Highlighting Each MLB Team's Best Homegrown Player in 2015

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2015

Highlighting Each MLB Team's Best Homegrown Player in 2015

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    The MLB trade deadline and the offseason winter meetings get plenty of attention as teams look to bolster their rosters with big signings or trades, but the key to sustained success is still developing homegrown talent.

    On the heels of the 2015 MLB draft, and with a number of notable prospect call-ups made around the league in recent weeks, let's take a look at the best homegrown talent on each MLB roster.

    First, here are a few items of note regarding who was eligible for this list:

    • International Players: Any player signed as an international free agent was eligible to be considered a homegrown player, with the exception of players from Cuba and Japan who were already established professionals when they made the jump straight to the majors. That means guys like Masahiro Tanaka, Yu Darvish, Jose Abreu, Aroldis Chapman and Alexei Ramirez were not eligible. On the other hand, guys like Jorge Soler and Yasiel Puig who came over and spent time in the minors before reaching the big leagues were eligible.
    • Amateur Draft Picks: For a draft-eligible player to be considered homegrown, he had to be drafted by the team he's currently playing for. So while someone like Chris Archer was technically developed in the Tampa Bay Rays farm system, he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians so is therefore not eligible.

    The goal here was to name the best homegrown player on each roster as of today, so for the sake of this exercise, past success and track record meant far less than current talent level and recent performance.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Top Homegrown Player: 1B Paul Goldschmidt

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2009: Eighth Round, 246th Overall)



    Player Overview

    Before all is said and done, there's a good chance Paul Goldschmidt stakes claim to being the best player in Arizona Diamondbacks franchise history.

    A handful of star players enjoyed stints with the team, including Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Luis Gonzalez, Mark Grace, Matt Williams and Steve Finley, but none of those players was a homegrown talent.

    The 27-year-old Goldschmidt is one of the most feared sluggers in the game, and he is the cornerstone of a Diamondbacks team on the rise.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • CF A.J. Pollock (2009 draft)
    • SP Josh Collmenter (2007 draft)
    • SP Chase Anderson (2009 draft)
    • 2B Chris Owings (2009 draft)

Atlanta Braves

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    Top Homegrown Player: 1B Freddie Freeman

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2007: Second Round, 78th Overall)



    Player Overview

    The Atlanta Braves have long been one of the better teams in the league at developing talent, but after trading away the likes of Jason Heyward, Craig Kimbrel and Evan Gattis, a significant chunk of their homegrown talent is now playing elsewhere.

    That being said, they did manage to lock up the trio of Freddie Freeman, Andrelton Simmons and Julio Teheran long-term, and those three will be key pieces of the team's future as the Braves continue to filter in young talent.

    At this point, Freeman has to get the nod as the leader of that group and the team's best player. Still just 25 years old, he's sometime overlooked in a National League that is loaded with superstar first basemen, but he's right on par with anyone else at the position.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SS Andrelton Simmons (2010 draft)
    • SP Julio Teheran (IFA, Colombia)
    • SP Alex Wood (2012 draft)

Baltimore Orioles

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    Top Homegrown Player: 3B Manny Machado

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2010: First Round, Third Overall)



    Player Overview

    Originally drafted as a shortstop, Manny Machado was called up as a 19-year-old in 2012 and plugged in as the everyday third baseman out of necessity. He took to the position quickly on defense, and his offensive game finally seems to be catching up to his glove.

    Now 22 years old, Machado has already tied his previous career high of 14 home runs and set a new personal best with 10 stolen bases. He has become a legitimate force in the middle of the Baltimore Orioles lineup.

    That could not have come at a better time either, after the team waved goodbye to Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis in the offseason and failed to make any major additions.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • C Matt Wieters (2007 draft)
    • RP Zach Britton (2006 draft)
    • RP Brian Matusz (2008 draft)

Boston Red Sox

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    Top Homegrown Player: 2B Dustin Pedroia

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2004: Second Round, 65th Overall)



    Player Overview

    One of the longer-tenured players on this list, Dustin Pedroia is still going strong in this his 10th big league season.

