Ranking All 30 MLB Teams on Homegrown Talent

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2016

Ranking All 30 MLB Teams on Homegrown Talent

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    Elsa/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.

    Small-market teams such as the Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Minnesota Twins have done a great job building a core out of their own developed talent.

    On the other end, big-budget teams like the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs don't have nearly as much homegrown talent on their rosters at this point in time.

    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, while the Oakland Athletics opened 2015 with just one homegrown player (Sonny Gray) on the 25-man roster.

    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 2016 season with the start of spring training.

    Note: I did not write the 2015 version of these rankings, but they are referenced a few times in the following article. That piece can be found here.

Methodology

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    A lot needs to be established before we dive into the rankings, so let's get that out of the way here:

    • Who qualifies as homegrown?: To be considered "homegrown," a player must have been drafted by an organization or signed by it as an amateur free agent and subsequently developed in its minor league system.
    • What about international free agents?: International players who did not sign as amateur free agents were not included here. That means players such as Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka, Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Jung-Ho Kang, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Hisashi Iwakuma, Kenta Maeda, Jorge Soler and Rusney Castillo didn't help their respective team's ranking.

    Now let's explain what's included on each slide.

    • Homegrown Players Chart: At the top of each slide is a chart listing each team's homegrown players projected to make the Opening Day roster. Roster projections are pulled from Roster Resource, so my opinion on who will be in the 25-man was taken out of the equation here. Alongside each player is a look at when they were either drafted or signed, their 2015 WAR and their career WAR.
    • Homegrown Breakdown: Below that chart is a quick breakdown of how many of the homegrown players from the table are everyday position players or starting pitchers/closers as well as a final count on how many of the 25-man roster are homegrown.
    • Homegrown Top 100 Prospects: That is followed by a quick list of any homegrown prospects ranked in the top 100 leaguewide by MLB.com's Prospect Watch. This was simply meant as a look to the future, and did not factor into the rankings.

    Finally, we need to explain exactly what went into ranking the teams.

    To start off with, the teams were ordered by the total number of homegrown players projected to be on the 25-man roster.

    That was simply a starting point, though, as not all rosters are created equal and not all 25-man roster players are of equivalent value.

    The total number and quality of everyday players, starting pitchers and closers played a far bigger role in determining where a team ranked, and superstar talent was also taken into consideration.

    Hopefully that clarifies any questions you may have had, so let's get things started.

30. San Diego Padres

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    2B Cory Spangenberg
    2B Cory SpangenbergMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    2B Cory Spangenberg1-20112.12.4
    RP Nick Vincent18-20080.32.4
    RP Kevin Quackenbush8-20110.11.0
      2.55.8

    Starting Position Players: 1/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 3/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Hunter Renfroe (92)

    Analysis

    A starting second baseman and a pair of middle relieversthat's the extent of homegrown talent projected for the San Diego Padres roster on their Opening Day.

    Cory Spangenberg showed enough in his first extended bit of big league action that he'll get the nod as the everyday second baseman, a job that was opened up following the trade of another homegrown player in Jedd Gyorko.

    Kevin Quackenbush and Nick Vincent are both safe bets to earn a spot in the bullpen, and Quackenbush could emerge as the team's primary right-handed setup man if Brandon Maurer moves to the rotation.

    Keep an eye on outfielder Travis Jankowski and right-hander Colin Rea, as both prospects could wind up making a significant impact in 2016 despite starting the year in Triple-A.

29. Oakland Athletics

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    SP Sonny Gray
    SP Sonny GrayBob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    SP Sonny Gray1-20115.810.3
    RP Sean Doolittle1-20070.13.4
      5.913.7

    Starting Position Players: 0/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 2/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    1B/OF Matt Olson (100)

    Analysis

    Ace Sonny Gray was the only homegrown player on the 2015 Opening Day roster for the Oakland Athletics.

    A healthy Sean Doolittle will double that total after he started last year on the disabled list and made just 12 appearances while battling shoulder issues, but those two will likely be the only ones.

    The small-market A's are perpetually flipping their young talent for prospects before they become too expensive. As a result, many of their top prospects—and subsequently their top rookies—are guys who were acquired via trade.

    To that point, their top two prospects right now—shortstop Franklin Barreto and left-hander Sean Manaea—were both acquired via trade last year.

28. Atlanta Braves

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    1B Freddie Freeman
    1B Freddie FreemanDan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    1B Freddie Freeman2-20073.415.7
    SP Julio TeheranAFA-20071.58.6
    SP Williams PerezAFA-20090.00.0
      4.924.3

    Starting Position Players: 1/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 3/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Ozzie Albies (29), LHP Kolby Allard (89)

    Analysis

    The Atlanta Braves earned the No. 10 spot in these rankings a year ago, and sat at No. 2 overall back in 2014, but their recent rebuilding efforts have sent them tumbling down the rankings.

    Jason Heyward, Andrelton Simmons, Craig Kimbrel, Evan Gattis, Alex Wood, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Jonny Venters were among the players who helped them earn that No. 2 ranking but have since moved on.

    The two stars left standing are first baseman Freddie Freeman and No. 1 starter Julio Teheran, along with right-hander Williams Perez, who is one of a handful of guys who will be vying for the No. 5 starter spot this spring.

    Shortstop Ozzie Albies, outfielder Braxton Davidson, left-hander Kolby Allard and right-hander Lucas Sims are the cream of the homegrown prospect crop, but the team figures to be reliant on acquired talent as it rebuilds.

27. Detroit Tigers

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    SP Justin Verlander
    SP Justin VerlanderRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    SP Justin Verlander1-20042.243.9
    C James McCann2-20110.90.9
    RP Drew VerHagen4-20120.90.9
    RP Bruce RondonAFA-2007-0.9-0.4
    3B Nick Castellanos1-20100.5-1.0
      3.644.3

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

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    None

    Analysis

    Justin Verlander has the third-highest career WAR of any active homegrown pitcher, as his 43.9 mark trails only Felix Hernandez (49.8) and Clayton Kershaw (47.2).

    He's not the same pitcher who was once the best in the game and an AL MVP winner back in 2011, but he still has something left in the tank, as evidenced by his 2.30 ERA and 0.938 WHIP in his final 10 starts last year.

    James McCann supplanted Alex Avila as the team's starting catcher with a strong first half (.750 OPS) but slumped badly after the All-Star break (.621 OPS), and he'll need to prove he can produce over a full season.

