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Ranking All 30 MLB Teams on Homegrown Talent

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2014

Ranking All 30 MLB Teams on Homegrown Talent

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    All 30 MLB teams put a different emphasis on building from within and cultivating their own homegrown talent. A lot of it has to do with payroll, as small-market teams are forced to get the most out of their controllable young assets, while big-market teams can afford to deal prospects and spend big in free agency.

    It's not always a small market/large market issue, though. The St. Louis Cardinals have more homegrown big league talent than anyone despite a relatively large payroll. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians have a somewhat small payroll to work with, but they're also thin on homegrown players.

    At any rate, what follows is a look at all 30 MLB teams ranked from worst to first on homegrown talent as we get set to kick off the 2014 season with the start of spring training.

Methodology

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    First off, to be considered "homegrown," a player must have been drafted by an organization or signed by it as an amateur free agent.

    As such, it should be noted that no foreign-born players who competed professionally in Japan, Cuba or Korea were included on this list. That means guys like Yu Darvish, Yasiel Puig, Aroldis Chapman, Yoenis Cespedes, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Hisashi Iwakuma, Masahiro Tanaka, Wei-Yin Chen, Alexei Ramirez, Leonys Martin and Dayan Viciedo won't be included.

    At the start of each slide is a chart listing all of the team's "Notable Homegrown Players" with the round and year they were drafted (or AFA if they were signed as an amateur free agent) and their career WAR entering the season according to Baseball-Reference.

    Below that, I have given a breakdown of how many of the projected eight (or nine in the AL) everyday position players are homegrown, how many projected starting pitchers are homegrown and then how many of the projected 25-man roster are homegrown.

    All projections for that were taken from MLBDepthCharts as far as how the Opening Day rosters shape up, so it should be noted that my opinion did not factor in there.

    As far as where teams are ranked, the total number of players set to make the 25-man roster is where I started. Then I looked at how many of them were everyday position players or starting pitchers. Finally, superstar players trumped overall quantity in determining where teams fell.

    For instance, the Blue Jays have seven homegrown players projected to break camp with the team, but Casey Janssen and Adam Lind are the best of the bunch, and five of the seven were relievers or bench players.

    Meanwhile, the Arizona Diamondbacks are ranked higher despite having only six expected to be on the Opening Day roster, because one of them is Paul Goldschmidt and five of the six are everyday players or starting pitchers.

    I've included a look at any homegrown prospects that rank in the top 50 league-wide, according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. These players did not factor into the rankings, though, as they have not yet proven themselves at the big league level.

    Hopefully that helps us avoid any confusion—now on with the rankings.

30. Houston Astros

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    C Jason Castro
    C Jason CastroScott Halleran/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    C Jason Castro1-20085.7
    2B Jose AltuveAFA-20073.2
    SP Dallas Keuchel7-2009-0.2

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers: 0/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 2/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SS Carlos Correa (8), CF George Springer (23), SP Mark Appel (25)

     

    Analysis

    The Houston Astros have built up an impressive farm system in their ongoing efforts to rebuild the roster from the ground up, as their last three first-round selections all currently rank among the top 25 prospects in the game.

    As for big league talent, they don't have much in the way of homegrown players on the roster. Second baseman Jose Altuve was a nice story in 2012 and earned himself a spot long-term, while catcher Jason Castro broke out this past season with an All-Star performance. They're the only two who figure to crack the Opening Day roster, but help is on the way.

29. Chicago White Sox

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    SP Chris Sale
    SP Chris SaleJason Miller/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    SP Chris Sale1-201016.3
    2B Gordon Beckham1-20085.6
    RP Nathan Jones5-20073.1
    SP Erik Johnson2-20110.2
    SP Andre RienzoAFA-20060.2

    Starting Position Players: 1/9
    Starting Pitchers: 2/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 4/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    None

     

    Analysis

    The Chicago White Sox have added some nice pieces to the puzzle since the last trade deadline, as they have finally begun the rebuilding process. A thin farm system means most of their current core group to build around has come from outside of the organization, though, as the likes of Jose Abreu, Matt Davidson, Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia and Jose Quintana all began elsewhere.

    The White Sox did draft one of the best young arms in the game today in Chris Sale, and they were then smart enough to lock him up on a team-friendly deal through 2019 with options. Nathan Jones will replace the departed Addison Reed in the closer role, while Erik Johnson and Andre Rienzo will both compete for rotation spots this spring.

28. Oakland Athletics

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    SP A.J. Griffin
    SP A.J. GriffinHannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    SP A.J. Griffin13-20104.4
    RP Sean Doolittle1-20072.0
    SP Dan Straily24-20091.6
    SP Sonny Gray1-20111.4

    Starting Position Players: 0/9
    Starting Pitchers: 3/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 4/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SS Addison Russell (18)

     

    Analysis

    The Oakland A's tend to trade their homegrown talent before it becomes overly expensive, stockpiling other people's high-end young talent in the process. As a result, they currently project to only have four homegrown players on their Opening Day roster.