    A wrist injury suffered early last season sapped him of his power in 2014, and he finished with just seven home runs. Offseason surgery seems to have done the trick, though, as his power stroke has returned.

    For the time being he remains the best homegrown player on the roster, but the next wave of talent is coming in the form of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Blake Swihart, Henry Owens, Brian Johnson and a handful of others.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SS Xander Bogaerts (IFA, Aruba)
    • SP Clay Buchholz (2005 draft)
    • OF Mookie Betts (2011 draft)
    • C Blake Swihart (2011 draft)

Chicago Cubs

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    Top Homegrown Player: 3B Kris Bryant

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2013: First Round, Second Overall)



    Player Overview

    Starlin Castro may be a more accomplished big leaguer, but at the moment, the most talented homegrown player on the Chicago Cubs roster is rookie Kris Bryant.

    The 23-year-old has been an offensive force since his days at the University of San Diego, and he's made a seamless transition every step of the way en route to the major league roster.

    With his tremendous raw power and advanced approach at the plate, Bryant has the tools to be a perennial NL MVP candidate in the not-too-distant future. He'll have his work cut out for him if he wants to catch Joc Pederson in the NL Rookie of the Year race, though.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SS Starlin Castro (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • RF Jorge Soler (FA, Cuba)

Chicago White Sox

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    Top Homegrown Player: SP Chris Sale

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2010: First Round, 13th Overall)



    Player Overview

    The Chicago White Sox wasted no time getting Chris Sale to the big leagues.

    Taken with the No. 13 pick in the 2010 draft out of Florida Gulf Coast, he made just 11 minor league appearances before making his major league debut Aug. 6, roughly two months after he was drafted.

    After another year in the bullpen, he joined the rotation in 2012 and immediately became one of the best starters in the American League.

    The 26-year-old got off to a slow start this season, but he's been dominant of late, striking out double-digit batters in five straight starts and posting a 1.45 ERA over that span.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SP Carlos Rodon (2014 draft)
    • RP Jake Petricka (2010 draft)

Cincinnati Reds

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    Top Homegrown Player: 1B Joey Votto

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2002: Second Round, 44th Overall)



    Player Overview

    Last season, the choice here would have been Johnny Cueto without much of a second thought, but he has plenty of competition this season in the form of Joey Votto and Todd Frazier.

    Healthy once again after playing just 62 games last season while nursing a pair of quad injuries, Votto is again producing at an elite level offensively, and that's enough to put him back on top for the time being.

    The 31-year-old has been criticized in the past for being overly patient at the plate, but he's been plenty aggressive this season, as he's on pace for just the second 30-homer season of his career. And even with a slight drop in his walk rate, he still ranks fifth in the NL in on-base percentage.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SP Johnny Cueto (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • 3B Todd Frazier (2007 draft)
    • RF Jay Bruce (2005 draft)
    • SP Mike Leake (2009 draft)
    • CF Billy Hamilton (2009 draft)
    • SP Homer Bailey (2004 draft)
    • C Devin Mesoraco (2007 draft)
    • SS Zack Cozart (2007 draft)
    • SP Michael Lorenzen (2013 draft)

Cleveland Indians

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    Top Homegrown Player: 2B Jason Kipnis

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2009: Second Round, 63rd Overall)



    Player Overview

    A breakout season from Jason Kipnis in 2013 helped the Cleveland Indians make a surprise run to the postseason, as the second baseman hit .284/.366/.452 with 36 doubles, 17 home runs and 30 stolen bases to finish 11th in AL MVP voting.

    He was a different player last season, though, as nagging injuries took their toll and limited him to a .240/.310/.330 line with just 25 doubles and six home runs in 500 at-bats.

