Home Grown Talent — Red Sox, Mets and Yankees (2008)

[New York. April 2, 2008.]  The 2008 baseball season has finally begun.  Let me reminder all baseball fans which team in the Northeast is truly the ‘home grown’ team.  If you listen to those who hate the Yankees (both on the street and in print), you will often hear that they are “bought,” yet, when you actually look at the rosters, it paints a different picture.  As compared to the Red Sox, the Yankees have twice as many players that are considered “Home Grown Talent” (a.k.a. HGT). The Mets have even fewer HGTs — only three “everyday” players are home grown (only two of which have any real impact).

The “everyday” players I pulled were (i) the starting 8 fielders (for the AL teams I used the better of the first baseman and designated hitter as the first baseman), (ii) the five starting pitchers, (iii) the closer and (iv) the set-up man — for a total of 15 “everyday” players.  I pulled this list from the actually players that have the job, irrespective of whether they are injured (e.g., Shilling is still a starting pitcher for the Red Sox, or is he?).

After crunching the numbers — at the start of the season — the Red Sox are 5/15 (33%), the Mets are 3/15 (20%) and the Yankees are 10/15 (67%).  Again, the masses and the media are incorrect!

Boston Red Sox

C  Jason Varitek (HGT)
1B David Ortiz
2B Dustin Pedroia (HGT)
3B Mike Lowell
SS Julio Lugo
LF Manny Ramirez
CF Jacoby Ellsbury (HGT)
RF J.D. Drew
SP Josh Beckett
SP Curt Shilling
SP Daisuke Matsuzaka
SP Tim Wakefield
SP Jon Lester (HGT)
ST Hideki Okajima
CL Jonathan Papelbon (HGT)

Red Sox Home Grown Talent — 5/15 (33%)

I give the Red Sox credit.  At least they are trying to build from within while they continue to be one of the best teams in the American League.  They have filled holes with quality minor league talent (Ellsbury, et al.) and have not sold off their future for another arm. Beckett and Dice-K will probably keep them rolling in the near future and Pedroia and Ellsbury look like stars. They even boast an HGT player that has spent his entire career with the team — Jason Varitek (although not drafted by the Red Sox, he is playing his 11th season with the squad). Although, 33% is still pretty pathetic, considering the way they won the 2004 World Series, this is an improvement.

New York Mets

C  Brian Schnieder
1B Carlos Delgado
2B Luis Castillo
3B David Wright (HGT)
SS Jose Reyes (HGT)
LF Moises Alou
CF Carlos Beltran
RF Shawn Green
SP Johan Santana
SP Pedro Martinez
SP Oliver Perez
SP John Maine
SP Orlando Hernandez
ST Aaron Heilman (HGT)
CL Billy Wagner

Mets Home Grown Talent — 3/15 (20%)

The Mets are now down to three home grown players.  It is simply ironic that it is usually the Mets supporters in New York that claim the Yankees “buy” their teams.  Looking at this roster — the top 15 starters on the Mets — it is reprehensible that only three of them come from the Mets system.  In fact, if you remove their setup-man Heilman – who really has not won that role yet – the Mets would have only two home grown players playing every day. That must be hard to swallow for a Mets fan, but, I assume, if they win it all this year, those same fans will forget all about it.  As a side note, I will admit that the Mets have done a great job buying talent.  Santana and Beltran are at the top of their respective positions.  on the other hand, some of their minor moves and the older players purchased may come back to bite them.  At least they did not bring in Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown.  At the end of the day, the Mets have put together the best lineup and staff in the National League (assuming they stay healthy) and regardless how they do it, they are still a top contender.

New York Yankees

C Jorge Posada (HGT)
1B Jason Giambi
2B Robinson Cano (HGT)
3B Alex Rodriguez
SS Derek Jeter (HGT)
LF Johhny Damon
CF Melky Cabrera (HGT)
RF Bobby Abreu
SP Chien-Ming Wang (HGT)
SP Andy Pettitte (HGT)
SP Mike Mussina
SP Phil Hughes (HGT)
SP Ian Kennedy (HGT)
RP Joba Chamberlain (HGT)
CL Mariano Rivera (HGT)

Yankees Home Grown Talent 10/15 (67%)

It is pretty amazing to think they hold a HGT of 67% considering their reputation.  They may have a huge salary, but there is something to be said for rewarding players with big contracts that you developed in your own system.  Few teams in the league can say that — and it impresses me that the Yankees are one of them.  Ten of the Yankees fifteen starters are from the Yankees system. As compared to their rival Red Sox (who have only 5) and their New York counterpart (who have only 3), it is pretty impressive to see the Yankees continue to stockpile the youth on their roster. Looking back to this winter (although, Yankees fans may regret it), when we held on to the kids and passed on Santana, we really showed baseball which teams ‘buy’ their teams and which teams ‘develop’ their teams.

As a disclaimer, I happen to be a Yankees fan.  I despise the Red Sox and remain cautious with the Mets.  I have changed my idea of what Home Grown Talent is from last year and begin this season with the following definition — an HGT is a player that is (a) drafted by their team or (b) played in the minor leagues for that team, and (c) currently plays for that team.  Yes, there are holes in that logic, but until someone falls through the crack, no sense in developing a more detailed formula.

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April 2nd, 2008 at 11:34am Brian

Entry Filed under: Baseball, Sport

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Charge the Mound… &&hellip  |  November 25th, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    [...] article was first brought to you by our friends at The Random Politic: Home Grown Talent — Red Sox, [...]

  • 2. WillieNY  |  January 24th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    You have great blog and this post is good!

    best regards, Greg

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