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.
Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.
Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.
Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.