If Every Team Was Homegrown: AL West
As a reminder, any player signed for entry into Major League Baseball is eligible to be listed with the team that signed them, so foreign professionals signed from Japan, Cuba, South Korea or other countries are included in addition to those drafted and signed, signed as international amateurs or signed as undrafted free agents.
Players must have been active in 2017 and are scheduled to be active in 2018 to be eligible.
Analysis: The Astros long-running success at finding and developing position players is apparent. There are seven All-Stars in their homegrown lineup, plus another player (Alex Bregman) likely to become one. Even their second unit of outfielders—Delino DeShields, Brett Phillips and Teoscar Hernandez/Derek Fisher—is better than some other teams have in their starting lineups in this exercise...While the difference in quality between the Astros homegrown position players and pitchers isn't as stark as the Red Sox or Twins, it is noticeable. Dallas Keuchel is a Cy Young winner, but their other four best homegrown starters all have battled injuries and inconsistency, and there is little quality depth behind them....Overall, though, the Astros still have one of the best and most well-rounded track records of finding and developing future impact major leaguers in today's game.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Honorable Mention: Tyler Chatwood, Sean Newcomb, Mike Clevinger, Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs, Miguel Gonzalez, C.J. Cron, Kendrys Morales, Francisco Rodriguez, Erick Aybar, Keynan Middleton, Will Smith, Cam Bedrosian, Jeff Mathis, Peter Bourjos, Andrew Romine, Alexi Amarista, Sean Rodriguez, Chris O’Grady, Alan Busenitz.
Analysis: No team in baseball comes close to the Angels track record of developing starting pitching. The Angels roll 11 deep in solid-average or better homegrown major league starters. Even if you take out Japanese import Shohei Ohtani, still no team in baseball would match the quality depth of the Angels homegrown starters. Their second group (Tyler Chatwood, Sean Newcomb, Mike Clevinger, Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs) could be subbed in for their first group, and it'd still be the best homegrown rotation in the division...Offensively the Angels have had particular success finding and developing powerful first base/designated hitter types with Mark Trumbo, C.J. Cron, Kendrys Morales and Mike Napoli, who began as a catcher but ultimately played more first base in his career. Their outfield is more than set as well with you know who....Where the Angels have struggled to identify and develop future everyday players is at second and third base. Howie Kendrick, a 2002 draft pick, is the Angels last successful everyday second baseman, and he hasn't played the position primarily since 2015. Kaleb Cowart, meanwhile, is the latest in an underwhelming group of Angels homegrown third basemen post-Troy Glaus, and the best they have. Not coincidentally, the Angels will have their eighth different Opening Day third baseman in 10 seasons in 2018.
Honorable Mention: Huston Street, Joe Blanton, Santiago Casilla, Chad Pinder, Ian Krol, Blake Treinen, Andrew Bailey, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Robertson, Ryan Dull, Jose Torres, Michael Ynoa, Bruce Maxwell
Analysis: The Athletics have a long history of successfully identifying and developing power hitters, with Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Nelson Cruz, Yoenis Cespedes and Ryon Healy all averaging at least 27 home runs per 162 games in their careers. Addison Russell and Andre Ethier both have 20-home run seasons on their ledgers as well...While the Athletics starting lineup is fine, there is very, very little depth beyond it, with utilitymen Chad Pinder and Daniel Robertson the best of the rest of the A's active homegrown position players...The Athletics have had some success developing starting pitching, but haven't kept it. After last summer's Sonny Gray trade, all five of organization's best homegrown starters now play for other teams. The same is true of most of the best relievers the organization has produced....It's also noticeable how little success the Athletics have had internationally, with Cespedes—who was a Cuban professional—the only impact talent the Athletics have signed internationally in the 21st century. (They signed Cruz in 1998.)
Zach DeLoach Finds A Way To Get On Base
The 2020 second-rounder wasted no time impressing his new organization with his multifaceted play and knack for reaching base.
Honorable Mention: Ichiro Suzuki, Chris Tillman, Doug Fister, Hisashi Iwakuma, Erasmo Ramirez, Brandon Morrow, J.C. Ramirez, Carson Smith, Dominic Leone, Shawn Kelley, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Carter Capps, Josh Fields, Brandon Maurer, Rene Rivera, John Hicks, Guillermo Heredia, Pat Kivlehan, Ji-Man Choi
Analysis: The Mariners have the longest playoff drought of any team in the four major sports. They likely wouldn't be in that position if not for so many poor trades throughout their history. The Mariners homegrown lineup and rotation have plenty of everyday regulars and and solid-average or better starting pitchers. However, seven of their top nine homegrown position players in today's game were traded away, as were three of their top five homegrown starters, moves than encompass 15 years and three different general managers....There is room to upgrade in the middle infield and at first base, but a lot of other teams have much lesser players at those positions in their homegrown histories...One particular area of strength for the Mariners has been developing identifying and developing pitching, although they largely haven't kept it. In addition to the five quality starters in their homegrown rotation, Doug Fister, Chris Tillman, Hisashi Iwakuma, Erasmo Ramirez and J.C. Ramirez have all had success as starters in recent years, while Brandon Morrow, Dominic Leone, Shawn Kelley, Josh Fields, Brandon Maurer and Carter Capps have had excellent bullpen campaigns.
Honorable Mention: Justin Smoak, Mitch Moreland, Rougned Odor, Edinson Volquez, Jerad Eickhoff, Scott Feldman, Tommy Hunter, Lewis Brinson, Jorge Alfaro, Joaquin Benoit, Derek Holland, Jesse Chavez, Nick Martinez, Leonys Martin, Leury Garcia, Craig Gentry, Keone Kela, Alex Claudio, Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Ross
Analysis: The Rangers have been exceptional at finding lefthanded power hitters in the 21st century. Chris Davis, Joey Gallo, Justin Smoak and Mitch Moreland make for a potent quartet, and Rougned Odor, Nomar Mazara and Odubel Herrera have all shown promise as well....Despite their current rotation shortcomings, the Rangers actually have a solid history of identifying and developing starting pitchers, both internationally (Yu Darvish, Martin Perez, Edinson Volquez) and in the draft (Kyle Hendricks, Tanner Roark, R.A. Dickey, Jerad Eickhoff). Trades have just thinned the crop...Shortstop is the most glaring hole the Rangers have had developmentally, with utilityman Leury Garcia the only real option—and he has played just 21 games as a shortstop in the majors....The Rangers international scouting has long been celebrated, and for good reason. They can claim a dozen full-time big leaguers originally signed by them in today's game, one of the most successful international track records of any club.