    Former top prospect Nick Castellanos is also still looking to take that next step, and he may finally be ready to do that in 2016 after he posted an .800 OPS with 20 doubles and nine home runs in the second half last year.

    Bruce Rondon and Drew VerHagen both slot as middle relievers, though the hard-throwing Rondon still has late-inning potential if he can harness his command.

26. Chicago Cubs

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    3B Kris Bryant
    3B Kris BryantJerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    3B Kris Bryant1-20135.95.9
    LF Kyle Schwarber1-20141.71.7
    IF Javier Baez1-20110.5-0.5
    OF Matt Szczur5-2010-0.5-0.9
      7.66.2

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 4/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Gleyber Torres (28), C Willson Contreras (50), 2B/OF Ian Happ (76), RHP Duane Underwood (77), OF Albert Almora (86)

    Analysis

    Much of what the Chicago Cubs have been able to build in recent years is a result of shrewd maneuvering on the part of the front office. Trades to acquire the likes of Jake Arrieta and Addison Russell immediately jump to mind.

    As a big-market club, the Cubs are also afforded the benefit of being major players on the free-agent market, as evidenced by their blockbuster signings of Jon Lester and Jason Heyward the past two offseason.

    However, they are not without some key homegrown pieces as well, most notably sluggers Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber, who were the team's top selections in the 2013 and 2014 drafts, respectively.

    Javier Baez is another former first-round pick, and while he doesn't have a clearly defined role defensively, he figures to see plenty of playing time all over the field.

25. Philadelphia Phillies

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    C Carlos Ruiz
    C Carlos RuizCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    C Carlos RuizAFA-1998-0.820.3
    1B Ryan Howard5-2001-1.416.4
    SP Aaron Nola1-20141.91.9
    RF Aaron Altherr9-20091.71.7
    3B Maikel FrancoAFA-20101.71.3
    C Cameron Rupp3-20101.01.0
    SS Freddy GalvisAFA-20060.40.4
    2B Cesar HernandezAFA-20060.9-0.1
    1B/OF Darin Ruf20-2009-0.6-0.2
    OF Cody Asche4-2011-1.1-0.6
      3.742.1

    Starting Position Players: 6/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 10/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS J.P. Crawford (5), OF Cornelius Randolph (84), OF Roman Quinn (99)

    Analysis

    On the explanation slide we said that "not all rosters are created equal," and the Philadelphia Phillies are the perfect example of that idea.

    With 10 homegrown players projected for the Opening Day roster, the gut reaction may be that they belong higher in these rankings.

    However, of those 10 players, the only quality pieces are Aaron Nola, Maikel Franco and Aaron Altherr.

    Nola has legitimate front-line potential, Franco should be a beast in the middle of the lineup and Altherr turned heads with a strong debut last year, but beyond that there's not much here.

    Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz are all that remains of the glory days, and both players are below replacement level at this point in their careers.

    The middle infield of Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis gives the team a cheap solution there for now, but odds are neither player will be part of the next contending team in Philadelphia.

    The same goes for guys like Cody Asche, Darin Ruf and Cameron Rupp. They're cheap place-holders for now but not long-term pieces.

    Quantity keeps them out of the bottom five, but a lack of quality keeps them from ranking any higher.

24. Chicago White Sox

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    SP Chris Sale
    SP Chris SaleJesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    SP Chris Sale1-20103.326.2
    RP Nate Jones5-20070.33.4
    SP Carlos Rodon1-20141.61.6
    SS Tyler Saladino7-20101.31.3
    SP Erik Johnson2-20110.70.5
    IF Carlos SanchezAFA-20090.70.4
      7.933.4

    Starting Position Players: 1/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Carson Fulmer (38), SS Tim Anderson (47)

    Analysis

    The Chicago White Sox struck gold when they grabbed Chris Sale with the No. 13 pick in the 2010 draft out of Florida Gulf Coast, as he's developed into one of the game's truly elite starters.

    Carlos Rodon dealt with some control issues as a rookie, but he too has legitimate front-line upside, and he could give the South Siders a second homegrown ace in the years to come.

    Slick-fielding Tyler Saladino will get the first crack at replacing Alexei Ramirez at shortstop, but his lackluster offense (236 AB, .225/.267/.335) means he's probably only keeping the position warm for top prospect Tim Anderson.

    Erik Johnson is the favorite for the No. 5 starter job, while hard-throwing Nate Jones has a chance to be the primary setup man if he returns smoothly from elbow issues.

23. Tampa Bay Rays

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    3B Evan Longoria
    3B Evan LongoriaKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    3B Evan Longoria1-20063.242.6
    LF Desmond Jennings10-20060.412.2
    CF Kevin Kiermaier31-20107.310.9
    SP Matt Moore8-2007-0.44.2
    RP Alex ColomeAFA-20070.91.6
    RP Enny RomeroAFA-2008-0.20.1
    IF Tim Beckham1-2008-0.10.0
      11.171.6

    Starting Position Players: 3/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    LHP Blake Snell (14), RHP Brent Honeywell (43)

    Analysis

    Evan Longoria is the one homegrown star for the Tampa Bay Rays who has not fallen victim to their small-market restrictions, and while he has suffered from a lack of lineup protection, he's still one of the better all-around third basemen in the league.

    Considering that quality starting pitching has been the Rays' calling card for years now, it's somewhat surprising to see only Matt Moore as a homegrown arm among their projected starters.

    It's worth noting right-hander Alex Cobb is also a homegrown talent who was quietly establishing himself as a solid starter before undergoing Tommy John surgery in May.

    Desmond Jennings never lived up to the hype that came with being the No. 6 prospect in baseball prior to the 2010 season, per Baseball America. Injuries have played a role but so has an inability to make consistent contact.

    On the flip side, Kevin Kiermaier has far exceeded expectations as a former 31st-round selection.

    The 25-year-old posted a .718 OPS last year with 25 doubles, 12 triples, 10 home runs and 18 stolen bases, but it was his defense that made him a star with off-the-charts defensive metrics (42 DRS, 40.4 UZR/150) that made him an easy choice for Gold Glove honors.

