The All-Homegrown MLB

On August 6, Donnie Collins pondered what an entirely homegrown New York Yankees team would look like. It was an endlessly intriguing exercise, to say the least, which predictably led to an infinite amount of second-guessing and back-patting. Was there a lesson to be learned? That Brian Cashman is a genius? That the Yankees can’t draft? That prospects are undervalued? I’m not quite sure. The clearest lesson, assuming it even is a lesson at all, is that the Yankees wouldn’t be very good if they were entirely homegrown … although, they likely would not be much worse than they are right now. But I digress.

This article also, of course, led to a discussion regarding what other teams would look like under the same conditions. Are the Rays really that great at drafting? Have the Pirates and Marlins really traded away an All-Star team’s worth of talent? And, from there, it led to one of the most repetitive bits of research I have ever constructed in preparing any non-legal bit of writing, in my quest to answer these questions … by constructing entirely homegrown rosters for the other twenty-nine teams in Major League Baseball.

For the purposes of this piece, I attempted to use only those players that are currently on a Major League roster. However, I was forced to use a few players that have made a career of riding the shuttle from the Majors to the minors, as well as some prospects that are currently in the upper minors. It was, believe or not, difficult to construct these teams, as the development of talent in the game has not been close to equitable (credit xiavien). There are some interesting names missing here, as some teams have simply developed too much talent to fit onto a 25-man roster. And there are many names that are unknown to even the most hardcore of baseball fans.

So, without further ado, here is my attempt at constructing the All-Homegrown MLB.

Baltimore Orioles
Starting Pitchers
Erik Bedard
Zach Britton
Dylan Bundy
Wei-Yin Chen
Kevin Gausman
Jake Arrieta
Pedro Beato
Jason Berken
David Hernandez
Jim Johnson
Brian Matusz
Koji Uehara
Eli Whiteside
Matt Wieters
Pedro Florimon
Mike Fontenot
Jerry Hairston, Jr.
Manny Machado
Brian Roberts
Brandon Snyder
• L. J. Hoes
Nick Markakis
Nolan Reimold
Henry Urrutia
Jayson Werth

The Orioles would maintain two of their four core pieces, in Wieters and Machado, yet they are completely devastated by the loss of Adam Jones and Chris Davis. Werth is a very solid addition, but, at this point in his career, he is not durable or consistent enough to make up for such a loss. Surprisingly, the pitching staff does not take too much of a hit, as it is roughly the same as the real Orioles prior to this season’s trade deadline.

Boston Red Sox
Starting Pitchers
Clay Buchholz
Felix Doubront
• Jon Lester
Justin Masterson
Anibal Sanchez
Daniel Bard
Rafael Betancourt
Michael Bowden
Hideki Okajima
Jonathan Papelbon
Junichi Tazawa
Brandon Workman
Ryan Lavarnway
Kelly Shoppach
Jose Iglesias
Jed Lowrie
Dustin Pedroia
Hanley Ramirez
Anthony Rizzo
Jacoby Ellsbury
Ryan Kalish
David Murphy
Daniel Nava
Josh Reddick
Designated Hitter
Brandon Moss

For as long as I can remember, the Red Sox have been both praised for their ability to develop talent and maligned for their attempts to “buy” championships. This group, however, suggests that the former is a bit more accurate. Sure – the Red Sox have dealt away some sterling talent (particularly Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez) … and yet the core to their successes in the last decade or so remains intact.

Tampa Bay Rays
Starting Pitchers
Alex Cobb
Jeremy Hellickson
Matt Moore
David Price
James Shields
Alex Colome
Wade Davis
Chad Gaudin
Jason Hammel
Jake McGee
Jeff Niemann
Jose Veras
John Jaso
Stephen Vogt
Leslie Anderson
Tim Beckham
Reid Brignac
Derek Dietrich
Elliot Johnson
Evan Longoria
Carl Crawford
Josh Hamilton
Desmond Jennings
B.J. Upton
Designated Hitter
Jonny Gomes

As strong as the Red Sox appear in this project, the Rays may be even better. The starting rotation takes the best parts of the past two seasons, the bullpen is as stout as ever, and the outfield is simply oozing talent – even with Hamilton and Upton seeing their performances crater this season. With the exception of Longoria, the infield is a bit impotent with the bat (albeit strong defensively) … but I am sure Jonny Gomes can be taught first base.

