While baseball may no longer be as American as apple pie, trailing behind football in popularity while growing in appeal around the world, there is no disputing that the roots of what was once America's pastime run deep in the 50 states that form the United States of America.
From Anchorage, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, major league talent has been produced from every corner that this country has to offer.
In some cases, players like Denard Span, who was born in Washington D.C., wind up playing professionally in the place of their birth. Others never get the opportunity to go back to where it all began.
While every state has produced major league talent, not all of them are now represented on a 25-man major league roster, forcing us to expand our definition of an "active player."
For our purposes, any player playing for an MLB-affiliated team is eligible to be named the greatest active player from his respective birth state.
We'll look at not only what a player is doing in 2013, but what he's accomplished over the course of his career as we separate the contenders from the pretenders and figure out who the greatest active player from every state in the union is.
Let's get to it.
*Unless otherwise noted, all stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and are current through the end of games on May 8.
*Unless otherwise noted, all birthplace and state information courtesy of Baseball-Almanac.com.
Born: October 4, 1984 in Dothan, AL
Career Stats: 242 G (241 GS), 85-80, 3.34 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, 7.5 K/9
How do you choose between a perennial Cy Young Award contender and the best relief pitcher in baseball not named Mariano Rivera?
That's the dilemma I faced in Alabama, where San Francisco's Matt Cain and Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel, born in Huntsville, both make strong cases for the top spot.
Ultimately, Cain gets the nod, not only for his lengthy track record of success, but his postseason performance (4-2, 2.10 ERA, 1.05 WHIP in eight career starts)—and despite his subpar performance on the mound for the defending World Series champions in 2013.
It's an incredibly close contest between the two, and you couldn't go wrong picking one or the other. That said, it's only a matter of time before Kimbrel surpasses Cain as the best active player from the Heart of Dixie—perhaps as early as the end of the 2013 season.
Alabama By The Numbers
11: Number of Hall of Famers born in Alabama.
23: Number of active players born in Alabama.
61: Number of players born in Birmingham, most in the state.
311: Number of players from Alabama.
Other Notable Active Alabama Natives
|Desmond Jennings||Birmingham, AL.|
|Jake Peavy||Mobile, AL|
|Juan Pierre||Mobile, AL|
|Alex Rios||Coffee, AL|
|David Robertson||Birmingham, AL|
|Josh Willingham||Florence, AL|
Notable Alabama Natives in MLB History
|Hank Aaron||Mobile, AL|
|Monte Irvin||Haleburg, AL|
|Heinie Manush||Tuscumbia, AL|
|Willie Mays||Westfield, AL|
|Willie McCovey||Mobile, AL|
|Satchel Paige||Mobile, AL|
|Joe Sewell||Titus, AL|
|Ozzie Smith||Mobile, AL|
|Don Sutton||Clio, AL|
|Billy Williams||Whistler, AL|
|Early Wynn||Hartford, AL|
Born: May 9, 1986 in Anchorage, AK
Career Stats: 5-6, 4.35 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 6.4 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
There isn't an Alaskan-born player currently on a 25-man roster in the major leagues. And only two, left-handed reliever Daniel Schlereth (for the Baltimore Orioles) and outfielder Aaron Cunningham (for the Texas Rangers), currently play in the minor leagues.
Schlereth's career numbers may not be impressive, but neither are Cunningham's, owner of a 219/.280/.347 slash line with seven home runs and 51 RBI in 222 career major league games.
I give the southpaw the nod over the light-hitting outfielder in what amounts to a coin flip.
Alaska By The Numbers
Two: Number of active players born in Alaska.
Nine: Number of players born in Anchorage, most in the state.
11: Number of players all time from Alaska.
52: Number of years between the debut of Alaska's first MLB player (Tom Sullivan in 1925) and its second (Steve Staggs in 1977).
Other Notable Active Alaska Natives
|Aaron Cunningham||Anchorage, AK|
Notable Alaska Natives in MLB History
|Chad Bentz||Seward, AK|
|Shawn Chacon||Anchorage, AK|
|Randy Kutcher||Anchorage, AK|
|Scott Loucks||Anchorage, AK|
|Josh Phelps||Anchorage, AK|
|Curt Schilling||Anchorage, AK|
|Steve Staggs||Anchorage, AK|
|Tom Sullivan||Nome, AK|
|Dave Williams||Anchorage, AK|
Born: June 22, 1982 in Tucson, AZ
Career Stats: .274/.352/.463, 150 HR, 487 RBI, 160 SB
Arizona posed another tough choice, this time between a pair of former teammates on the 2002 Arizona State Sun Devils, Phoenix native Andre Ethier and Tucson's Ian Kinsler.
Their career numbers are extremely close, which makes the decision even more difficult:
Ultimately, I decided on Kinsler because he plays a premium position, a spot where production like his isn't as prevalent as Ethier's is for a corner outfielder. Since his rookie season of 2006, only three second basemen have posted a higher WAR than Kinsler, according to FanGraphs:
Ethier, who also made his MLB debut in 2006, ranks 27th among outfielders over the same period of time with a 17.5 WAR, also via FanGraphs.
Arizona By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Arizona.
24: Number of active players born in Arizona.
26: Number of players born in Tucson, the most in the state.
92: Number of players all time from Arizona.
Other Notable Active Arizona Natives
|Jeremy Affeldt||Phoenix, AZ|
|Kole Calhoun||Buckeye, AZ|
|J.J. Hardy||Tucson, AZ|
|Tom Wilhelmsen||Tucson, AZ|
Notable Arizona Natives in MLB History
|Chris Duncan||Tucson, AZ|
|Shelley Duncan||Tucson, AZ|
|Ron Hassey||Tucson, AZ|
|Billy Hatcher||Williams, AZ|
|Max Venable||Phoenix, AZ|
|Ed Vosberg||Tuscon, AZ|
Born: August 30, 1978 in Benton, AR
Career Stats: 291 G (287 GS), 128-80, 3.58 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 7.4 K/9
While there are a number of active players that were born in Arkansas who have had lengthy, successful big league careers, none has been as successful or dominant as Cliff Lee.
The 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner continues to baffle the opposition on the mound, despite receiving less than three runs of support per start from an aging Philadelphia lineup. He also shows remarkable control, with a 1.3 BB/9 mark that puts him among the league leaders.
Arkansas By The Numbers
Six: Number of Hall of Famers born in Arkansas.
10: Number of active players born in Arkansas.
20: Number of players born in Little Rock, the most in the state.
150: Number of players all time born in Arkansas.
Other Notable Active Arkansas Natives
|A.J. Burnett||North Little Rock, AR|
|Torii Hunter||Pine Bluff, AR|
|Drew Smyly||Maumelle, AR|
|Travis Wood||Little Rock, AR|
Notable Arkansas Natives in MLB History
|Lou Brock||El Dorado, AR|
|Dizzy Dean||Lucas, AR|
|George Kell||Swifton, AR|
|Brooks Robinson||Little Rock, AR|
|Preacher Roe||Ash Flat, AR|
|Arky Vaughan||Clifty, AR|
Born: November 17, 1983 in Mission Hills, CA
Career Stats: 912 G, .313/.375/.569, 209 HR, 667 RBI, 128 SB
You could field an All-Star team with the number of quality players currently playing in the big leagues that were born in California—something that makes choosing the best of the bunch a difficult task.
Despite the PED cloud that has hung over his head since winning the National League MVP in 2011, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun remains one of the best all-around players in the game, a perennial MVP candidate and a force in the middle of the Brewers lineup.
Consistently among the league leaders in a multitude of offensive categories and an on-base machine, Braun gets the nod over some very significant competition.
California By The Numbers
21: Number of Hall of Famers born in California.
228: Number of players born in Los Angeles, the most in the state..
320: Number of active players born in California, the most in the country.
2,050: Number of players all time born in California, the most in the country.
Other Notable Active California Natives
|Prince Fielder||Ontario, CA|
|Adrian Gonzalez||San Diego, CA|
|Cole Hamels||San Diego, CA|
|Adam Jones||San Diego, CA|
|Evan Longoria||Downey, CA|
|Dustin Pedroia||Woodland, CA|
|CC Sabathia||Vallejo, CA|
|Giancarlo Stanton||Panorama, CA|
|Stephen Strasburg||San DIego, CA|
|Troy Tulowitzki||Santa Clara, CA|
|Jered Weaver||Northridge, CA|
Notable California Natives in MLB History
|Gary Carter||Culver City, CA|
|Joe DiMaggio||Martinez, CA|
|Don Drysdale||Van Nuys, CA|
|Dennis Eckersley||Oakland, CA|
|Tony Gwynn||Los Angeles, CA|
|Tony Lazzeri||San Francisco, CA|
|Ernie Lombardi||Oakland, CA|
|Eddie Murray||Los Angeles, CA|
|Tom Seaver||Fresno, CA|
|Duke Snider||Los Angeles, CA|
|Ted Williams||San Diego, CA|
Born: May 14, 1977 in Denver, CO
Career Stats: 410 G (384 GS), 201-104, 3.37 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 1.9 BB/9, 6.9 K/9
Roy Halladay is no longer the perennial Cy Young Award contender or the intimidating presence that he once was—a precipitous decline that both Halladay and his fans hope can be explained by damage to his shoulder that will require surgery to repair.