    Healthy once again, the 28-year-old has reclaimed his position among the game's elite offensive second basemen. A monster month of May in particular played a big part in his resurgent numbers, as he hit .429/.511/.706 with 22 extra-base hits and 17 RBI in 29 games to win AL Player of the Month.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SP Danny Salazar (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • RP Cody Allen (2011 draft)
    • SS Francisco Lindor (2011 draft)

Colorado Rockies

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    Top Homegrown Player: 3B Nolan Arenado

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2009: Second Round, 59th Overall)



    Player Overview

    Troy Tulowitzki has rebounded from a slow start and is now hitting .306/.336/.482 on the season, but his days of being the best homegrown player on the Colorado Rockies appear to be coming to an end, thanks to the man he shares the left side of the infield with: Nolan Arenado.

    The 24-year-old was already regarded as an elite defender heading into the season, winning Gold Glove honors in each of his first two seasons, but now he is flashing a potent bat as well.

    His 16 home runs and 51 RBI are tops on the Rockies roster, and that RBI total is also the most by any third baseman so far this season. Tulowitzki may still be the face of the franchise, but Arenado has quickly become Colorado's best player.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SS Troy Tulowitzki (2005 draft)
    • OF Charlie Blackmon (2008 draft)
    • OF Corey Dickerson (2010 draft)
    • C Wilin Rosario (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • SP Chad Bettis (2010 draft)

Detroit Tigers

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    Top Homegrown Player: SP Justin Verlander

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2004: First Round, Second Overall)



    Player Overview

    With Alex Avila injured and Nick Castellanos struggling, the choice here has to be Justin Verlander, despite the fact that he's made just one start on the year.

    After reaching the 200-inning mark in each of the previous eight seasons, Verlander was sidelined for the first 61 games of the season this year with a triceps issue. He finally returned on Saturday, allowing three hits and two runs in five innings of work. 

    It's not long ago that the 32-year-old had a legitimate case for being the best pitcher in baseball, winning Cy Young and MVP honors in 2011. While he's struggled at times over the past two seasons, he's still capable of making a serious impact in a Detroit Tigers rotation that could sure use it.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • 3B Nick Castellanos (2010 draft)
    • C Alex Avila (2008 draft)
    • C James McCann (2011 draft)
    • OF Tyler Collins (2011 draft)

Houston Astros

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    Top Homegrown Player: SP Dallas Keuchel

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2009: Seventh Round, 221st Overall)



    Player Overview

    Second baseman Jose Altuve would be a reasonable choice here, but while his production has slipped from its phenomenal 2014 level, left-hander Dallas Keuchel has taken another step forward and proved his breakout performance was for real.

    A middling starter his first two years in the league, Keuchel entered the 2014 season with a 9-18 record and a 5.20 ERA in 239 career innings.

    He managed to win the No. 5 starter job in spring training, and things took off from there, as he would go 12-9 with a 2.93 ERA and five complete games in an even 200 innings of work.

    While his peripheral numbers were strong, there were still questions as to how good he would be after his out-of-nowhere breakout. The 27-year-old has quickly silenced the critics, though, giving the Houston Astros a bona fide ace atop the staff.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • 2B Jose Altuve (IFA, Venezuela)
    • RF George Springer (2011 draft)
    • SS Carlos Correa (2012 draft)
    • SP Lance McCullers (2012 draft)
    • OF Preston Tucker (2012 draft)
    • C Jason Castro (2008 draft)

Kansas City Royals

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    Top Homegrown Player: LF Alex Gordon

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2005: First Round, Second Overall)



    Player Overview

    There is plenty of pressure from Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas this season, but for the time being left fielder Alex Gordon remains the best homegrown player on the Kansas City Royals.

    The No. 2 pick in the 2005 draft out of the University of Nebraska, Gordon struggled over his first four seasons in the majors. His career took off in 2011 though, the same year he made the full-time move from third base to left field.