22. New York Yankees

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    LF Brett Gardner
    LF Brett GardnerBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    LF Brett Gardner1-20013.326.9
    SP/RP Ivan NovaAFA-20040.57.8
    RP Dellin Betances8-20063.77.2
    SP Luis SeverinoAFA-20111.91.9
    RP Branden Pinder16-20110.50.5
    RP Nick Rumbelow7-20130.00.0
    C Austin Romine2-2007-0.1-1.0
      9.843.3

    Starting Position Players: 1/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Jorge Mateo (30), OF Aaron Judge (31), C Gary Sanchez (59)

    Analysis

    Long an underrated part of the New York Yankees' success, Brett Gardner had an interesting season in 2015.

    A strong first half earned him a long-overdue first All-Star appearance, but he followed it up with an atrocious .206/.300/.292 line in the second half. Trade rumors swirled this offseason, as noted by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, but he ended up staying put and will once again be the everyday left fielder.

    Reliever Dellin Betances has been nothing short of elite the past two seasons, posting a 1.45 ERA, 0.891 WHIP and 13.8 K/9 while leading all relievers with 174 innings of work. He'll join lefties Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman to form the best bullpen trio in baseball.

    While the bullpen looks like a clear strength, the rotation is a question mark, and the team will rely heavily on young right-hander Luis Severino.

    The 21-year-old went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts last season after rocketing through the Yankees' minor league ranks, and he'll be asked to pitch like a front-line starter in 2016.

    Ivan Nova will take over for Adam Warren in the swingman role, while Nick Rumbelow and Branden Pinder pitched well enough last season to have a beat on middle-relief roles.

21. Colorado Rockies

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    3B Nolan Arenado
    3B Nolan ArenadoCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    3B Nolan Arenado2-20095.813.6
    CF Charlie Blackmon2-20082.44.7
    1B Ben Paulsen3-20090.81.3
    SP Chad Bettis2-20102.60.9
    SP Jon Gray1-20130.30.3
    C Dustin Garneau19-2009-0.1-0.1
      11.820.7

    Starting Position Players: 3/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Brendan Rodgers (12), RHP Jon Gray (33), OF David Dahl (46), 3B Ryan McMahon (48), 2B Forrest Wall (90)

    Analysis

    The Colorado Rockies traded away one homegrown superstar last year in Troy Tulowitzki, just as another was emerging in third baseman Nolan Arenado.

    Already an elite defender after winning the Gold Glove award in each of his first two seasons in the league, Arenado took his offensive game to the next level, as he tied for the NL lead in home runs (42) and ran away with the RBI title (130).

    Charlie Blackmon was a surprise All-Star in 2014, and he showed a good mix of power (31 2B, 17 HR) and speed (43 SB, 9 3B) this past season out of the leadoff spot.

    Ben Paulsen contributed more than expected as a 27-year-old rookie, earning himself at least a platoon at first base with newly signed Mark Reynolds.

    The team is still waiting on Jon Gray to establish himself as a big league starter, while Chad Bettis quietly had a very solid season last year at 8-6 with a 4.23 ERA (110 ERA+) over 20 starts.

    They may struggle to contend once again in 2016, but the Rockies have assembled one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, and much of the high-end talent is homegrown, so there is some hope for the future.

20. Milwaukee Brewers

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    RF Ryan Braun
    RF Ryan BraunBenny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    RF Ryan Braun1-20053.840.0
    C Jonathan Lucroy3-20071.015.8
    LF Khris Davis7-20090.84.3
    2B Scooter Gennett16-20090.64.0
    SP Wily PeraltaAFA-20050.12.7
    RP Tyler Thornburg3-2010-0.41.7
    SP Jimmy Nelson2-20101.31.5
    SP Taylor Jungmann1-20111.51.5
      8.771.5

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Orlando Arcia (6), RHP Jorge Lopez (57), OF Trent Clark (83)

    Analysis

    As the Milwaukee Brewers begin what could be a lengthy rebuilding process, Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy are the lone holdovers from the last time the team made the postseason back in 2011.

    Braun won NL MVP honors that year, but he hasn't been the same player since serving his PED suspension in 2013. That said, he's still plenty productive, posting an .854 OPS with 25 home runs and 24 steals last season.

    Lucroy was a legitimate NL MVP candidate for much of 2014, hitting .301 and setting the single-season record for doubles by a catcher with 53 to ultimately finish fourth in the voting. He took a big step back last year, though, and concussion issues were at least partially to blame.

    Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett will also have spots in the everyday lineup, and Davis is coming off of a huge second half last year where he ranked second in the NL with 21 home runs.

    Jimmy Nelson, Wily Peralta and Taylor Jungmann should all break camp in the starting rotation, and while none of them have front-line stuff, all three are capable of being solid middle-of-the-rotation starters.

    The recent trade of Jean Segura was obviously made to clear a path for top prospect Orlando Arcia, and while he likely won't break camp with the team, expect him to make a significant impact in 2016.

19. Seattle Mariners

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    SP Felix Hernandez
    SP Felix HernandezJoe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    SP Felix Hernandez1-20114.449.8
    3B Kyle Seager1-20114.317.5
    SP James Paxton1-20070.63.2
    SS Ketel Marte1-20072.32.3
    SP Taijuan Walker1-20071.12.2
      12.775.0

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 5/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Alex Jackson (94)

    Analysis

    Signed out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old, Felix Hernandez shot through the Seattle Mariners organization and arrived in the majors as a 19-year-old prodigy back in 2005.

    He's finished in the top 10 in AL Cy Young voting six times in his 11 seasons, winning the award in 2010, and as he enters his age-30 season, he's undoubtedly one of the best arms in the game.

    The team had high hopes for Taijuan Walker and James Paxton when they were prospects, and while they have yet to deliver on those expectations, there is still plenty of time for them to make an impact in the rotation.

    Kyle Seager has quietly emerged as one of the best all-around third basemen in the league, and the Mariners rewarded him with a seven-year, $100 million extension last offseason.

    He's joined on the left side of the infield by Ketel Marte, who hit .283/.351/.402 with 19 extra-base hits and eight stolen bases in 219 at-bats last season. The 22-year-old is a potential breakout candidate heading into his first full campaign.

    The stalled development of catcher Mike Zunino hurts here, as he was expected to be a franchise cornerstone after being taken No. 3 overall in the 2012 draft.

