Matt Cain: 2012 N.L. All-Star Starting Pitcher
The MLB is as diverse as can be with players emanating from Alabama to South Korea.
This being the last season the National League will have 16 teams, I wanted to examine each team's best players by position and country and rank them alphabetically by team.
At this moment, I'm concentrating on the best U.S.-born starting pitchers for each team thus far in 2012.
Each slide will have place of birth, stats and an American-centric piece of trivia of said pitcher.
POB: Loranger, Louisiana
Why He's Good: Originally brought up as a long reliever, Miley found himself a starter earlier this season and now boasts a 12-7 record leading the D-Backs staff with wins.
He was also named a N.L. All-Star this season and was quoted as saying
"It's awesome." "It's just an honor to have your named called with all the guys who are going to be there. It's amazing."
Americana: Miley, an avid hunter, once bought his coaching staff in Double A Mobile matching camouflage shirts.
POB: Columbus, Georgia
Why He's Good: Although at the time this piece is written fellow SP Tommy Hanson has one more win and more strikeouts, Tim Hudson has a lower ERA, hit and walk count.
Hudson has been a solid starting pitcher for most of his time with the Braves organization, even winning the 2010 Comeback Award after his Tommy John surgery in 2009.
Americana: Tim Hudson's favorite bubble gum is American and baseball pastime, Bazooka!
A pitcher can break his bat too...
POB: Merrillville, Indiana
Why He's Good: Despite a 7-10 record, Jeff Samardzija has been the most consistent Cubs pitcher since the beginning of the season (Ryan Dempster's departure and Paul Maholm's arrival notwithstanding). The tall pitcher has recorded 130 strikeouts which ranks 12th in the N.L.
Americana: He made the Football Writers Association of America All-America team following a record-breaking season in 2006 playing wide receiver at the University of Notre Dame.
POB: Alexandria, Virginia
Why He's Good: Mat Latos has a clean 10-3 record and although he's had great run support and is prone to giving up the long ball, Latos has held his own as a solid contributor behind Johnny Cueto on the Reds staff.
Americana: Like many Americans akin to spontaneity, Latos proposed to his wife accidentally.
P.O.B: Evanston, Illinois
Why He's Good: Before going down for the season with a stress fracture in his spine, and bad July stats because of it, Christian Friedrich was by far the Rockies most promising pitcher in what has been an abysmal year for Rockies pitchers due to injuries and poor pitching.
For the Rockies' sake, let's hope he rebounds next year to become a star in their pitching staff.
Americana: Christian likes Subway sandwiches, rock and roll and steak and broccoli dinners.
POB: Springfield, Missouri
Why He's Good: Harrell is leading all rookies in innings pitched and has a 6-1 record with a 2.02 ERA while pitching at home at Minute Maid Park.
Americana: A hard-earned and sacrificial tale. Harrell's father never pushed Lucas to be a pro player, yet spent the time and money for Lucas too practice when he was younger, which ultimately paid off.
POB: Dallas, Texas
Why He's Good: 10-6 record. The former Cy Young award winner leads all Dodger starting pitchers in strikeouts, innings pitched and ERA. He is also currently tied in wins.
POB: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Why He's Good: Leads the Marlins' pitching staff in strikeouts and least amount of home runs given with a 7-8 record.
Americana: Johnson met his wife in a very American fashion. Las Vegas.
POB: Hollywood, Florida
Why He's Good: With the trade of Zack Greinke away from the Brewers and with Marco Estrada and Randy Wolf having little to no wins, Fiers turns out to be a solid arm in the Brewers staff. A 6-4 record, clean 1.80 ERA and a low amount of walk totals catapults Fiers to this slideshow.
Americana: Getting no looks out of high school, Fiers has embodied the hard-working do-it-yourself spirit to reach the level he's at today.
Born: Nashville, Tennessee
Why He's Good: Knuckleballer RA Dickey is having a Cy Young award-winning caliber year. He leads the Mets starting pitching staff in innings pitched, strikeouts and ERA. He leads the National League with 15 wins.
Americana: Dickey once threw knuckleball pitches to David Letterman.
POB: San Diego, California
Why He's Good: 2008 World Series MVP Hamels leads the Phillies pitching staff in wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts. He's also fifth in the National League in strikeouts.
Americana: Hamels loves ice cream. Mint chocolate chip to be exact.
POB: North Little Rock, Arkansas
Why He's Good: Burnett sports a 14-3 record and leads the Pirates pitching staff in wins and lowest earned run total with a minimum of 20 games played.
Americana: Burnett has a tattoo of American and global icon Bruce Lee.
POB: Lafayette, Indiana
Why He's Good: Richard leads the Padres staff in wins, ERA and innings pitched.
Americana: Richard was a huge fan of American football icons Joe Montana and Steve Young—especially Young since he was a lefty like him.
POB: Dothan, Alabama
Why He's Good: Arguably, Madison Bumgarner and Ryan Vogelsong have had more consistent seasons, but Cain's perfect game, workhorse performances and election to start for the N.L. start in the All-Star game cannot be ignored.
Americana: Matt Cain delivered the Top Ten on the David Letterman Show.
POB: Marion County (Brownsburg), Indiana
Why He's Good: 13-5 record. 133 strikeouts in 133 innings pitched. 1.29 WHIP.
POB: San Diego, California
Why He's Good: I chose Strasburg over Gio Gonzalez because he has a better ERA, strikeouts and wins despite possibly being shut down for a time once he reaches 160 innings pitched.