That said, Halladay's my choice in Colorado, beating out San Diego third baseman Chase Headley.
It comes down to their track records, really. Halladay has a decade of dominance and a pair of Cy Young awards under his belt, while Headley has only his breakout 2012 season that makes you stand up and take notice.
Colorado By The Numbers
One: Number of Hall of Famers born in Colorado.
10: Number of active players born in Colorado.
39: Number of players born in Denver, the most in the state.
85: Number of players all time born in Colorado.
Other Notable Active Colorado Natives
|Ike Davis||Pueblo, CO|
|Chase Headley||Fountain, CO|
|Luke Hochevar||Denver, CO|
|Brian Matusz||Grand Junction, CO|
|Mark Melancon||Wheat Ridge, CO|
|Chris Narveson||Englewood, CO|
Notable Colorado Natives in MLB History
|Scott Elarton||Lamar, CO|
|Goose Gossage||Colorado Springs, CO|
|Tippy Martinez||La Junta, CO|
|John Stearns||Denver, CO|
Born: March 27, 1989 in New London, CT
Career Stats: 17 G (17 GS), 7-5, 2.07 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, 10.6 K/9
Matt Harvey may just be starting out his career, thus lacking a lengthy track record of success, but what a start to a career it's been.
Harvey has been as dominant as any starting pitcher who has made his major league debut in the past few years, including Washington's Stephen Strasburg and San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner.
When you consider that Harvey's stiffest competition in Connecticut came from a middle reliever and a pair of fourth outfielders, the choice was actually a pretty easy one to make.
Connecticut By The Numbers
Two: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Connecticut.
13: Number of active players born in Connecticut.
28: Number of players born in New Haven, four more than Bridgeport.
181: Number of players all time born in Connecticut.
Other Notable Active Connecticut Natives
|Craig Breslow||New Haven, CT|
|Rajai Davis||Norwich, CT|
|Chris Denorfia||Bristol, CT|
|John McDonald||New London, CT|
|Mike Olt||New Haven, CT|
|A.J. Pollock||Hebron, CT|
Notable Connecticut Natives in MLB History
|Brad Ausmus||New Haven, CT|
|Roger Connor||Waterbury, CT|
|Rob Dibble||Bridgeport, CT|
|Jay Johnstone||Manchester, CT|
|Charles Nagy||Bridgeport, CT|
|Carl Pavano||New Haven, CT|
|Tim Teufel||Greenwich, CT|
|Bobby Valentine||Stamford, CT|
|Mo Vaughn||Norwalk, CT|
Born: September 10, 1987 in Wilmington, DE
Career Stats: 227 G, .284/.363/.503, 37 HR, 138 RBI, 26 SB
Paul Goldschmidt stands alone on an island as the most significant active player who was born in Delaware—he's the only one currently playing in the big leagues.
Arizona's 25-year-old first baseman broke out in 2012, flashing his big-time power potential while quickly becoming an on-base machine and the key piece in the lineup for the post-Justin Upton Diamondbacks.
Among the league leaders in 2013 in both home runs (nine) and RBI (30), Goldschmidt is well on his way to becoming one of the most prolific sluggers in the game.
Delaware By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Delaware.
Five: Number of active players born in Delaware.
27: Number of players born in Wilmington, most in the state.
52: Number of players all time born in Delaware.
Other Notable Active Delaware Natives
Notable Delaware Natives in MLB History
|Randy Bush||Dover, DE|
|Delino DeShields||Seaford, DE|
|John Mabry||Wilmington, DE|
|Dave May||New Castle, DE|
|Kevin Mench||Wilimngton, DE|
|Ian Snell||Dover, DE|
|Chris Widger||Wilmington, DE|
Born: October 10, 1986 in Fort Meade, FL
Career Stats: 609 G, .289/.372/.482, 86 HR, 314 RBI, 105 SB
Florida presented a difficult challenge, with multiple players seemingly worthy of the top spot as the greatest active player born in the Sunshine State. Ultimately, it was a three-man race between Washington's Gio Gonzalez (Hialeah, FL), Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen and Los Angeles' Zack Greinke (Orlando, FL).
While a strong case can be made for either pitcher, it came down to this: Take Greinke or Gonzalez off of their respective teams and things won't fall apart completely. Remove McCutchen from the equation in Pittsburgh and the Pirates become the equivalent of a mediocre minor league team.
McCutchen's talents are numerous. His ability to impact the game with his bat, his glove and his speed makes him one of the most dangerous—and complete—players in the game today.
Florida By The Numbers
Three: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Florida.
55: Number of players born in Miami and Tampa, tied for the in-state lead.
127: Number of active players born in Florida.
437: Number of players all time born in Florida.
Other Notable Active Florida Natives
|Bronson Arroyo||Key West, FL|
|Billy Butler||Orange Park, FL|
|Wade Davis||Lake Wales, FL|
|Eric Hosmer||South Miami, FL|
|Howie Kendrick||Jacksonville, FL|
|Manny Machado||Miami, FL|
|Matt Moore||Fort Walton Beach, FL|
|Mike Napoli||Hollywood, FL|
|Chris Sale||Lakeland, FL|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia||West Palm Beach, FL|
|Rickie Weeks||Altamonte Springs, FL|
Notable Florida Natives in MLB History
|Steve Carlton||Miami, FL|
|Vince Coleman||Jacksonville, FL|
|Andre Dawson||Miami, FL|
|Steve Garvey||Tampa, FL|
|Dwight Gooden||Tampa, FL|
|Chipper Jones||DeLand, FL|
|Tino Martinez||Tampa, FL|
|Fred McGriff||Tampa, FL|
|Tim Raines||Sanford, FL|
|Gary Sheffield||Tampa, FL|
|Tim Wakefield||Melbourne, FL|
Born: March 27, 1987 in Leesburg, GA
Career Stats: 340 G, .312/.381/.503, 50 HR, 210 RBI
San Francisco's Buster Posey might not have the lengthy track records of fellow Georgians like Tim Hudson or Adam Wainwright, but the reigning NL MVP is the best catcher in baseball, and that pushes him ahead of his veteran competition and into the top spot.
An on-base machine, Posey may never lead the league in home runs or RBI, but his ability to contend for a batting title on a yearly basis while producing 20-plus home runs and triple-digit RBI totals more than makes up for it.
Georgia By The Numbers
Five: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Georgia.
59: Number of active players born in Georgia.
67: Number of players born in Atlanta, most in the state.
324: Number of players all time born in Georgia.
Other Notable Active Georgia Natives
|Gordon Beckham||Atlanta, GA|
|Jonathan Broxton||Augusta, GA|
|Stephen Drew||Valdosta, GA|
|Tyler Flowers||Roswell, GA|
|Dexter Fowler||Atlanta, GA|
|Tim Hudson||Columbus, GA|
|Nick Markakis||Woodstock, GA|
|Brian McCann||Athens, GA|
|Josh Reddick||Savannah, GA|
|Adam Wainwright||Brunswick, GA|
|Jake Westbrook||Athens, GA|
Notable Georgia Natives in MLB History
|Ty Cobb||Narrows, GA|
|J.D. Drew||Valdosta, GA|
|Marquis Grissom||Atlanta, GA|
|Wally Joyner||Atlanta, GA|
|Johnny Mize||Demorest, GA|
|Tony Phillips||Atlanta, GA|
|Jackie Robinson||Cairo, GA|
|John Rocker||Statesboro, GA|
|Kenny Rogers||Savannah, GA|
|Bill Terry||Atlanta, GA|
|Frank Thomas||Columbus, GA|
Born: November 30, 1980 in Wailuku, HI
Career Stats: 1,101 G, .276/.341/.428, 92 HR, 419 RBI, 204 SB
Shane Victorino has made me eat my words.
After spending much of the winter criticizing the Red Sox for handing a seemingly over-the-hill Victorino nearly $40 million over the next three years, the 32-year-old has posted a respectable .293/.353/.380 slash line thus far in 2013.
A two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, Victorino gets the nod over Washington's Kurt Suzuki, who has carved out a solid seven-year big league career but hasn't been as successful as the "Flyin' Hawaiian."
Hawaii By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Hawaii.
Seven: Number of active players born in Hawaii.
24: Number of players born in Honolulu, most in the state.
37: Number of players all time born in Hawaii.
