If Every Team Was Homegrown: NL East
Last year we debuted our Homegrown Roster series, where we looked what every team might look like if their rosters were entirely made up of homegrown players.
We've updated those rosters for 2019, taking into account the massive contributions from young players around the league.
Here is a look what every National League East roster would look like for the upcoming 2019 season if their rosters were made up entirely of homegrown players.
As a reminder, any player signed for entry into Major League Baseball is eligible to be listed with the team that signed them. Foreign professionals signed from Japan, Cuba, South Korea or other countries are included in addition to those players drafted and signed, signed as international amateurs or signed as undrafted free agents.
Players must have been active in 2018 and are scheduled to be active in 2019 to be eligible.
Teams listed in alphabetical order.
Honorable Mention: Elvis Andrus, Nick Ahmed, Jose Peraza, Brandon Drury, Tyler Flowers, Mike Soroka, Kyle Wright, Victor Caratini, Tommy La Stella, Gregor Blanco, Junior Guerra, Bryse Wilson, A.J. Minter, Luis Avilan.
Analysis: The Braves continue to be arguably baseball's best team at developing shortstops, with four everyday shortstops (Simmons, Andrus, Ahmed and Peraza) coming out of their system. Even with the rise of Ronald Acuña, developing outfielders remains a shortcoming of the organization. Heyward and Gattis were drafted in 2007 and 2010, respectively, and Gattis hasn't actually played the outfield since 2015. The organization, however, has no better homegrown options. The Braves failed to develop pitching for most of this decade—Alex Wood is the only homegrown starter they developed in the 2010s—but that is beginning to change with Mike Soroka, Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson reaching the majors last year and Ian Anderson coming up behind them.
Analysis: As with last year, the Marlins have arguably the best homegrown outfield in baseball and have been surprisingly effective at finding and developing pitching. However, their lack of homegrown middle infielders stands out, and there isn't much depth beyond the starters as a whole except at first base. As Cabrera, Gonzalez and Morrison age out, the Marlins' lack of homegrown infield successes will be even more stark.
NEW YORK METS
Honorable Mention: Carlos Gomez, Juan Lagares, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Collin McHugh, Lucas Duda, John Gant, Matt Koch, Joe Smith, Yusmeiro Petit, Jefry Marte, Dominic Smith, T.J. Rivera, Hansel Robles.
Analysis: Pitching and outfielders have been two developmental strengths of the Mets for most of the 2000s. Their homegrown starting five is one of the strongest in baseball and goes deeper with Gant and Koch emerging as solid starters last season. Conforto, Nimmo, Cruz, Gomez and Lagares give them a five-deep group of starting outfielders. The Mets drafted and/or signed David Wright, Jose Reyes, Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores between 2000-2009, but they had largely struggled to develop infielders since. That is beginning to change with Amed Rosario's progression and the emergence of Jeff McNeil, as well as the looming rise of Peter Alonso.
MLB Teams Clear Roster Space Via Ultimatum Offers
MLB teams have figured out how to squeeze out extra roster spots at a time when they are at a premium.
Analysis: The Phillies' homegrown group remains solid but short on depth. The top four of their starting rotation is as strong as any, but they run out of fifth starter options quickly and have no depth to speak of. Developing outfielders remains a longstanding shortcoming of the organization as well. Finding and developing infielders remains a strength of the Phillies, particularly internationally. Hernandez, Galvis, Franco and Villar were all signed as international free agents, a testament to the organization's Latin American scouting. Carrasco and Santana represent two additional successful Latin American signings.
Analysis: The Nationals have a strong track record of identifying and developing outfielders both in the draft and internationally, with Harper, Soto, Robles, Souza, Taylor and Goodwin representing a strong homegrown outfield group. Rendon and Zimmerman give them two excellent corner infielders as well. As strong as those areas are, the weakness of the Nationals homegrown middle infield jumps out. Ian Desmond, a 2004 draftee who hasn't been a shortstop for three years, is their only homegrown shortstop option, while Wilmer Difo is the best of a light second base crop. The Nationals homegrown middle infield group is far and away the worst in the division behind only the Marlins, but the hope is rising prospects Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia will soon change that. Catching remains a weakness as well.