Toronto Blue Jays
Starting Pitchers
Henderson Alvarez
Roy Halladay
Drew Hutchison
Shaun Marcum
Ricky Romero
Brett Cecil
Tim Collins
Danny Farquhar
Casey Janssen
Aaron Loup
Brandon League
Marc Rzepczynski
J.P. Arencibia
Yan Gomes
Adeiny Hechavarria
Aaron Hill
Cesar Izturis
Adam Lind
Ryan Roberts
Michael Young
Reed Johnson
Jake Marisnick
Alex Rios
Travis Snider
Vernon Wells

Developing starting pitching has long been a bugaboo for the Blue Jays, and this roster puts that into perspective. Halladay was, of course, one of the best starters of the 2000s (and may have something left in the tank for whomever gambles on him this offseason) … and that’s it. The outfield is kind of a nightmare, although there is some potential with Marisnick, and the infield is essentially the status quo from two seasons ago.

Chicago White Sox
Starting Pitchers
Mark Buehrle
Gio Gonzalez
Daniel Hudson
Brandon McCarthy
Chris Sale
Matt Guerrier
Nate Jones
Boone Logan
Addison Reed
Andre Rienzo
Brian Omogrosso
Hector Santiago
Josh Phegley
Chris Stewart
Brandon Allen
Gordon Beckham
Chris Getz
Brent Morel
Mike Morse
Alexei Ramirez
Chris Carter
Jordan Danks
Ryan Sweeney
Dayan Viciedo
Chris Young

It is difficult to imagine another team having a stronger group of pitching from the top of the rotation to the bottom of the bullpen. Even with Buehrle’s regression, any team would be very happy to have him as their fifth starter, which is the role he is filling for these White Sox. And these White Sox need that stellar pitching to survive, as the offense is full of raw power and not much else.

Cleveland Indians
Starting Pitchers
Chris Archer
Bartolo Colon
Jeremy Guthrie
Roberto Hernandez (f/k/a Fausto Carmona)
CC Sabathia
Cody Allen
Jeanmar Gomez
C.C. Lee
Edward Mujica
Vidal Nuno
Vinnie Pestano
Tony Sipp
Chris Gimenez
Victor Martinez
Lonnie Chisenhall
Jason Kipnis
John McDonald
Jhonny Peralta
Cord Phelps
Marco Scutaro
Jose Constanza
Trevor Crowe
Ben Francisco
Manny Ramirez
Designated Hitter
Luke Scott

Like their AL Central brethren, the Indians have a very strong pitching staff – although it is a bit on the older side. The team is strong behind the plate and in the infield, with upside in Chisenhall and Kipnis and steady veteran play in Peralta, Scutaro, and the miscast Martinez catching. The outfield, however, is almost laughably bad. It’s somewhat difficult to imagine an actual team sporting such a horrendous group, though the Mets have come close at times this season.

Detroit Tigers
Starting Pitchers
Casey Crosby
Andy Oliver
Rick Porcello
Jacob Turner
Justin Verlander
Casey Fien
Jason Frasor
Charlie Furbush
Andrew Miller
Fernando Rodney
Bruce Rondon
Drew Smyly
Alex Avila
Rob Brantly
Jack Hannahan
Omar Infante
Brandon Inge
Ryan Raburn
Ramon Santiago
Brennan Boesch
Andy Dirks
Curtis Granderson
Matt Joyce
Cameron Maybin
Cody Ross

Detroit, like Boston and Tampa, would remain an excellent team. The rotation would certainly mourn the losses of Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez, but this group is very young, and has a great deal of upside. The infield might be a problem, particularly if Inge or Raburn is slotted in at first – but I imagine Boesch could slide in there, and make the team look a bit more formidable, without hurting the outfield’s terrific depth.