Other Notable Active Hawaii Natives
|Scott Feldman||Kailua, HI|
|Kurt Suzuki||Wailuku, HI|
|Jerome Williams||Honolulu, HI|
Notable Hawaii Natives in MLB History
|Benny Agbayani||Honolulu, HI|
|Ron Darling||Honolulu, HI|
|Sid Fernandez||Honolulu, HI|
|Charlie Hough||Honolulu, HI|
Born: February 11, 1980 in Rexburg, ID
Career Stats: 374 G, 14-17, 3.65 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 7.3 BB/9, 45 SV
While Idaho gave us one of the iconic sluggers in baseball history, Harmon Killebrew, today's crop of major league talent consists of back-end starting pitchers and middle relievers. Of the group, Matt Lindstrom stands out as the clear choice.
A seven-year veteran, Lindstrom is coming off the most successful two-year stretch of his career, pitching to a 2.85 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 101 innings combined for Arizona, Baltimore and Colorado.
With the White Sox in 2013, the 33-year-old has a 3.86 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, allowing earned runs in only three of his 16 relief appearances so far.
Idaho By The Numbers
One: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Idaho.
Four: Number of players born in Pocatello, the most in the state.
Four: Number of active players born in Idaho.
Six: Average length (in years) of an Idaho-born player's career.
28: Number of players all time born in Idaho.
Other Notable Active Idaho Natives
|Stephen Fife||Boise, ID|
|Nick Hagadone||Sandpoint, ID|
|Clayton Mortensen||Rexburg, ID|
Notable Idaho Natives in MLB History
|Ken Dayley||Jerome, ID|
|Larry Jackson||Nampa, ID|
|Harmon Killebrew||Payette, ID|
|Vance Law||Boise, ID|
|Vern Law||Meridian, ID|
|Jason Schmidt||Lewiston, ID|
Born: May 26, 1981 in Eureka, IL
Career Stats: 792 G, .260/.354/.441, 95 HR, 410 RBI, 83 SB
Of all the 50 states, Illinois proved to be the most difficult for me to make a decision in, as I was torn between Curtis Granderson and Ben Zobrist for the top spot.
Ultimately, Zobrist's versatility in the field and penchant for getting on base trumped Granderson's impressive power numbers.
Illinois By The Numbers
13: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Illinois.
43: Number of active players born in Illinois.
366: Number of players born in Chicago, the most in the state.
1,023: Number of players all time born in Illinois.
Other Notable Active Illinois Natives
|Peter Bourjos||Park Ridge, IL|
|Tim Byrdak||Oak Forest, IL|
|Tony Cingrani||New Lenox, IL|
|Jason Frasor||Chicago, IL|
|Curtis Granderson||Blue Island, IL|
|J.A. Happ||Spring Valley, IL|
|Garrett Jones||Harvey, IL|
|Jason Kipnis||Northbrook, IL|
|Zach McAillister||Chillicothe, IL|
|Josh Thole||Breese, IL|
|Jayson Werth||Springfield, IL|
Notable Illinois Natives in MLB History
|Lou Boudreau||Harvey, IL|
|Ray Fosse||Marion, IL|
|Eddie Gaedel||Chicago, IL|
|Gary Gaetti||Centralia, IL|
|Rickey Henderson||Chicago, IL|
|Kirby Puckett||Chicago, IL|
|Robin Roberts||Springfield, IL|
|Red Ruffing||Granville, IL|
|Ray Schalk||Harvel, IL|
|Red Schoendienst||Germantown, IL|
|Robin Yount||Danville, IL|
Born: December 21, 1972 in Gary, IN
Career Stats: 886 G (98 GS), 65-88, 4.43 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 6.0 BB/9, 88 SV
He's never made an All-Star team or been considered the best at his position, but LaTroy Hawkins has spent nearly two decades pitching in the major leagues for 10 different teams, most notably the Minnesota Twins, with whom he spent nine seasons.
Had he been used as a reliever throughout his career, his overall numbers would look far more impressive than they currently do. The splits don't lie:
Currently pitching out of the bullpen for the New York Mets, a 40-year-old Hawkins has pitched to a 2.57 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 14 innings of relief this season.
Indiana By The Numbers
Nine: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Indiana.
23: Number of active players born in Indiana.
37: Number of players born in Indianapolis, the most in the state.
357: Number of players all time born in Indiana.
Other Notable Active Indiana Natives
|Clint Barmes||Vincennes, IN|
|Brandon Beachy||Kokomo, IN|
|Jamey Carroll||Evansville, IN|
|Tommy Hunter||Indianapolis, IN|
|Adam Lind||Anderson, IN|
|Lance Lynn||Indianapolis, IN|
|Jarrod Parker||Fort Wayne, IN|
|Clayton Richard||Lafayette, IN|
|Jeff Samardzija||Merrilville, IN|
|Drew Storen||Indianapolis, IN|
Notable Indiana Natives in MLB History
|Mordecai Brown||Nyesville, IN|
|Max Carey||Terre Haute, IN|
|Billy Herman||New Albany, IN|
|Gil Hodges||Princeton, IN|
|Tommy John||Terre Haute, IN|
|Chuck Klein||Indianapolis, IN|
|Don Larsen||Michigan City, IN|
|Don Mattingly||Evansville, IN|
|Sam Rice||Morocco, IN|
|Amos Rusie||Mooresville, IN|
|Sam Thompson||Danville, IN|
Born: April 8, 1987 in Des Moines, IA
Career Stats: 77 G (71 GS), 28-23, 3.23 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, 6.2 K/9
Just entering the prime of his career, 26-year-old Jeremy Hellickson gets the nod over a former All-Star closer in Joel Hanrahan for the top spot in Iowa.
In only two full big league seasons, Hellickson has acquired an impressive amount of hardware, winning the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year award and a Gold Glove award in 2012.
While he's off to a mediocre start in 2013 (1-2, 4.79 ERA and 1.31 WHIP), Hellickson remains a key piece of Tampa Bay's rotation and one of the brightest pitchers under the age of 30 in the game.
Iowa By The Numbers
Six: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Iowa.
10: Number of active players born in Iowa.
16: Number of players born in Des Moines, the most in the state.
215: Number of players all time born in Iowa.
Other Notable Active Iowa Natives
|Jerry Hairston||Des Moines, IA|
|Joel Hanrahan||Des Moines, IA|
|Ryan Sweeney||Cedar Rapids, IA|
Notable Iowa Natives in MLB History
|Cap Anson||Marshalltown, IA|
|Stan Bahnsen||Council Bluffs, IA|
|Dave Bancroft||Sioux City, IA|
|Mike Boddicker||Cedar Rapids, IA|
|Fred Clarke||Winterset, IA|
|Red Faber||Cascade, IA|
|Bob Feller||Van Meter, IA|
|Joe Magrane||Des Moines, IA|
|Dazzy Vance||Orient, IA|
Born: October 10, 1979 in Pratt, KS
Career Stats: 343 G, 18-15, 2.47 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 6.0 K/9, 19 SV
Despite not getting a shot in the major leagues until his age-28 season, Brad Ziegler has quickly established himself as one of the most reliable setup men in the game.
Ziegler's ability to thrive in multiple bullpen roles, whether as a closer, setup man or middle reliever, gives him the nod over Kyle Farnsworth.
Now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Ziegler, 33, has pitched to a 3.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in a league-high 20 appearances in 2013.
Kansas By The Numbers
Two: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Kansas.
13: Number of active players born in Kansas.
23: Number of players born in Wichita, the most in the state.
211: Number of players all time born in Kansas.
Other Notable Active Kansas Natives
|Aaron Crow||Topeka, KS|
|Kyle Farnsworth||Wichita, KS|
|Andy LaRoche||Fort Scott, KS|
|Derek Norris||Goddard, KS|
|Mike Pelfrey||Wichita, KS|
Notable Kansas Natives in MLB History
|Tony Clark||Newton, KS|
|Johnny Damon||Fort Riley, KS|
|Darren Daulton||Arkansas City, KS|
|Walter Johnson||Humboldt, KS|
|Rudy May||Coffeyville, KS|
|Bill Russell||Pittsburg, KS|
|Bob Swift||Salina, KS|
|Joe Tinker||Muscotah, KS|
|Mike Torrez||Topeka, KS|
Born: March 11, 1980 in Louisville, KY
Career Stats: 1,122 G, .252/.343/.469, 216 HR, 637 RBI, 24 SB
While Dan Uggla has turned into the Adam Dunn of second basemen—power with a painful batting average and a lot of strikeouts—three All-Star selections and five consecutive seasons of hitting at least 30 home runs give him the nod over Corey Hart for the top spot in Kentucky.
Uggla has struggled badly for the Atlanta Braves this season, hitting .198 with five home runs and 10 RBI, but he continues to show a knack for getting on base, as his 17 walks put him among the league leaders.
Despite his decline at the plate, Uggla remains one of the most durable players in baseball, playing in all but two of Atlanta's first 33 games this year and averaging 156 games played per season over his eight-year career.
Kentucky By The Numbers
Three: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Kentucky.
23: Number of active players born in Kentucky.