    That said, three of those four are slated for the starting rotation, including breakout candidate Sonny Gray and last year's leader in innings pitched in A.J. Griffin. Sean Doolittle was actually drafted as a first baseman back in 2007, but he has since moved to the mound and emerged as one of the better left-handed setup men in the game.

27. Toronto Blue Jays

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    RP Casey Janssen
    RP Casey JanssenTom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    RP Casey Janssen4-20047.5
    DH Adam Lind3-20046.4
    RP Brett Cecil1-20074.1
    RP Aaron Loup4-20062.1
    RP Dustin McGowan1-20001.5
    2B Ryan Goins4-20091.4
    SP Chad Jenkins1-20090.7
    RP Luis PerezAFA-20030.5
    SP Drew Hutchinson15-20090.3
    OF Moises SierraAFA-2005-0.2

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers: 0/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Aaron Sanchez (21)

     

    Analysis

    The Toronto Blue Jays project to have seven homegrown players on their Opening Day roster, but four of them are relief pitchers and one of them is a reserve outfielder. Closer Casey Janssen spent several seasons as a setup man for the team before moving to the ninth-inning role in 2012, and he's quietly become one of the more reliable options out there.

    Second base will be up for grabs this spring, with slick-fielding Ryan Goins looking like the front-runner for the job at this point. Slugger Adam Lind has had an up-and-down career, but he hit well last season, and as long as he never sees the lineup against left-handed pitching, he should be a solid option once again.

26. Cleveland Indians

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    2B Jason Kipnis
    2B Jason KipnisJason Miller/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    2B Jason Kipnis2-200910.9
    RP Vinnie Pestano20-20064.4
    3B Lonnie Chisenhall1-20082.6
    RP Cody Allen23-20111.7
    RP Josh Tomlin19-20061.3
    SP Danny SalazarAFA-20061.2

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers: 1/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SS Francisco Lindor (5)

     

    Analysis

    Jason Kipnis has emerged as one of the top offensive second basemen in the game, and he could soon be joined by another potential homegrown start in Francisco Lindor. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall will again get a chance to seize the everyday third base job, but he's looking more and more like a bust.

    On the pitching side of things, the team has done a nice job hitting on late-round relief pitchers, with a trio of them expected to earn bullpen spots. Right-hander Danny Salazar, a native of the Dominican Republic, impressed down the stretch last season and could be in for a big year.

25. Texas Rangers

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    SP Derek Holland
    SP Derek HollandTom Pennington/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    SP Derek Holland25-20067.5
    RP Robbie Ross2-20083.1
    RP Tanner Scheppers1-20092.4
    DH Mitch Moreland17-20071.8
    SP Martin PerezAFA-20071.4
    RP Michael Kirkman5-2005-0.1
    SP Nick Tepesch14-2010-0.2
    2B Jurickson ProfarAFA-2009-0.3

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers: 1/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25

     

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    None

     

    Analysis

    The best homegrown player on the Texas Rangers by a decent margin is left-hander Derek Holland, and he's slated to miss the first half of the season after an offseason knee injury. The team looks to have developed another solid southpaw though in Martin Perez, and it thought enough of him to lock him up with a four-year, $12.5 million extension early this offseason.

    Second baseman Jurickson Profar was the top prospect in baseball last year, but he spent most of the season shuffling around defensively and seeing sporadic playing time. With Ian Kinsler gone, he now has a position to call his own and could be in for a big season. Relievers Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers have emerged to make the bullpen a strength in Texas.

24. New York Yankees

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    SS Derek Jeter
    SS Derek JeterJim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    SS Derek Jeter1-199271.5
    OF Brett Gardner3-200519.3
    RP David Robertson17-20069.6
    SP Ivan NovaAFA-20047.9
    C Francisco CervelliAFA-20032.9
    SP David Phelps14-20082.2
    SP Adam Warren4-20090.9
    RP Preston Claiborne17-20100.3
    UT Eduardo NunezAFA-2004-1.7

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Rotation: 1/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    C Gary Sanchez (27), CF Mason Williams (37)

     

    Analysis

    The retirements of Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte certainly cut into the number of homegrown players on the New York Yankees roster. Superstar Derek Jeter is still there at shortstop, but he's coming off a season in which he played all of 17 games, and the 39-year-old may be nearing the end himself.

    Brett Gardner has established himself as a solid everyday outfielder, and setup man David Robertson will assume the role of closer with Rivera gone after years as one of the best eighth-inning guys in the game. Ivan Nova has a rotation spot locked up, while Adam Warren and David Phelps will be in the running for the No. 5 starter spot. Preston Claiborne looks like a good bet to earn a bullpen spot after a strong showing as a rookie last year.

