Ranking All 30 MLB Teams on Homegrown Talent

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2018

Ranking All 30 MLB Teams on Homegrown Talent

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    Duane Burleson/Associated Press

    All 30 MLB teams put a different emphasis on building from within and cultivating homegrown talent.

    A lot of that has to do with payroll.

    Small-market teams are inevitably forced to rely heavily on cost-controlled, young assets, while big-market clubs can afford to trade prospects when the opportunity arises and then plug the holes with free-agent signings.

    Still, homegrown talent is a necessity for even the most free-spending teams if they hope to win a title.

    With that in mind, what follows is a look at all 30 MLB franchises ranked from worst to first on homegrown talent ahead of the 2018 season.

    Note: The 2017 version of these rankings is referenced throughout the following article. That piece can be found here.


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    Charles Krupa/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 entered the league with significant professional experience were not included. That means players such as Masahiro Tanaka, Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Yuli Gurriel, Raisel Iglesias, Kenta Maeda and Shohei Ohtani did not 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 who are 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 squad was taken out of the equation. Alongside each player is a look at when they were either drafted or signed and their 2017 WAR.
    • Homegrown Breakdown: Below that chart is a quick rundown 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. The quantity of talent in the everyday player and starting pitcher/closer categories was one of the biggest factors in determining where teams ranked.
    • Homegrown Top 100 Prospects: That is followed by a brief list of any homegrown prospects ranked in the top 100 leaguewide by Baseball America. 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 2017 WAR total posted by their homegrown players projected to be part of the Opening Day roster.

    That was simply a starting point, though, as not all rosters are created equal and teams were shuffled from there based on side-by-side comparisons of homegrown roster talent.

30. Detroit Tigers (2017 Rank: 24)

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    James McCann
    James McCannDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    C James McCann2-20111.4
    RF Nicholas Castellanos1-20100.7
    RHP Warwick SaupoldAFA-20120.3
    RHP Drew VerHagen4-20120.0
    RHP Buck Farmer5-2013-0.4
    2B Dixon MachadoAFA-2008-0.5
    RHP Joe JimenezUFA-2013-1.1

    Starting Position Players: 3/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Alex Faedo (50), RHP Matt Manning (78)



    • Moving to right field should help Nicholas Castellanos become a more valuable all-around player. The 25-year-old posted a 110 OPS+ with 72 extra-base hits and 101 RBI last season. However, he was a 0.7 WAR player due to his defensive shortcomings (-14 DRS, -9.0 UZR/150) at third base.
    • James McCann rebounded from a brutal 69 OPS+ during the 2016 season to post a 92 OPS+ with 13 home runs and 49 RBI. His defensive skills took a step backward, though. The Tigers might need to consider bringing in a veteran backstop to anchor their rebuild.
    • While Alex Faedo and Matt Manning are the top homegrown prospects in the system, keep an eye on outfielder Christin Stewart. The 2015 first-round pick had an .836 OPS with 28 home runs in Double-A last season and could be ready to contribute in 2018.

29. San Diego Padres (2017 Rank: 30)

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    Austin Hedges
    Austin HedgesOrlando Ramirez/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    C Austin Hedges2-20110.9
    RF Hunter Renfroe1-20130.8
    RHP Dinelson LametAFA-20140.6
    UT Cory Spangenberg1-2011-0.1
    C Rocky Gale24-2010-0.1

    Starting Position Players: 2/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 5/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    LHP MacKenzie Gore (26), RHP Michel Baez (28), 2B Luis Urias (32), RHP Cal Quantrill (52), LHP Adrian Morejon (66)



    • Slugger Hunter Renfroe struggled to a .231/.284/.467 line with a 29.2 percent strikeout rate as a rookie. The 26-year-old will need to make more consistent contact to reach his ceiling, but he still has the tools to be a middle-of-the-order run producer.
    • Dinelson Lamet struck out 139 batters in 114.1 innings as a rookie while posting a 4.57 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 21 starts. He's emerged as a popular breakout pick for the upcoming season.
    • Catcher Austin Hedges was as good as advertised defensively, throwing out 37 percent of base-stealers and grading out as one of the best pitch-framers in the league, per Stat Corner. He also popped 18 home runs, though he hit just .214 with a 74 OPS+ in the process.

28. Chicago White Sox (2017 Rank: 28)

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    Yolmer Sanchez
    Yolmer SanchezMark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    IF Yolmer SanchezAFA-20093.5
    SS Tim Anderson1-20130.9
    RHP Carson Fulmer1-20150.5
    UT Tyler Saladino7-2010-0.9
    LHP Carlos Rodon1-20141.2
    RHP Nate Jones5-20070.4

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 1/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 4/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Alec Hansen (57), OF Luis Robert (58)



    • Expected to be little more than a bench piece, Yolmer Sanchez instead emerged as the most surprising 3-WAR player of 2017. He posted a 96 OPS+ with 12 home runs while playing stellar defense at second base (8 DRS, 9.4 UZR/150) and third base (8 DRS, 16.7 UZR/150).
    • It looks like the White Sox found MLB contributors with their first-round picks in 2013 (Tim Anderson, No. 17), 2014 (Carlos Rodon, No. 3) and 2015 (Carson Fulmer, No. 8), as those three could all be part of the next contending team on the South Side.
    • Nerve repositioning surgery ended Nate Jones' season in July, but he's expected to be ready for the start of spring training. During the 2016 season, he posted a 2.29 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and an 80-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 70.2 innings.

