What would your team look like if it was composed of all homegrown talent?
On August 6, Donnie Collins pondered what an entirely homegrown New York Yankees team would look like. It was an endlessly intriguing exercise, to say the least, which predictably led to an infinite amount of second-guessing and back-patting. Was there a lesson to be learned? That Brian Cashman is a genius? That the Yankees can’t draft? That prospects are undervalued? I’m not quite sure. The clearest lesson, assuming it even is a lesson at all, is that the Yankees wouldn’t be very good if they were entirely homegrown … although, they likely would not be much worse than they are right now. But I digress.
This article also, of course, led to a discussion regarding what other teams would look like under the same conditions. Are the Rays really that great at drafting? Have the Pirates and Marlins really traded away an All-Star team’s worth of talent? And, from there, it led to one of the most repetitive bits of research I have ever constructed in preparing any non-legal bit of writing, in my quest to answer these questions … by constructing entirely homegrown rosters for the other twenty-nine teams in Major League Baseball.
For the purposes of this piece, I attempted to use only those players that are currently on a Major League roster. However, I was forced to use a few players that have made a career of riding the shuttle from the Majors to the minors, as well as some prospects that are currently in the upper minors. It was, believe or not, difficult to construct these teams, as the development of talent in the game has not been close to equitable. There are some interesting names missing here, as some teams have simply developed too much talent to fit onto a 25-man roster. And there are many names that are unknown to even the most hardcore of baseball fans.