74: Number of players born in Louisville, the most in the state.
273: Number of players all time born in Kentucky.
Other Notable Active Kentucky Natives
|Joe Blanton||Bowling Green, KY|
|Tyler Clippard||Lexington, KY|
|Scott Downs||Louisville, KY|
|Corey Hart||Bowling Green, KY|
|Austin Kearns||Lexington, KY|
|John Rauch||Louisville, KY|
|Mark Reynolds||Pikeville, KY|
|Robbie Ross||Lexington, KY|
|Jonny Venters||Pikeville, KY|
Notable Kentucky Natives in MLB History
|Jay Buhner||Lexington, KY|
|Jim Bunning||Southgate, KY|
|Paul Byrd||Louisville, KY|
|Earle Combs||Pebworth, KY|
|Travis Fryman||Lexington, KY|
|Mike Greenwell||Louisville, KY|
|Pee Wee Reese||Ekron, KY|
|Ferdie Schupp||Louisville, KY|
|Brandon Webb||Ashland, KY|
Born: June 15, 1972 in Baton Rouge, LA
Career Stats: 507 G (497 GS), 248-144, 3.86 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 6.7 K/9
His recent struggles may be an indication that the end is rapidly approaching for Andy Pettitte, but what the 40-year-old southpaw has accomplished over his 18-year career makes him the obvious choice in Louisiana.
Named the MVP of the 2001 ALCS, Pettitte is baseball's all-time postseason leader in wins (19), games started (44) and innings pitched (276.2), winning five World Series championships along the way.
Blessed with one of the best pickoff moves in the history of the game, Pettitte's Hall of Fame candidacy is sure to be widely debated once his playing days are over.
Louisiana By The Numbers
Four: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Louisiana.
28: Number of active players born in Louisiana.
70: Number of players born in New Orleans, the most in the state.
238: Number of players all time born in Louisiana.
Other Notable Active Louisiana Natives
|Scott Baker||Shreveport, LA|
|Chad Gaudin||New Orleans, LA|
|Wade Miley||Hammond, LA|
|Jonathan Papelbon||Baton Rouge, LA|
|Vernon Wells||Shreveport, LA|
Notable Louisiana Natives in MLB History
|Joe Adcock||Coushatta, LA|
|Albert Belle||Shreveport, LA|
|Vida Blue||Mansfield, LA|
|Norm Charlton||Fort Polk, LA|
|Will Clark||New Orleans, LA|
|Bill Dickey||Bastrop, LA|
|Ted Lyons||Lake Charles, LA|
|Mel Ott||Gretna, LA|
|Reggie Smith||Shreveport, LA|
|Rusty Staub||New Orleans, LA|
Born: June 2, 1982 in Portland, ME
Career Stats: 96 G (70 GS), 23-31, 3.94 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, 6.2 K/9
Maine has never been a hotbed for major league talent, evidenced not only by the state's low overall numbers but in the choice of Tim Stauffer as the greatest active player born in Maine.
Stauffer, 30, has battled injuries and ineffectiveness throughout his nine-year career, throwing over 100 innings in a season only once (185.2 in 2012) and never posting a double-digit win total in any given season.
Currently part of the starting rotation for San Diego's Triple-A team, the aptly-named Tuscon Padres, Stauffer has gone 2-2 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in seven starts as he tries to get back to the major leagues one more time.
Maine By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Maine.
Four: Number of active players born in Maine.
13: Number of players born in Portland, the most in the state.
73: Number of players all time born in Maine.
Other Notable Active Maine Natives
|Ryan Flaherty||Portland, ME|
|Charlie Furbush||South Portland, ME|
|Mark Rogers||Brunswick, ME|
Notable Maine Natives in MLB History
|Pete Ladd||Portland, ME|
|Bob Stanley||Portland, ME|
|Bill Swift||Portland, ME|
Born: April 11, 1980 in Annapolis, MD
Career Stats: 1,497 G, .279/.369/.527, 338 HR, 1,101 RBI, 21 SB
Maryland might be more well-known for crab cakes and football, but the state has long history of producing superstar sluggers on the major league level as well, with Annapolis-born Mark Teixeira the latest example.
Yet to make his 2013 debut as he recovers from a partially-torn tendon in his right wrist, Teixeira has hit at least 24 home runs in each of his 10 big-league seasons and at least 30 in eight of them.
One of the smoothest-fielding first basemen in the game, Teixeira's accomplishments tower over the other active Maryland natives who could have been contenders for the top spot.
Maryland By The Numbers
Eight: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Maryland.
16: Number of active players born in Maryland.
139: Number of players born in Baltimore, the most in the state.
277: Number of players all time born in Maryland.
Other Notable Active Maryland Natives
|Brett Cecil||Dunkirk, MD|
|Gavin Floyd||Annapolis, MD|
|Aaron Laffey||Cumberland, MD|
|Steve Lombardozzi||Fulton, MD|
|Justin Maxwell||Bethesda, MD|
Notable Maryland Natives in MLB History
|Harold Baines||Easton, MD|
|Frank Baker||Trappe, MD|
|Jimmie Foxx||Sudlersville, MD|
|Lefty Grove||Lonaconing, MD|
|Al Kaline||Baltimore, MD|
|Cal Ripken Jr.||Havre De Grace, MD|
|Babe Ruth||Baltimore, MD|
|Vic Willis||Cecil County, MD|
Born: August 19, 1978 in Springfield, MA
Career Stats: 218 G (191 GS), 69-78, 4.32 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 7.5 K/9
Were Brian Wilson and his fearsome beard healthy and part of a team's bullpen, he would have been the choice here. But with Wilson on the sidelines recovering from Tommy John surgery, Chris Capuano gets the nod in Massachusetts.
An All-Star in 2006, Capuano missed two years in the middle of his prime due to Tommy John surgery (the second of his career), yet he bounced back to become a serviceable major league starter with the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets and, currently, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Massachusetts By The Numbers
10: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Massachusetts.
12: Number of active players born in Massachusetts.
93: Number of players born in Boston, the most in the state.
651: Number of players all time born in Massachusetts.
Other Notable Active Massachusetts Natives
|Steve Cishek||Falmouth, MA|
|Alex Cobb||Boston, MA|
|Brandon Gomes||Fall River, MA|
Notable Massachusetts Natives in MLB History
|Jeff Bagwell||Boston, MA|
|Steve Bedrosian||Methuen, MA|
|Jack Chesbro||North Adams, MA|
|Mickey Cochrane||Bridgewater, MA|
|Leo Durocher||West Springfield, MA|
|Tom Glavine||Concord, MA|
|Rabbit Maranville||Springfield, MA|
|Jeff Reardon||Dalton, MA|
|Pie Traynor||Framingham, MA|
|Brian Wilson||Winchester, MA|
|Mark Wohlers||Holyoke, MA|
Born: June 1, 1973 in Dearborn, MI
Career Stats: 679 G (377 GS), 176-157, 4.01 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 5.8 K/9, 86 SV
Derek Lowe has done it all, from leading the AL in saves with 46 for the Boston Red Sox in 2000 to posting an NL-leading 16 wins for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006 and posting 17 losses for Atlanta in 2011.
A two-time All-Star and member of Boston's 2004 World Championship team, Lowe continues to reinvent himself, currently playing the part of long reliever in Texas.
Michigan By The Numbers
Three: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Michigan.
20: Number of active players born in Michigan.
118: Number of players born in Detroit, the most in the state.
420: Number of players all time born in Michigan.
Other Notable Active Michigan Natives
|Josh Collmenter||Homer, MI|
|Chris Getz||Southfield, MI|
|Jason Grilli||Royal Oak, MI|
|Nate McLouth||Muskegon, MI|
|Jason Motte||Port Huron, MI|
|J.J. Putz||Trenton, MI|
|Matt Thornton||Three Rivers, MI|
Notable Michigan Natives in MLB History
|Jim Abbott||Flint, MI|
|Kiki Cuyler||Harrisville, MI|
|Charlie Gehringer||Fowlerville, MI|
|Bobby Grich||Muskegon, MI|
|Pat Hentgen||Detroit, MI|
|Steve Howe||Pontiac, MI|
|Hal Newhouser||Detroit, MI|
|John Smoltz||Detroit, MI|
|Frank Tanana||Detroit, MI|
|Jason Varitek||Rochester, MI|
|Bob Welch||Detroit, MI|
Born: April 19, 1983 in St. Paul, MN
Career Stats: 1,094 G, .323/.405/.467, 96 HR, 597 RBI, 43 SB
A future member of the Hall of Fame, Joe Mauer has spent his entire 10-year career with his hometown Minnesota Twins—and what a career he's had.
Mauer has won three AL batting titles and the 2009 AL MVP award, been selected to play in five All-Star games and will go down in history as not only one of the best hitting catchers of all time, but one of the best hitters of his generation.
