Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day One: The All-Region Reds Team

Have you ever wondered what MLB rosters would look like if clubs were only able to choose players from their local area? I have, and it led me to the creation of the following series of posts. Over the next several days I'll break down a 25-man roster - position-by-position - of some current MLBers that hail from hometowns located in (or near) Reds country.

The main goal in making this squad is to only choose players who come from within the geographical reach of Cincinnati, but without crossing too much into the regions of other MLB franchises (sincere apologies to the Indians, Cardinals, Pirates, Orioles, or Braves if I did).

The following is the general criteria I used when assembling the roster:
**The player(s) must currently be active in the MLB ranks
**The player(s) must have either been born, raised, attended high school or attended a university in any of the following states: Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, or Tennessee.
**The player(s) must demonstrate excellence at their respective position
**The player(s)' age and potential were also taken into consideration

And here is a rough schedule outlining the days in which the posts will be published (subject to change):

Day One: Starting Rotation
Day Two: Bullpen
Day Three: Outfield
Day Four: Infield
Day Five: Catchers

So, without further ado here is what the (somewhat) homegrown Reds starting rotation would look like:

The Ace

Justin Verlander SP Detroit Tigers
Hometown: Manakin Sabot, VA
2011 stats: 24-5, 2.40 ERA, 251 IP, 0.920 WHIP, 4.39 K/BB
Career stats (7 years): 107-57, 3.54 ERA, 8.3 SO/9, 199 GS
*4-time All-Star (2007, 09-11)
*AL Cy Young Award (2011)
*AL Rookie of the Year (2006)
*AL Most Valuable Player (2011)


David Price SP Tampa Bay Rays
Hometown: Murfreesboro, TN
2011 stats: 12-13, 3.49 ERA, 224.33 IP, 3.46 K/BB
Career stats (4 years): 41-26, 3.38 ERA, 1.199 WHIP, 8.1 SO/9
*2-time All-Star (2010-11)
*2nd in AL CYA voting (2010)


Mat Latos SP Cincinnati Reds
Hometown: Alexandria, VA
2011 stats: 9-14, 3.47 ERA, 194.33 IP, 31 GS
Career stats (3 years): 27-29, 3.37 ERA, 1.154 WHIP, 3.06 K/BB
*8th in NL CYA voting (2010)


Chad Billingsley SP Los Angeles Dodgers
Hometown: Defiance, OH
2011 stats: 11-11, 4.21 ERA, 32 GS, 188 IP
Career stats (6 years): 70-52, 3.68 ERA, 192 GP, 8.0 SO/9
*All-Star (2009)


Daniel Hudson SP Arizona Diamondbacks
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
2011 stats: 16-12, 3.49 ERA, 222 IP, 3.38 K/BB
Career stats (3 years): 25-15, 3.19 ERA, 1.152 WHIP, 7.2 SO/9
*Silver Slugger Award (2011)

Honorable mentions go to: Philadelphia's Joe Blanton (Bowling Green, KY), Atlanta's Brandon Beachy (Kokomo, IN), Los Angeles' Joe Saunders (Falls Church, VA), New York's R.A. Dickey (Nashville, TN), Derek Holland (Newark, OH), Aaron Cook (Fort Campbell, KY), & Tampa Bay's Andy Sonnanstine (Barberton, OH).

This probably goes without saying, but any team boasting a starting five with these guys would likely have the best rotation in MLB. With Verlander as the ace, and Price, Latos, Billingsley,and Hudson to follow, the team would be well on their way to a 100+ win season and maybe even a World Series title. Hey, having one out of five (Latos) ain't bad though, right?

Group grade: A

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