|Orioles on the rise
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 new statistic:
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.