27. Miami Marlins (2017 Rank: 14)

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    J.T. Realmuto
    J.T. RealmutoRich Schultz/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    C J.T. Realmuto3-20103.6
    RHP Jose UrenaAFA-20082.1
    SS JT Riddle13-20130.7
    RHP Drew Steckenrider8-20120.6
    LHP Dillon Peters10-20140.1
    RHP Nick Wittgren9-20120.1
    3B Brian Anderson3-2014-0.1
    LHP Jarlin GarciaAFA-2010-0.2

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


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects




    • The Marlins traded a trio of homegrown stars this offseason in Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich. Those three accounted for 58.8 percent of the team's home runs and 45.4 percent of their RBI last season.
    • Rookies Dillon Peters and Brian Anderson should both step into significant roles this season. Peters looks like a safe bet to win a rotation spot, while Anderson has a clear path to the starting third base job after posting an .853 OPS with 22 home runs and 81 RBI in the upper minors.
    • Jose Urena went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA last season, but he looks like one of the biggest regression candidates in baseball with a 5.20 FIP and an unsustainable .249 BABIP allowed.

26. Oakland Athletics (2017 Rank: 27)

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    Matt Chapman
    Matt ChapmanJeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    3B Matt Chapman1-20143.6
    1B Matt Olson1-20122.8
    UT Chad Pinder2-20131.0
    C Bruce Maxwell2-20120.0
    IF/OF Renato NunezAFA-20100.0

    Starting Position Players: 3/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 5/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    LHP A.J. Puk (30)



    • Matt Olson and Matt Chapman both emerged as core pieces for the rebuilding A's last season. Olson should be a steady force in the middle of the lineup, while Chapman has 30-homer power and the defensive skills to be a Gold Glove contender at third base.
    • Chad Pinder played five different positions last season and posted a 100 OPS+ with 15 doubles and 15 home runs in 309 plate appearances. With a crowded middle infield situation, he's carving out a role as a valuable two-way utility player.
    • Longtime prospect Renato Nunez is out of minor league options and will need to win a bench spot this spring after posting an .837 OPS with 27 doubles and 32 home runs in Triple-A last season.

25. Milwaukee Brewers (2017 Rank: 29)

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    Orlando Arcia
    Orlando ArciaTom Lynn/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    SS Orlando ArciaAFA-20102.6
    LHP Brent Suter31-20121.7
    LF Ryan Braun1-20051.2
    RHP Jacob Barnes14-20110.4
    RHP Jimmy Nelson2-20103.3

    Starting Position Players: 2/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 4/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    2B Keston Hiura (47), RHP Brandon Woodruff (61), RHP Corbin Burnes (74)



    • Shortstop Orlando Arcia enjoyed a breakout second season offensively, hitting .277/.324/.407 with 17 doubles, 15 home runs, 53 RBI and 14 stolen bases. He also showed well defensively at shortstop (6 DRS) and was viewed as a future Gold Glove-caliber defender during his time as a prospect.
    • Left-hander Brent Suter was a pleasant surprise last season, posting a 3.42 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over 81.2 innings spanning 14 starts and eight relief appearances. He'll compete for one of the open spots in the rotation and has already made good as 31st-round pick in 2012.
    • Jimmy Nelson doesn't technically count toward the Opening Day roster totals since he's slated to open the season on the disabled list as he continues his recovery from shoulder surgery. He has a chance to give the Brewers a homegrown ace if he can build on last season, though.

24. Kansas City Royals (2017 Rank: 8)

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    Whit Merrifield
    Whit MerrifieldOrlin Wagner/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    2B Whit Merrifield9-20103.9
    LHP Danny Duffy3-20073.2
    C Salvador PerezAFA-20062.5
    RHP Jake Junis29-20111.3
    RF Jorge BonifacioAFA-20090.5
    RHP Kelvin HerreraAFA-20060.2
    LF Alex Gordon1-20050.1
    IF/OF Hunter Dozier1-20130.0
    3B Cheslor CuthbertAFA-2009-0.5
    SS Raul MondesiAFA-2011-0.7

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


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects




    • The Royals slide several spots down the rankings following the departures of Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas in free agency. That said, there's still a strong collection of homegrown talent for them to build around going forward.
    • Whit Merrifield was a pleasant surprise as a 27-year-old rookie in 2016, and he built on that with a breakout 2017 campaign. The late bloomer posted a 105 OPS+ with 32 doubles, 19 home runs, 78 RBI, 80 runs scored and an AL-leading 34 stolen bases.
    • Still owed $40 million over the next two years, Alex Gordon will look to rebound from a disastrous season offensively that saw him post a 62 OPS+ that ranked dead last among 144 qualified hitters.

23. Tampa Bay Rays (2017 Rank: 21)

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    Kevin Kiermaier
    Kevin KiermaierChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    CF Kevin Kiermaier31-20105.1
    RHP Jacob Faria10-20111.4
    LHP Blake Snell1-20111.0
    RHP Alex ColomeAFA-20070.7
    LHP Jose AlvaradoAFA-20120.3
    RHP Austin Pruitt9-2013-0.9

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


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Brent Honeywell (14), 1B/LHP Brendan McKay (39), OF Jesus Sanchez (49), SS Wander Franco (96)



    • The No. 3 pick in the 2006 draft, Evan Longoria leaves the Rays organization as the franchise leader in WAR (50.0), doubles (338), home runs (261), RBI (892) and total bases (2,630).
    • Blake Snell (first round) and Jacob Faria (10th round) were both selected in the 2011 draft—a year that saw the Rays make 10 selections in the first 60 and whiff on a number of them.
    • While the Rays tend to trade homegrown talent before it becomes too expensive, Kevin Kiermaier will be around for the long haul after signing a six-year, $53.5 million extension last March. The defensive standout made good as a 31st-round pick in 2010.