Kansas City Royals
Starting Pitchers
Danny Duffy
Chris Dwyer
Zack Greinke
Luke Hochevar
Yordano Ventura
Jeremy Affeldt
Louis Coleman
Aaron Crow
Kelvin Herrera
Greg Holland
J.P. Howell
Everett Teaford
Wil Myers
Salvador Perez
Mike Aviles
Mark Ellis
Johnny Giavotella
Eric Hosmer
Mike Moustakas
Carlos Beltran
David DeJesus
Jarrod Dyson
Alex Gordon
David Lough
Designated Hitter
Billy Butler

This Royals team shows the mixed dividends that the “greatest farm system ever” has paid. On the one hand, this is very much the team that folks were expecting a couple of years ago – with Greinke and Beltran in tow. On the other hand, several of these players have not panned out as planned, and the rotation is held together with duct tape. The offense would definitely be exciting, and a one through nine of Gordon, Beltran, Hosmer, Myers (if he’s in the outfield), Butler, Moustakas, Perez, Aviles, and Ellis would be tough to top.

Minnesota Twins
Starting Pitchers
Nick Blackburn
Matt Garza
Kyle Gibson
Liam Hendriks
Kevin Slowey
Grant Balfour
Jesse Crain
Brian Duensing
LaTroy Hawkins
Jose Mijares
Pat Neshek
Glen Perkins
Joe Mauer
A.J. Pierzynski
Brian Dozier
Trevor Plouffe
Justin Morneau
Matt Tolbert
Danny Valencia
Oswaldo Arcia
Michael Cuddyer
Aaron Hicks
Torii Hunter
Denard Span
Designated Hitter
Jason Kubel

Has there ever been a more formidable catching duo than Mauer and Pierzynski? Or a less intimidating starting rotation? I am not sure, but I would be fairly shocked if the answer to both questions was anything other than ‘no.’ I quite like this team, and far more so than I felt I would when I first began constructing the roster. The rotation fits the ‘pitch to contact’ mold the Twins utilized in the post-Johan Santana era (who is not eligible for this team), but I feel that the offense could more than make up for that. And the outfield defense would be fantastic.

Houston Astros
Starting Pitchers
Jordan Lyles
Bud Norris
Roy Oswalt
Felipe Paulino
Wandy Rodriguez
Fernando Abad
Matt Albers
Jose Cisnero
Dallas Keuchel
Chia-Jen Lo
Troy Patton
Chad Qualls
John Buck
Jason Castro
Jose Altuve
Lance Berkman
Chris Johnson
Tommy Manzella
Drew Sutton
Ben Zobrist
Brandon Barnes
Brian Bogusevic
Hunter Pence
J.B. Shuck
George Springer

It was difficult to leave Johan Santana off of this team, as it is a nice bit of trivia, but the Astros staff is fairly strong without him – and he has only thrown 117 IP since the end of the 2010 season, but who’s counting? Adding Zobrist is a boon for this team, as he can slot in at shortstop or left field (two areas where the team is weak). Bringing back Berkman and Pence makes the offense good-not-great, and fairly top heavy.

Los Angeles Angels
Starting Pitchers
Tyler Chatwood
Patrick Corbin
John Lackey
Ervin Santana
Jered Weaver
Kevin Jepsen
Michael Kohn
Nick Maronde
• Darren O’Day
Garrett Richards
Francisco Rodriguez
Jordan Walden
Hank Conger
Jeff Mathis
Erick Aybar
Alberto Callaspo
Howie Kendrick
Mike Napoli
Sean Rodriguez
Jean Segura
Alexi Amarista
Peter Bourjos
Mike Trout
Mark Trumbo
Designated Hitter
Kendrys Morales

Having Lackey and Santana in this rotation looks a great deal better now than it would have if this list was made a year ago, giving the team a potent rotation. On the offensive side of the ball, the offense is both deep and talented … and not all that different from the current Angels lineup, given Albert Pujols’ injury and DL stint. Having Aybar to serve as a utility man is almost an embarrassment of riches, to boot.

Oakland A’s
Starting Pitchers
Trevor Cahill
A.J. Griffin
Tim Hudson
Dan Straily
Barry Zito
Andrew Bailey
Jared Burton
Santiago Casilla
Sean Doolittle
Joel Peralta
Huston Street
Ryan Webb
Gerald Laird
Kurt Suzuki
Eric Chavez
Grant Green
Cliff Pennington
Omar Quintanilla
Nick Swisher
Jemile Weeks
Yoenis Cespedes
Michael Choice
Andre Ethier
Ryan Ludwick
Designated Hitter
Jason Giambi

The A’s are yet another team with a terrific outfield, trotting out Swisher, Cespedes, and a platoon of Ludwick and Ethier. And, utilized properly, I am sure the group’s offensive output would make up for its questionable defense. The rotation is not as strong as most would suspect for an A’s team, but it is more than serviceable (particularly in that ballpark). Constructing this team served as a fine reminder that a great deal of the A’s young talent tends to come from other teams – Brett Anderson (Diamondbacks), Gio Gonzalez (White Sox and Phillies), and Carlos Gonzalez (Diamondbacks) all got their start elsewhere.