    From there, the 31-year-old quickly established himself as the game's elite defensive left fielder and the most consistent offensive player in a young lineup. His .381 on-base percentage so far this season represents a career high, and his 31 RBI rank second in a balanced offensive attack.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • C Salvador Perez (IFA, Venezuela)
    • 1B Eric Hosmer (2008 draft)
    • 3B Mike Moustakas (2007 draft)
    • SP Yordano Ventura (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • RP Greg Holland (2007 draft)
    • RP Kelvin Herrera (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • RP Luke Hochevar (2006 draft)
    • OF Jarrod Dyson (2006 draft)
    • SP Danny Duffy (2007 draft)

Los Angeles Angels

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    Top Homegrown Player: CF Mike Trout

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2009: First Round, 25th Overall)



    Player Overview

    This is an easy choice. The Los Angeles Angels were given a real gift when a New Jersey high school outfielder by the name of Mike Trout fell to them at No. 25 overall in the 2009 draft.

    The 23-year-old has continued to evolve offensively since taking the league by storm as a rookie back in 2012, stepping into more of a power-hitting, run-production role since the start of last season.

    Strikeouts were one area of concern last year, when he led the AL in that category with 184. However, he's trimmed his strikeout rate from 26.1 percent to 22.1 percent this season, per FanGraphs, to help shore up what was the one significant hole in his game.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SP Jered Weaver (2004 draft)
    • RF Kole Calhoun (2010 draft)
    • SP Garrett Richards (2009 draft)
    • SS Erick Aybar (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • SP Matt Shoemaker (2008 UFA)

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Top Homegrown Player: SP Clayton Kershaw

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2006: First Round, Seventh Overall)



    Player Overview

    After one of the most dominant single-season pitching performance of all time last year, Clayton Kershaw has struggled a bit by comparison this season, but he is still one of the best pitchers in the game.

    His 122 strikeouts lead all of baseball, and he's gone 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA over his last five starts, as the 27-year-old is starting to look like his dominant self once again.

    Kershaw figures to be the choice here for the foreseeable future, but props go to Joc Pederson for what he has done so far as a rookie, as the 23-year-old has a .918 OPS and 17 home runs for a 3.0 WAR. That puts him squarely ahead of Kris Bryant as the front-runner for NL Rookie of the Year honors.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • CF Joc Pederson (2010 draft)
    • RF Yasiel Puig (IFA, Cuba)
    • RP Kenley Jansen (IFA, Curacao)
    • OF Scott Van Slyke (2005 draft)
    • C A.J. Ellis (2003 draft)
    • SP Carlos Frias (IFA, Dominican Republic)

Miami Marlins

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    Top Homegrown Player: RF Giancarlo Stanton

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2007: Second Round, 76th Overall)



    Player Overview

    A record 13-year, $325 million deal figures to keep homegrown Giancarlo Stanton in a Miami Marlins uniform for the duration of his career, and what a career it's going to be if the early returns are any indication.

    The list of players with more home runs than Stanton prior to their age-26 season is a who's who of all-time great sluggers, including Alex Rodriguez (241), Eddie Mathews (222), Jimmie Foxx (222), Mel Ott (211), Mickey Mantle (207), Frank Robinson (202), Albert Pujols (201), Orlando Cepeda (191), Ken Griffey Jr. (189) and Andruw Jones (185), and he has the rest of the season to continue climbing that list.

    A ridiculous month of June has certainly helped boost his season numbers, as he's hitting .375/.437/.922 with 10 home runs in 17 games.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SP Jose Fernandez (2011 draft)
    • CF Marcell Ozuna (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • LF Christian Yelich (2010 draft)
    • SP Tom Koehler (2007 draft)
    • RP A.J. Ramos (2009 draft)
    • C J.T. Realmuto (2010 draft)
    • SP Jose Urena (IFA, Dominican Republic)

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Top Homegrown Player: RF Ryan Braun

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2005: First Round, 5th Overall)



    Player Overview

    He's not the same player he was pre-suspension, and at the moment he's not even the same player he was in May, but Ryan Braun remains the best homegrown player on the Milwaukee Brewers roster.

