Catchers: Torre carried three, and we can expect Leyland to do the same. Posey is a perfect fit for Joe Mauer's 2013 role as the catcher who also plays first base. McCann provides power, a left-handed bat and WBC experience from 2009. Defense should matter more than offense for the third catcher, making A.J. Ellis a possibility -- especially if a particular Los Angeles Dodgers southpaw is on the team. Lucroy and James McCann deserve consideration, too.
First basemen: America's First Baseman -- Goldschmidt -- could be … well … America's first baseman. Eric Hosmer, who started for the U.S. in 2013 after an injury to Mark Teixeira, is a more complete player now than he was then. Anthony Rizzo may be the best option of all, but he'd have to switch his affiliation from Italy to the U.S. after starring for the Italians in 2013.
Second basemen: Gordon's speed is perfectly suited for international play, making him the front-runner for an everyday role. But Joe Panik is a perfect two-hole hitter, and Leyland is a longtime admirer of Dustin Pedroia, a WBC veteran.
Shortstops: This should come down to Crawford or Troy Tulowitzki, and the ultimate decision could hinge on the team's left-right balance elsewhere in the lineup. Both are above-average defenders. Leyland saw Crawford's superb play in the field from the opposing dugout during the 2012 World Series.
Third basemen: It's hard to choose anyone other than reigning American League MVP Award winner Donaldson, but Nolan Arenado might be one of the top five all-around players in the world right now. Arenado is eligible to play for Puerto Rico, too. Manny Machado is a deserving candidate, too, although he could decide to represent the Dominican Republic. Bryant obviously belongs in the discussion, as well, but he might be better suited for a different role on the team. (See below.)
Utility players: Versatility is paramount, and at least one bench player must be able to play shortstop. Betts, one of the best athletes in the sport, played the position a little in the Minor Leagues and should be able to check that box. Bryant offers coverage in the corner infield and outfield spots. Longtime shortstop Ian Desmond is another good fit, thanks to his newfound ability to play left field. Nick Ahmed and Josh Harrison deserve consideration, too, depending on how highly Leyland values infield defense.
Outfielders: Here's where it gets interesting. How about Trout in left, McCutchen in center and Harper in right, with Stanton at designated hitter? Even if all of them are unavailable, the next foursome sounds just as good: Adam Jones, Lorenzo Cain, Jason Heyward and J.D. Martinez. Let's put it this way: In 2017, Team USA could have one of the best outfields ever assembled on a baseball field.
Starters: Fortunately -- or unfortunately -- some of these decisions will be out of Leyland's hands, because of inevitable health concerns or MLB team wishes. But Team USA has a far better pool of arms from which to choose this time than in 2013.