18. Toronto Blue Jays

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    RP Brett Cecil
    RP Brett CecilJoe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    RP Brett Cecil1-20071.16.6
    CF Kevin Pillar32-20115.25.9
    2B Ryan Goins4-20092.74.2
    SP/RP Aaron Sanchez1-20101.73.2
    SP Marcus Stroman1-20121.33.2
    RP Roberto OsunaIFA-20111.71.7
    SP/RP Drew Hutchison15-2009-1.70.1
      12.024.9

    Starting Position Players: 3/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Anthony Alford (42)

    Analysis

    The career WAR total may not be all that high for the Toronto Blue Jays, but they will be relying heavily on a number of young, homegrown players as they look to make a World Series run this year.

    Marcus Stroman assumes the role of staff ace after his stunningly fast recovery from a torn ACL last season, and while he's undersized at 5'8", he has all the tools to be a front-line guy.

    Aaron Sanchez spent time in the rotation and as the eighth-inning setup man last year, and wherever he winds up this season, his electric arm will be an asset.

    The same goes for Roberto Osuna, who was the youngest player in the league last year. He'll battle Drew Storen for the closer job, but as a former starter, he may be more valuable as a setup man who can go multiple innings. Brett Cecil will also be a key piece of the bullpen as the primary left-hander.

    Kevin Pillar drew rave reviews for his defense in center field, but he was no slouch with the bat either, as he tallied 45 extra-base hits and swiped 25 bags.

    Glove-first second baseman Ryan Goins will hold down the position until Devon Travis returns, while right-hander Drew Hutchison will look to recapture the form he showed in 2014 when he went 11-13 with a 4.48 ERA, 1.262 WHIP and 184 strikeouts in 184.2 innings.

17. Cincinnati Reds

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    1B Joey Votto
    1B Joey VottoTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    1B Joey Votto2-20027.643.4
    RF Jay Bruce1-20050.815.5
    SS Zack Cozart2-20072.09.6
    CF Billy Hamilton2-20091.04.2
    C Devin Mesoraco1-2007-0.33.9
    RP Tony Cingrani3-2011-0.61.6
    OF Yorman RodriguezAFA-2008--
    RP Carlos ContrerasAFA-2008-0.1-0.5
    SP Michael Lorenzen1-2013-0.6-0.6
      9.877.1

    Starting Position Players: 5/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 9/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Jesse Winker (34), RHP Robert Stephenson (35), LHP Amir Garrett (69)

    Analysis

    Similar to the Atlanta Braves, the Cincinnati Reds take a significant slide down these rankings as a result of their rebuilding efforts.

    Johnny Cueto, Todd Frazier, Aroldis Chapman, Mike Leake are gone from last year's crop of homegrown assets, and another big subtraction could take place if the team ever finds a taker for Jay Bruce.

    In the meantime, they still have one homegrown superstar at the center of it all in first baseman Joey Votto.

    He rebounded nicely from an injury-plagued 2014 season to prove he is still one of the game's elite hitters. Now he'll need to keep up that level of production with eight years and $192 million left on his deal.

    Zack Cozart is an elite defender who was showing signs of an offensive game before getting hurt last year. Billy Hamilton has speed to burn, but the old adage "you can't steal first" is extremely relevant. Catcher Devin Mesoraco will look to return to his 2014 All-Star form after missing significant time.

    Michael Lorenzen is one of a number of candidates for the back of the rotation, while former starter Tony Cingrani continues to settle into his role in the bullpen.

16. Texas Rangers

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    SP Derek Holland
    SP Derek HollandTim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    SP Derek Holland25-20060.59.5
    SP Colby Lewis1-19991.06.4
    1B Mitch Moreland17-20072.24.2
    SP Martin PerezAFA-20070.32.2
    2B Rougned OdorAFA-20111.92.0
    RP Keone Kela12-20121.81.8
    SP Nick Martinez18-20111.01.4
    IF Hanser AlbertoAFA-20090.80.8
    OF Ryan Rua17-2011-0.20.0
      9.328.3

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 4/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 9/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    3B/OF Joey Gallo (9), OF Lewis Brinson (16), OF Nomar Mazara (18), RHP Dillon Tate (36), RHP Luis Ortiz (73)

    Analysis

    The Texas Rangers have traded off a number of top prospects in recent years to acquire the likes of Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Cole Hamels in trade-deadline deals.

    Despite those moves, they still have one of the best farm systems in baseball and some solid young players at the big league level.

    Derek Holland, Colby Lewis and Martin Perez will fill out the back of the rotation, along with Nick Martinez, who will hold down the fifth spot in the rotation until Yu Darvish returns from Tommy John surgery.

    Holland and Perez have both flashed front-line stuff at times when healthy, while Lewis has quietly led the team in innings pitched each of the past two seasons.

    Mitch Moreland enjoyed the best season of his career last year with an .812 OPS, 23 home runs and 85 RBI, while 22-year-old Rougned Odor was one of the more productive second basemen in the league with 21 doubles, 16 home runs and 61 RBI.

    For all the hype surrounding slugger Joey Gallo, hard-throwing reliever Keone Kela wound up being the team's best rookie last season, as he had 22 holds with a 2.39 ERA, 1.160 WHIP and 10.1 K/9.

15. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    SP Clayton Kershaw
    SP Clayton KershawBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    SP Clayton Kershaw1-20067.547.2
    RP Kenley JansenAFA-20041.49.3
    C A.J. Ellis18-20031.57.6
    1B/OF Scott Van Slyke14-20051.34.4
    CF Joc Pederson11-20102.32.2
    SS Corey Seager1-20121.81.8
    RP Yimi GarciaAFA-20090.50.7
    RP Pedro BaezAFA-20070.20.6
      16.573.8

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

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Corey Seager (1), LHP Julio Urias (4), RHP Jose De Leon (24), RHP Grant Holmes (62)

    Analysis

    Luke Hochevar, Greg Reynolds, Brad Lincoln, Brandon Morrow and Andrew Miller—those were the five pitchers taken ahead of Clayton Kershaw when the Los Angeles Dodgers made him the No. 7 overall pick in the 2006 draft.

    Oops.

    Despite finishing third to Jake Arrieta and Zack Greinke in Cy Young voting last season, Kershaw remains the consensus choice as best pitcher in the game. His current contract will keep him with the Dodgers through at least 2018, when he can opt out of the final two years.

    Since taking over as the team's closer four years ago, Kenley Jansen has converted 133 of 151 save chances with a 2.33 ERA, 0.910 WHIP and 13.6 K/9 as one of the game's elite closers. The fact that he has yet to be an All-Star is shocking.

    Those two, along with A.J. Ellis, who has become the personal catcher for Kershaw, are the long-tenured players among the Dodgers homegrown crop.

    Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Jose De Leon represent the future.

    Pederson made the All-Star team as a rookie before dropping off dramatically in the second half, while Seager shined in a late-season promotion and will enter the year as the NL Rookie of the Year favorite.

    Beyond the four prospects listed above, the Dodgers organization is loaded with high-ceiling talent, so the future looks bright on the homegrown front.

14. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    1B Paul Goldschmidt
    1B Paul GoldschmidtMatt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    1B Paul Goldschmidt8-20098.824.1
    CF A.J. Pollock1-20097.414.8
    RP Josh Collmenter15-20071.07.5
    RP Andrew Chafin1-20111.61.9
    3B Jake Lamb6-20121.71.7
    2B Chris Owings1-2009-0.81.4
    OF Socrates BritoAFA-20100.60.6
    RP Silvino BrachoAFA-20110.40.4
      20.752.4

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Braden Shipley (67), RHP Archie Bradley (72)

    Analysis

    The Arizona Diamondbacks organization has produced a pair of bona fide superstars in first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and center fielder A.J. Pollock.

    Those two combined for a 16.2 WAR last season, the highest total in the league by a pair of teammates, and with both players in the prime of their careers, that elite performance should continue in 2016.

    Chris Owings will need to rebound offensively to hold off prospect Brandon Drury at second base, while third baseman Jake Lamb is a plus defender but needs to show more offensively at a premium position.

    Josh Collmenter, Andrew Chafin and Silvino Bracho will be key pieces of what should be an improved bullpen, and Bracho has a chance to be a breakout star after dominating every step of the way in the minors and impressing in a cup of coffee last season.

13. Los Angeles Angels

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    CF Mike Trout
    CF Mike TroutEd Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    CF Mike Trout1-20099.437.9
    SP Jered Weaver1-20040.336.7
    RF Kole Calhoun8-20103.07.5
    SP Garrett Richards1-20091.85.8
    SP Matt ShoemakerUFA-20080.53.3
    1B C.J. Cron1-20110.2-0.1
      15.291.1

    Starting Position Players: 3/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    None

    Analysis

    What the Los Angeles Angels lack in quantity they more than make up for in quality when it comes to their homegrown talent.

    Mike Trout is the best all-around player in the game, and the team has him locked up through the 2020 season after handing him a six-year, $144.5 million extension last winter.

    He doesn't always make headlines, but Kole Calhoun has quietly emerged as one of the most complete right fielders in the game. He posted a .731 OPS with 26 home runs and 83 RBI last season while also winning his first Gold Glove.

    In the rotation, Garrett Richards has taken over as the ace of the staff, replacing another in-house talent in Jered Weaver.

    Weaver has gone 138-81 with a 3.40 ERA and 1.159 WHIP in 10 seasons with the team, and he'll make $20 million in the final year of his contract.

    Matt Shoemaker also figures to be a part of the rotation, and he'll look to return to his 2014 form when he went 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA as a rookie. His ERA climbed to 4.46 over 24 starts last year.

    Look for C.J. Cron to be an X-factor early on, as he'll be asked to shoulder some of the run production load with Albert Pujols sidelined.

12. Baltimore Orioles

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    3B Manny Machado
    3B Manny MachadoBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    3B Manny Machado1-20107.117.7
    C Matt Wieters1-20070.814.6
    RP Zach Britton3-20062.55.5
    C Caleb Joseph7-20082.23.4
    RP Brian Matusz1-20081.03.3
    2B Jonathan SchoopAFA-20081.42.9
    SP Kevin Gausman1-20121.32.0
    RP Mychal Givens2-20091.01.0
    SP Dylan Bundy1-2011-0.1
      17.350.5

    Starting Position Players: 3/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 9/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Hunter Harvey (85)

    Analysis

    Knee injuries made for an abrupt end to the season for Manny Machado in 2013 and 2014, but he managed to stay on the field last year, and a breakout season offensively was the result.

    Along with his usual stellar defense at the hot corner, Machado set new career highs in OPS (.861), home runs (35), RBI (86), runs (102) and stolen bases (20). It's easy to forget he's still only 23 years old.

    Matt Wieters somewhat surprisingly accepted his qualifying offer, so he'll be back behind the plate, alongside arguably the best backup catcher in the game in Caleb Joseph, who has posted a 3.4 WAR the past two years.

    Second baseman Jonathan Schoop has a chance to be an elite offensive second baseman, and he showed flashes of that with 16 doubles and 10 home runs in the second half.

    Zach Britton has developed into an elite closer thanks to his uncanny ability to keep the ball on the ground, saving 37 and 36 games in his two years in the ninth inning.

    Former top prospects Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy have yet to live up to lofty expectations, while another former first-round pick in Brian Matusz has settled into a setup role in the bullpen.

11. Miami Marlins

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    RF Giancarlo Stanton
    RF Giancarlo StantonRobert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    RF Giancarlo Stanton2-20073.725.0
    SP Jose Fernandez1-20111.58.9
    LF Christian Yelich1-20103.58.5
    CF Marcell OzunaAFA-20080.45.5
    RP A.J. Ramos21-20092.05.0
    SP Tom Koehler18-20080.63.8
    C J.T. Realmuto3-20102.22.3
    RP Brad Hand2-2008-0.70.4
      13.259.4

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    None

    Analysis

    The Miami Marlins' homegrown one-two punch of Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez is as good as any duo in baseball, and they are far from the only solid pieces the franchise has developed.

    Stanton and Fernandez both missed time due to injury last season, but when healthy, they are both more than capable of being top-10 players in the league.

    Joining Stanton in the outfield is Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, and while Yelich has established himself as a solid on-base threat and a quality defender, Ozuna took a step back last season after a strong showing in 2014.

    Catcher J.T. Realmuto is one of the more athletic backstops in the game, and he's capable of a lot more after a so-so rookie season.

    A struggling Steve Cishek opened the door for A.J. Ramos to take over as the team's closer, and the former 21st-round pick wound up saving 32 games in his first year on the job.

    Starter Tom Koehler was another late-round find as an 18th-round pick in 2008, and he's won double-digit games while topping 180 innings the past two seasons. He's not an ace, but there's value in durability and consistency.