22. Texas Rangers (2017 Rank: 23)

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    Joey Gallo
    Joey GalloReed Saxon/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    1B Joey Gallo1-20123.2
    LHP Alex Claudio27-20102.8
    RHP Keone Kela12-20121.2
    RHP Jose LeclercAFA-20100.7
    LF Nomar MazaraAFA-20110.1
    UT Jurickson ProfarAFA-20090.0
    RHP Ricky RodriguezAFA-2010-0.1
    2B Rougned OdorAFA-2011-0.2
    UT Ryan Rua17-2011-0.2
    LHP Martin PerezAFA-20072.1

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


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Leody Taveras (51)



    • The Rangers have traded a good deal of prospect talent in recent seasons to acquire the likes of Cole Hamels, Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Beltran and others. As a result, they're thinner on homegrown talent than they have been in years past.
    • Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara combined for 61 home runs and 181 RBI last season. Once Adrian Beltre finally retires, these two will be counted on to anchor the middle of the lineup for the foreseeable future.
    • Alex Claudio (70 G, 11 SV, 2.50 ERA), Jose Leclerc (47 G, 10 HLD, 3.94 ERA) and Keone Kela (39 G, 11 HLD, 2.79 ERA) will all be key members of the bullpen in 2018. Claudio converted 10 of 12 save chances after taking over the closer's role in the second half.

21. Pittsburgh Pirates (2017 Rank: 7)

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    Adam Frazier
    Adam FrazierBenny Sieu/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    OF Adam Frazier6-20131.8
    1B Josh Bell2-20111.7
    RHP Chad Kuhl9-20131.6
    CF Starling MarteAFA-20071.4
    RHP Jameson Taillon1-20101.3
    SS Jordy Mercer3-20081.2
    IF Max Moroff16-20120.7
    RF Gregory PolancoAFA-20090.0
    C Elias DiazAFA-2008-0.1
    OF Jordan Luplow3-2014-0.5

    Starting Position Players: 5/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 10/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Mitch Keller (12), OF Austin Meadows (44)



    • Who would have guessed that Adam Frazier would be the top homegrown player left standing—at least in terms of 2017 WARfollowing the trades of Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen?
    • Josh Bell posted a 108 OPS+ with 26 doubles, 26 home runs and 90 RBI to finish third in NL Rookie of the Year voting. The 25-year-old might just be scratching the surface of his offensive potential and figures to occupy a middle-of-the-order slot for the foreseeable future.
    • The Pirates will be counting on Jameson Taillon to step into the role of staff ace now that Cole is gone. A breakout season from former top prospect Tyler Glasnow and continued progression from current top prospect Mitch Keller would also go a long way.

20. Atlanta Braves (2017 Rank: 26)

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    Freddie Freeman
    Freddie FreemanDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    1B Freddie Freeman2-20074.5
    RHP Julio TeheranAFA-20071.6
    2B Ozzie AlbiesAFA-20131.4
    3B Johan CamargoAFA-20101.1
    LHP A.J. Minter2-20150.3
    OF Ronald AcunaAFA-20140.0

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


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Ronald Acuna (1), RHP Mike Soroka (27), RHP Kyle Wright (34), RHP Ian Anderson (42), 3B Austin Riley (54), LHP Kolby Allard (65)



    • Freddie Freeman has hit .304/.401/.576 with a 157 OPS+ over the past two seasons, emerging as one of the game's truly elite offensive players in the process. He's owed a reasonable $86 million over the next four years and will continue to be the cornerstone of the team's rebuilding efforts.
    • Not a hyped international prospect by any means, Ronald Acuna received a modest $100,000 signing bonus in 2014. He's since emerged as arguably the top prospect in all of baseball, and the Matt Kemp trade gives him a clear path to a starting gig in 2018.
    • Expect the Braves to steadily climb these rankings in the years to come. They have the six homegrown top-100 prospects listed above, while others like Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller, Bryse Wilson, Patrick Weigel and Cristian Pache are also highly regarded in prospect circles.

19. Seattle Mariners (2017 Rank: 16)

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    James Paxton
    James PaxtonTed S. Warren/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    LHP James Paxton4-20103.9
    C Mike Zunino1-20123.3
    3B Kyle Seager3-20092.5
    RHP Edwin Diaz3-20120.9
    RHP Felix HernandezAFA-20020.8

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


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Kyle Lewis (67)



    • The Mariners are a prime example of quality winning out over quantity in some cases in these rankings. They have just five homegrown players on the projected Opening Day roster, but all five figure to fill key roles.
    • James Paxton looked like a Cy Young candidate before injuries cost him significant time once again. The 29-year-old went 12-5 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 156 strikeouts in 136 innings over 24 starts.
    • Will 2018 finally be the season when everything clicks for 2012 No. 3 overall pick Mike Zunino? After a brief demotion to the minors in May, he returned to post a .921 OPS with 25 home runs in 355 plate appearances the rest of the way.