As he transitions from catcher to first base in an effort to extend the productive years of his career, Mauer continues to perform at a high level, consistently finishing among the league leaders in batting average and on-base percentage.
Minnesota By The Numbers
Three: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Minnesota.
15: Number of active players born in Minnesota.
38: Number of players born in Minneapolis, four more than St. Paul for most in the state.
160: Number of players all time born in Minnesota.
Other Notable Active Minnesota Natives
|Ike Davis||Edina, MN|
|Jack Hannahan||St. Paul, MN|
|Josh Johnson||Minneapolis, MN|
|Glen Perkins||St. Paul, MN|
|Michael Wuertz||Austin, MN|
Notable Minnesota Natives in MLB History
|Chief Bender||Crow Wing County, MN|
|Jim Eisenreich||St. Cloud, MN|
|Jerry Koosman||Appleton, MN|
|Roger Maris||Hibbing, MN|
|Paul Molitor||St. Paul, MN|
|Jack Morris||St. Paul, MN|
|Dave Winfield||St. Paul, MN|
Born: August 29, 1977 in Kosciusko, MS
Career Stats: 356 G (335 GS), 163-96, 3.28 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, 7.4 K/9
It sure looked like Roy Oswalt's career was over after a disastrous 2012 season with the Texas Rangers. But the Colorado Rockies, always on the lookout for a live arm, signed the 12-year veteran to a minor league deal at the beginning of May.
A three-time All-Star, injuries have sidelined what was shaping up to be a Hall of Fame-caliber career. In his first decade as a major league pitcher, Oswalt went 150-83 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, finishing in the top five of the NL Cy Young Award voting five times.
Mississippi By The Numbers
Two: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Mississippi.
27: Number of active players born in Mississippi.
16: Number of players born in Jackson, most in the state.
194: Number of players all time born in Mississippi.
Other Notable Active Mississippi Natives
|Paul Maholm||Greenwood, MS|
|Mitch Moreland||Amory, MS|
|Tony Sipp||Pascagoula, MS|
|Seth Smith||Jackson, MS|
|Donnie Veal||Jackson, MS|
Notable Mississippi Natives in MLB History
|Oil Can Boyd||Meridian, MS|
|Ellis Burks||Vicksburg, MS|
|Dave Parker||Calhoun, MS|
|Dmitri Young||Vicksburg, MS|
Born: November 19, 1979 in St. Louis, MO
Career Stats: 1,131 G, .272/.362/.550, 306 HR, 940 RBI, 12 SB
In the prime of his career, few batters could keep up with the gaudy numbers that Ryan Howard put up. From his NL MVP-winning season of 2006 through the 2011 season, Howard hit .274 with a .929 OPS while averaging 44 home runs and 133 RBI a year.
Fully recovered from a torn ACL that cost him much of the 2012 season, a 33-year-old Howard remains a productive member of Philadelphia's lineup, trailing only Chase Utley for the team lead in home runs and RBI.
Missouri By The Numbers
Five: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Missouri.
28: Number of active players born in Missouri.
287: Number of players born in St. Louis, most in the state.
589: Number of players all time born in Missouri.
Other Notable Active Missouri Natives
|Jake Arrieta||Farmington, MO|
|Mark Buehrle||St. Charles, MO|
|A.J. Ellis||Cape Girardeau, MO|
|Lucas Harrell||Springfield, MO|
|Shaun Marcum||Kansas City, MO|
|Logan Morrison||Kansas City, MO|
|Darren Oliver||Kansas City, MO|
|Trevor Rosenthal||Lee's Summit, MO|
Notable Missouri Natives in MLB History
|Yogi Berra||St. Louis, MO|
|Clete Boyer||Cassville, MO|
|Pud Galvin||St. Louis, MO|
|Joe Garagiola||St. Louis, MO|
|Tom Henke||Kansas City, MO|
|Elston Howard||St. Louis, MO|
|Carl Hubbell||Carthage, MO|
|Darrell Porter||Joplin, MO|
|Mel Stottlemyre||Hazelton, MO|
|Rick Sutcliffe||Independence, MO|
|Zack Wheat||Hamilton, MO|
Born: July 2, 1982 in Anaconda, MT
Career Stats: 245 G, .201/.277/.297, 8 HR, 62 RBI, 6 SB
Montana offers virtually no viable choices, as only career backup Rob Johnson and right-handed pitcher Mason Tobin are affiliated with a major league club. Of the two, only Johnson has seen action in 2013, posting a .203/.282/.304 slash line with two home runs and six RBI in 21 games for Triple-A Memphis.
Montana By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Montana.
Two: Number of active players born in Montana.
Four: Number of players born in Billings, most in the state.
22: Number of players all time born in Montana.
Other Notable Active Montana Natives
|Mason Tobin||Glendive, MT|
Notable Montana Natives in MLB History
|Jeff Ballard||Billings, MT|
|John Gibbons||Great Falls, MT|
|Dave McNally||Billings, MT|
Born: February 10, 1984 in Lincoln, NE
Career Stats: 750 G, .271/.348/.442, 87 HR, 343 RBI, 57 SB
While he's never reached the lofty expectations that come with being the second pick in the MLB draft, Alex Gordon has developed into a quality ballplayer and one of the premier defensive left fielders in baseball.
Now in the prime of his career, Gordon's overall numbers are ticking upwards. He's posted a .300/.369/.480 slash line since the beginning of the 2011 season with 42 HR, 182 RBI and 102 doubles, the latter among the highest totals in baseball during that time.
Nebraska By The Numbers
Five: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Nebraska.
12: Number of active players born in Nebraska.
31: Number of players born in Omaha, most in the state.
111: Number of players all time born in Nebraska.
Other Notable Active Nebraska Natives
|Joba Chamberlain||Lincoln, NE|
|Conor Gillaspie||Omaha, NE|
|Darin Ruf||Omaha, NE|
Notable Nebraska Natives in MLB History
|Grover Alexander||Alba, NE|
|Richie Ashburn||Tilden, NE|
|Wade Boggs||Omaha, NE|
|Sam Crawford||Wahoo, NE|
|Bob Gibson||Omaha, NE|
|Gregg Olson||Scribner, NE|
Born: May 13, 1978 in Las Vegas, NV
Career Stats: 407 G (401 GS), 163-133, 3.91 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 6.6 K/9
It's only a matter of time before Bryce Harper surpasses Barry Zito on this list, but until that happens, the soon-to-be 35-year-old Zito is the best that Nevada currently has to offer.
A three-time All-Star and the 2001 AL Cy Young Award winner, Zito has turned his career around after a disastrous few years with the San Francisco Giants, going 18-9 with a 3.99 ERA and 1.40 WHIP since the start of the 2012 season.
Nevada By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Nevada.
12: Number of active players born in Nevada.
17: Number of players born in Las Vegas, most in the state.
30: Number of players all time born in Nevada.
Other Notable Active Nevada Natives
|Scott Cousins||Reno, NV|
|Bryce Harper||Las Vegas, NV|
|Mike MacDougal||Las Vegas, NV|
|Nate Schierholtz||Reno, NV|
Notable Nevada Natives in MLB History
|Marty Cordova||Las Vegas, NV|
Born: April 27, 1975 in Exeter, NH
Career Stats: 350 G (332 GS), 144-94, 3.76 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 6.9 K/9
Currently trying to come back from a third major arm injury, Chris Carpenter coasts to the top spot in New Hampshire, with his only competition (if you can call it that) coming from Tampa Bay's Sam Fuld.
Winner of the 2005 NL Cy Young Award, Carpenter is a three-time All-Star who went 95-42 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.13 WHIP from 2004 through 2011—a span that saw him throw only 21.1 innings combined between 2007 and 2008 due to Tommy John surgery.
New Hampshire By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in New Hampshire.
Four: Number of active players born in New Hampshire.
Nine: Number of players born in Manchester, most in the state.
50: Number of players all time born in New Hampshire.
Other Notable Active New Hampshire Natives
|Sam Fuld||Durham, NH|
Notable New Hampshire Natives in MLB History
|Mike Flanagan||Manchester, NH|
|Phil Plantier||Manchester, NH|
|Bob Tewksbury||Concord, NH|
Born: June 26, 1974 in Pequannock, NJ
Career Stats: 2,585 G, .313/.382/.448, 255 HR, 1,254 RBI, 348 SB
The face of baseball for more than a decade and as a future Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter has set the bar incredibly high to claim the title of best New Jersey-born player in the history of baseball.
Out of action as he recovers from a fractured ankle, the end of Jeter's iconic career has been predicted for years, only for him to come back with a vengeance and silence the critics with his bat. He did exactly that in 2012, when he led all of baseball with 216 hits, the eighth time he's surpassed the 200-hit plateau.
New Jersey By The Numbers
Three: Number of Hall of Fame players born in New Jersey.
31: Number of active players born in New Jersey.
35: Number of players born in Newark, most in the state.
409: Number of players all time born in New Jersey.