    A nagging thumb injury limited the 31-year-old to a .266/.324/.453 line with 19 home runs and 81 RBI last season, and while his power has returned this season, he's still a long ways from the perennial MVP candidate he once was.

    After a strong month of May (.932 OPS, 8 HR, 28 RBI), his production has slipped significantly in June (.569 OPS, 1 HR, 3 RBI), and it will be interesting to see if the Brewers consider shopping him at the deadline.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • C Jonathan Lucroy (2007 draft)
    • SP Wily Peralta (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • SP Mike Fiers (2009 draft)
    • SP Jimmy Nelson (2010 draft)
    • LF Khris Davis (2009 draft)
    • 2B Scooter Gennett (2009 draft)

Minnesota Twins

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    Top Homegrown Player: 2B Brian Dozier

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2009: Eighth Round, 252nd Overall)



    Player Overview

    Joe Mauer may still be the face of the franchise, but Brian Dozier has emerged as the team's best all-around player over the past few seasons.

    With 23 home runs and 21 stolen bases last season, Dozier became just the 14th second baseman ever to post a 20/20 season. He's running less this season, with just four steals in six attempts, but he's well on his way to a new career high in both doubles and home runs.

    The 28-year-old was an unfortunate snub when the All-Star Game was in Minnesota last year, and hopefully he's recognized this time around.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • 1B Joe Mauer (2001 draft)
    • RP Glen Perkins (2004 draft)
    • 3B Trevor Plouffe (2004 draft)
    • SP Kyle Gibson (2009 draft)
    • CF Byron Buxton (2012 draft)

New York Mets

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    Top Homegrown Player: SP Jacob deGrom

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2010: Ninth Round, 272nd Overall)



    Player Overview

    David Wright may be the face of the franchise, and Matt Harvey may have the higher long-term ceiling, but right now Jacob deGrom is the best homegrown player on the New York Mets roster.

    The 27-year-old was rarely talked about among the team's elite young pitching prospects heading into last season, but that didn't stop him from running away with NL Rookie of the Year honors, as he went 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 140.1 innings.

    With Harvey battling through a rough patch and Zack Wheeler sidelined, he's the Mets best pitcher by a wide margin right now, and his numbers have been even better across the board than they were a year ago.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SP Matt Harvey (2010 draft)
    • 3B David Wright (2001 draft)
    • 1B Lucas Duda (2007 draft)
    • RP Jeurys Familia (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • CF Juan Lagares (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • SP Jon Niese (2005 draft)
    • SS Wilmer Flores (IFA, Venezuela)

New York Yankees

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    Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Homegrown Player: RP Dellin Betances

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2006: Eighth Round, 254th Overall)



    Player Overview

    As you would expect, the pool of homegrown players currently on the big league roster with the New York Yankees is thin, though that is expected to change in the years to come with their ever-improving farm system.

    This really comes down to a flip of the coin between Dellin Betances and Brett Gardner, but we'll go with the lights-out reliever who has quickly emerged as one of the most dominant arms in the game after looking like a complete flop not all that long ago.

    With a 1.40 ERA, 22 holds and 135 strikeouts in 90 innings last season, Betances was an All-Star for the first time, and he's earned a return trip to the Midsummer Classic with even more dominant numbers so far this year.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • LF Brett Gardner (2005 draft)
    • SP Adam Warren (2009 draft)

Oakland Athletics

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    Top Homegrown Player: SP Sonny Gray

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2011: First Round, 18th Overall)



    Player Overview

    Surprise fact: Only five players on the 40-man roster and two on the active roster (Sonny Gray, Max Muncy) for the Oakland Athletics are homegrown.

