The 2017 MLB Draft begins on June 12, and the dream for every MLB organization is to build a championship-caliber team using homegrown players it either drafted or signed as an amateur free agent. However, some organizations have a hard time developing them or keeping them in order to reap the benefits. Before this year’s draft takes place, let’s rank the top five organizations which lack homegrown talent:
1. San Diego Padres — The struggling Padres only have seven players on their roster who came up through their system as their draft pick or amateur free agent signing. The Padres also only have one homegrown prospect ranked in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 in 2016 first-round pick Cal Quantrill, the son of former big leaguer Paul Quantrill. It’s going to take a lot of time before the Padres have a roster filled with homegrown talent, as most of their key pieces have come via trade.
2. Oakland Athletics — Another team that is going through tough times, the Athletics only have eight players on their roster who they have developed in their organization. Ace Sonny Gray and reliever Sean Doolittle have headed this group, but have both been hurt during their careers and Gray has been a candidate of possible players traded this season. They have only two homegrown prospects in the Top 100 in AJ Puk and Matt Chapman, making their chances at having success through homegrown players extremely slim for years to come.
3. Milwaukee Brewers — Yes, the Brewers are in first place in the NL Central right now, but they are not there because of strictly homegrown talent. They only have eight players on their roster, two of which are on the 40-man roster, who they either drafted or signed as an amateur. Their best player from this group, Ryan Braun, has been the franchise’s face for a long time, but they only have one prospect in the Top 100 who they have groomed in Corey Ray. They may still have success, but don’t expect any big homegrown players for a little bit.
4. Chicago White Sox — The White Sox are in a rebuilding mode and right now they have 12 players on their roster who are homegrown. Jose Abreu is their best player from this group right now after they traded ace and homegrown player Chris Sale to the Red Sox for a few prospects, including the best one in baseball in Yoan Moncada. They do have a promising starter in Carlos Rodon and closer Nate Jones, but they may need another year or so before their top three homegrown prospects — Luis Robert, Carson Fulmer and Zack Collins — come up to the team and give them some homegrown pride.
5. Atlanta Braves — The Braves are still in the middle of their rebuild, which only includes three homegrown players right now on the roster. However, they do have arguably one of the best first basemen in the game as one of their big talents in Freddie Freeman and have six prospects who are not only homegrown, but are all ranked in the top 100 in baseball. Until the prospects arrive and produce, the Braves will still be trying to succeed with the talent they have.