Other Notable Active New Jersey Natives
|Andrew Bailey||Voorhees, NJ|
|Mark DeRosa||Passaic, NJ|
|Todd Frazier||Point Pleasant, NJ|
|Jason Heyward||Ridgewood, NJ|
|Rick Porcello||Morristown, NJ|
|Mike Trout||Vineland, NJ|
Notable New Jersey Natives in MLB History
|Sean Casey||Willingboro, NJ|
|Doug Glanville||Hackensack, NJ|
|Goose Goslin||Salem, NJ|
|Billy Hamilton||Newark, NJ|
|Ron Karkovice||Union, NJ|
|Eric Karros||Hackensack, NJ|
|Al Leiter||Toms River, NJ|
|Joe Medwick||Carteret, NJ|
|Don Newcombe||Madison, NJ|
|Johnny Vander Meer||Prospect Park, NJ|
|Eric Young||New Brunswick, NJ|
Born: December 23, 1980 in Portales, NM
Career Stats: 909 G, .263/.323/.458, 123 HR, 461 RBI, 30 SB
Cody Ross has put together a solid, albeit unspectacular career as a versatile outfielder, spending time with seven different teams over his 10 years in the major leagues.
He was named the 2010 NLCS MVP while with the San Francisco Giants, hitting .350 with three home runs and five RBI in the team's six-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies and winning the World Series in five games over the Texas Rangers.
New Mexico By The Numbers
One: Number of Hall of Fame players born in New Mexico.
Five: Number of active players born in New Mexico.
Eight: Number of players born in Albuquerque, most in the state.
26: Number of players all time born in New Mexico.
Other Notable Active New Mexico Natives
|Mike Dunn||Farmington, NM|
|Jordan Pacheco||Albuquerque, NM|
|Kyle Weiland||Albuquerque, NM
Notable New Mexico Natives in MLB History
|Ralph Kiner||Santa Rita, NM|
|Steve Ontiveros||Tularosa, NM|
|Duane Ward||Park View, NM|
Born: July 27, 1975 in New York, NY
Career Stats: 2,524 G, .300/.384/.560, 647 HR, 1,950 RBI, 318 SB
While his career will forever be tainted by PEDs, Alex Rodriguez's accomplishments on the diamond remain numerous and noteworthy.
A three-time MVP, A-Rod is baseball's active leader in runs scored (1,898), home runs (647), RBI (1,950), total bases (5,414) and sacrifice flies (101).
Currently working his way back from offseason hip surgery, Rodriguez will continue to add to his gaudy career totals for years to come, as he remains under contract through the 2017 season with roughly $114 million remaining on his deal.
New York By The Numbers
22: Number of Hall of Fame players born in New York.
36: Number of active players born in New York.
238: Number of players born in New York City, most in the state.
1,109: Number of players all time born in New York.
Other Notable Active New York Natives
|Mike Aviles||New York, NY|
|Patrick Corbin||Clay, NY|
|David DeJesus||Brooklyn, NY|
|Raul Ibanez||New York, NY|
|Jim Johnson||Johnson City, NY|
|Jason Marquis||Manhasset, NY|
|A.J. Pierzynski||Bridgehampton, NY|
Notable New York Natives in MLB History
|Craig Biggio||Smithtown, NY|
|Ralph Branca||Mount Vernon, NY|
|Eddie Collins||Millerton, NY|
|Whitey Ford||New York, NY|
|Lou Gehrig||New York, NY|
|Hank Greenberg||New York, NY|
|Sandy Koufax||Brooklyn, NY|
|Jim Palmer||New York, NY|
|Phil Rizzuto||Brooklyn, NY|
|Warren Spahn||Buffalo, NY|
|Carl Yastrzemski||Southampton, NY|
Born: May 21, 1981 in Raleigh, NC
Career Stats: 770 G, .299/.359/.539, 164 HR, 563 RBI, 44 SB
A five-time All-Star and the 2010 AL MVP, Josh Hamilton remains one of the most dangerous run producers in the game and a threat to go deep every time he steps to the plate.
Soon to celebrate his 32nd birthday, things haven't gone quite as planned in his first season wearing an Angels uniform, as he's struggled at the plate and in the field. But even with his recent struggles, Hamilton is the clear choice in North Carolina over solid competition like Brandon Phillips and Ryan Zimmerman.
North Carolina By The Numbers
Seven: Number of Hall of Fame players born in North Carolina.
33: Number of active players born in North Carolina.
23: Number of players born in Charlotte, most in the state.
391: Number of players all time born in North Carolina.
Other Notable Active North Carolina Natives
|Dustin Ackley||Winston-Salem, NC|
|Madison Bumgarner||Hickory, NC|
|Matt Harrison||Durham, NC|
|Brandon Phillips||Raleigh, NC|
|Brian Roberts||Durham, NC|
|Ryan Vogelsong||Charlotte, NC|
|Ryan Zimmerman||Washington, NC|
Notable North Carolina Natives in MLB History
|Luke Appling||High Point, NC|
|Roger Craig||Durham, NC|
|Rick Ferrell||Durham, NC|
|Catfish Hunter||Hertford, NC|
|Mike LaValliere||Charlotte, NC|
|Gaylord Perry||Williamston, NC|
|Enos Slaughter||Roxboro, NC|
|Hoyt Wilhelm||Huntersville, NC|
Born: June 3, 1977 in Jamestown, ND
Career Stats: 1,129 G, .278/.382/.508, 207 HR, 712 RBI, 10 SB
When it comes to North Dakota and baseball, there's Travis Hafner and nobody else. The 34-year-old full-time designated hitter is the only remaining active player who was born in the Peace Garden state.
While many thought his career was over after another injury-filled season in 2012, he has been revitalized in the Bronx as a member of the New York Yankees, hitting .284 with an OPS of .976, six home runs and 18 RBI in 28 games.
North Dakota By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in North Dakota.
One: Number of active players born in North Dakota.
Three: Number of players born in Grand Forks, most in the state.
15: Number of players all time born in North Dakota.
Other Notable Active North Dakota Natives
Notable North Dakota Natives in MLB History
|Darin Erstad||Jamestown, ND|
|Rick Helling||Devils Lake, ND|
Born: November 25, 1980 in Columbus, OH
Career Stats: 1,237 G, .256/.361/.466, 213 HR, 684 RBI, 12 SB
Coming off of his eighth consecutive season with at least 20 home runs, Nick Swisher returned to his home state of Ohio this past winter, signing with the Cleveland Indians as a free agent after a successful four-year stint with the New York Yankees.
One of the most affable players in the game, Swisher has helped lead a resurgence in Cleveland, with the Indians (17-14) sitting three games above .500 and in the thick of the race for the top spot in the AL Central.
Ohio By The Numbers
14: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Ohio.
35: Number of active players born in Ohio.
192: Number of players born in Cincinnati, most in the state.
995: Number of players all time born in Ohio.
Other Notable Active Ohio Natives
|Chad Billingsley||Defiance, OH|
|Adam Eaton||Springfield, OH|
|Derek Holland||Newark, OH|
|Jon Niese||Lima, OH|
|Joe Smith||Cincinnati, OH|
|Kevin Youkilis||Cincinnati, OH|
Notable Ohio Natives in MLB History
|Roger Bresnahan||Toledo, OH|
|Roger Clemens||Dayton, OH|
|Buck Ewing||Hoagland, OH|
|Rollie Fingers||Steubenville, OH|
|Jesse Haines||Clayton, OH|
|Barry Larkin||Cincinnati, OH|
|Rube Marquard||Cleveland, OH|
|Phil Niekro||Blaine, OH|
|Mike Schmidt||Dayton, OH|
|George Sisler||Manchester, OH|
|Cy Young||Gilmore, OH|
Born: September 23, 1984 in Midwest City, OK
Career Stats: 926 G, .294/.351/.496, 152 HR, 540 RBI, 157 SB
A two-time All-Star and a perennial MVP candidate when he's healthy, Matt Kemp just beats out St. Louis' Matt Holliday for the top spot in Oklahoma.
Kemp's combination of power and speed makes him one of the most dangerous and exciting players in the game today. And while he got off to a slow start in 2013, the 28-year-old seems to be getting into a groove, as he's in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak.
Oklahoma By The Numbers
Five: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Oklahoma.
23: Number of active players born in Oklahoma.
40: Number of players born in Tulsa, three more than Oklahoma City for most in the state.
241: Number of players all time born in Oklahoma.
