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Homegrown talent: NL West

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  February 28, 2011 01:15 AM

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In our usual timely fashion, let's wrap up last week's project on what major league rosters would look like if teams had only homegrown talent with our final installment featuring the NL West.

Before you ponder a Giants rotation that includes Francisco Liriano, a Dodgers bullpen led by Joakim Soria, and a Padres lineup with . . . well, not much, here is some linkage to the previous five parts in the series if you missed them. The team listed would, in our opinion, win its division title in the Homegrown League, should it actually exist. (And someone should totally do this on MLB 2K11, by the way.)

AL East: Tampa Bay Rays
AL Central: Cleveland Indians
AL West: Seattle Mariners
NL East: Washington Ghost Expos
NL Central: Houston Astros
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers

For the record, we'd have the Mariners beating the Ghost Expos in the World Series. I hope this was as fun to peruse as it was for me to sort through and analyze after my brilliant cousin Kris did all of the dirty work by putting together the rosters.

Now as Mr. Beltre swings from the heels here, let's close this out by seeing how the West might be won . . .

gonzalezcarlosfinn.jpgARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Lineup: SS Stephen Drew, 1B Lyle Overbay, CF Carlos Gonzalez, 2B Dan Uggla, RF Justin Upton, LF Carlos Quentin, 3B Mark Reynolds, C Miguel Montero

Rotation: RHP Brandon Webb, RHP Max Scherzer, RHP Vincente Padilla, LHP Jorge De La Rosa, RHP Brad Penny

Bullpen: RHP Jose Valverde, LHP Javier Lopez, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, LHP Chris Capuano, RHP Lance Cormier, LHP Daniel Schlereth

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: C Rod Barajas, P Tony Pena, P Sergio Santos, P Jason Bulger, P Dustin Nippert, P Scott Maine, P Bryan Augenstein, P Josh Collmenter, P Barry Enright, P Jordan Norberto, P Yonata Ortega, P Leyson Septimo, P Daniel Stange, P Esmerling Vasquez, P Doug Slaten, P Evan Scribner, P Garrett Mock, C John Hester, C Konrad Schmidt, C Jason Jaramillo, INF Chad Tracy, INF Pedro Ciriaco, INF Alberto Gonzalez, INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio, OF Conor Jackson, DH Jack Cust, OF Scott Hairston, OF Gerardo Parra

Closing comments: That's a pretty potent lineup when you can bat Quentin and Reynolds 6/7 . . . Gonzalez was part of a package of six players -- Brett Anderson was also among them -- sent to Oakland for Dan Haren and someone named Connor Robertson in December 2007 . . . That deal is regrettable enough standing alone -- Gonzalez led the NL in batting (.336), hits (197), and total bases (351) last season -- but it looks even worse considering that they dealt Haren to the Angels 2 1/2 years later for Joe Saunders and some spare parts . . . Considered going with Rod Barajas over Montero at catcher, but the hunch here is that the latter will end up having the much better career . . . The D-Backs came up with a promising core of young players all at once -- Quentin, Drew, Reynolds, Conor Jackson. But it's one they let get away who has been the best of all of them. Uggla, who didn't advance past Double A with Arizona, was lost to the Marlins in the 2006 Rule 5 draft. He's the only second baseman in history with four straight seasons of 30 or more homers.

hollidaymattfinn.jpgCOLORADO ROCKIES
Lineup: 2B Chone Figgins, 1B Todd Helton, SS Troy Tulowitzki, LF Matt Holliday, RF Brad Hawpe, 3B Juan Uribe, C Chris Iannetta, CF Juan Pierre

Rotation: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, LHP Jeff Francis, RHP Jake Westbrook, RHP Aaron Cook, RHP Jhoulys Chacin

Bullpen: RHP Manny Corpas, RHP Jamey Wright, RHP Jorge Sosa, LHP Franklin Morales, RHP Sean Green