23. San Diego Padres

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    3B Chase Headley
    3B Chase HeadleyChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    3B Chase Headley2-200517.7
    OF Will Venable7-200511.9
    C Nick Hundley2-20055.1
    RP Tim Stauffer1-20033.3
    OF Kyle Blanks42-20043.2
    SP Cory Luebke1-20072.3
    2B Jedd Gyorko2-20102.2
    RP Nick Vincent18-20082.0

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers: 0/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Max Fried (31), C Austin Hedges (34)

     

    Analysis

    The San Diego Padres will have a big decision to make regarding third base Chase Headley at some point this coming season, as he is set to hit free agency at the end of the year. After closing out 2012 with a bang, he turned in a disappointing 2013 season, and he could very well be moved in July if he can restore some of his trade value.

    Second baseman Jedd Gyorko had a nice rookie season and should only get better moving forward; he has as much power as anyone at the position. Outfielder Will Venable earned himself a two-year extension with a strong second half, and Nick Hundley remains the starting catcher as Yasmani Grandal tries to get his career on track.

22. Chicago Cubs

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    SS Starlin Castro
    SS Starlin CastroChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    SS Starlin CastroAFA-20067.4
    2B Darwin Barney4-20076.5
    C Welington CastilloAFA-20045.8
    SP Jeff Samardzija5-20063.1
    OF Junior LakeAFA-20071.1
    RP James Russell14-20070.7
    RP Blake Parker16-20060.5
    SP Chris Rusin4-20090.3

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers: 1/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SS Javier Baez (9), CF Albert Almora (22), 3B Kris Bryant (36)

     

    Analysis

    The major league outlook for the Chicago Cubs this coming season is relatively grim, as they could be in for another 100-loss season. However, they have built up one of the best minor league systems in all of baseball, fronted by a trio of homegrown bats. Jeff Samardzija may be the best homegrown player on the roster right now, and he remains a trade candidate entering spring training.

    Starlin Castro will be looking to get back on track after a rough 2013 season. His double play partner, Darwin Barney, is one of the best around defensively, but he doesn't hit enough to warrant everyday playing time. Catcher Welington Castillo looks like the long-term answer behind the plate, while outfielder Junior Lake was a nice surprise in 2013.

21. Minnesota Twins

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    1B Joe Mauer
    1B Joe MauerMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    1B Joe Mauer1-200144.3
    RP Glen Perkins1-20047.2
    RP Brian Duensing3-20054.7
    2B Brian Dozier8-20094.5
    RP Anthony Swarzak2-20042.3
    3B Trevor Plouffe1-20041.4
    1B Chris Parmelee1-20061.4
    CF Aaron Hicks1-20080.7
    C Josmil PintoAFA-20060.7
    RP Michael Tonkin30-20080.1
    RF Oswaldo ArciaAFA-2007-0.5
    C Chris Herrmann6-2009-0.7

    Starting Position Players: 4/9
    Starting Pitchers: 0/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 9/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    CF Byron Buxton (1), 3B Miguel Sano (3)

     

    Analysis

    The Minnesota Twins are a team that will almost certainly find themselves in the top 10 on this list within the next couple years, as they have one of the best farm systems in all of baseball, fronted by a pair of homegrown bats in Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano.

    Joe Mauer remains the face of the franchise, though he'll make the move from catcher to first base full-time this coming season. Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe have emerged as viable everyday options, while Oswaldo Arcia and Josmil Pinto look like solid pieces of the future puzzle. Glen Perkins has been lights out since moving into the closer's role, and he could be a hot commodity if made available on the trade market.

20. Baltimore Orioles

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    RF Nick Markakis
    RF Nick MarkakisPatrick Smith/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    RF Nick Markakis1-200323.6
    C Matt Wieters1-200713.0
    3B Manny Machado1-20108.1
    OF Nolan Reimold2-20052.8
    RP Brian Matusz1-20082.1

    Starting Position Players: 4/9
    Starting Pitchers: 1/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Kevin Gausman (14), SP Dylan Bundy (15)

     

    Analysis

    The Baltimore Orioles have balked at spending big in free agency over the years, instead building the team largely through the trade market, though they have hit on some high draft picks over the years as well. Right fielder Nick Markakis is the team's longest-tenured player and a staple in the lineup since 2006, though he is entering the final guaranteed year of his current deal.

    Third baseman Manny Machado suffered a gruesome knee injury last year, but he remains one of the most promising young players in the game on both sides of the ball. Catcher Matt Wieters may never be the superstar many thought he'd be, but he's an above-average defensive catcher with plus power, and he should make a few more All-Star games before all is said and done.

    The X-factor here is the continued development of Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, both of whom have ace potential.

19. Milwaukee Brewers

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    RF Ryan Braun
    RF Ryan BraunMike McGinnis/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    RF Ryan Braun1-200535.4
    SP Yovani Gallardo2-200413.4
    2B Rickie Weeks1-200312.3
    C Jonathan Lucroy3-20078.0
    2B Scooter Gennett16-20092.1
    SP Tyler Thornburg3-20102.1
    LF Khris Davis7-20091.3
    OF Logan Schafer3-20081.0
    SP Mike Fiers22-20091.0
    RP Donovan Hand14-20070.7
    RP Rob Wooten13-20080.1
    SP Wily PeraltaAFA-2005-0.2
    SP Hiram Burgos6-2009-0.7

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers: 2/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 9/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    None

     

    Analysis

    The list of homegrown Milwaukee Brewers players looked a lot better entering last season, but down years from Rickie Weeks and Yovani Gallardo, as well as the PED suspension handed down to Ryan Braun, leave the list looking far less impressive this time around.