18. Los Angeles Angels (2017 Rank: 15)

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    Mike Trout
    Mike TroutReed Saxon/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    CF Mike Trout1-20096.7
    RF Kole Calhoun8-20102.1
    RHP Garrett Richards1-20091.1
    1B C.J. Cron1-20110.8
    RHP Matt ShoemakerUFA-20080.7
    RHP Keynan Middleton3-20130.7
    OF Michael Hermosillo28-20130.0
    RHP Cam Bedrosian1-2010-0.3

    Starting Position Players: 2/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 8/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Jo Adell (46), OF Jahmai Jones (89)



    • There were 21 different teams who passed on Mike Trout in the 2009 draft. The Brewers, Cubs, Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, Rays, Red Sox and Yankees can at least take solace in the fact that they didn't have a chance.
    • Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker will need to be healthy, productive members of the starting rotation if the Angels are going to contend. Those two combined for just 20 starts in 2017.
    • Playing in Trout's shadow, Kole Calhoun remains one of the most underrated outfielders in the game. In his four seasons as an everyday player, he's posted a 109 OPS+ while averaging 28 doubles, 20 home runs, 72 RBI and 3.2 WAR.

17. Cincinnati Reds (2017 Rank: 22)

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    Joey Votto
    Joey VottoGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    1B Joey Votto2-20027.5
    C Tucker Barnhart10-20093.4
    CF Billy Hamilton2-20091.0
    LHP Wandy PeraltaAFA-20090.7
    LF Jesse Winker1-20120.5
    RHP Michael Lorenzen1-20130.1
    C Devin Mesoraco1-20070.1
    OF Phillip Ervin1-20130.1
    RHP Robert Stephenson1-2011-0.2
    RHP Homer Bailey1-2004-0.9
    LHP Amir Garrett22-2011-1.6

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 11/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    3B Nick Senzel (7), RHP Hunter Greene (29), OF Taylor Trammell (48), RHP Tyler Mahle (90), OF Jesse Winker (98)



    • A second-round pick in 2002, Joey Votto is entering his 12th season with the Reds and coming off arguably the best offensive season of his career. The 34-year-old hit .320/.454/.578 with 34 doubles, 36 home runs and 100 RBI while leading the NL in walks (134), OPS (1.032) and OPS+ (168).
    • Tucker Barnhart successfully overtook the oft-injured Devin Mesoraco for the starting catcher job last season. The 27-year-old took home Gold Glove honors as he threw out an NL-high 44 percent of base-stealers and tallied an eye-popping 21 DRS behind the plate.
    • Keep an eye on right-hander Tony Santillan, the team's second-round pick in 2015. The 20-year-old has an electric fastball/slider combination and after striking out a batter an inning in Single-A last season, he could be one of the breakout prospects of 2018.

16. Toronto Blue Jays (2017 Rank: 19)

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    Marcus Stroman
    Marcus StromanBill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    RHP Marcus Stroman1-20125.8
    CF Kevin Pillar32-20112.8
    RHP Roberto OsunaIFA-20111.5
    RHP Danny Barnes35-20101.4
    RHP Ryan Tepera19-20091.2
    LHP Aaron Loup9-20090.9
    RHP Carlos RamirezAFA-20090.5
    LHP Matt Dermody28-20130.1
    RHP Aaron Sanchez1-20100.0
    LHP Ryan Borucki15-20120.0

    Starting Position Players: 1/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 4/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 10/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3), SS Bo Bichette (8), OF Anthony Alford (60), RHP Nate Pearson (91)



    • After a down season from Roberto Osuna (10 blown saves) and an injury-riddled campaign from Aaron Sanchez (36 IP), the Blue Jays will be counting on both young pitchers to bounce back.
    • On the flip side, Marcus Stroman finally delivered on his ace potential, going 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA and 164 strikeouts in 201 innings. He finished eighth in Cy Young voting after ranking as one of the biggest All-Star Game snubs.
    • With a fairly anonymous group of relievers beyond Osuna, the Blue Jays relied heavily on Ryan Tepera (73 G, 17 HLD, 3.59 ERA), Danny Barnes (60 G, 11 HLD, 3.55 ERA) and Aaron Loup (70 G, 6 HLD, 3.75 ERA) to stabilize the bullpen.

15. New York Mets (2017 Rank: 9)

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    Jacob deGrom
    Jacob deGromBill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    RHP Jacob deGrom9-20104.4
    OF Juan LagaresAFA-20061.8
    OF Brandon Nimmo1-20110.9
    RHP Seth Lugo34-20110.9
    C Kevin Plawecki1-20120.7
    SS Amed RosarioAFA-20120.2
    RHP Paul Sewald10-20120.2
    RHP Hansel RoblesAFA-20080.2
    RHP Rafael MonteroAFA-20110.2
    RHP Jeurys FamiliaAFA-20070.0
    IF Wilmer FloresAFA-2007-0.2
    UT Matt Reynolds2-2012-0.3
    IF Gavin Cecchini1-2012-0.7
    RHP Matt Harvey1-2010-0.9
    OF Michael Conforto1-20143.6
    LHP Steven Matz2-20090.6
    IF T.J. RiveraUFA-20110.4
    3B David Wright1-20010.0

    Starting Position Players: 3/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 4/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 14/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Andres Gimenez (94)



    • With 14 players projected for the Opening Day roster and four more slated to start the season on the disabled list, the Mets have the largest collection of relevant homegrown talent in the league. That said, impact players are few and far between on that list.
    • Amid a rash of injuries to the pitching staff, Jacob deGrom enjoyed another terrific season, going 15-10 with a 3.53 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 239 strikeouts in 201.1 innings. With little movement in extension talks, he could become a trade candidate in the not-too-distant future.
    • Along with deGrom, shortstop Amed Rosario and outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto—once he returns from shoulder surgery—look like core pieces for the Mets going forward.