    Or maybe that's not a surprise, given the way general manager Billy Beane is quick to flip young talent before it becomes too expensive and after a busy offseason that saw an uncharted level of roster turnover.

    At any rate, the team's best player right now is ace Sonny Gray by a wide margin, and the Vanderbilt product has proved to be a steal with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2011 draft.

    If the season ended today, Gray would probably win the AL Cy Young. The 25-year-old leads the league in ERA (1.60) and WHIP (0.930) and leads all AL players with a 4.2 WAR.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • RP Sean Doolittle (2007 draft)

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Top Homegrown Player: SP Cole Hamels

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2002: First Round, 17th Overall)



    Player Overview

    How much longer he's wearing a Philadelphia Phillies jersey remains to be seen, but for the time being Cole Hamels is an easy choice as the team's best homegrown player.

    Despite the incessant trade buzz and a terrible team around him, Hamels continues to perform at a high level. In fact, his 30.6 WAR since the start of the 2010 season trails only Felix Hernandez, as he's gone 65-54 with a 3.00 ERA during that span.

    The 31-year-old is nursing a mild hamstring strain, but he's expected to return quickly, and all signs point to him being one of the most talked-about names of the 2015 trade season.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • RP Ken Giles (2011 draft)
    • 3B Maikel Franco (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • 2B Chase Utley (2000 draft)
    • 1B Ryan Howard (2001 draft)
    • C Carlos Ruiz (IFA, Panama)
    • SS Freddy Galvis (IFA, Venezuela)
    • OF Cody Asche (2011 draft)

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Top Homegrown Player: CF Andrew McCutchen

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2005: First Round, 11th Overall)



    Player Overview

    After a disastrous first month of the season (.194 BA, .636 OPS), Pittsburgh Pirates superstar Andrew McCutchen has done a terrific job of righting the ship, as he again ranks among the most productive players in the league.

    A bona fide NL MVP candidate each of the past three seasons and winner of the award in 2013, McCutchen has hit .320/.405/.534 while averaging 35 doubles, 26 home runs and 22 stolen bases during that span.

    A team-friendly six-year, $51.5 million deal will keep him in Pittsburgh through at least 2017, and he has a $14.75 million option for 2018, but it will be interesting to see if the Pirates will be able to keep him around beyond what will be his age-31 season.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SP Gerrit Cole (2011 draft)
    • LF Starling Marte (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • RP Tony Watson (2007 draft)
    • 2B Neil Walker (2004 draft)
    • RF Gregory Polanco (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • 1B Pedro Alvarez (2008 draft)
    • SS Jordy Mercer (2008 draft)
    • RP Jared Hughes (2006 draft)

San Diego Padres

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    Top Homegrown Player: CF Will Venable

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2005: Seventh Round, 218th Overall)



    Player Overview

    To say the field of homegrown players for the San Diego Padres is slim would be a massive understatement, but we'll go with Will Venable for lack of a better option.

    A pleasant surprise in 2013, he used a big second half to post a .796 OPS with 22 home runs and 22 steals, earning a two-year, $8.5 million extension in the process.

    His production slipped last season to a .613 OPS with just eight home runs and 11 steals, and he looked to be on the outs after an entire new outfield was acquired in the offseason. However, a wrist injury to Wil Myers has opened up everyday at-bats for the 32-year-old once again, and he's been a solid contributor.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • 2B Cory Spangenberg (2011 draft)
    • C Austin Hedges (2011 draft)

San Francisco Giants

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    Top Homegrown Player: C Buster Posey

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2008: First Round, Fifth Overall)



    Player Overview

    As the roster stands, the entire starting infield and four-fifths of the starting rotation for the San Francisco Giants is homegrown, but we'll go with catcher Buster Posey as the choice here.

    A true impact player from the get-go, Posey was the best offensive player on the team as a rookie when the Giants won their first title in 2010.

