The MLB trade deadline and the offseason winter meetings get plenty of attention as teams look to bolster their rosters with big signings or trades, but the key to sustained success is still developing homegrown talent.
On the heels of the 2015 MLB draft, and with a number of notable prospect call-ups made around the league in recent weeks, let’s take a look at the best homegrown talent on each MLB roster.
First, here are a few items of note regarding who was eligible for this list:
- International Players: Any player signed as an international free agent was eligible to be considered a homegrown player, with the exception of players from Cuba and Japan who were already established professionals when they made the jump straight to the majors. That means guys like Masahiro Tanaka, Yu Darvish, Jose Abreu, Aroldis Chapman and Alexei Ramirez were not eligible. On the other hand, guys like Jorge Soler and Yasiel Puig who came over and spent time in the minors before reaching the big leagues were eligible.
- Amateur Draft Picks: For a draft-eligible player to be considered homegrown, he had to be drafted by the team he’s currently playing for. So while someone like Chris Archer was technically developed in the Tampa Bay Rays farm system, he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians so is therefore not eligible.
The goal here was to name the best homegrown player on each roster as of today, so for the sake of this exercise, past success and track record meant far less than current talent level and recent performance.