Other Notable Active Oklahoma Natives
|Dylan Bundy||Tulsa, OK|
|Tommy Hanson||Tulsa, OK|
|Matt Holliday||Stillwater, OK|
|Pete Kozma||Tulsa, OK|
Notable Oklahoma Natives in MLB History
|Johnny Bench||Oklahoma City, OK|
|Joe Carter||Oklahoma City, OK|
|Tim Flannery||Tulsa, OK|
|Mickey Mantle||Spavinaw, OK|
|Bobby Murcer||Oklahoma City, OK|
|Brad Penny||Blackwell, OK|
|Allie Reynolds||Bethany, OK|
|Willie Stargell||Earlsboro, OK|
|Ralph Terry||Big Cabin, OK|
|Lloyd Waner||Harrah, OK|
|Paul Waner||Harrah, OK|
Born: September 11, 1983 in Madras, OR
Career Stats: 615 G, .295/.348/.438, 57 HR, 273 RBI, 201 SB
Much like Oklahoma's Matt Kemp, Jacoby Ellsbury is a perennial MVP candidate and one of the game's most exciting players when he's healthy—something that has been an issue for the 29-year-old in recent years.
Seemingly healthy in 2013, the runner-up for the AL MVP award in 2011 is off to a strong start in what could be his final season in Boston, hitting .270 with a league-leading three triples and 12 stolen bases.
Oregon By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Oregon.
17: Number of active players born in Oregon.
56: Number of players born in Portland, the most in the state.
124: Number of players all time born in Oregon.
Other Notable Active Oregon Natives
|Darwin Barney||Portland, OR|
|Kevin Gregg||Corvallis, OR|
|Jeremy Guthrie||Roseburg, OR|
|Nick Hundley||Corvallis, OR|
|Jed Lowrie||Salem, OR|
Notable Oregon Natives in MLB History
|Danny Ainge||Eugene, OR|
|Larry Andersen||Portland, OR|
|Wally Backman||Hillsboro, OR|
|Scott Brosius||Hillsboro, OR|
|Dave Kingman||Pendleton, OR|
|Mickey Lolich||Portland, OR|
|Dale Murphy||Portland, OR|
|Johnny Pesky||Portland, OR|
|Harold Reynolds||Eugene, OR|
|Richie Sexson||Portland, OR|
Born: September 10, 1985 in Pittsburgh, PA
Career Stats: 438 G, .278/.340/.420, 39 HR, 226 RBI, 19 SB
One of the more underrated players in the game, Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker has provided the Pirates with a solid bat and decent defense at second base since making his major league debut in 2009.
Walker has put together three consecutive seasons with double-digit home run totals and at least 65 RBI—not earth-shattering numbers by any means but above-average production for second basemen not named Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia or Dan Uggla.
Pennsylvania By The Numbers
16: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Pennsylvania.
32: Number of active players born in Pennsylvania.
333: Number of players born in Philadelphia, the most in the state.
1,368: Number of players all time born in Pennsylvania.
Other Notable Active Pennsylvania Natives
|Kyle Blanks||Souderton, PA|
|Chris Heisey||Lancaster, PA|
|Devin Mesoraco||DuBois, PA|
|Nolan Reimold||Greenville, PA|
Notable Pennsylvania Natives in MLB History
|Roy Campanella||Philadelphia, PA|
|Nellie Fox||St. Thomas, PA|
|Reggie Jackson||Abington, PA|
|Christy Mathewson||Factoryville, PA|
|Stan Musial||Donora, PA|
|Mike Mussina||Williamsport, PA|
|Mike Piazza||Norristown, PA|
|Eddie Plank||Gettysburg, PA|
|Honus Wagner||Chartiers, PA|
|Hack Wilson||Ellwood City, PA|
Born: March 5, 1976 in Providence, RI
Career Stats: 2,172 G, .282/.358/.497, 426 HR, 1,352 RBI, 9 SB
One of the most consistent hitters in baseball over the past dozen years, Paul Konerko is nearing the end of his tremendous career—one that is likely to find him falling just short of entrance into the Hall of Fame once he finally retires.
A five-time All-Star who hit .300 or better in four seasons, Konerko is the obvious choice over Chris Ianneta, one of the two other active Rhode Island-born players.
Rhode Island By The Numbers
Three: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Rhode Island.
Three: Number of active players born in Rhode Island.
32: Number of players born in Providence, the most in the state.
74: Number of players all time born in Rhode Island.
Other Notable Active Rhode Island Natives
|Jeff Beliveau||Providence, RI|
|Chris Iannetta||Providence, RI|
Notable Rhode Island Natives in MLB History
|Rocco Baldelli||Woonsocket, RI|
|Hugh Duffy||Cranston, RI|
|Gabby Hartnett||Woonsocket, RI|
|Nap Lajoie||Woonsocket, RI|
|Dan Wheeler||Providence, RI|
Born: May 21, 1986 in Goose Creek, SC
Career Stats: 541 G, .259/.327/.419, 69 HR, 267 RBI, 4 SB
A two-time All-Star and Gold Glove recipient, Matt Wieters has firmly established himself as one of the elite defensive catchers in the game today.
While the 26-year-old has averaged 22 home runs and 76 RBI a season over the past two years, he continues to struggle at the plate, yet to finish a season with an OPS above .800.
That said, Wieters' superior work behind the plate gives him the nod over one of his battery-mates in Baltimore, Jason Hammel, for the top spot in South Carolina.
South Carolina By The Numbers
Three: Number of Hall of Fame players born in South Carolina.
14: Number of active players born in South Carolina.
14: Number of players born in Columbia, one more than Charleston for most in the state.
172: Number of players all time born in South Carolina.
Other Notable Active South Carolina Natives
|Jared Burton||Westminster, SC|
|Brett Gardner||Holly Hill, SC|
|Jason Hammel||Greenville, SC|
|Jordan Lyles||Florence, SC|
|Justin Smoak||Goose Creek, SC|
|Dewayne Wise||Columbia, SC|
Notable South Carolina Natives in MLB History
|Larry Doby||Camden, SC|
|Dan Driessen||Hilton Head Island, SC|
|Orlando Hudson||Darlington, SC|
|Joe Jackson||Pickens County, SC|
|Willie Randolph||Holly Hill, SC|
|Jim Rice||Anderson, SC|
|Reggie Sanders||Florence, SC|
|Mookie Wilson||Bamberg, SC|
Born: May 25, 1982 in Belle Fourche, SD
Career Stats: 908 G, .268/.334/.467, 137 HR, 528 RBI, 11 SB
South Dakota presented a tough call between two veteran players with very similar career numbers in Mark Ellis and Jason Kubel, but ultimately, Kubel's power beat out Ellis's versatility for the top spot in the home of Mount Rushmore.
Since becoming an everyday player with the Minnesota Twins in 2007, Kubel has hit .270 with an .811 OPS, averaging 21 home runs and 81 RBI a season.
South Dakota By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in South Dakota.
Four: Number of active players born in South Dakota.
Nine: Number of players born in Rapid City, most in the state.
37: Number of players all time born in South Dakota.
Other Notable Active South Dakota Natives
|Sean Doolittle||Rapid City, SD|
|Mark Ellis||Rapid City, SD|
Notable South Dakota Natives in MLB History
|Sparky Anderson||Bridgewater, SD|
|Floyd Bannister||Pierre, SD|
|Justin Duchscherer||Aberdeen, SD|
|Keith Foulke||Ellsworth Air Force Base, SD|
|Terry Francona||Aberdeen, SD|
Born: August 20, 1973 in Knoxville, TN
Career Stats: 2,139 G, .320/.418/.545, 356 HR, 1,357 RBI, 37 SB
He's a shell of the player that he once was—it's to be expected when you are closing in on your 40th birthday—but Todd Helton's outstanding 17-year-career makes him the choice over both of last year's Cy Young Award winners, R.A. Dickey and David Price.
From 1998 through 2004, Helton hit .340 with an OPS of 1.053, averaging 35 homers and 118 RBI a season.
While his numbers were certainly aided by playing half of his games at Coors Field—and there is a big difference between his career numbers at home and on the road—his numbers outside of Colorado can stand on their own:
Tennessee By The Numbers
Five: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Tennessee.
23: Number of active players born in Tennessee.
45: Number of players born in Memphis, most in the state.
282: Number of players all time born in Tennessee.
Other Notable Active Tennessee Natives
|Rex Brothers||Chapel Hill, TN|
|Zack Cosart||Memphis, TN|
|R.A. Dickey||Nashville, TN|
|Mike Minor||Chapel Hill, TN|
|Drew Pomeranz||Memphis, TN|
|David Price||Murfreesboro, TN|
Notable Tennessee Natives in MLB History
|Rick Dempsey||Fayetteville, TN|
|Steve Finley||Union City, TN|
|Phil Garner||Jefferson City, TN|
|Lee Guetterman||Chattanooga, TN|
|Rick Honeycutt||Chattanooga, TN|
|Tim McCarver||Memphis, TN|
|Claude Osteen||Caney Spring, TN|
|Vada Pinson||Memphis, TN|
|David Weathers||Lawrenceburg, TN|
|Ed Whitson||Johnson City, TN|
Born: March 19, 1988 in Dallas, TX
Career Stats: 159 G (157 GS), 64-39, 2.73 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 9.3 K/9
Arguably the best pitcher on the planet at the age of 25, Clayton Kershaw already has a Cy Young Award to his name and career numbers that look too good to be true.