    Braun will be back to open the season and should still be an impact bat in the middle of the lineup, while Weeks may find himself in a platoon with Scooter Gennett at second base. Wily Peralta had a solid rookie season, and he should once again join Gallardo in the rotation. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy has quietly become one of the better offensive catchers in the NL, hitting .280 with 18 home runs and 82 RBI last year.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    C Miguel Montero
    C Miguel MonteroTony Medina/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    C Miguel MonteroAFA-2001      11.7
    RF Gerardo ParraAFA-2002      11.6
    1B Paul Goldschmidt  8-2009      10.7
    SP Wade Miley  1-2008       4.8
    RP Josh Collmenter 15-2007       4.1
    CF A.J. Pollock  1-2009       3.4

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers: 1/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Archie Bradley (7)

     

    Analysis

    The Arizona Diamondbacks only project to have six homegrown players on the Opening Day roster, but it's a quality group that includes four everyday position players and a member of the starting rotation. The real star here is clearly Paul Goldschmidt, who established himself as a bona fide superstar last season. He should anchor the lineup for years.

    Miguel Montero suffered through a down season but remains one of the best offensive catchers in baseball when he's right. A.J. Pollock emerged as the everyday center fielder when Adam Eaton was hurt, and Gerardo Parra is arguably the best defensive outfielder in the game today. Wade Miley was the team's most consistent starter last season, while Josh Collmenter has carved out a spot as one of the best long relievers in the game.

17. Miami Marlins

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    RF Giancarlo Stanton
    RF Giancarlo StantonSteve Mitchell/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    RF Giancarlo Stanton2-200714.7
    SP Jose Fernandez1-20116.3
    RP Steve Cishek5-20074.5
    CF Christian Yelich1-20101.4
    RP A.J. Ramos21-20091.0
    RP Dan Jennings9-20080.9
    SP Tom Koehler18-20080.7
    RF Marcell OzunaAFA-20080.6

    Starting Position Players: 3/8
    Starting Pitchers: 2/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Andrew Heaney (49)

     

    Analysis

    The 2013 season was a rough one for the Miami Marlins, but they have assembled an impressive core of young talent.

    Jose Fernandez was the breakout star of 2013, and he leads an impressive young starting rotation that was largely built through trades last offseason. Tom Koehler was solid holding down the No. 5 spot, but he could be pushed by top prospect Andrew Heaney as early as this spring. Closer Steve Cishek leads a trio of homegrown bullpen arms as well.

    Slugger Giancarlo Stanton remains one of the most promising young hitters in the game, and if he can avoid further injuries, a 50-home run season remains within reach. Center fielder Christian Yelich has impressed every step of the way since being taken in the 2010 draft, posting a .370 OBP over 240 at-bats as a rookie last season. 

16. New York Mets

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    3B David Wright
    3B David WrightAl Bello/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    3B David Wright1-200146.7
    2B Daniel Murphy13-20069.1
    SP Matt Harvey1-20106.9
    1B Ike Davis1-20085.6
    SP Dillon Gee21-20074.7
    SP Jon Niese7-20054.6
    CF Juan LagaresAFA-20063.7
    SS Ruben TejadaAFA-20062.7
    RP Bobby Parnell9-20051.8
    1B Josh Satin6-20081.1
    SP Jenrry MejiaAFA-20070.4
    RP Josh Edgin30-20100.1
    RP Gonzalez GermenAFA-20070.0
    OF Lucas Duda7-2007-0.9

    Starting Position Players: 5/8
    Starting Pitchers: 3/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 13/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    None

     

    Analysis

    The New York Mets figure to have over half of their Opening Day roster made up of homegrown players, including three starting pitchers and five position players. Third baseman David Wright is the cream of the crop here, but not having right-hander Matt Harvey for the upcoming season bumps the team down several spots.

    Dillon Gee and Jon Niese have emerged as solid middle-of-the-rotation arms, Bobby Parnell is a good relief arm and Daniel Murphy is a solid offensive second baseman. However, the rest of the group is made up of fringe players at best, though Ike Davis does still have some intriguing potential.

15. Detroit Tigers

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    SP Justin Verlander
    SP Justin VerlanderMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    SP Justin Verlander1-200440.7
    C Alex Avila5-20089.1
    SP Rick Porcello1-20076.7
    LF Andy Dirks8-20084.2
    SP Drew Smyly2-20104.2
    RP Luke Putkonen3-20070.8
    RP Bruce RondonAFA-20070.5
    C Bryan Holaday2-20100.3
    IF Hernan PerezAFA-2007-0.3

    Starting Position Players: 3/9
    Starting Pitchers: 3/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 9/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    3B Nick Castellanos (11)

     

    Analysis

    The big one here is obviously Justin Verlander, who has been a staple in the Detroit Tigers rotation since 2006 and remains one of the best pitchers in the game, even after a down season in 2013. Fellow starers Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly are also solid arms, and they help give the team one of the best starting rotations in baseball.

