Archive for September, 2007

Home Grown Talent — Who Really has it? (2007)

[New York. September 13, 2007.] I have to admit, after years of hearing about how the Yankees “buy” their teams and have no “home grown talent,” I started to believe it. My response was always — what about Jeter and Posada, and Mariano and Pettitte, and now, Cano and Cabrera — and I thought I had a good argument. A good argument indeed!

After looking around the league, I realized very few competitive teams have a lot of Home Grown Talent, otherwise known as ‘HGT’ (not HGH)! In fact, the two largest groups of fans I see day-today (and find myself arguing with) sponsor teams that have a really palty HGT on their current teams. In fact, the Red Sox have only an HGT of 25%, and the Mets have only three really HGT players on their team.

Before I give you my analysis, let me first explain how I came to my results. First, I consider, any “current” player that was either (i) drafted by the team or (ii) played their entire career with only that team. Then, I looked to each teams’ “top twenty” players, eight starting fielders, three other batters (a DH or bench player, an infield and outfield bench player), the five starting pitchers, three top relievers and the closer. If a starting player was recently injured, they remained on this list. The Red Sox, Mets and Yankees top-twenty players and their HGT status are listed below:

Boston Red Sox

C Jason Varitek (HGT)
1B Kevin Youkilis (HGT)
2B Dustin Pedroia (HGT)
3B Mike Lowell
SS Julio Lugo
LF Manny Ramirez
RF Coco Crisp
CF J.D. Drew
DH David Ortiz
IN Alex Cora
OF Eric Hinske

P1 Josh Beckett
P2 Curt Shilling
P3 Daisuke Matsuzaka
P4 Tim Wakefield
P5 Jon Lester (HGT)
RP Mike Timlin
RP Hideki Okajima
RP Eric Gagne
CL Jonathan Papelbon (HGT)

HGT — 5/20 (25%)

The Boston Red Sox have five home grown players of their top twenty players. That is not too impressive. At least the Sox can boast that five of their top-twenty have been on the team for at least seven seasons (Manny, Ortiz, Timlin, Wakefield and Varitek), although, only one of them is an HGT. (Yankees’ fans out there — remind yourself that four of the five current HGT’s were not on the 2004 Red Sox, nor were there any other HGT’s on that team.)

New York Mets

C Paul LoDuca
1B Carlos Delgado
2B Luis Castillo
3B David Wright (HGT)
SS Jose Reyes (HGT)
LF Moises Alou
CF Carlos Beltran
RF Shawn Green
OF Lastings Milledge (HGT)
OF Ruben Gotay
IN Endy Chavez

P1 Tom Glavine
P2 Orlando Hernandez
P3 Pedro Martinez
P4 John Maine
P5 Oliver Perez
RP Jorge Sosa
RP Guillermo Mota
RP Aaron Heilman (HGT)
CL Billy Wagner

HGT — 4/20 (20%)

The Mets offer a only four home grown players in their top twenty. To make matters worse, of these twenty top players, not one of them has been on the Mets for more than three seasons. In fact, their entire top-twenty has turned over since their 2000 World Series appearance. To their credit, they were in need of a rebuild after 2000, but, I wish they would start give time to some minor league youth over the Glavine, Green and Delgados…

New York Yankees

C Jorge Posada (HGT)
1B Jason Giambi
2B Robinson Cano (HGT)
3B Alex Rodriguez
SS Derek Jeter (HGT)
LF Hideki Matsui
CF Melky Cabrera (HGT)
RF Bobby Abreu
DH Johnny Damon
IN Andy Phillips (HGT)
OF Shelley Duncan (HGT)

P1 Chien-Ming Wang (HGT)
P2 Andy Pettitte (HGT)
P3 Roger Clemens
P4 Phil Hughes (HGT)
P5 Ian Kennedy (HGT)
RP Edwar Ramirez (HGT)
RP Luis Vizcaino
RP Joba Chamberlain (HGT)
CL Mariano Rivera (HGT)

HGT — 13/20 (65%)

Remarkably, 65% of the Yankees top twenty are home grown. I still find it amazing that people can insult any team that has so much quality youth — not to mention that half of the veterans are HGT’s (who are being compensated accordingly). Posada, Jeter, Pettitte and Mariano have all played for the Yankees for at least eight seasons and were a large part of the Yankees’ dynasty in the late 1990’s. You could argue that Mussina and Farnsworth belong on this list, but after the last few months — Kennedy and Ramirez appear to have taken their roles.

After crunching the numbers, it looks like the Yanks (with 65%) have more home grown talent than the Mets (20%) and Red Sox (25%) combined! The Sox may have two HGT’s in their rotation, but the Yanks have four (while the Mets offer their fans zero). Obviously, the more HGTs you throw out there, the less likely you are to be successful “today,” but it has to feel pretty good right now to know that during the next few years we will be watching our veterans (who we’ve know for a long time) play with our next generation of Yankees. Of course, it never hurts to bring in a non-HGT MVP. But in all honesty, last year, many fans would have reversed that trade and brought Soriano back to the Bronx. Luckily, Cashman was not listening.

1 comment September 13th, 2007

Interleague: Yes, the AL is that Dominant!

[New York. September 10, 2007.] So, interleague play is long gone and it is time to crunch the numbers — as expected, the American League is the better conference.  The numbers just do not lie.  Although, I have to admit, the American League East surprised me with a total .500 winning percentage against the National League.  I guess it does not help when Tampa Bay and Baltimore could not get out of their own way.

In the end, the American League won 137 of the total 252 interleague games.  That results in a .544 winning percentage –  and this sample is the equivalent of over a season and a half for any one team.  If you pull out the Devil Rays, the Orioles and the White Sox (the bottom of the AL), the rest of the America League played at a .606 pace against the National League.  In fact, taking out those three AL teams and not one of the other AL teams (the other 11 teams) had a losing record in interleague play.  That includes last place Texas (11-7) and a Kansas City (10-8) team that is currently 18 games under .500.

A summary of each teams final interleague record is as follows:

American League [137-115] (.544)

AL East
Boston 12-6
Yankees 10-8
Toronto 10-8
Tampa Bay 7-11
Baltimore 6-12

AL Central
Detroit 14-4
Minnesota 11-7
Cleveland 9-9
Kansas City 10-8
White Sox 4-14

AL West
Los Angeles 14-4
Texas 11-7
Oakland 10-8
Seattle 9-9

National League [115-137] (.456)

NL East
Mets 8-7
Atlanta 8-7
Florida 9-9
Washington 9-9
Philadelphia 4-11

NL Central
Cubs 8-4
Milwaukee 8-7
Houston 9-9
St. Louis 6-9
Cincinnati 7-11
Pittsburgh 5-10

NL West
Colorado 10-8
Arizona 8-7
San Diego 6-9
Los Angeles 5-10
San Francisco 5-10

An interesting fact — if you look at only the current four playoff teams and the top two teams trailing in the wild card standings (as of September 9, 2007), the six such AL teams (Sox, Yanks, Angels, Indians, Tigers and Seattle) finished 68-40 (.630) and the six such NL teams (Mets, Phils, Brewers, ‘Backs, Padres and LA) finished 43-47 (.478) in interleague play. That does not lend towards another NL World Champion, but of course, not of that really matters in a quick seven-game series in late October.

1 comment September 10th, 2007



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