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: P Aneury Rodriguez, P Pedro Strop, P Bruce Billings, P Alberto Arias, P Matt Daley, P Samuel Deduno, P Edgmer Escalona, P Juan Nicasio, P Matt Reynolds, P Greg Reynolds, P Cory Riordan, P Esmil Rogers, P Casey Weathers, C Michael McKenry, C Jordan Pacheco, C Wilin Rosario. C Josh Bard, INF Clint Barmes, INF Craig Counsell, INF Jayson Nix, INF Ian Stewart, INF Jeff Baker
INF Jonathan Herrera, INF Chris Nelson, INF Hector Gomez, INF Everth Cabrera, INF John Lindsey, OF Dexter Fowler, OF Ryan Spilborghs, OF Seth Smith, OF Eric Young, OF Cole Garner

Closing comments: It's hardly breaking news to point out that the Rockies have had a hard time developing pitchers in Coors Field, which makes Jimenez's ascension as one of the game's elite pitchers all the more impressive . . . I doubt this is more than coincidence, but it's curious that Jimenez's comp lists are dotted with pitchers who had injury-altered careers: Dennis Leonard, Steve Busby, Charlie Lea, Mark Prior, Erik Bedard, Rich Harden, Wade Miller . . . The Rockies' most notorious recent whiff when it comes to pitching is Greg Reynolds, the No. 2 pick in the 2006 draft who has an 8.13 ERA in 14 career games, all in 2008. He went five picks ahead of Clayton Kershaw and eight picks before Tim Lincecum . . . Ian Stewart's not going to live up to that super-prospect billing of a few years ago, is he? . . . Imagine what numbers that Helton/Tulo/Holliday trio could put up if they all played together in the their prime . . . Helton might be stuck in that Mattingly-in-the-'90s phase of his career -- he hasn't hit more than 17 homers since 2005 -- baseballreference.com's Hall of Fame Monitor suggests he has a pretty decent shot at Cooperstown. While he is a lifetime .324 hitter and had a run of five straight seasons with an OPS over 1.000, he'll be hurt by playing half of his games at Coors, where his career OPS (1.082) dwarfs his road OPS (.873). I wouldn't vote for him.

konerkopaulfinn.jpgLOS ANGELES DODGERS
Lineup: LF Shane Victorino, C Carlos Santana, 3B Adrian Beltre, 1B Paul Konerko, RF Matt Kemp, CF Franklin Gutierrez, 2B Delwyn Young, SS Miguel Cairo

Rotation: LHP Clayton Kershaw, LHP Ted Lilly, RHP Chad Billingsley, RHP Edwin Jackson, RHP Hiroki Kuroda
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Bullpen: RHP Joakim Soria, RHP Jonathan Broxton, LHP Hong-Chih Kuo, RHP Kenley Jansen, RHP Joel Hanrahan, RHP Takashi Saito

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: 1B James Loney, INF Willy Aybar, INF Tony Abreu, INF Andy LaRoche, INF Josh Bell, INF Chin-lung Hu, P Scott Proctor, P Dennys Reyes, P James McDonald, P Ramon Troncoso, P Chan Ho Park, P Scott Elbert, P Javy Guerra, P Wesley Wright, P Bryan Morris, P Brad Thomas, P Luis Vasquez, P Jhonny Nunez, C Russell Martin, C Henry Blanco, C Koyie Hill, C David Ross, C Lucas May, C A.J. Ellis, 2B Blake DeWitt, OF Alejandro De Aza, OF Jason Repko, OF Justin Ruggiano, OF Jamie Hoffmann, OF Trayvon Robinson, OF Xavier Paul

Closing comments: Both the rotation and lineup are top-heavy, but this home grown Dodgers team would win a lot of games . . . Now this is a bullpen that can get a strikeout when it needs one: Soria (9.7), Broxton (10.5), Kuo (11), and Jansen (13.7 in 27 innings) all averaged over a strikeout per inning . . . The Dodgers have more than their share of The One Who Got Away tales. Soria, who has a 2.01 ERA and 132 saves in four seasons with the Royals, was released by LA after three years in the organization. The Padres signed him a year later and lost him in the Rule 5 draft to KC in December 2006 . . . Victorino was plucked away by the Phillies in the 2004 Rule 5 draft . . . Santana, who had a .401 on-base percentage as a rookie with Cleveland, was included in the Casey Blake deal in July 2008, with the Dodgers agreeing to send a higher-caliber prospect in order to get back some cash in the deal.