    Catcher Alex Avila and left fielder Andy Dirks were the team's least productive regulars by far last season, but they are homegrown everyday players nonetheless, and Avila still has the potential to be a plus option.

    Top prospect Nick Castellanos looks like he'll break camp as the starting third baseman, and with a hit tool that could allow him to contend for some batting titles down the line, he should be a welcome addition to the lineup.

14. Kansas City Royals

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    LF Alex Gordon
    LF Alex GordonJason Miller/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    LF Alex Gordon1-200522.6
    DH Billy Butler1-200412.8
    C Salvador PerezAFA-20068.6
    RP Greg Holland10-20077.2
    1B Eric Hosmer1-20084.9
    OF Jarrod Dyson50-20064.7
    3B Mike Moustakas1-20074.2
    RP Louis Coleman5-20093.1
    RP Aaron Crow1-20092.8
    RP Luke Hochevar1-20062.6
    RP Kelvin HerreraAFA-20062.1
    SP Danny Duffy3-20071.1

    Starting Position Players: 5/9
    Starting Pitchers: 0/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 11/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Kyle Zimmer (30), SP Yordano Ventura (35), OF Bubba Starling (41), SS Adalberto Mondesi (47)

     

    Analysis

    For several years, the Kansas City Royals farm system was the envy of teams around the league. While they have struggled to develop pitchers, they have built a solid offensive core of homegrown players, even with the trade of Wil Myers to the Rays.

    Alex Gordon looked a bust early in his career, but he's turned into an All-Star outfielder. Catcher Salvador Perez joined him on the All-Star team last year, and he's likely only scratching the surface of his vast potential. Eric Hosmer had a nice bounce=back season in 2013, and the team will be looking for something similar out of Mike Moustakas this coming year.

    Closer Greg Holland was nearly unhittable last year, while setup men Aaron Crow, Luke Hochevar, Kevin Herrera and Louis Coleman all contributed to one of the best bullpens in baseball.

13. Colorado Rockies

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    SS Troy Tulowitzki
    SS Troy TulowitzkiDustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    SS Troy Tulowitzki1-200532.3
    SP Jhoulys ChacinAFA-200414.1
    RP Rex Brothers1-20095.4
    C Wilin RosarioAFA-20064.2
    3B Nolan Arenado2-20093.9
    SP Juan NicasioAFA-20061.9
    OF Corey Dickerson8-20100.7
    RP Rob Scahill8-20090.5
    OF Charlie Blackmon2-20080.3
    2B Josh Rutledge3-2010-0.7
    C Jordan Pacheco9-2007-2.5

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers: 1/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 9/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Jonathan Gray (33)

     

    Analysis

    The Colorado Rockies' best hitter (Troy Tulowitzki), best starting pitcher (Jhoulys Chacin) and best relief pitcher (Rex Brothers) are all homegrown prospects. Tulowitzki is the best all-around shortstop in the game if he's healthy, but that's been a big if throughout his career.

    Add to that list third baseman Nolan Arenado, who won the Gold Glove as a rookie last season and is only scratching the surface of his offensive potential, and catcher Wilin Rosario, who hit .292 with 21 home runs in 449 at-bats last year. Corey Dickerson and Charlie Blackmon will be in the running for the left field job and Josh Rutledge for the second base job.

12. Philadelphia Phillies

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    2B Chase Utley
    2B Chase UtleyDrew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    2B Chase Utley1-200058.1
    SS Jimmy Rollins2-199642.0
    SP Cole Hamels1-200233.8
    RF Marlon Byrd10-199920.9
    1B Ryan Howard5-200118.9
    C Carlos RuizAFA-199817.9
    SP Kyle Kendrick7-20035.6
    RP Antonio BastardoAFA-20052.8
    SP Jonathan Pettibone3-20081.5
    LF Domonic Brown20-20060.8
    IF Freddy GalvisAFA-20060.6
    RP Justin De Fratus1-20070.5
    RP Jake Diekman30-20070.3
    OF Darin Ruf20-20090.2
    RP Joe Savery1-2007-0.1
    3B Cody Asche4-2011-0.2

    Starting Position Players: 6/8
    Starting Pitchers: 2/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 14/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Jesse Biddle (42)

     

    Analysis

    From a WAR standpoint, no one rivals the Philadelphia Phillies, who saw a trio of superstar infielders in Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins all make their way through the farm system. The problem is that those guys are all past their primes at this point and are a major drain on the team's payroll.

    Cole Hamels remains one of the best pitchers in the game, and outfielder Domonic Brown finally had the breakout season many were predicting for him several years ago. Cody Asche will take over as the everyday third baseman, and Carlos Ruiz was re-signed to a three-year deal to serve as the primary catcher.