14. Philadelphia Phillies (2017 Rank: 25)

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    Aaron Nola
    Aaron NolaNick Wass/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    RHP Aaron Nola1-20144.5
    2B Cesar HernandezAFA-20063.1
    LF Rhys Hoskins5-20142.0
    RHP Hector NerisAFA-20102.0
    OF Aaron Altherr9-20091.7
    C Cameron Rupp3-20101.0
    SS J.P. Crawford1-20130.9
    LHP Adam Morgan3-20110.6
    RHP Mark Leiter22-2013-0.1
    3B Maikel FrancoAFA-2010-0.2

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 10/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS J.P. Crawford (16), RHP Sixto Sanchez (25), 2B Scott Kingery (31), RHP Adonis Medina (84), OF Adam Haseley (100)



    • Aaron Nola was quietly one of the best starters in the NL last season, going 12-11 with a 3.54 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 184 strikeouts in 168 innings. Viewed as a high-floor college arm who could move quickly when he went No. 7 overall in 2014, he now looks like a staff ace.
    • Rhys Hoskins probably isn't going to maintain the home run pace he showed as a rookie—it would translate to about 51 homers over 600 plate appearances—but there's no reason to think he can't be a solid middle-of-the-order run producer for years to come.
    • Closer Hector Neris might be the most overlooked bullpen star in the game. The 28-year-old converted 26 saves in 29 chances while posting a 3.01 ERA and striking out 86 batters in 74.2 innings.

13. Chicago Cubs (2017 Rank: 13)

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    Kris Bryant
    Kris BryantNick Wass/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    3B Kris Bryant1-20136.1
    C Willson ContrerasAFA-20093.9
    IF Javier Baez1-20112.9
    IF/OF Ian Happ1-20151.8
    CF Albert Almora Jr.1-20121.0
    LF Kyle Schwarber1-20140.0

    Starting Position Players: 5/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 6/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects




    • Need a case for targeting bats early in the draft? Just look at the haul of talent the Cubs were able to acquire by using five consecutive first-round picks on hitters.
    • Willson Contreras gets a lot of attention for his bat, but he's been equally impressive with his glove since breaking into the majors. In terms of overall defensive value, he trailed only Tucker Barnhart among all MLB backstops last season, according to the DEF metric from FanGraphs.
    • Kris Bryant didn't post the same gaudy power numbers we saw during his MVP season. However, he had a higher OPS (.939 to .946) thanks in part to his ever-improving walk rate, which climbed from 10.7 to 14.3 percent and led to a .409 on-base percentagegood for fourth in the NL.

12. Arizona Diamondbacks (2017 Rank: 18)

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    Paul Goldschmidt
    Paul GoldschmidtRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    1B Paul Goldschmidt8-20095.8
    RHP Archie Bradley1-20113.7
    CF A.J. Pollock1-20092.9
    3B Jake Lamb6-20121.4
    LHP Andrew Chafin1-20111.0
    2B Chris Owings1-20090.7
    RHP Jimmie Sherfy10-20130.6
    OF Socrates BritoAFA-20100.0

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


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Jon Duplantier (73)



    • Not a bad draft haul for the D-backs in 2009 when they grabbed A.J. Pollock and Chris Owings in the first round and then took Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth round. They also drafted Keon Broxton (third round) and Chase Anderson (ninth round) who have gone on to success in Milwaukee.
    • Archie Bradley didn't develop into the staff ace he was expected to be when he went No. 7 overall, but he emerged as one of the most valuable bullpen arms in the league last year. Now he'll get a crack at closing after Fernando Rodney departed in free agency.
    • Jake Lamb has averaged 30 doubles, 30 home runs and 98 RBI the past two seasons, and he showed an improved approach last year, raising his walk rate (10.8 to 13.7 percent) and lowering his strikeout rate (25.9 to 23.9 percent).

11. San Francisco Giants (2017 Rank: 2)

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    Buster Posey
    Buster PoseyNick Wass/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    C Buster Posey1-20084.0
    1B Brandon Belt5-20093.0
    LHP Madison Bumgarner1-20072.9
    SS Brandon Crawford4-20082.1
    LHP Ty Blach5-20121.4
    2B Joe Panik1-20111.3
    RHP Chris Stratton1-20121.2
    OF Jarrett Parker2-20100.6
    IF Kelby Tomlinson12-20110.3
    RHP Derek Law9-20110.0
    LHP Steven Okert4-2012-0.3

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 11/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Heliot Ramos (79)



    • Heliot Ramos has shot up prospect rankings thanks in large part to his plus raw power. That led me to wonder who the last homegrown player was to post a 30-homer season for the Giants. The answer: Matt Williams in 1994.
    • The homegrown core of Brandon Crawford (31), Buster Posey (30), Brandon Belt (29) and Madison Bumgarner (28) are all still in their respective primes. They'll be counted on to lead the turnaround after a disastrous 2017 season.
    • Unless they make a late move to add another starter, it looks like Ty Blach (34 G, 24 GS, 8-12, 4.78 ERA) and Chris Stratton (13 G, 10 GS, 4-4, 3.68 ERA) will both have spots in the Opening Day rotation.

