Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com
penned a fascinating and informative piece on homegrown talent in the
big leagues, providing succinct capsules of some of the most-widely
regarded farm systems, ranging from the Giants, with blue-chippers like
Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner to the Orioles and future-aces Chris
Tillman and Jake Arrieta.
According to Mayo’s piece, the teams with the highest percentage of
homegrown talent on their 25-man roster are the Rockies (64%), Yankees
(56%), Tigers (52%) and Angels (52%). Bringing up the rear are the
Mets, Nationals and Royals (20%) and last of all, the Astros (16%).
By the way, it’s worth noting that the three current division
leaders and the wild card leader in American League — the Red Sox —
also lead the league in “homegrown talent percentage” — yeah, it’s a
Getting homegrown talent to the big
leagues is an indicator, but it’s not a be-all, end-all. Some teams use
prospects to trade for big league help and thus don’t have as many
players on their 25-man roster that are signed and developed solely
from within. While it might be telling that only 16 percent of the
Astros’ 25-man roster fit that category, the A’s 36 percent rate is
because they’ve done so much farm building via trades. They added three
more pieces in the recent Matt Holliday trade.
Perhaps the most inclusive way of
evaluating a system is looking at both elite talent and depth together.
It’s hard to argue with that recipe of having impact guys with lots of
usable parts at every stop. In the end, it’s all about producing
players the big league club can use in some fashion.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.
Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.
Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.
It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.
Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.