    From a quantity standpoint the Phillies should probably rank higher, but there are too many overpaid players on the downswing of their careers here.

11. Seattle Mariners

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    SP Felix Hernandez
    SP Felix HernandezOtto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    SP Felix HernandezAFA-200238.6
    3B Kyle Seager3-20097.6
    CF Dustin Ackley1-20097.6
    OF Michael Saunders11-20043.0
    2B Nick Franklin1-20092.3
    SS Brad Miller28-20052.0
    RP Yoervis MedinaAFA-20051.9
    SP James Paxton4-20101.1
    SP Erasmo RamirezAFA-20070.8
    RP Stephen Pryor5-20100.5
    C Mike Zunino1-20120.2
    SP Brandon Maurer23-2008-1.1

    Starting Position Players: 5/9
    Starting Pitchers: 4/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 12/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Taijuan Walker (4), SP Danny Hultzen (24)

     

    Analysis

    At this point, the Seattle Mariners' homegrown group is still more potential than production, but the team will be counting on its young core to help back offseason additions Robinson Cano, Corey Hart and Logan Morrison in its attempt to return to contention.

    The stud of the group is obviously ace Felix Hernandez, who has been in the Mariners rotation since 2005, when he was just 19 years old. He's one of the best in the game, and the team has him locked up through 2020 with options.

    Third baseman Kyle Seager has quietly established himself as a plus option at the hot corner, but aside from that no one has really established himself on this group. Rookie starters Taijuan Walker and James Paxton will go a long way in determining just how good the team is in 2014.

10. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    SP Clayton Kershaw
    SP Clayton KershawDilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    SP Clayton Kershaw1-200632.2
    CF Matt Kemp6-200320.0
    SP Chad Billingsley1-200316.9
    RP Kenley JansenAFA-20046.7
    C A.J. Ellis18-20036.1
    RP Javy Guerra4-20042.0
    RP Paco Rodriguez2-20121.8
    RP Scott Elbert1-20041.3
    RP Chris Withrow1-20070.7
    OF Scott Van Slyke14-20050.5
    SS Dee Gordon4-2008-0.7

    Starting Position Players: 2/8
    Starting Pitchers: 1/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    OF Joc Pederson (44), SS Corey Seager (48)

     

    Analysis

    Needless to say, the fact that Clayton Kershaw is a homegrown talent moves the Los Angeles Dodgers up several spots on this list. He's the best pitcher in the game today, will be just 26 when Opening Day rolls around and is locked up for the foreseeable future after signing a record-setting extension this offseason.

    The health of Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley will go a long way in determining where the Dodgers deserve to be ranked, as they could wind up much higher or lower by the end of the season. Starting catcher A.J. Ellis and dominant closer Kenley Jansen also help justify the high ranking. It's also worth nothing that Paco Rodriguez was the first player from the 2012 draft class to reach the majors.

9. Boston Red Sox

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    2B Dustin Pedroia
    2B Dustin PedroiaDilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    2B Dustin Pedroia2-200438.1
    SP Jon Lester2-200228.2
    SP Clay Buchholz1-200514.5
    LF Daniel NavaUFA-20044.6
    3B Will Middlebrooks5-20071.1
    SP Felix DoubrontAFA-20041.0
    RP Brandon Workman2-2010-0.1

    Starting Position Players: 5/9
    Starting Pitchers: 2/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SS Xander Bogaerts (6), CF Jackie Bradley (28)

     

    Analysis

    Much of the Boston Red Sox's eventual end-of-the-season ranking here will depend on how rookies Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley do, as the team is counting on them to fill everyday roles spots at shortstop and in center field, respectively.

    Having a former MVP and face of the franchise in Dustin Pedroia, staff ace in Jon Lester and All-Star starter in Clay Buchholz helps the Red Sox earn their place in the rankings here regardless, though. Daniel Nava and Will Middlebrooks may both wind up putting up solid numbers in everyday roles, while Felix Doubront could very well beat out Ryan Dempster for the No. 5 starter spot.

8. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    CF Andrew McCutchen
    CF Andrew McCutchenJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    CF Andrew McCutchen1-200526.8
    2B Neil Walker1-200410.5
    LF Starling MarteAFA-20076.5
    3B Pedro Alvarez1-20084.5
    SS Jordy Mercer3-20082.4
    RP Tony Watson9-20072.3
    RP Justin Wilson5-20081.8
    SP Gerrit Cole1-20111.3
    RP Jared Hughes4-20060.5
    C Tony Sanchez1-20090.2

    Starting Position Players: 5/8
    Starting Pitchers: 1/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 10/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Jameson Taillon (10), OF Gregory Polanco (13), SS Alen Hanson (40)

     

    Analysis

    The Pittsburgh Pirates finally broke through and reached the playoffs last season for the first time since 1992, and a terrific core of homegrown players was at the center of the turnaround. They could rank even higher on this list before 2014 is over if prospects Jameson Taillon and Gregory Polanco make the big league impact many think they will. But, for now, they still crack the top 10.

