Origins of the Playoff Players

Bruce Bennett - Getty Images

This is a very simple study and looks only at roster spots, not the value generated by each player.

Of the four remaining playoff teams, the St. Louis Cardinals were the most farm system-oriented with 64% of their current post-season players coming from within the organization. You could, if you wanted to, give them credit for developing Adam Wainwright and David Freese, who were originally drafted by other teams but spent time in the farm system before establishing themselves in the majors. Even without doing that, the Cards relied more on their internal development than the other teams.

The Yankees, Giants, and Tigers all filled 40% of their current roster spots with professional free agents.

In terms of origins, four-year college programs were the top source of players for each team, filling an aggregate 44% of the 100 roster slots in the playoffs. North American high schools filled just 22%. If you don't count the three players from Puerto Rico, that would be just 19%.

11% of the players are from the Dominican Republic and 10% from Venezuela. 10% came from junior colleges, 2% came from Japan, and 1% from Mexico.

This is a very simple study and looks only at roster spots, not the value generated by each player.

It would be interesting to break this down by WAR. For example, just four Giants came from high schools, but two of them were key starting pitchers Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.

Breaking this down by WAR is a study for another day.

Here is the raw data. I apologize for the less-than-aesthetic presentation, I'm having some spreadsheet problems today.

DETROIT TIGERS:

By Origin:
Four Year Colleges: 9 36%
Dominican Republic: 6 24%
North American HS: 4 16%
Venezuela: 4 16%
Junior Colleges: 2 8%

By Method of Acquisition:
Developed by Farm System: 10 40%
Professional Free Agent: 8 32%
Acquired by Trade: 7 28%

NEW YORK YANKEES:

By Origin:
Four Year Colleges: 10 40%
North American HS: 7 28%
Junior Colleges: 4 16%
Dominican Republic 2 8%
Japan: 2 8%

By Method of Acquisition:
Professional Free Agent: 10 40%
Developed by Farm System: 8 32%
Acquired by Trade: 6 24%
Waivers: 1 4%

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS:

By Origin:
Four Year Colleges: 12 48%
North American HS: 7 28%
Junior Colleges: 4 16%
Mexico: 1 4%
Venezuela: 1 4%

By Method of Acquisition:
Developed by Farm System: 16 64%
Acquired by Trade: 5 20%
Professional Free Agent: 3 12%
Purchase/Mexican League 1 4%

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

By Origin:
Four Year Colleges: 13 52%
Venezuela: 5 20%
North American HS: 4 16%
Dominican Republic 3 12%

By Method of Acquisition:
Developed by Farm System: 10 40%
Professional Free Agent: 9 36%
Acquired by Trade: 5 20%
Waivers: 1 4%



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