10. Los Angeles Dodgers (2017 Rank: 11)

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    Corey Seager
    Corey SeagerPaul Sancya/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    SS Corey Seager1-20125.6
    LHP Clayton Kershaw1-20064.6
    1B Cody Bellinger4-20134.2
    RHP Kenley JansenAFA-20042.9
    RHP Pedro BaezAFA-20070.6
    RHP Ross Stripling5-20120.5
    LF Joc Pederson11-2010-0.4
    LHP Julio UriasAFA-2012-0.3

    Starting Position Players: 3/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 7/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Walker Buehler (13), OF Alex Verdugo (37), C Keibert Ruiz (40), RHP Mitchell White (69)



    • Kenley Jansen was originally signed out of Curacao as a catcher for a $80,000 bonus. He's since developed into one of the most dominant bullpen arms in the game and an integral part in the Dodgers' push for a title.
    • While he was the first high school pitcher taken in the 2006 draft at No. 7 overall, Clayton Kershaw was the sixth pitcher selected—Luke Hochevar (KC, No. 1), Greg Reynolds (COL, No. 2), Brad Lincoln (PIT, No. 4), Brandon Morrow (SEA, No. 5) and Andrew Miller (DET, No. 6) were taken before him.
    • The Dodgers have an impressive history of stringing together Rookie of the Year winners. They won four in a row from 1979 to 1982 (Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Howe, Fernando Valenzuela and Steve Sax) and then five in a row from 1992 to 1996 (Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo and Todd Hollandsworth). Could someone like Walker Buehler or Alex Verdugo make it three in a row on the heels of Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger taking home the award the past two seasons?

9. Boston Red Sox (2017 Rank: 4)

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    Mookie Betts
    Mookie BettsJohn Minchillo/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    RF Mookie Betts5-20116.4
    CF Jackie Bradley Jr.1-20112.8
    LF Andrew Benintendi1-20152.6
    SS Xander BogaertsAFA-20092.2
    3B Rafael DeversAFA-20131.3
    C Christian Vazquez9-20081.1
    RHP Matt Barnes1-20110.7
    IF Deven Marrero1-20120.5
    LHP Brian Johnson1-20120.2
    C/1B Blake Swihart1-20110.0
    OF Bryce Brentz1-20100.0
    2B Dustin Pedroia2-20041.5

    Starting Position Players: 6/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 0/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 11/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    LHP Jay Groome (83), 3B Michael Chavis (85)



    • Andrew Benintendi (658 PA, 103 OPS+, 47 XBH) and Rafael Devers (240 PA, 112 OPS+, 24 XBH) joined what was already an impressive collection of homegrown talent in Boston, and those two are just beginning to tap into their tremendous offensive potential.
    • While they've done an exceptional job cultivating position-player talent, the Red Sox have not had the same success on the pitching side of things. That could change with guys like Jay Groome, Bryan Mata, Tanner Houck, Mike Shawaryn, Jalen Beeks and Alex Scherff headlining the farm system.
    • It might be time to get serious about extension talks with Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, who are slated to hit free agency after the 2020 and 2019 seasons, respectively.

8. Baltimore Orioles (2017 Rank: 12)

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    Jonathan Schoop
    Jonathan SchoopPatrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    2B Jonathan SchoopAFA-20085.1
    3B Manny Machado1-20103.5
    RHP Dylan Bundy1-20112.7
    RHP Mychal Givens2-20092.3
    LF Trey Mancini8-20132.2
    RHP Kevin Gausman1-20121.9
    C Caleb Joseph7-20081.6
    LHP Donnie Hart27-20130.6
    C Chance Sisco2-20130.4
    RHP Mike Wright3-2011-0.1
    RF Austin Hays3-2016-0.5
    LHP Zach Britton3-20061.0

    Starting Position Players: 5/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 11/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Austin Hays (21), C Chance Sisco (68), 3B Ryan Mountcastle (71)



    • With Manny Machado set to move back to his natural position of shortstop, the Orioles now have one of the best homegrown middle infields in baseball. The edge still goes to Houston, but it's close.
    • Prospects Austin Hays and Chance Sisco join 2017 rookie standout Trey Mancini as the future for the O's offensively. All three players will be asked to fill significant roles during the upcoming season, with Sisco, in particular, being counted on to replace Welington Castillo as the starting catcher and leader of a suspect pitching staff.
    • Keep an eye on Hunter Harvey, who was the No. 22 pick in the 2013 draft and was once ranked as the No. 68 prospect in baseball before injuries took a toll. Still just 23, he posted a 0.96 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 18.2 innings in his return to the mound last season and could quickly regain his top-prospect status now that he's healthy.