Seattle Mariners
Starting Pitchers
Doug Fister
Felix Hernandez
Hisashi Iwakuma
Brandon Morrow
Chris Tillman
Carter Capps
Shawn Kelley
Yoervis Medina
• Eric O’Flaherty
J.J. Putz
Rafael Soriano
Matt Thornton
Rene Rivera
Mike Zunino
Dustin Ackley
Willie Bloomquist
Asdrubal Cabrera
Nick Franklin
Brad Miller
Kyle Seager
Shin-Soo Choo
Raul Ibanez
Adam Jones
Ichiro Suzuki
Designated Hitter
David Ortiz

Raise your hand if you remembered that Ortiz’s first professional organization was the Mariners. Anyone? I know I didn’t. With Ortiz, Choo, and Jones around, this offense looks fantastic. If Ortiz can fake first, allowing Ibanez to DH, it looks even more potent. Bringing back the new-and-improved Fister gives the Mariners a fantastic one-two-three punch with Hernandez and Iwakuma, and Morrow and Tillman have long shown flashes of brilliance. And, as has been the case with most every team, the bullpen is deep and strong.

Texas Rangers
Starting Pitchers
Yu Darvish
R.A. Dickey
Derek Holland
Martin Perez
C.J. Wilson
Joaquin Benoit
Scott Feldman
Tommy Hunter
Darren Oliver
Joe Ortiz
Robbie Ross
Tanner Scheppers
Mike Nickeas
Taylor Teagarden
Edwin Encarnacion
Leury Garcia
Ian Kinsler
Mike Olt
Jurickson Profar
Mark Teixeira
Julio Borbon
Chris Davis
• Graig Gentry
Leonys Martin
John Mayberry

This infield is simply unfair – even with Encarnacion’s struggles at third base – and having Encarnacion, Teixeira, and Davis batting in the heart of the order is enviable. The outfield is not as strong as most would expect, particularly with the Rangers’ history of player development, but it is not bad, and it should be strong defensively. Bringing Dickey and Wilson helps the Rangers maintain their strong rotation, although it does not improve it as the names may suggest.

Atlanta Braves
Starting Pitchers
Brandon Beachy
Matt Harrison
Mike Minor
Julio Teheran
Adam Wainwright
Luis Avilan
Matt Belisle
Bruce Chen
Neftali Feliz
J.J. Hoover
Craig Kimbrel
Kris Medlen
Brian McCann
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Elvis Andrus
Freddie Freeman
Kelly Johnson
Martin Prado
Andrelton Simmons
Gregor Blanco
Jeff Francoeur
Evan Gattis
Jason Heyward
Jordan Schafer
Joey Terdoslavich

Adding Messrs Harrison and Wainwright to an already strong rotation is a boon for these Braves, and the bullpen becomes even better by adding Medlen as a swingman and Feliz and Hoover as the bridge to Kimbrel. The outfield is a weakness, as Heyward is likely the only everyday player out there, but the offense the team will have on an everyday basis behind the plate should make up for that. Defensively, this could be the best middle infield ever, with Simmons playing short and Andrus shifting over to second – and I don’t believe that that’s hyperbole.

Miami Marlins
Starting Pitchers
Josh Beckett
Jose Fernandez
Josh Johnson
Alex Sanabia
Jason Vargas
Ronald Belisario
Steve Cishek
Dan Jennings
Chris Leroux
Edgar Olmos
A.J. Ramos
Chris Resop
Brett Hayes
Kyle Skipworth
Robert Andino
Miguel Cabrera
Matt Dominguez
Adrian Gonzalez
Gaby Sanchez
Josh Wilson
Logan Morrison
Marcell Ozuna
Giancarlo Stanton
Josh Willingham
Christian Yelich

Is Cabrera-Gonzalez-Stanton that best 3-4-5 tandem thus far? Definitely. Would it be the best in the current MLB? Probably. Does this prove that the Marlins really do sell off everything? Most likely – although, Adrian Gonzalez did not truly become Adrian Gonzalez until after the Marlins and Rangers let him walk. In terms of pitching, this team is strong (although injury prone), and having 1-2-3 of Fernandez, Beckett, and Johnson would be a great time for fans of raw stuff and velocity.

