Skip to main content

MLB Network's All-time Homegrown Team

When reviewing the MLB Network's Phillies preview on their 30 Clubs in 30 Days program, their version of the All-time Phillies Homegrown team jumped out at me as pretty remarkable. Here's what the squad looked like.

SP- Robin Roberts
C- Bob Boone
1B- Ryan Howard
2B- Ryne Sandberg
3B- Mike Schmidt
SS- Jimmy Rollins
RF- Greg Luzinski
CF- Richie Ashburn
LF- Del Ennis
RP- Ricky Bottalico

Certainly, there are players on that list who are indisputable. Howard, Schmidt, Ashburn and probably Ennis (as I think Chuck Klein does not qualify because he was not drafted by, or originally signed by, the Philadelphia Phillies) have no competition in their respective positions. Ferguson Jenkins, also a Philadelphia product, could be an option at starting pitcher over Roberts, but there is likely no incorrect choice with either one of those.

The most debatable assignment on the list is Ryne Sandberg. Aside from the initial displeasure of seeing Sandberg on the list, because he achieved his success with another franchise, the Chicago Cubs, a legitimate argument could be made that Chase Utley is a better choice for that second base spot. A smooth-player-for-real and a friend of PhoulBallz named "OuttaHerrrrreee" on twitter helped spark this debate by pitting these players' stats against each another. Let's target some season averages for the Hall of Famer Sandberg, compared to current Phils second baseman Chase Utley.

Sandberg per season averages based on 15 full years played- 18.8 HR, 70.7 RBI, 87.9 runs, 22.9 SB. Career batting avg- .285. Career OPS- .795.

Utley per season averages based on 6 full seasons played- 26.8 HR, 97.5 RBI, 100.3 runs, 13.8 SB. Career batting avg- .295. Career OPS- .902.

Comparing those stats, the only advantage for Sandberg is the stolen base category. Based on that, I think it's an easy choice to take Utley as the best all-time homegrown second baseman in the Phillies' history. An argument could surely be made, pitting Utley against Sandberg, by inquiring if Utley is a Hall of Famer right now. Probably not, so let the debate commence.

I also wondered if Jimmy Rollins was at a place to convincingly take the shortstop selection over Larry Bowa, a 5-time all star and 2-time Gold Glove award winner. Rollins is a 3-time all star, 3-time Gold Glove award winner and a former National League MVP.

Rollins, in 9 seasons, averages 16.2 HR, 69 RBI, 105 runs, 36.2 SB. His career batting avg- .274. His career OPS- .768.

Bowa, in 16 seasons, averaged- 0.94 HR, 32.8 RBI, 61.7 runs, 19.9 SB. His career batting avg- .260. His career OPS- .620.

I suppose the race for that spot is not as close as I thought. I initially questioned the selection because of Bowa's longevity with the team, but after reviewing the numbers, I have zero problems with Rollins taking the shortstop position over Bowa.

The only alarming thing about the list is that Ricky Bottalico is the best homegrown closer in Phillies history. Ricky Bo is 6th all-time on the Phils' save leader list, but was an all-star in 1996. He saved 30 or more games just twice at the Major League level. Ricky's career stats are respectable with a 33-42 win-loss record, 3.99 ERA and 8.2 K's per 9 inn., but it's just stunning to learn that, in the long history of Phillies baseball, they've never developed another closer better than Ricky Bottalico.

Got any objections or debates of you own on this topic? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
------------------------

Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Frosty Phillies Favorites: 2021 Edition w/ DJ Stewart

Season's greetings to all of you! It's that time of the year to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season. Every year at Christmas time, I survey a group of Phillies prospects about what they get excited for during the holidays.  This year, we focus on just one up and coming player, corner infielder DJ Stewart. The 22-year-old righty batter had a solid season in 2021. In 94 games combined with Class A Clearwater and Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, Stewart notched a .265 batting average with 14 home runs, 42 RBI and five stolen bases.  Recently, I talked with DJ to gain his feedback on all of his holiday favorites. Read ahead for that interview... -What's your favorite Christmas movie? My favorite is This Christmas.  My Mother and I would watch it together every Christmas, so it just stuck with me. -What is your favorite Christmas song and which version is best? This Christmas by Chris Brown.  It's the final song of my favorite Christmas movie. -What's your favorit

Stewart hits walk-off grand slam for Clearwater

Stepping up to the plate with the bases loaded, trailing by a pair of runs in the 11th inning, Clearwater first baseman D.J. Stewart did so 0-for-5.  His focus at the plate was no different that time than it had been the previous handfull of turns.  Make loud contact was the approach.  The contact was loud, the reaction from his team and the approximately 1,100 fans in attendance was louder.   A convincing round-tripper in that moment plated Edgar Made, Johan Rojas, Luis Garcia and Stewart.  It gave the Class A Threshers their first win on the young season by a score of 13-11 over the Tigers affiliate Lakeland.  The grand slam was the 22-year-old's first ever four-run homer as well as his first ever walk-off hit as a professional. Describing the feeling of walking a game off in such a remarkable fashion as unreal and realizing that his teammates were as hyped for him as he felt personally, Stewart also described the "loud contact" mindset as a new focus. "This year I

Franco making case for September call up

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd While the minor league season begins to wind down, Lehigh Valley third baseman Maikel Franco continues to go full throttle. As the IronPigs kicked off their final home stand of the season on Saturday with a double header against the division rival Syracuse Chiefs, Franco, who is hoping his season continues on beyond the final day on the regular season calendar, which is Labor Day, September 1st, continued to display his improved offensive efforts going 6-for-7 with two home runs combined in two games while recording a cycle in the night cap. The feat was certainly quite an achievement, but possibly more impressive because it was accomplished in just six offensive innings for the winning home club in game 2, as minor league double headers are slated as seven-inning contests. Franco, who turns 22 years old this week, struggled through the early part of his first Triple-A season, ending June with a .202 batting average and just 28 extra-base hits