7. St. Louis Cardinals (2017 Rank: 3)

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    Tommy Pham
    Tommy PhamOrlando Ramirez/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    CF Tommy Pham16-20066.4
    RHP Carlos MartinezAFA-20102.9
    3B Matt Carpenter13-20092.9
    SS Paul DeJong4-20152.7
    C Yadier Molina4-20002.0
    2B Kolten Wong1-20111.9
    RHP Michael Wacha1-20121.5
    LHP Tyler Lyons9-20101.2
    RHP Luke Weaver1-20140.8
    RHP Sam Tuivailala3-20100.8
    IF Greg Garcia7-20100.7
    OF Harrison Bader3-20150.1
    C Carson Kelly2-2012-0.4

    Starting Position Players: 5/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 13/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Alex Reyes (17), RHP Jack Flaherty (53), C Carson Kelly (55)



    • The Cardinals got unexpected breakouts from Tommy Pham, Paul DeJong and Tyler Lyons in 2017. Pham finished 11th in NL MVP voting after starting the season in the minors, DeJong replaced struggling Aledmys Diaz at shortstop and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting and Lyons returned from knee surgery to record three saves and 15 holds while posting a 2.83 ERA and 11.3 K/9 in 50 appearances.
    • As he gets set to enter his 15th season, Yadier Molina is still going strong on both sides of the ball. His 18 home runs last year were the second-highest total of his career and his 82 RBI were a new personal best.
    • Don't sleep on Alex Reyes as a potential option to close games before the 2018 season is over. The Cardinals will want to limit his innings in his return from Tommy John surgery, and Reyes showed well out of the bullpen when he first broke into the big leagues in 2016.

6. Washington Nationals (2017 Rank: 17)

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    Stephen Strasburg
    Stephen StrasburgAdam Hunger/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    RHP Stephen Strasburg1-20096.5
    3B Anthony Rendon1-20115.9
    RF Bryce Harper1-20104.7
    1B Ryan Zimmerman1-20052.7
    CF Michael Taylor6-20092.6
    IF Wilmer DifoAFA-20101.9
    LHP Matt Grace8-20100.4
    OF Brian Goodwin1-20110.3
    C Pedro SeverinoAFA-2010-0.3
    RHP Erick Fedde1-2014-0.5

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 2/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 10/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Victor Robles (5), OF Juan Soto (56)



    • The Nationals can count Bryce Harper among their homegrown talent for at least one more season, but free agency is waiting next winter. The star outfielder is a good bet to leave town for a massive payday.
    • Top prospects Victor Robles and Juan Soto will be counted on to help ease Harper's loss once that time comes. Robles got a taste of MLB action down the stretch last season and has a chance to be a five-tool star. As for Soto, with a 60-grade hit tool and 55-grade power, he has a chance to make just as big of an impact at the plate, albeit with quieter secondary tools than Robles.
    • While the roster is loaded with star power, the Nationals also did a nice job of getting valuable contributions from homegrown complementary pieces such as Wilmer Difo, Michael A. Taylor and Brian Goodwin last season.

5. Houston Astros (2017 Rank: 5)

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    Jose Altuve
    Jose AltuveGail Burton/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    2B Jose AltuveAFA-20078.3
    SS Carlos Correa1-20126.3
    CF George Springer1-20115.0
    3B Alex Bregman1-20154.1
    LHP Dallas Keuchel7-20093.9
    RHP Lance McCullers Jr.1-20120.9
    IF Tyler White33-20130.2

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


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    RHP Forrest Whitley (10), OF Kyle Tucker (15), RHP J.B. Bukauskas (76)



    • Deciding where to rank the Astros was tough. They only have seven homegrown players on the projected Opening Day roster, but six of them played a major role in helping the team to a World Series title. While the lack of quantity was enough to keep them out of the No. 1 spot, it didn't drop them out of the top five.
    • Alex Bregman would be the talk of the town in almost any other organization. The former No. 2 overall pick posted a 128 OPS+ with 39 doubles, 19 home runs, 71 RBI and 17 stolen bases last season and he won't turn 24 until March. Make no mistake, the LSU product has superstar upside.
    • Forrest Whitley has emerged as arguably the top pitching prospect in baseball after a dominant 2017 season. The No. 17 pick in the 2016 draft went 5-4 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 143 strikeouts in 92.1 innings, making his Double-A debut before his 20th birthday. The rich get richer.

4. New York Yankees (2017 Rank: 20)

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    Aaron Judge
    Aaron JudgeFrank Franklin II/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    RF Aaron Judge1-20138.1
    RHP Luis SeverinoAFA-20115.3
    LF Brett Gardner3-20054.9
    C Gary SanchezAFA-20094.1
    LHP Jordan Montgomery4-20142.9
    RHP David Robertson17-20062.9
    RHP Dellin Betances8-20061.5
    3B Miguel AndujarAFA-20110.2
    1B Greg Bird5-20110.0
    1B/OF Tyler Austin13-2010-0.2
    IF Tyler Wade4-2013-0.5
    C Austin Romine2-2007-0.8

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


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    OF Estevan Florial (38), 3B Miguel Andujar (59), RHP Chance Adams (81)



    • The trio of Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino were a big reason why what was supposed to be a retooling season for the Yankees ended with a trip to the ALCS. After swinging a trade for Giancarlo Stanton this winter, New York will be adding more high-profile talent in the upcoming years, but those three will still be at the center of everything.
    • Jordan Montgomery was a pleasant surprise as a rookie. The 25-year-old never even ranked as a top-10 prospect within the organization, but that didn't stop him from going 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 144 strikeouts in 155.1 innings to finish sixth in Rookie of the Year voting.
    • While he's never been a star, Brett Gardner has quietly piled up 35.2 WAR during his 10 seasons with the Yankees. That's good for 24th all-time among Yankees position players, which is no small feat considering the wide array of talent that's donned the pinstripes over the years.