New York Mets
Starting Pitchers
A.J. Burnett
Dillon Gee
Matt Harvey
Scott Kazmir
Jonathon Niese
Heath Bell
Josh Edgin
Jeurys Familia
Matt Lindstrom
Jenrry Mejia
Bobby Parnell
Joe Smith
Francisco Pena
Josh Thole
Mike Carp
Ike Davis
Daniel Murphy
Jose Reyes
Ty Wigginton
David Wright
Endy Chavez
Nelson Cruz
Lucas Duda
Carlos Gomez
Angel Pagan

The Mets outfield has been in shambles for what seems like an eternity, and it appears as though some of that was their own doing. Is it fair to blame the Mets, then? I do not believe so, as Cruz was passed around like a hot potato for years prior to busting out with the Rangers, and Gomez did help them reel in Johan Santana (and, like Cruz, did take awhile to break out). That being said, hindsight is bliss in this exercise, and the Mets have lost out on one of the best all-around teams thus far.

Philadelphia Phillies
Starting Pitchers
Jarred Cosart
Cole Hamels
J.A. Happ
Kyle Kendrick
Vance Worley
Antonio Bastardo
Jake Diekman
Brett Myers
Josh Outman
Joe Savery
Alfredo Simon
Brad Ziegler
Carlos Ruiz
Sebastian Valle
Cody Asche
Freddy Galvis
Ryan Howard
Nick Punto
Jimmy Rollins
Chase Utley
Michael Bourn
Domonic Brown
Marlon Byrd
Darin Ruf
Michael Taylor

The Phillies current roster is mostly homegrown, which is somewhat to their detriment as Howard, Rollins, and Utley battle the hazards of age. The outfield is fairly strong, and it could be fun as a poor excuse to revive the ‘Killer B’s’ nickname, and the offense as a whole is more good than bad. On the mound, however, the Philles do not look much better than passable. Having Cosart does give them a (potentially) dangerous duo at the front of the rotation.

Washington Nationals
Starting Pitchers
Ross Detwiler
Tommy Milone
Cliff Lee
Stephen Strasburg
Jordan Zimmermann
Drew Storen
Marco Estrada
Jim Henderson
John Lannan
Yunesky Maya
Brad Peacock
Craig Stammen
Derek Norris
• Jhonathan Solano
Ian Desmond
Danny Espinosa
Tyler Moore
Brandon Phillips
Anthony Rendon
Ryan Zimmerman
Jason Bay
Roger Bernadina
Bryce Harper
Justin Maxwell
Grady Sizemore

Cliff Lee, Stephen Strasburg, and Jordan Zimmermann. Wow. An infield of Zimmerman at first, Phillips, Rendon, and Desmond would be young and very good, and the outfield still has Harper (and not much else, barring a minor miracle with Sizemore). I don’t know if the offense would be more than average, but I don’t think it would need to be in order to win a lot of games.

Chicago Cubs
Starting Pitchers
Andrew Cashner
Jon Garland
Kyle Lohse
Ricky Nolasco
Jeff Samardzija
Al Alburquerque
Jerry Blevins
Scott Downs
Rich Hill
Carlos Marmol
Sean Marshall
James Russell
Jose Molina
Geovany Soto
Darwin Barney
Starlin Castro
Ronny Cedeno
Josh Donaldson
Hak-Ju Lee
Josh Vitters
Tony Campana
Tyler Colvin
Sam Fuld
Brett Jackson
Junior Lake

Now this is a bad team. There’s some young talent in Cashner and Castro (and, possibly, Vitters, Jackson, and Lake) … but these Cubs would be in the running for the first pick of the draft, with its average rotation appearing to be its greatest strength. This makes Theo Epstein’s slash-and-burn rebuild seem all the more necessary.