    Andrew McCutchen is a bona fide superstar, and he was deserving of NL MVP honors last season after carrying the offense in the second half. Slugger Pedro Alvarez and speedy outfielder Starling Marte are also All-Star-caliber players, while Neil Walker remains a plus option at second base. A full season of Gerrit Cole in the rotation should help offset the loss of A.J. Burnett, and he could very well be the team's best pitcher by the end of the upcoming season.

7. Los Angeles Angels

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    SP Jered Weaver
    SP Jered WeaverJeff Gross/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    SP Jered Weaver1-200433.4
    2B Howie Kendrick10-200222.1
    CF Mike Trout1-200920.8
    SS Erick AybarAFA-200217.6
    C Hank Conger1-20061.5
    RP Michael Kohn13-20080.8
    RF Kole Calhoun8-20100.4
    IF Andrew Romine5-20070.1
    SP Garrett Richards1-2009-0.3
    RP Kevin Jepsen2-2002-0.5

    Starting Position Players: 4/9
    Starting Pitchers: 2/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    None

     

    Analysis

    Having the best all-around hitter in Mike Trout as a homegrown talent certainly helps the Los Angeles Angels' standing here. The superstar center fielder was taken with the 25th pick in the 2009 draft, and he has put together as impressive a start to his career as any in the history of baseball.

    Ace Jered Weaver was also developed in-house. He's been one of the best in the game over the past five seasons, going 78-41 with a 3.03 ERA and 1.09 WHIP.

    The team's double-play combination was developed in the minors as well, and Howie Kendrick was a nice find in the 10th round of the 2002 draft.

6. San Francisco Giants

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    SP Matt Cain
    SP Matt CainMarc Serota/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    SP Matt Cain1-200232.4
    SP Tim Lincecum1-200623.3
    C Buster Posey1-200817.6
    3B Pablo SandovalAFA-200317.2
    SP Madison Bumgarner1-200711.4
    1B Brandon Belt5-20098.1
    RP Sergio Romo28-20057.6
    SS Brandon Crawford4-20085.3
    C Hector SanchezAFA-20061.3
    SP Ryan Vogelsong5-19980.8

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers: 4/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 10/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Kyle Crick (43)

     

    Analysis

    The San Francisco Giants pitching staff was what propelled the team to two titles over a three-year span, and it's also the reason the Giants were such a major letdown last season. Madison Bumgarner was terrific once again, though, and Matt Cain looked like his old self in the second half. Questions remain as to whether Tim Lincecum will ever be the pitcher he once was, but the team re-signed him to a two-year deal nonetheless.

    Buster Posey is the face of the franchise and arguably the best offensive catcher in the game. Pablo Sandoval is entering a contract year and could be in for a huge season, while first baseman Brandon Belt enjoyed a breakout year in 2013. Add in shortstop Brandon Crawford, closer Sergio Romo and No. 5 starter Ryan Vogelsong, and the Giants have done a great job building from within.

5. Tampa Bay Rays

28 of 32

    3B Evan Longoria
    3B Evan LongoriaAl Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    3B Evan Longoria1-200636.3
    SP David Price1-200718.6
    OF Desmond Jennings10-20068.7
    SP Jeremy Hellickson4-20056.8
    SP Alex Cobb4-20065.4
    SP Matt Moore8-20074.3
    RP Jake McGee5-20042.1

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers: 4/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    SP Taylor Guerrieri (29)

     

    Analysis

    The Tampa Bay Rays find themselves in the top 10 of this list despite having just seven homegrown players projected to make the Opening Day roster. That is because they have one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball, and four of their five starters were developed in-house.

    The trio of David Price, Matt Moore and Alex Cobb is the best threesome of homegrown starting pitchers in baseball, and if Jeremy Hellickson can bounce back from a rough 2013, he makes that group even better. Add to that a superstar third baseman in Evan Longoria, a promising young outfielder in Desmond Jennings and a ace setup man in Jake McGee, and it's clear the Rays belong this high.

4. Washington Nationals

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    3B Ryan Zimmerman
    3B Ryan ZimmermanPatrick Smith/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    3B Ryan Zimmerman1-200533.9
    SP Jordan Zimmermann2-200711.7
    SS Ian Desmond3-20049.8
    LF Bryce Harper1-20109.0
    SP Stephen Strasburg1-20098.5
    2B Danny Espinosa3-20085.4
    SP Ross Detwiler1-20073.4
    RP Craig Stammen12-20053.2
    RP Drew Storen1-20092.1
    2B Anthony Rendon1-20110.0
    SP Taylor Jordan9-20090.0
    OF Tyler Moore16-2008-1.0

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers: 3/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 11/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    None

     

    Analysis

    A rough stretch for the Washington Nationals afforded them the opportunity to pick No. 1 overall in back-to-back drafts, and they grabbed a pair of potential once-in-a-generation talents in Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. Both have already made a name for themselves, but they are also capable of much more in the years ahead, especially Harper.

