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.