Cincinnati Reds
Starting Pitchers
Homer Bailey
Tony Cingrani
Johnny Cueto
Mike Leake
Travis Wood
Brad Boxberger
Aroldis Chapman
Jeremy Horst
Sam LeCure
Logan Ondrusek
Josh Roenicke
Pedro Villarreal
Yasmani Grandal
Devin Mesoraco
Zack Cozart
Juan Francisco
Todd Frazier
Didi Gregorius
Adam Rosales
Joey Votto
Jay Bruce
Chris Denorfia
Adam Dunn
Chris Heisey
Drew Stubbs

These Reds might be the most true to life group in this exercise, which is a testament to their underrated player development. Having Dunn back in left is a fun mental image, and his defense might give back more than his offense creates at this point in his career – but platooning him with a lefty-masher like Stubbs would mitigate his weaknesses significantly. The rotation is very young and very good, and the bullpen could still be a strength.

Milwaukee Brewers
Starting Pitchers
Hiram Burgos
Mike Fiers
Yovani Gallardo
Jake Odorizzi
Wily Peralta
Mike Adams
Craig Breslow
Tim Dillard
Manny Parra
Joe Thatcher
Tyler Thornburg
Tom Wilhelmsen
Eric Fryer
Jonathan Lucroy
Alcides Escobar
Prince Fielder
J.J. Hardy
Brett Lawrie
Rickie Weeks
Norichika Aoki
Michael Brantley
Ryan Braun
Lorenzo Cain
Caleb Gindl
Corey Hart

The Brewers are essentially the team we watched a couple of years ago, with a very strong offense and very little pitching. The bullpen would be stronger than ever, though, and bringing back Odorizzi injects a bit of upside into the rotation.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Starting Pitchers
Bronson Arroyo
Gerrit Cole
Brandon Cumpton
Paul Maholm
Jameson Taillon
Vic Black
Mike Gonzalez
Tom Gorzelanny
Jared Hughes
Brad Lincoln
Tony Watson
Duke Welker
Ryan Doumit
Tony Sanchez
Pedro Alvarez
Jeff Keppinger
Jordy Mercer
Steve Pearce
Aramis Ramirez
Neil Walker
Jose Bautista
Rajai Davis
Starling Marte
Andrew McCutchen
Nate McLouth

If the NL had a DH, the Pirates offense would be the best in all of baseball – Bautista at third, Alvarez at first, Ramirez at DH, and a strict platoon of Davis and McLouth in right would be stellar. As it stands, it is merely excellent, with McCutchen, Marte, and Bautista leading the way from the outfield. The rotation is headlined by potential studs in Cole and Taillon, with Arroyo and Maholm (and possibly Gorzelanny) eating innings behind them.

St. Louis Cardinals
Starting Pitchers
Jaime Garcia
Dan Haren
Lance Lynn
Shelby Miller
Michael Wacha
Luke Gregerson
Joe Kelly
Seth Maness
Jason Motte
Chris Perez
Trevor Rosenthal
Kevin Siegrist
Tony Cruz
Yadier Molina
Matt Adams
Matt Carpenter
Daniel Descalso
Albert Pujols
Brendan Ryan
Skip Schumaker
Allen Craig
Coco Crisp
Jon Jay
Colby Rasmus
Shane Robinson

As was the case with the Reds, the current Cardinals are very much a homegrown team. Bringing back Pujols and the resurgent Rasmus adds more power into the fold, and the gloves of Crisp and Rasmus would help make up for Craig’s mediocre defense in the outfield. The rotation is not as strong as I imagined it would be, though Rosenthal could always be shifted into the rotation at Haren’s expense.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Starting Pitchers
Brett Anderson
Jorge De La Rosa
Wade Miley
Jarrod Parker
Max Scherzer
Josh Collmenter
Ryan Cook
Eury De La Rosa
Tommy Layne
Javier Lopez
Ross Ohlendorf
Bryan Shaw
Miguel Montero
Chris Snyder
Stephen Drew
Jake Elmore
Paul Goldschmidt
Lyle Overbay
Mark Reynolds
Dan Uggla
Carlos Gonzalez
Scott Hairston
Gerardo Parra
Carlos Quentin
Justin Upton

Has every team lost out on a fantastic outfield? It certainly looks that way. The infield would be fun to watch, for comedic value, with Drew, Reynolds, and Uggla all ranging between “awful” and “well below-average” at their respective positions. Even so, this team has a ton of raw power, and a young rotation headlined by a Cy Young candidate in Scherzer. It also has Matt Davidson and Chris Owings waiting in the wings should Reynolds and Drew not be up to snuff.