leederekrookiec.jpgSAN DIEGO PADRES
Lineup: 3B Chase Headley, CF Will Venable, 1B Derrek Lee, LF Kyle Blanks, RF Xavier Nady, 2B David Freese, C Nick Hundley, SS Jason Bartlett

Rotation: RHP Jake Peavy, RHP Mat Latos, LHP Oliver Perez, RHP Rodrigo Lopez, LHP Wade LeBlanc

Bullpen: LHP Joe Thatcher, RHP Shawn Camp, RHP Tim Stauffer, RHP Ernesto Frieri, RHP David Pauley

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: P Jose Ceda, P Cesar Carrillo, P Brandon Kintzler, P Jon Link, P Simon Castro, P Jeremy Hefner, P Cory Luebke, C Luis Martinez, C George Kottaras, C Wil Nieves, C Jose Lobaton, INF Eric Sogard, INF Matt Antonelli, INF Jeudy Valdez, OF Cedric Hunter, OF Luis Durango, OF Mike Baxter

Closing comments: Not even those awesome brown and yellow uniforms from the '80s would make this team interesting . . . There's no offense to speak of unless you're thinking of the prime-of-career Derrek Lee, who had his best season (2005, when he hit 46 homers and finished third in the NL MVP race) eight years after the Padres traded him to Florida in a package for Kevin Brown . . . The 1-2 combo o Peavy and Latos would give them a chance to win their share of 2-1 games, I suppose . . . Someone care to explain Bartlett's 2009 season with the Rays, when he hit 14 homers and had a 132 adjusted OPS? His second-highest OPS+ was 99 in the 2006 season . . . Perez has had an ERA of 5.38 or higher five times. He has made nearly $36 million in his career. Teach 'em to throw letthanded, dads.

lirianofrancisco.jpgSAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Lineup: LF Fred Lewis, CF Nate Schierholz, C Buster Posey, 3B Pablo Sandoval, 2B Pedro Feliz, 1B Travis Ishikawa, RF John Bowker, SS Emmanuel Burriss

Rotation: RHP Tim Lincecum, LHP Francisco Liriano, RHP Matt Cain, LHP Madison Bumgarner, LHP Jonathan Sanchez

Bullpen: RHP Joe Nathan, RHP Brian Wilson, RHP David Aardsma, RHP Scott Linebrink, RHP Sergio Romo

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: 1B-OF Brandon Belt, P Erick Threets, P Carlos Villanueva, P Kevin Correia, P Clay Hensley,. P Pat Misch, P Shairon Martis, P Brian Burres, P Joe Paterson, P Kevin Pucetas, P Henry Sosa, P Jose Casilla, P Steve Edlefsen, P Alex Hinshaw, P Matt Palmer, P Dan Runzler, P Clayton Tanner, P Yorvit Torrealba, INF Ryan Rohlinger, INF Matt Downs, INF Brian Bocock, INF Conor Gillaspie, INF Kevin Frandsen, INF Ehire Adrianza, OF Thomas Neal, OF Francisco Peguero

Closing comments:
What a wretched outfield. Brian Sabean is going to have to go out and get a couple of Cody Ross-types if the Giants want to win anything . . . It's tempting to put phenom Brandon Belt in at first base over Ishikawa since it's only a matter of time. In his first year of pro ball out of the University of Texas, Belt hit .352 with 23 homers, 112 RBIs, and 99 walks . . . He was originally drafted in the 11th round in 2006 out of high school by the Red Sox, seven rounds before they drafted Lars Anderson . . . That was the same draft they selected Daniel Bard, Justin Masterson, Ryan Kalish, Josh Reddick and Matt LaPorta, who also did not sign . . . When Emmanuel Burriss is your shortstop, you don't really have a shortstop at all, do you? . . . It's easy to criticize some of the teams that passed on Lincecum in the 2007 draft. Hell, I said it myself in the Rockies writeup. But don't forget to give Sabean credit for having faith in Lincecum's talent despite his small frame and unorthodox delivery. It would have been very easy to write him off as too much of a risk . . . The Giants won a World Series in large part because of the riches in their rotation. So just imagine what they might do with Liriano in Barry Zito's spot.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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