    The left side of the infield of Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman is as good as any in baseball offensively, and Anthony Rendon could be in for a breakout season as the everyday second baseman in 2014. Ross Detwiler and Taylor Jordan are both in the running for the No. 5 starter spot, while Craig Stammen and Drew Storen will be key pieces to the bullpen.

3. Cincinnati Reds

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    1B Joey Votto
    1B Joey VottoJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    1B Joey Votto2-200233.9
    RF Jay Bruce1-200515.8
    SP Johnny CuetoAFA-200415.6
    SP Homer Bailey1-20046.0
    3B Todd Frazier1-20075.6
    SS Zack Cozart2-20074.9
    SP Mike Leake1-20094.8
    OF Chris Heisey17-20063.3
    RP Sam LeCure4-20052.9
    SP Tony Cingrani3-20112.4
    RP Logan Ondrusek13-20051.5
    C Devin Mesoraco1-2007-0.8

    Starting Position Players: 6/8
    Starting Pitchers: 4/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 13/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    CF Billy Hamilton (16), SP Robert Stephenson (17)

     

    Analysis

    Veterans Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick are the only everyday position players on the Cincinnati Reds roster who were not developed in-house. And that group includes two of the best hitters in the National League in Joey Votto and Jay Bruce.

    On the pitching side of things, Mat Latos is the only projected starter who was drafted elsewhere, and the team used what was then a stocked farm system to acquire him. Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey are two of the top arms in the NL, and Mike Leake enjoyed a breakout season in 2013. Add in starting catcher Devin Mesoraco and a pair of solid relievers in Sam LeCure and Logan Ondrusek, and the Reds earn a spot here in the top three.

2. Atlanta Braves

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    RF Jason Heyward
    RF Jason HeywardHarry How/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    RF Jason Heyward1-200718.4 
    RP Craig Kimbrel3-20089.7
    SP Kris Medlen10-20069.7
    SS Andrelton Simmons2-20109.6
    1B Freddie Freeman2-20079.2
    RP Jonny Venters30-20034.6
    SP Mike Minor1-20093.7
    SP Brandon BeachyUFA-20083.4
    SP Julio TeheranAFA-20073.1
    RP Luis AvilanAFA-20053.1
    SP Alex Wood2-20121.1
    C Evan Gattis23-20100.6
    RP Cory Gearrin2-2012-0.1

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers: 5/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 12/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    None

     

    Analysis

    The Atlanta Braves are the only team in the league with an entirely homegrown rotation, assuming Alex Wood winds up as the team's No. 5 starter. Even if he doesn't, the trio of Mike Minor, Kris Medlen and Julio Teheran is fantastic, and a healthy Brandon Beachy could give the Braves a fourth ace-caliber young arm. They also developed the most dominant closer in the game in Craig Kimbrel and a pair of solid left-handers in Luis Avilan and Jonny Venters.

    Offensively, Freddie Freeman was a legitimate NL MVP candidate last season and will once again be counted on to anchor the lineup. Jason Heyward and Evan Gattis will also be keys to the team's offensive attack, while shortstop Andrelton Simmons is an elite defender who provided some surprising pop (27 2B, 17 HR) as well last season.

1. St. Louis Cardinals

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    C Yadier Molina
    C Yadier MolinaRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    Notable Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquiredCareer WAR
    C Yadier Molina4-200026.8
    OF Jon Jay2-20068.7
    3B Matt Carpenter13-20097.5
    RF Allen Craig8-20067.0
    SP Lance Lynn1-20084.6
    RP Jason Motte19-20034.5
    SP Jaime Garcia22-20054.5
    SP Shelby Miller1-20093.9
    SP Joe Kelly3-20093.3
    RP Kevin Siegrist41-20082.0
    RP Trevor Rosenthal21-20091.8
    SP Michael Wacha1-20121.7
    RP Seth Maness11-20111.6
    IF Daniel Descalso3-20071.2
    1B Matt Adams23-20091.1
    OF Shane Robinson5-20061.1
    SS Pete Kozma1-20070.9
    RP Carlos MartinezAFA-2010-0.2
    C Tony Cruz26-2007-0.9

    Starting Position Players: 5/8
    Starting Pitchers: 4/5
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 19/25

     

    Homegrown Top 50 Prospects

    RF Oscar Taveras (2), 2B Kolten Wong (50)

     

    Analysis

    The St. Louis Cardinals reached the World Series last season with a roster that featured 19 homegrown players. Though there was some turnover this offseason, they are projected to have 19 of 25 homegrown players once again on the Opening Day roster.

    Adam Wainwright was drafted by the Atlanta Braves but developed in the Cardinals system, while veterans Matt Holliday, Jhonny Peralta, Peter Bourjos, Mark Ellis and Randy Choate are the only other players brought in from outside.

    Making things even more impressive, eight of those players were drafted after the 10th round, as the Cardinals have been great at finding values and cultivating talent. They're the cream of the crop right now at building from within, and they have positioned themselves to contend long-term as a result.

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