    Two years later, he was the NL MVP and batting title winner when the team won its second title, and this past season he was an established superstar and the best offensive catcher in the game when he hit .354/.403/.575 in the second half to help the team secure a wild card spot en route to another title.

    Pitching has been the driving force behind the Giants' recent run of success, but it's hard to say anyone but Posey has been the leader of the team.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SP Madison Bumgarner (2007 draft)
    • SS Brandon Crawford (2008 draft)
    • 2B Joe Panik (2011 draft)
    • 1B Brandon Belt (2009 draft)
    • SP Chris Heston (2009 draft)
    • SP Tim Lincecum (2006 draft)
    • RP Sergio Romo (2005 draft)
    • SP Ryan Vogelsong (1998 draft)
    • 3B Matt Duffy (2012 draft)
    • SP Matt Cain (2002 draft)

Seattle Mariners

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    Top Homegrown Player: SP Felix Hernandez

    Acquired: International Free Agent (2002: Venezuela)



    Player Overview

    With so many terrific players coming out of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia and other countries via international free agency, it's a surprise that Felix Hernandez is the only international free agent to crack this list.

    However, it's not surprising at all that he's the choice here for the Seattle Mariners.

    A big leaguer at the age of 19, King Felix wasted little time becoming one of the game's best pitchers, and with all due respect to Corey Kluber, he deserved to win his second Cy Young award last season when he led the AL in ERA (2.14) and WHIP (0.915).

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • 3B Kyle Seager (2009 draft)
    • RP Carson Smith (2011 draft)
    • SP Taijuan Walker (2010 draft)
    • SP Roenis Elias (IFA, Cuba)
    • SS Brad Miller (2011 draft)
    • C Mike Zunino (2012 draft)
    • OF Dustin Ackley (2009 draft)

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Top Homegrown Player: 3B Matt Carpenter

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2009: 13th Round, 399th Overall)



    Player Overview

    If this list was based on track record and reputation, Yadier Molina would be the slam-dunk choice. As far as who the St. Louis Cardinals' best homegrown player is at this moment, though, it comes down to Matt Carpenter and Michael Wacha.

    As important as Wacha (9-2, 2.48 ERA, 1.044 WHIP) has been in helping ease the loss of Adam Wainwright, it's Carpenter who serves as the catalyst for the team offensively, and the everyday player gets the nod here.

    Kolten Wong could challenge for a spot on this list in the near future, but for now his emergence has allowed Carpenter to slide down into the No. 2 spot in the lineup, where his mix of contact and on-base skills plays perfectly.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SP Michael Wacha (2012 draft)
    • RP Trevor Rosenthal (2009 draft)
    • 2B Kolten Wong (2011 draft)
    • SP Carlos Martinez (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • C Yadier Molina (2000 draft)
    • SP Jaime Garcia (2005 draft)
    • OF Jon Jay (2006 draft)
    • RP Kevin Siegrist (2008 draft)

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

    Top Homegrown Player: 3B Evan Longoria

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2006: First Round, Third Overall)



    Player Overview

    The best player in Tampa Bay Rays history, and really the only established star on the roster right now, Evan Longoria is having another strong season despite the team turning to the likes of David DeJesus and Logan Forsythe to protect him in the lineup.

    Longoria is already the franchise's all-time leader in WAR (41.1), doubles (239), home runs (190) and RBI (664), and he figures to pass Carl Crawford in a number of other categories before his time with the team is up.

    That won't be any time soon, as the 29-year-old signed a six-year, $100 million extension prior to the 2013 season that doesn't kick in until 2017.

    "I always wanted to be kind of a benchmark player...the guy who you could think about or associate with the organization," Longoria told reports after signing that extension, per the Associated Press via ESPN.

    "My goal from Day 1 was to be the first player that played their whole career here, to be the first guy that came into the organization and went out in the organization, and played all the years in between. There's no better place for me."