10. Washington Nationals

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    1B Ryan Zimmerman
    1B Ryan ZimmermanGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    1B Ryan Zimmerman1-20050.734.9
    RF Bryce Harper1-20109.919.8
    SP Stephen Strasburg1-20092.114.0
    IF Danny Espinosa3-20081.87.2
    3B Anthony Rendon1-20110.36.9
    OF Michael Taylor6-20090.0-0.1
    1B/OF Tyler Moore16-2008-1.5-2.1
      13.380.6

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Lucas Giolito (3), OF Victor Robles (63), RHP Erick Fedde (78)

    Analysis

    The Washington Nationals lost a few homegrown pieces to free agency in Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond while also trading reliever Drew Storen.

    Those departures—coupled with injury-plagued seasons from Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg—bump the Nationals out of the No. 1 spot in these rankings and well down the list.

    Right fielder Bryce Harper was an obvious bright spot, as he finally turned potential into production and walked away with unanimous NL MVP honors as a result. The 23-year-old may be just scratching the surface.

    As for the aforementioned Strasburg, he had a 5.16 ERA through 13 starts when he landed on the disabled list in early July. However, he returned a month later and pitched like an ace, going 6-2 with a 1.90 ERA and 12.5 K/9 over his final 10 starts.

    Entering a contract year, he'll be looking to put himself in a position to cash in on a thin free-agent market next winter.

    Rendon finished fourth in NL MVP voting in 2014 but spent time on the disabled list with knee and quad injuries to play just 80 total games. Getting him back on track will be big if the Nationals hope to make a postseason push.

9. Cleveland Indians

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    2B Jason Kipnis
    2B Jason KipnisBrandon Wade/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    2B Jason Kipnis2-20094.616.1
    RF Lonnie Chisenhall1-20082.36.2
    SP Danny SalazarAFA-20063.35.2
    RP Cody Allen23-20111.25.0
    SS Francisco Lindor1-20114.64.6
    IF Jose RamirezAFA-20091.43.3
    SP Josh Tomlin19-20061.92.7
    C Roberto Perez33-20081.42.4
    RP Shawn Armstrong18-20110.20.2
    3B Giovanny UrshelaAFA-2008-0.1-0.1
      19.443.2

    Starting Position Players: 4/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 10/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Bradley Zimmer (26), OF Clint Frazier (27), 1B Bobby Bradley (93)

    Analysis

    After a resurgence by second baseman Jason Kipnis and a huge rookie season from shortstop Francisco Lindor, a strong case can be made for the Cleveland Indians having the best homegrown middle infield in all of baseball.

    Danny Salazar may not receive the same amount of attention as teammates Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, but the 26-year-old is coming off of great year in his own right, and with five years of team control left, he's an incredibly valuable asset.

    Cody Allen nailed down 34 saves in his first full year in the closer's role, while Josh Tomlin looks like the favorite for the No. 5 starter job after going 7-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 10 starts.

    Giovanny Urshela and Jose Ramirez could share time at third base if the team doesn't sign anyone, while Lonnie Chisenhall will look to prove his strong finish was the real deal.

    The Indians have been looking for a shot in the arm offensively, and they could get one soon thanks to the prospect trio of Bradley Zimmer, Clint Frazier and Bobby Bradley, all of whom have huge upside at the plate.

8. Boston Red Sox

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    2B Dustin Pedroia
    2B Dustin PedroiaNick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    2B Dustin Pedroia2-20042.045.1
    SP Clay Buchholz1-20052.715.6
    RF Mookie Betts5-20116.08.1
    SS Xander BogaertsAFA-20094.65.3
    RP Junichi TazawaIFA-20080.53.7
    CF Jackie Bradley Jr. 1-20112.22.7
    1B/3B Travis Shaw9-20111.11.1
    C Blake Swihart1-20110.40.4
      19.582.0

    Starting Position Players: 5/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    2B Yoan Moncada (7), 3B Rafael Devers (17), OF Andrew Benintendi (25), RHP Anderson Espinoza (39)

    Analysis

    As David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia come down the homestretch of their respective careers, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts appear set to take over as the faces of the franchise.

    Betts did a little bit of everything last year and did it all really well on his way to a 6.0 WAR, while Bogaerts improved significantly in his sophomore season and finished second in the AL with a .320 average.

    Joining those two in the starting lineup will be an elite defensive center fielder in Jackie Bradley Jr. and perhaps the best young catcher in baseball in Blake Swihart, who hit .303/.353/.452 in the second half.

    Clay Buchholz has been a regular part of the Boston rotation since 2008, going 73-51 with a 3.85 ERA in parts of nine seasons. Injuries have limited him in recent years, but he's still put up good numbers when healthy.

    Junichi Tazawa has been a steady setup man for several years, while Travis Shaw posted an .813 OPS with 10 doubles and 13 home runs in 226 at-bats as a rookie and could hit his way into a more prominent role.

7. Minnesota Twins

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    1B Joe Mauer
    1B Joe MauerJesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    1B Joe Mauer1-20011.547.8
    2B Brian Dozier8-20092.411.9
    RP Glen Perkins1-20041.28.8
    3B Trevor Plouffe1-20042.57.7
    SP Kyle Gibson1-20093.24.4
    OF Eddie Rosario4-20102.22.2
    3B/OF Miguel SanoAFA-20092.12.1
    IF/OF Danny SantanaAFA-2007-2.21.6
    CF Byron Buxton1-20120.20.2
    RP Michael Tonkin30-20080.30.1
    OF Oswaldo ArciaAFA-2007-0.3-0.4
    Totals 13.186.4

    Starting Position Players: 6/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 11/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Byron Buxton (2), RHP Jose Berrios (19), OF Max Kepler (44), LHP Tyler Jay (60), SS Nick Gordon (91), SS Jorge Polanco (97)

    Analysis

    The Minnesota Twins began to reap the benefits of one of the deepest farm systems in baseball last year, as Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario both put together strong rookie seasons, and Tyler Duffey also emerged as arguably the team's best starter down the stretch.

    Top prospect Byron Buxton also debuted, though he looked overmatched at times in his first taste of big league action. He has a clear path to everyday playing time in 2016 and could make a serious impact if things click.

    Meanwhile, Brian Dozier (.751 OPS, 39 2B, 28 HR, 77 RBI) and Trevor Plouffe (.742 OPS, 35 2B, 22 HR, 86 RBI) were once again underrated performers at their respective positions, though Dozier was recognized with his first All-Star appearance.

    Joe Mauer is not the player he once was, and with $69 million left on his contract over the next three years, he's massively overpaid but remains the face of the franchise.