Colorado Rockies
Starting Pitchers
Jhoulys Chacin
Jeff Francis
Ubaldo Jimenez
Juan Nicasio
Jake Westbrook
Luis Ayala
Rex Brothers
Matt Reynolds
Esmil Rogers
Rob Scahill
Pedro Strop
Jamey Wright
Chris Iannetta
• Wil Rosario
Nolan Arenado
Clint Barmes
Everth Cabrera
Todd Helton
Troy Tulowitzki
Juan Uribe
Dexter Fowler
Matt Holliday
Juan Pierre
Seth Smith
Eric Young, Jr.

Even with Helton being a shell of his former self, this is a sneaky good offense, with Cabrera causing havoc on the basebaths and Holliday returning to the heart of the order. As is the norm with Colorado, the rotation is shaky – though, Westbrook’s worm burning ways would help out quite a bit, particularly with a strong defense behind him.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Starting Pitchers
Nathan Eovaldi
Edwin Jackson
Clayton Kershaw
Hiroki Kuroda
Hyun-Jin Ryu
Jonathan Broxton
Joel Hanrahan
Kenley Jansen
Bryan Morris
Paco Rodriguez
Joakim Soria
Chris Withrow
Russell Martin
Carlos Santana
Adrian Beltre
• Ivan DeJesus
Blake DeWitt
Dee Gordon
Paul Konerko
Scott Van Slyke
Alejandro De Aza
Franklin Gutierrez
Matt Kemp
Yasiel Puig
Shane Victorino

The Dodgers are absolutely stacked in the bullpen, behind the plate, and in the outfield. That is not to say that the rotation is not up to snuff – far from it, in fact, as Kershaw, Kuroda, Ryu, Jackson, and Eovaldi all have quite a bit to offer. Rather, it is simply insane that the team has three or four relievers capable of closing, either Martin or Santana backing up at catcher, and a De Aza/Gutierrez combo backing up in the outfield.

San Diego Padres
Starting Pitchers
Corey Kluber
Mat Latos
Cory Luebke
Jake Peavy
Burch Smith
Steve Delabar
Ernesto Frieri
Brandon Kintzler
Oliver Perez
Cesar Ramos
Dale Thayer
Nick Vincent
Nick Hundley
George Kottaras
Kyle Blanks
Logan Forsythe
David Freese
Jedd Gyorko
Andy Parrino
Eric Sogard
Mike Baxter
Jaff Decker
Chase Headley
Blake Tekotte
Will Venable

Offense would still be hard to come by for this Padres team, with the only real additions being Freese and Kottaras. Luckily, the rotation becomes better, with Latos and Peavy capable of performing at an above-average rate in any ballpark, and the bullpen remains strong.

San Francisco Giants
Starting Pitchers
Madison Bumgarner
Matt Cain
Tim Lincecum
Francisco Liriano
Zack Wheeler
David Aardsma
Jake Dunning
Jason Grilli
Joe Nathan
Sergio Romo
Carlos Villanueva
Brian Wilson
Buster Posey
Yorvit Torrealba
Brandon Crawford
Kevin Frandsen
Travis Ishikawa
Brett Pill
Cody Ransom
Pablo Sandoval
Brandon Belt
Roger Kieschnick
Thomas Neal
Francisco Peguero
Nate Schierholtz

The Giants outfield very nearly matched the Indians in futility, and having Belt in that unit is only a superficial improvement to the team, as first base is relegate to an Ishikawa/Pill platoon. This offense is not very good, though Posey, Sandoval, Belt, and Schierholtz (at least this year’s version) give the Giants some legitimate hitters for the top of the order. And, as is the Giants way, the pitching is a tremendous strength – even with a declining Lincecum and a shaky Cain.

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About Domenic Lanza

Domenic is a staff writer for It's About the Money, and the host of the It's About the Money Stupid podcast. By day, he is a mild-mannered real estate attorney on Long Island, and an aspiring intellectual degenerate.