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • OF Kevin Kiermaier (2010 draft)
    • RP Jake McGee (2004 draft)
    • SP Alex Colome (IFA, Dominican Republic)
    • SP Alex Cobb (2006 draft)
    • SP Matt Moore (2007 draft)
    • Desmond Jennings (2006 draft)

Texas Rangers

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Top Homegrown Player: SP Nick Martinez

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2011: 18th Round, 564th Overall)



    Player Overview

    The way Joey Gallo and Chi Chi Gonzalez are going, it may not be long before one of them takes over this spot, but for the time being surprise performer Nick Martinez has earned the title of best current homegrown player for the Texas Rangers.

    Thrust into action by injuries last season, Martinez went 5-12 with a 4.55 ERA and 1.461 WHIP in 24 starts and 140.1 innings of work.

    As he was battling for a roster spot this spring, injuries again opened the door for Martinez, and he's made the most of the opportunity this time around with 10 quality starts in 13 appearances.

    His 4.21 FIP and 1.315 WHIP raise some questions as to just how sustainable his level of production is, but that does nothing to take away from how important he's been to the team's early-season success.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • 1B Mitch Moreland (2007 draft)
    • 3B Joey Gallo (2012 draft)
    • SP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2013 draft)
    • RP Keone Kela (2012 draft)
    • 2B Rougned Odor (IFA, Venezuela)
    • SP Derek Holland (2006 draft)
    • SP Martin Perez (IFA, Venezuela)

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Winslow Townson/Associated Press

    Top Homegrown Player: OF Kevin Pillar

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (201: 32nd Round, 979th Overall)



    Player Overview

    Marcus Stroman would be the easy choice here were it not for a torn ACL that ended his season before it even started, and that leaves us with a less-than-stellar group to choose from.

    Truth be told, this slide was originally written up for reliever Brett Cecil, before a last-minute decision was made to switch the choice to Kevin Pillar.

    The door opened for the 26-year-old when Michael Saunders went down with a knee injury, and he's brought an interesting mix of speed, run production ability and terrific outfield defense to the team.

    His 12 defensive runs saved are tied for second among all outfielders, per FanGraphs, and he's one of just nine players with 30 RBI, 30 runs scored and 10 stolen bases on the year.

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • RP Brett Cecil (2007 draft)
    • SP Drew Hutchison (2009 draft)
    • 2B Ryan Goins (2009 draft)
    • RP Aaron Loup (2009 draft)
    • SP Marcus Stroman (2012 draft)
    • SP Aaron Sanchez (2010 draft)
    • RP Roberto Osuna (IFA, Mexico)

Washington Nationals

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    Denis Poroy/Getty Images

    Top Homegrown Player: RF Bryce Harper

    Acquired: Amateur Draft (2010: First Round, First Overall)



    Player Overview

    While some serious questions have popped up about one former No. 1 overall pick in Stephen Strasburg, another in Bryce Harper is finally enjoying the breakout season that everyone has been expecting.

    It's easy to forget that Harper is still just 22 years old. That's a year younger than NL Rookie of the Year front-runners Kris Bryant and Joc Pederson, to put things into perspective.

    Harper has always had eye-popping raw power, but a more patient approach (NL-high 54 walks) has been the key to his tapping into his full offensive potential.

    The one big hurdle for Harper will be staying healthy, and he was forced out of Thursday's game with a hamstring injury. He'll be re-evaluated on Friday, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN).

    Other Notable Homegrown Players

    • SP Jordan Zimmermann (2007 draft)
    • 2B Anthony Rendon (2011 draft)
    • SP Stephen Strasburg (2009 draft)
    • RP Drew Storen (2009 draft)
    • SS Ian Desmond (2004 draft)
    • OF Michael Taylor (2009 draft)
    • 1B Ryan Zimmerman (2005 draft)
    • IF Danny Espinosa (2008 draft)

    All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference, unless otherwise noted.


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