3. Cleveland Indians (2017 Rank: 1)

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    Jose Ramirez
    Jose RamirezRick Osentoski/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    3B Jose RamirezAFA-20096.9
    SS Francisco Lindor1-20115.5
    RHP Cody Allen23-20111.7
    CF Bradley Zimmer1-20141.5
    RHP Danny SalazarAFA-20061.3
    RF Lonnie Chisenhall1-20081.2
    RHP Josh Tomlin19-20061.0
    C Roberto Perez33-20080.8
    LHP Ryan Merritt16-20110.7
    2B Jason Kipnis2-20090.4
    IF Erik GonzalezAFA-20080.3
    3B Giovanny UrshelaAFA-2008-0.6

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


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    C Francisco Mejia (20), RHP Triston McKenzie (33)



    • In Jose Ramirez (6.9, seventh) and Francisco Lindor (5.5, 20th), the Indians had two homegrown players who ranked among the top 20 in WAR among all position players. That duo also finished third and fifth in AL MVP voting, respectively.
    • While Cody Allen is not often named among the league's elite closers, he has converted 120 of 135 save chances with a 2.62 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 12.1 K/9 over the past four seasons. That's elite bullpen work.
    • Bradley Zimmer proved to be a dynamic addition on both sides of the ball after he was called up in May. The 25-year-old racked up 25 extra-base hits and 18 stolen bases in 332 plate appearances, while also tallying 4 DRS and an 8.4 UZR/150 in center field.

2. Colorado Rockies (2017 Rank: 6)

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    Nolan Arenado
    Nolan ArenadoMichael Owen Baker/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    3B Nolan Arenado2-20097.2
    CF Charlie Blackmon2-20086.0
    LHP Kyle Freeland1-20143.3
    RHP Jon Gray1-20133.1
    SS Trevor Story1-20112.6
    LHP Tyler Anderson1-20111.3
    RHP Chad Bettis2-20100.6
    UT Pat Valaika9-20130.4
    RHP Scott Oberg15-20120.2
    1B Ryan McMahon2-2013-0.1
    OF Mike Tauchman10-2013-0.3
    OF Raimel TapiaAFA-2010-0.7

    Starting Position Players: 4/8
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 4/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 12/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Brendan Rodgers (22), 1B Ryan McMahon (63), RHP Riley Pint (99)



    • Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado were taken in the second round of consecutive drafts in 2008 and 2009. The team's first-round selections those years? Pitchers Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek. If that's not a good enough reason to pay attention to the players your team selects after Day 1 of the draft, nothing will be.
    • Jon Gray, Chad Bettis, Kyle Freeland and Tyler Anderson should all have spots in the rotation when the Rockies break camp. That's four early-round pitching selections the Rockies have developed into MLB starters. That bodes well for top prospect Riley Pint and others still working their way through the system.
    • Remember David Dahl? The 2012 first-round pick hit .315/.359/.500 with 23 extra-base hits in 237 plate appearances as a rookie in 2016 then missed the entire 2017 season with a stress reaction injury to his ribs. He'll be a wild card for the Rockies this coming season and will need to play his way onto the roster.

1. Minnesota Twins (2017 Rank: 10)

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    Byron Buxton
    Byron BuxtonColin E. Braley/Associated Press

    Homegrown Players

    CF Byron Buxton1-20125.1
    2B Brian Dozier8-20094.4
    1B Joe Mauer1-20013.4
    3B Miguel SanoAFA-20092.5
    SS Jorge PolancoAFA-20092.1
    RF Max KeplerAFA-20092.1
    RHP Jose Berrios1-20121.7
    LF Eddie Rosario4-20101.7
    LHP Taylor Rogers11-20121.1
    RHP Trevor Hildenberger22-20140.8
    1B Kennys VargasUFA-20090.7
    RHP Kyle Gibson1-20090.2
    C Mitch Garver9-20130.1
    RHP Aaron Slegers5-2013-0.3

    Starting Position Players: 7/9
    Starting Pitchers/Closer: 3/6
    Projected 25-Man Roster: 14/25


    Homegrown Top 100 Prospects

    SS Royce Lewis (24), OF Brent Rooker (92), SS Nick Gordon (93), SS Wander Javier (95), LHP Stephen Gonsalves (97)



    • The Twins ranked seventh in the majors in runs scored last season, and no team has more of a homegrown presence in its starting lineup. Among regulars, only catcher Jason Castro (free agent, 2017) and third baseman Eduardo Escobar (trade, 2012) came from outside the organization.
    • Jose Berrios took a big step forward last season after a disappointing 2016 debut. The 23-year-old went 14-8 with a 3.89 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 139 strikeouts in 145.2 innings and should overtake Ervin Santana as the staff ace in short order.
    • The Twins are still in the market to add an impact starting pitcher in free agency, but they could also get an in-house boost from prospects Stephen Gonsalves and Fernando Romero, who should both be ready to make the jump to the majors at some point in 2018.
    • As a small-market team, the Twins are as reliant on homegrown talent as anyone, and they were able to reach the postseason thanks in large part to a core they developed in-house. With 10 of the 15 key players on the roster of the homegrown variety, they claim the No. 1 spot in these rankings.


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.

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