    Pitching was the issue last year, but that was no fault of Kyle Gibson, who went 11-11 with a 3.84 ERA and 1.289 WHIP in 194.2 innings. The 2009 first-round pick is entering his age-28 season, and there could be one more step forward in there.

    He should soon get some help in the form of top pitching prospect Jose Berrios, who could be part of the rotation by midseason.

    Closer Glen Perkins has topped the 30-save mark each of the past three seasons, earning a trip to the All-Star Game each time.

6. Kansas City Royals

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    LF Alex Gordon
    LF Alex GordonPeter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    LF Alex Gordon1-20052.831.8
    C Salvador PerezAFA-20062.214.1
    OF Jarrod Dyson50-20062.29.7
    1B Eric Hosmer1-20083.69.0
    3B Mike Moustakas1-20074.48.9
    RP Kelvin HerreraAFA-20061.46.2
    SP Danny Duffy3-20071.56.1
    SP Yordano VenturaAFA-20081.95.4
    RP Louis Coleman5-20090.12.9
    RP Luke Hochevar1-20060.32.8
    IF Christian Colon1-20100.61.3
    RP Scott Alexander6-20100.00.0
    Totals 21.098.2

    Starting Position Players: 5/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 12/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Raul A. Mondesi (37), RHP Kyle Zimmer (65)

    Analysis

    Had Yordano Ventura emerged as a bona fide ace this past season, as many—like The Kansas City Star's Vahe Gregorian—thought he would, the Kansas City Royals would rank even higher on this list.

    That said, it's hard not to like the homegrown position-player core of Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer, Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas, as they have all played a huge role in the team's recent success.

    Perez is the best all-around catcher in the American League, and he may also be the best bargain in baseball thanks to the eight-year, $21.75 million deal (including his option years) he signed after his rookie season.

    The aforementioned Ventura may not have had the breakout season people were hoping for, but he finished strong with a 2.38 ERA over his final 11 starts, so there's still plenty of reason for optimism regarding his future.

    Speedy outfielder Jarrod Dyson also deserves a mention here for making good on being a 50th-round pick back in 2006. He's piled up 146 career steals as a part-time player and may finally get a crack at regular playing time in 2016.

5. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    CF Andrew McCutchen
    CF Andrew McCutchenRon Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    CF Andrew McCutchen1-20054.938.2
    LF Starling MarteAFA-20075.416.9
    RP Tony Watson9-20072.57.3
    SP Gerrit Cole1-20114.57.0
    SS Jordy Mercer3-20080.35.3
    RP Jared Hughes4-20061.22.6
    RF Gregory PolancoAFA-20092.62.5
    2B Alen HansonAFA-2009--
      21.479.8

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

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Tyler Glasnow (10), OF Austin Meadows (20), 1B Josh Bell (49), RHP Jameson Taillon (54), C Reese McGuire (98)

    Analysis

    The homegrown outfield of Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco just might be the best outfield in all of baseball if Polanco can take another step forward after a strong second half in 2015.

    McCutchen has finished in the top five in NL MVP voting each of the past four years and is the clear face of the franchise, Marte has racked up 15.8 WAR in his three seasons as an everyday player and Polanco had a .749 OPS and 43 runs scored after the All-Star break.

    Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole took the next step and broke through as one of the best starters in baseball, going 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA, 1.091 WHIP and 202 strikeouts to finish fourth in Cy Young voting. He'll anchor the staff for the foreseeable future.

    Tony Watson was an All-Star in 2014 and might be the best left-handed setup man in the National League. In five seasons, he's tallied 123 holds with a 2.46 ERA, 1.029 WHIP and 8.1 K/9.

    As a small-market club, the Pirates rely heavily on homegrown talent, and there is plenty more on the way, as right-hander Tyler Glasnow, first baseman Josh Bell and second baseman Alen Hanson should all see the majors in 2016.

    To put it simply, McCutchen, Cole, Marte, Polanco and Watson are enough to earn them a spot in the top five.

4. Houston Astros

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    2B Jose Altuve
    2B Jose AltuveBruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    2B Jose AltuveAFA-20074.513.7
    SP Dallas Keuchel7-20097.212.0
    C Jason Castro1-20081.38.6
    RF George Springer1-20113.85.8
    SS Carlos Correa1-20124.14.1
    SP Lance McCullers1-20122.42.4
    1B/OF Preston Tucker7-20120.30.3
      23.646.9

    Starting Position Players: 4/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Alex Bregman (22), 1B A.J. Reed (40), OF Kyle Tucker (74), OF Daz Cameron (75)

    Analysis

    The Houston Astros arrived as contenders earlier than most expected last season, and while a number of offseason additions helped them make that leap, it was a homegrown core at the middle of everything.

    An afterthought a couple years ago, Dallas Keuchel emerged as the ace of the Astros staff in 2014, and his ascent continued with an All-Star Game start and AL Cy Young honors last year.

    On the offensive side of things, Jose Altuve was once again one of the most dynamic table-setters in the game, leading the league in hits (200) and steals (38) while also adding some pop with a career-high 15 home runs.

    The Astros took Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers with their first two picks in the 2012 draft, and both played a key role in the team's surprise postseason trip.

    Correa quickly established himself as the best shortstop in the American League en route to AL Rookie of the Year honors, while McCullers posted a 3.22 ERA, 1.186 WHIP and 9.2 K/9 in 125.2 innings of work.

    Catcher Jason Castro has not quite lived up to being the No. 10 pick in the 2008 draft, but he has brought stability to the catcher position as a good defender with solid pop.

    Slugging first base prospect A.J. Reed and a trio of 2015 selections in Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker and Daz Cameron are now the cream of the crop down on the farm, as the homegrown pipeline is in good shape.

    The quantity may not be there for the Astros, but it's tough to argue with Keuchel, Altuve, Correa, Springer and McCullers earning them a spot this high.

3. New York Mets (2015 Rank: 4)

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    3B David Wright
    3B David WrightBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    3B David Wright1-20010.550.1
    SP Matt Harvey1-20104.311.2
    OF Juan LagaresAFA-20060.69.7
    SP Jacob deGrom9-20104.77.8
    1B Lucas Duda7-20073.05.8
    IF Ruben TejadaAFA-2006-0.14.1
    RP Jeurys FamiliaAFA-20072.73.6
    LF Michael Conforto1-20142.12.1
    SP Steven Matz2-20091.21.2
    C Kevin Plawecki1-20120.90.9
    RP Erik Goeddel24-20100.70.8
    IF Wilmer FloresAFA-20070.80.4
    RP Hansel RoblesAFA-2008-0.1-0.1
    Totals 21.397.6

    Starting Position Players: 3/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 4/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 13/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    LHP Steven Matz (15), 1B Dominic Smith (51), SS Amed Rosario (79), SS Gavin Cecchini (87)

    Analysis

    If only Noah Syndergaard were homegrown, the New York Mets might have snagged the No. 1 spot in these rankings.

