BB

    Analysis:

    Fortunately, he did not surrender any runs, but issuing two walks in only one inning of work demonstrates a potential problem. He did stop the bleeding against Canada though, so there is some redemption.

    Grade: D+

LHP Tim Collins

9 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: No action

    Analysis:

    A small sample size is probably not his friend in this calculation, but with an astronomical WHIP, I did not have much of a choice.

    Grade: F

LHP Ross Detwiler

10 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: No action

    Saturday against Italy: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 SV

    Sunday against Canada: No action

    Analysis:

    Team USA virtually had its back against the wall to the surprising Team Italy, but this huge performance not only finished off the game, but in all likelihood saved the team from elimination.

    Grade: A+

RHP R.A. Dickey

11 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 L

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: No action

    Analysis:

    With some offensive support behind him, this performance might not have appeared so terrible. At the same time, losing the opener was not helpful, and it caused a lot more stress than I believe the team was expecting this early.

    Grade: F

LHP Gio Gonzalez

12 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: No action

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: No action

    Grade: Incomplete

RHP Luke Gregerson

13 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 1 IP

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: No action

    Analysis:

    There was certainly nothing wrong with his performance. However, it was remarkably average and deserves an average grade with a slight markup because he stopped the bleeding against Mexico.

    Grade: C+

RHP David Hernandez

14 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: No action

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K

    Analysis:

    In what turned out to be the critical game, he almost let Canada right back into the battle. Obviously, Team USA pulled away, but this was not a spotlight performance.

    Grade: F

LHP Derek Holland

15 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: No action

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

    Analysis:

    The win was the only thing that mattered, and this strong performance over five innings helped set the table for that outcome. Granted, he was not given credit for the win, but he essentially made it happen at a vital time.

    Grade: A

1B Eric Hosmer

16 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 1-4, 1 RBI

    Saturday against Italy: 0-4, 1 K

    Sunday against Canada: 2-5, 1 2B, 3 RBI

    Analysis:

    This has not exactly been a dominant performance, but his three RBI in the final game certainly count for something. Perhaps this is a sign that he is gaining momentum heading into the next round.

    Grade: B

CF Adam Jones

17 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K

    Saturday against Italy: 1-3, 1 R, 1 SB, 1 BB, 1 K 

    Sunday against Canada: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI

    Analysis:

    He needs to bring a little bit more power in the future, but this was not a terrible performance. Certainly, he could have gotten on base more, but he had an impact in both victories.

    Grade: C-

RHP Craig Kimbrel

18 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: No action

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: 1.0 IP, 2 K

    Analysis:

    The strikeouts were nice, but it is not exactly difficult to pitch with a five-run lead. I want to give him some credit, but with limited exposure, there's only so much I am willing to do.

    Grade: B

C Jonathan Lucroy

19 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 0-1

    Saturday against Italy: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB

    Sunday against Canada: 1-1, 1 R, 1 RBI

    Analysis:

    Even though we only have a small sample size, Lucroy did what was needed in the last two games and had successful results.

    Grade: B

C Joe Mauer

20 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 2-4, 2 K

    Saturday against Italy: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB

    Sunday against Canada: 2-4, 1 R

    Analysis:

    I feel kind of like this was simply an extension of his typical season performances. He had an incredibly high average with a little bit of power. I certainly would not complain if I were Joe Torre.

    Grade: A- 

LHP Glen Perkins

21 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

    Analysis:

    He has had a difficult stretch in two of the three games, and most of that resulted from allowing too many runners on base. If he figures that out, this grade could certainly rise.

    Grade: D 

RHP Vinnie Pestano

22 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 1.0 IP, 1 K

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: No action

    Analysis:

    There's really nothing to write home about here. He did a good job, but I really don't have much more to say than that.

    Grade: C

2B Brandon Phillips

23 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 0-4, 2 K

    Saturday against Italy: 2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

    Sunday against Canada: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 R

    Analysis:

    It seems as if Team USA's fortunes rose and fell with these performances. Nothing good happened against Mexico, but he came back just like the team did. I'm sure that he could do more, but this was a nice start.

    Grade: B

SS Jimmy Rollins

24 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 K

    Saturday against Italy: 2-4, 1 BB

    Sunday against Canada: 1-5, 1 SB, 1 K

    Analysis:

    He was one of the only players to do anything worth mentioning against Mexico, and he has continued his string of success throughout the tournament. At the top of the lineup, he has done a good job getting on base and setting up rallies.

    Grade: A

RF Giancarlo Stanton

25 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K

    Saturday against Italy: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K

    Sunday against Canada: No action

    Analysis:

    The failure to collect a hit in the first two games presumably led to a benching in the third. He has a ton of power, but we have not seen that so far.

    Grade: F

RF Shane Victorino

26 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 0-1

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: 1-5, 1 RBI, 3 K

    Analysis:

    He hasn't played very much, and he hasn't hit extraordinarily well. Of course, it is hard to get going with limited playing time, but three strikeouts in seven at-bats is problematic.

    Grade: D

RHP Ryan Vogelsong

27 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: No action

    Saturday against Italy: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 W

    Sunday against Canada: No action

    Analysis:

    He came up big by helping the United States knock off Italy. He did not necessarily overpower them, but he was able to collect outs and ultimately win a vital baseball game.

    Grade: A- 

3B David Wright

28 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: 2-4, 1 RBI

    Saturday against Italy: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI

    Sunday against Canada: 1-2, 1 2B, 3 R, 3 BB

    Analysis:

    When you hit a grand slam in a potential elimination game, there's really only one grade you can get.

    Grade: A+ 

UTILITY Ben Zobrist

29 of 29

    Friday against Mexico: No action

    Saturday against Italy: No action

    Sunday against Canada: 3-5, 1 R

    Analysis:

    Sure, he did not get very much playing time. However, he was able to put up big numbers in the game that allowed Team USA to advance to the next level.

    Grade: B

     

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