While there are plenty of active players who were born in Texas that, in the primes of their careers, were powerful forces in baseball, none can compare to the absolute dominance put forward by Kershaw every fifth day.
Texas By The Numbers
Eight: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Texas.
110: Number of players born in Houston, most in the state.
150: Number of active players born in Texas.
834: Number of players all time born in Texas.
Other Notable Active Texas Natives
|Josh Beckett||Spring, TX|
|Lance Berkman||Waco, TX|
|Michael Bourn||Houston, TX|
|Jay Bruce||Beaumont, TX|
|Clay Buchholz||Nederland, TX|
|Carl Crawford||Houston, TX|
|Adam Dunn||Houston, TX|
|Austin Jackson||Denton, TX|
|Hunter Pence||Fort Worth, TX|
|Huston Street||Austin, TX|
Notable Texas Natives in MLB History
|Ernie Banks||Dallas, TX|
|Rogers Hornsby||Winters, TX|
|Eddie Mathews||Texarkana, TX|
|Joe Morgan||Bonham, TX|
|Frank Robinson||Beaumont, TX|
|Nolan Ryan||Refugio, TX|
|Tris Speaker||Hubbard, TX|
|Ross Youngs||Shiner, TX|
Born: August 10, 1979 in Salt Lake City, UT
Career Stats: 550 G (21 GS), 41-46, 4.12 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 6.2 K/9, 79 SV
There's nothing remarkable about Brandon Lyon's 12-year major league career as a somewhat dependable middle reliever. But with a pair of pitchers in Miami's minor league system the only other active players who were born in Utah, Lyon is the choice by default.
Utah By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Utah.
Three: Number of active players born in Utah.
16: Number of players born in Salt Lake City, most in the state.
38: Number of players all time born in Utah.
Other Notable Active Utah Natives
|Jordan Smith||American Fork, UT|
|Mitch Talbot||Cedar City, UT|
Notable Utah Natives in MLB History
|Herman Franks||Price, UT|
|Bruce Hurst||St. George, UT|
|Duke Sims||Salt Lake City, UT|
|Elmer Singleton||Ogden, UT|
Born: August 16, 1985 in Springfield, VT
Career Stats: 485 G, .249/.361/.371, 27 HR, 165 RBI, 13 SB
Daric Barton has been handed the keys to first base in Oakland on multiple occasions only to bobble the opportunity, winding up on a seemingly never ending shuttle between the big leagues and the minors.
Yet, when you're the only active player from Vermont, it doesn't really matter how much success—or lack thereof—you've had in the major leagues. You're the best active player born in Vermont by default.
Vermont By The Numbers
One: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Vermont.
One: Number of active players born in Vermont.
Three: Number of players born in Brattleboro, most in the state.
38: Number of players all time born in Vermont.
Other Notable Active Vermont Natives
Notable Vermont Natives in MLB History
|Carlton Fisk||Bellows Falls, VT|
Born: February 20, 1983 in Manakin-Sabot, VA
Career Stats: 239 G (239 GS), 128-67, 3.35 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 8.5 K/9
It takes a special player to beat out some of the big-time competition in Virginia—a list that includes Justin Upton and David Wright.
Justin Verlander fits that description.
One of the two best pitchers in baseball and winner of both the AL Cy Young Award and MVP in 2011, Verlander, 30, remains at the top of his game and a legitimate threat to win his second Cy Young in 2013.
Virginia By The Numbers
Five: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Virginia.
23: Number of active players born in Virginia.
32: Number of players born in Richmond, most in the state.
589: Number of players all time born in Virginia.
Other Notable Active Virginia Natives
|Michael Cuddyer||Norfolk, VA|
|Mat Latos||Alexandria, VA|
|Sean Marshall||Richmond, VA|
|Joe Saunders||Falls Church, VA|
|B.J. Upton||Norfolk, VA|
|Justin Upton||Norfolk, VA|
|David Wright||Norfolk, VA|
Notable Virginia Natives in MLB History
|Al Bumbry||Fredericksburg, VA|
|Randy Hundley||Martinsville, VA|
|Todd Hundley||Martinsville, VA|
|Eppa Rixey||Culpeper, VA|
|Billy Wagner||Tannersville, VA|
|Tony Womack||Danville, VA|
Born: June 15, 1984 in Bellevue, WA
Career Stats: 196 G (195 GS), 81-58, 3.36 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 9.8 K/9
Tim Lincecum's decline since the beginning of the 2012 season has been well documented and his future debated. But there's no changing what he's done up to this point in his career: four consecutive All-Star appearances, three consecutive strikeout titles and back-to-back NL Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009.
No other Washington-born active player can compete with that, making Lincecum the obvious choice.
Washington By The Numbers
Three: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Washington.
27: Number of active players born in Washington.
48: Number of players born in Seattle, most in the state.
181: Number of players all time born in Washington.
Other Notable Active Washington Natives
|Willie Bloomquist||Bremerton, WA|
|Jeremy Bonderman||Kennewick, WA|
|Michael Brantley||Bellevue, WA|
|Ryan Doumit||Moses Lake, WA|
|Jon Lester||Tacoma, WA|
|Lyle Overbay||Centralia, WA|
|Travis Snider||Kirkland, WA|
Notable Washington Natives in MLB History
|Earl Averill||Snohomish, WA|
|Ron Cey||Tacoma, WA|
|Jeff Conine||Tacoma, WA|
|Randy Myers||Vancouver, WA|
|Ryne Sandberg||Spokane, WA|
|Ron Santo||Seattle, WA|
Born: September 23, 1988 in Morgantown, WV
Career Stats: 33 G, .264/.328/.413, 3 HR, 12 RBI
How can someone in the midst of his rookie season be the greatest active player born in West Virginia? When his competition is a pair of minor league pitchers with a combined 5.93 ERA in 74 innings of major league work, it's pretty easy.
Jedd Gyorko has been solid at the plate so far for San Diego, not offering as much power as some had hoped but managing to get on base and acclimate himself with the speed of the game at its highest level.
West Virginia By The Numbers
Three: Number of Hall of Fame players born in West Virginia.
Three: Number of active players born in West Virginia.
17: Number of players born in Wheeling, most in the state.
120: Number of players all time born in West Virginia.
Other Notable Active West Virginia Natives
|David Carpenter||Morgantown, WV|
|Josh Judy||Morgantown, WV|
Notable West Virginia Natives in MLB History
|George Brett||Glen Dale, WV|
|Jesse Burkett||Wheeling, WV|
|Toby Harrah||Sissonville, W|
|Bill Mazeroski||Wheeling, WV|
|John Wockenfuss||Welch, WV|
|Steve Yeager||Huntington, WV|
Born: May 23, 1986 in Auburndale, WI
Career Stats: 88 G (88 GS), 30-27, 3.29 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, 7.3 K/9
Both Pat Neshek and Jordan Zimmermann have battled arm injuries and come back to have successful major league careers, but it's Zimmermann, just entering the prime of his career, who has been the most impressive.
Since the beginning of the 2011 season, Zimmermann has pitched to a 2.90 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, numbers befitting of an ace, not a No. 3 starter in a major league rotation—a role Zimmerman currently occupies with Washington, sitting behind both Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez.
Wisconsin By The Numbers
Four: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Wisconsin.
Nine: Number of active players born in Wisconsin.
53: Number of players born in Milwaukee, most in the state.
237: Number of players all time born in Wisconsin.
Other Notable Active Wisconsin Natives
|Eric Hinske||Menasha, WI|
|Pat Neshek||Madison, WI|
Notable Wisconsin Natives in MLB History
|Kris Benson||Superior, WI|
|Burleigh Grimes||Emerald, WI|
|Mark Grudzielanek||Milwaukee, WI|
|Addie Joss||Woodland, WI|
|Kid Nichols||Madison, WI|
|Brad Radke||Eau Claire, WI|
|Al Simmons||Milwaukee, WI|
|Zane Smith||Madison, WI|
Born: July 7, 1980 in Kemmerer, WY
Career Stats: 976 G, .235/.302/.410, 128 HR, 452 RBI
John Buck doesn't have much in the way of competition for the top spot in Wyoming, and his play in 2013 for the New York Mets alone would make him the clear-cut choice here.
Buck is among the league leaders in home runs (10) and RBI (29), all while calling an excellent game behind the plate and handling Mets pitching with aplomb.
Wyoming By The Numbers
Zero: Number of Hall of Fame players born in Wyoming.
Two: Number of active players born in Wyoming.
Four: Number of players born in Cheyenne, most in the state.
13: Number of players all time born in Wyoming.
Other Notable Active Wyoming Natives
|Jeremy Horst||Cheyenne, WY|
Notable Wyoming Natives in MLB History
|Tom Browning||Casper, WY|
|Mike Devereaux||Casper, WY|
|Mike Lansing||Rawlins, WY|