If Every Team Was Homegrown: NL West
We continue our Homegrown Roster series with the NL West, taking a look at what the Dodgers, D-backs, Giants, Padres and Rockies' starting lineups in 2019 would look like if they were entirely homegrown.
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 are listed in alphabetical order.
Analysis: The D-backs have one of the best and most complete homegrown units of any team, with a seven-deep outfield that includes multiple All-Stars (Upton, Pollock, Gonzalez) and other standouts (Inciarte, Eaton), power-hitting infielders that include Goldschmidt, Reynolds, Lamb and Davidson and a seven-deep starting rotation that includes two of baseball's best pitchers at the top. The problem is the D-backs largely failed to keep this impressive collection of homegrown talent. Scherzer, Bauer, Upton, Eaton, Gonzalez, Swanson, Keller, Toussaint and both Andersons were all traded or let go (in the Rule 5 draft in Keller's case) before reaching their primes—a talent drain that prevented the D-backs from becoming one of baseball's strongest teams teams this decade.
Analysis: Like the D-backs, the Rockies have been a player-development machine in recent years. Unlike the D-backs, the Rockies have kept most of their best homegrown players and as a result are coming off back-to-back playoff appearances. The outfield and left side of the infield are full of stars both old and new, while four of the five best homegrown pitchers the Rockies claim are still with the club today. The right side of the infield is a bit green with McMahon and Hampson, but both are talented players who were Top 100 Prospects and are ready for expanded roles in the majors. There's more coming too, with infielder Brendan Rodgers and righthander Peter Lambert finishing last year in Triple-A.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Analysis: The Dodgers' homegrown pitching track record certainly looks stronger than it did a year ago with Buehler's ascension, bounceback seasons from Eovaldi and Jackson, Stripling's All-Star selection and a return to health from Ryu and Urias. It's now one of the stronger homegrown pitching groups in baseball. With Adrian Beltre's retirement, finding a Dodgers homegrown third baseman is extremely difficult. Farmer, with 59 career major league games, is the best of a non-existent group of options. The Dodgers have had a strong run of homegrown outfielders, with Bellinger's emergence as a viable outfielder further adding to the club's impressive depth.
Franklin Labour Shows All-Fields Approach
Labour's video game-like numbers in the Northwest League were the result of enhanced strike-zone awareness.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
Honorable mention: Joe Ross, Wade LeBlanc, Max Fried, Matt Andriese, Eric Lauer, Tayron Guerrero, Adam Cimber, Logan Forsythe, Travis Jankowski, Franchy Cordero, Luis Urias, Cory Spangenberg, Brandon Kintzler, Matt Bush, Nick Vincent, Phil Maton, Nick Hundley, Oliver Perez.
Analysis: The Padres' homegrown group is solid, but like other franchises, the problem is they traded most of them before their primes. Kluber, Turner, Freese, Ross, Eflin, Smith, Bauers, Fried and Andriese were all traded as prospects before every putting on a Padres uniform. Gyorko, Mikolas, Brach and Forsythe were all traded prematurely before they hit their peaks. That talent drain took a major toll on the franchise and is a big reason why the Padres have had eight straight losing seasons.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Honorable mention: Pablo Sandoval, Charlie Culberson, Ehire Adrianza, Andrew Suarez, Adalberto Mejia, Tommy Joseph, Dan Otero, Heath Hembree, Chris Stratton, Ty Blach, Kelby Tomlinson, Andrew Susac, Reyes Moronta, Kyle Crick, Chris Shaw.
Analysis: The Giants have developed exactly one everyday starting outfielder this decade—Duvall, who was traded to the Reds as a prospect and never actually played a game for the Giants. Prior to him, the last homegrown Giants outfielder to spend even one season as an everyday player was Nate Schierholtz, who was drafted in 2003. The Giants hope that changes with their recent outfield wave of Duggar, Slater and Shaw. Developing infielders and pitching has long been a strength of the Giants. Even with Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, Jonathan Sanchez and other key pitchers from their World Series teams aging out, the Giants still have a strong homegrown pitching core with depth beyond the starting five.