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 Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.
Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.
Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.
This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.
As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.