Thursday, October 21, 2004

Red Sox Homegrown?

I am happy for the Red Sox win, it is always good to see an underdog defeat the perrennial favorite. But many people when they complain about the Yankees say that it is the "best team money can buy." With the assumption that other teams are not. So let's compare the Red Sox to the Astros for "franchise" players -- players who have spent their entire career (including rookies) with just the one team. This won't count the minors because that is a fluid and crazy world. By my count, Jason Varitek and Trot Nixon are the only "franchise" Sox. I can add Lowe to the list since he only played 1/2 a season with Seattle and came with Varitek. Schilling was drafted by the Sox, but just started for them this year. So that is 4 "franchise" players. How about Houston? Why Houston? Cuz I was born in Texas and am pulling for a team who has never won the series, and is Texan, to win.

11 of 25 are Houston only players.

Brandon Backe (26)
College: Galveston CC
Drafted by Tampa Bay, first year with Houston first year as starting pitcher.

Roger Clemens (41)
College: Texas
Drafted by Boston, first year with Houston. Future Hall of Famer.

Mike Gallo (27)
College: Long Beach State
Drafted by Houston, second year relief pitcher.

Chad Harville (28)
College: Memphis
Drafted by Oakland, first year with Houston. Relief pitcher.

Brad Lidge (28)
College: Notre Dame.
Drafted by Houston, third year Astro. Closer.

Dan Miceli (34)
College: none.
Not drafted. Started with Pittsburgh, played with 10 teams. Relief pitcher.

Pete Munro (29)
College: Ocaloosa-Walton CC
Drafted by Boston (released before MLB). Started MLB with Toronto, third year with Houston. Relief/Starting pitcher.

Roy Oswalt (27)
College: Holmes JC
Drafted by Houston (23rd Round!!!), 4 years with Houston as Starting Pitcher. Hot shot young pitcher. Same calibre as Hudson and Mulder (Oak). (63 wins in 4 years, average 15+ wins a year).

Chad Qualls (26)
College: University of Nevada (Go Pack!)
Drafted by Houston, first year relief pitcher.

Russ Springer (36)
College: LSU
Drafted by Yankees, 7 different teams. Second time as Astro. Relief Pitcher.
Dan Wheeler (27)
College: Central Arizona JC
Not drafted. Started with Tampa Bay in 1999. Played for Mets, first year with Houston. Relief Pitcher.


Brad Ausmus (35)
College: Dartmouth
Drafted by Yankees (minors only), started with San Diego. Total 6 years with Houston (2 year interuption with Detroit 1999-2000).

Raul Chavez (30)
College: None
Not drafted, started with Montreal. Played one year with Seattle. Four years with Astros. Backup.


Jeff Bagwell (36)
College: Hartford
Drafted by Red Sox. Played entire career with Houston (14 years). Potential HoF (.297 average, 446 HR, 2289 hits, 1510 rbi with about 4 years left, but 1st base is very competitive). First Base.

Eric Bruntlett (26)
College: Stanford
Drafted by Houston. Second year as Pro. Back up Shortstop/Utility player.

Morgan Ensberg (29)
College: USC (Fight On!)
Drafted by Houston, 5th year with team, one year demoted to minors (2001). 3rd Base.

Adam Everett (27)
College: South Carolina
Drafted by Boston (minors only). Played whole career with Houston 4 years. Back up shortstop.

Jeff Kent (36)
College: UC-Berkeley
Drafted by Toronto, 5 different teams. Second year as Astro. High priced Free Agent type. HoF possible, compare to Sandberg [who deserves it](Kent 13 years .289 BA, 302HR, 1207 RBI, .983 fielding; Sandberg 16 years, .285 BA, 282 HR, 1061 RBI, .989 fielding).
Mike Lamb (29)
College: Cal State Fullerton
Drafted by Texas, first year Astro. 3rd base.

Jose Vizcaino (36)
College: none
Not drafted, started with Los Angeles. Fourth year as Astro. SS/2b


Carlos Beltran (27)
College: none.
Drafted by Kansas City Royals. Superstar 5 tool Free Agent type. First year as Astro. Center Field.

Lance Berkman (28)
College: Rice
Drafted by Houston. Sixth year with team. Very good.

Drum Roll Please…

Craig Biggio (39)
College: Seton Hall
Drafted by Houston. 16 years with team. What can’t he do? All Star Catcher and 2nd Baseman, average outfielder. One of the Premiere leadoff men in baseball. If he can play until he’s 41 he may hit 3000 hits. Almost certain HoF. Ask Bill James. According to his favorite measurement (Win Shares) Biggio is the best.

Jason Lane (28)
College: USC (Fight On!)
Drafted by Houston. 3rd year, backup outfielder.

Orlando Palmiero (35)
College: Miami, Fl
Drafted by California Angels (Anaheim), first year Astro. Definition of utility outfielder. Super consistent backup.

Funny thing, Houston has more players drafted by the Sox than the Sox do. But that is the nature of the game. Does this make Houston "morally superior" to the Sox? No. They had to pay a lot to keep the high end talent and the pickup of Clemens, Pettite, and Beltran show they are willing to go for the "superstar." I don't care if Houston is Pettite and Clemen's hometown, the team "bought" the players just like any smart team with the opportunity would. But 11 out of 25 players is pretty remarkable, and in the modern game rare, so I thought I would point it out.

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