    Despite the fact that Thor was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey deal, the Mets still have an incredible stable of homegrown arms with Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and rookie Steven Matz all coming through the system.

    The relief corps is no different, as closer Jeurys Familia (43 SV, 1.85 ERA, 9.9 K/9), setup man Hansel Robles (12 HLD, 3.67 ERA, 10.2 K/9) and middle reliever Erik Goeddel (2 HLD, 2.43 ERA, 9.2 K/9) are all homegrown as well.

    David Wright missed significant time to injury last year, but he remains the face of the franchise and a player who is capable of making a significant impact when he's healthy. He hit .289/.379/.434 in the 174 plate appearances he did manage to make.

    Lucas Duda has his flaws, but he's capable of 30 home runs, while outfielder Michael Conforto posted an .841 OPS in 194 plate appearances as a rookie and could be one of the breakout stars of 2016.

    Throw in useful roster pieces such as catcher Kevin Plawecki, infielders Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada and defensive whiz Juan Lagares, and the Mets project to have more than half of their Opening Day roster made up of homegrown players.

2. St. Louis Cardinals (2015 Rank: 2)

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    C Yadier Molina
    C Yadier MolinaJeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    C Yadier Molina4-20001.430.4
    3B Matt Carpenter13-20093.914.1
    SP Jaime Garcia22-20053.98.7
    SP Michael Wacha1-20123.06.0
    RP Trevor Rosenthal21-20092.75.3
    SP Carlos MartinezAFA-20104.03.9
    2B Kolten Wong1-20112.23.9
    1B Matt Adams23-20090.33.6
    RP Kevin Siegrist41-20082.12.7
    RP Seth Maness11-2011-0.71.8
    OF Tommy Pham16-20061.51.4
    RF Stephen Piscotty1-20120.90.9
    IF Greg Garcia7-20100.70.6
    RP Tyler Lyons9-20100.3-0.2
    Totals 26.283.1

    Starting Position Players: 5/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 4/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 14/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Alex Reyes (13), RHP Jack Flaherty (80)

    Analysis

    Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, Jhonny Peralta, Mike Leake and Randal Grichuk—those are the five key pieces of the St. Louis Cardinals roster that are not homegrown.

    This is a team that continues to draft and develop as well as any in baseball, and there always seems to be someone ready to step up when injury strikes.

    Last season, it was outfielder Stephen Piscotty who took on a key role in the offense as a rookie, and now he'll be asked to help ease the loss of Jason Heyward.

    Yadier Molina is no longer an impact player offensively, but he remains as important to his team's success as any player in baseball, and his value goes well beyond the box score.

    Matt Carpenter muscled up to lead the team in doubles (44), home runs (28), RBI (84) and runs (101) last season, and he remains one of the most underrated players in the game.

    Starters Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez were both All-Stars last season, and as Wainwright gets set to begin his age-34 season, it will soon be up to them to lead the rotation.

    Joining them is Jaime Garcia, who finally managed to stay relatively healthy last season and went 10-6 with a 2.43 ERA as a result.

    In the bullpen, the one-two punch of Kevin Siegrist (28 HLD, 2.17 ERA, 10.8 K/9) and Trevor Rosenthal (48 SV, 2.10 ERA, 10.9 K/9) was lethal in the late innings, and ground-ball specialist Seth Maness remains a useful arm as well.

    The right side of the infield of Matt Adams and Kolten Wong was largely disappointing in 2015, but both players are capable of bounce-back seasons.

    Throw in top pitching prospects Alex Reyes and Jack Flaherty as the cherry on top, and the Cardinals should be at or near the top of these rankings for years to come.

1. San Francisco Giants (2015 Rank: 6)

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    C Buster Posey
    C Buster PoseyKevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Homegrown Players

    PlayerAcquired2015 WARCareer WAR
    SP Matt Cain1-2002-0.731.7
    C Buster Posey1-20086.128.8
    SP Madison Bumgarner1-20074.820.2
    SS Brandon Crawford4-20085.613.9
    1B Brandon Belt5-20093.912.6
    RP Sergio Romo28-20050.88.7
    3B Matt Duffy18-20124.94.8
    2B Joe Panik1-20113.34.5
    SP/RP Chris Heston12-20091.51.5
    C Andrew Susac2-20110.11.1
    IF Kelby Tomlinson12-20111.01.0
    RP Josh Osich6-20110.20.2
    IF Ehire AdrianzaAFA-20060.0-0.1
    Totals 31.5128.9

    Starting Position Players: 5/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 13/25

    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Christian Arroyo (82)

    Analysis

    With the best catcher in baseball and an elite starter leading the way, and an entirely homegrown infield providing reinforcement, the San Francisco Giants claim the No. 1 spot in these rankings.

    As a .310/.375/.484 career hitter with an MVP award to his credit and a strong postseason resume, Buster Posey has a nice start toward a potential Hall of Fame career, and there is little doubt at this point that he is the game's premier backstop.

    Madison Bumgarner showed no ill effects of his heavy postseason workload in 2014 with another terrific season in 2015, and while he may not be the best starter in the game, he's easily in the top 10.

    Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford and Matt Duffy make up the only entirely homegrown infield in baseball, and those four combined for 17.7 WAR last year.

    That was with Panik missing time and Duffy not opening the year as the starter, so it's not out of the question to think they could improve on that total in the upcoming season.

    Complimentary pieces like former closer and current setup man Sergio Romo, No. 5 starter Chris Heston (who threw a no-hitter as a rookie) and surprisingly productive Kelby Tomlinson (who stepped in at second base when Panik was injured) only further cement their claim to the No. 1 spot.

    The farm system is fairly thin at this point, with shortstop Christian Arroyo and right-hander Tyler Beede representing the cream of the crop, but unheralded guys always seem to emerge and make an impact.

    All standard statistics and WAR totals courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, while defensive metrics come via FanGraphs.

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