A Look at Homegrown Rosters Around Baseball is Unkind to the Cubs

starlin castro throwingIt’s All About the Money recently set about a laudable and informative quest to lay out at what every organization’s team would look like if it was composed entirely of homegrown talent. It is well worth ten minutes of your time perusing, and it’s fascinating just how good the Marlins could have been if they simply had kept everybody.

The venture is also notable for just how ugly such a theoretical Chicago Cubs team would look:

Starting Pitchers

• Andrew Cashner

• Jon Garland

• Kyle Lohse

• Ricky Nolasco

• Jeff Samardzija

Bullpen

• Al Alburquerque

• Jerry Blevins

• Scott Downs

• Rich Hill

• Carlos Marmol

• Sean Marshall

• James Russell

Catchers

• Jose Molina

• Geovany Soto

Infielders

• Darwin Barney

• Starlin Castro

• Ronny Cedeno

• Josh Donaldson

• Hak-Ju Lee

• Josh Vitters

Outfielders

• Tony Campana

• Tyler Colvin

• Sam Fuld

• Brett Jackson

• Junior Lake

Yo. The rotation might be kinda, sorta passable, and the infield might not be awful. But the rest? Yikes. It’s a testament to how poorly the Cubs drafted/developed/signed international talent over the past 15 years, and it might be one of the worst rosters in It’s All About the Money’s experiment. Indeed, here’s IAATM’s comment on the Cubs:

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.

Sounds about right. Comfort yourself by checking out the Red Sox’s roster.

I look forward to someone (us?) duplicating this exercise, at least for the Cubs, in about 10 years. I’d like to think it will tell a different story, even if not all of those pieces will still be with the Cubs at the time. Remember: baking your own good talent is as much about using them on your team in the big leagues as it is about wielding them as trade pieces over the years.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

30 responses to “A Look at Homegrown Rosters Around Baseball is Unkind to the Cubs”

  1. TC

    Worth noting that the Red Sox roster, much of which was developed when McLeod and Hoyer were big parts of the org, is freakin excellent, which gives hope that Theo’s “slash-and-burn rebuild” is being conducted by some of the best possible people for the job

    1. terencemann

      That’s basically what I’ve been arguing for a while. If someone thinks what they’re doing is destined to fail in the same way that past Cubs “rebuilds” have failed, then they need look at what Boston’s roster would look like with all their players on it.

  2. Carew

    Ouch for the cubs. The rays may win this, I’ve seen a lot of their players here in Durham, and man have they been good, the Bulls and Rays.

  3. Patrick G

    What I like from Bos players is that they were not all first round picks. Lester was a2nd round, Ramirez was an international signing, Rizzo was 6-7th round. Also there system now is stacked from when Theo left it. Just shows how much effort and scouting he puts into the later rounds as well.

  4. Jason Powers

    I think if people want to know how to build a team from nothing, look at the Expos circa 1980-81. They drafted a ton of frontline talent – Carter, Valentine, Dawson, Rogers, Raines, Sanderson, etc.

    Here’s hoping we drafted and traded well in 2012-2013. Should know something definitive by 2015.

  5. Jason Powers

    WS Sox got their lefties, Buehrle , Sale, and Gonzalez. I wonder who scouts their pitching/lefty talent?

    1. BT

      I’ll give them credit for Buerhle and Gonzalez (although they traded him away twice), but Sale fell into their lap. He was supposed to be drafted much higher, and was pretty much a no brainer when he fell to them.

      1. jeff1969

        He was picked 13th. That’s a lot of teams to pass on a guy even if he was looked at as a Top 7 talent which he was. White Sox get credit for taking the chance drafting him despite his funky motion, getting him to the majors so quickly, and letting him start. Stop hating.

        1. Funn Dave

          But it’s the White Sox. We’re supposed to hate them.

  6. CubbieBubba

    Yikes! Almost as bad as their actual (current) roster.

  7. MichiganGoat

    That outfield is hilarious

  8. JUICED1

    it was way worse when they did this two years ago. think they had three or four major leaguers

  9. Myles

    Looking at that infield just gave me an ulcer.

  10. MichaelD

    “This makes Theo Epstein’s slash-and-burn rebuild seem all the more necessary.”

    I really don’t think this necessarily follows. The Cubs could have a perfectly acceptable major league team based on smart trades and spending a lot of money. Would a 2008 analysis have looked all that much better? We would not have been suggesting a complete slash and burn then.

  11. Jon

    I’m still pissed about that Al Alburquerque trade. Fuck you Hendry.

  12. ETS

    “It is well worth ten minutes of your time perusing,”
    [grammarnazi] depending on the article length, it could be difficult to peruse the article in 10 minutes[/grammarnazi]

    1. Funn Dave

      LOL, I thought the same thing.

      -BN Grammar Nazi

  13. North Side Irish

    Depressing part to me is how good the Cardinals roster still is…even without Wainright, Holliday, Freese, and Beltran. They still have 18 guys who are on their roster this season (most of who make low salaries) and would possibly have a much better bullpen. Jealousy sucks.

    1. Arrieta'sUncle

      Try living 50 miles south of StL.

  14. Funn Dave

    Saw this yesterday. So brutal. The worst part is, I looked at the rotation and said “holy crap, that’s terrible,” and then skipped down to the text where it says that the roto is the best part.

  15. Bric

    Wait a second… somebody else finally realized that the standard Jim Hendry line of “We may not have anybody in the top 100 but we’re loaded in the top 200″ prospects line was total B.S.? Shut the front door…

  16. Joycedaddy

    After looking at Tampa Bay’s infield, I thought that Boston was perhaps better. And then I saw their ridiculously stacked outfield, and, well, yeah.

  17. chrisfchi

    Holy hell that’s a horrible line-up. I think I would give up on baseball altogether if that’s what we ran out on the field this year.

  18. Chef Brian

    That outfield made me puke in my mouth. God, Jim Hendry was awful at drafting talented, hell serviceable players.

  19. Don’t Say Mid-Market Like It’s A Bad Thing « Behind the Ivy

    […] and development hasn’t been a strength of the Cubs in the past.  Bleacher Nation had a piece yesterday that should make the former front office want to huddle in a corner and cry.  You think the team […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.