Boston and Chicago break the cures.
2004: Boston Red Sox: Theo Epstein built this team with smart signings and trades when he took the reins over in 2002. Only Nomar Garciaparra was the only player that was from the system but did not see the title thru as he was part of a 4-way trade that got Boston Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera at the 2004 Trade Deadline. David Chadd, a familiar name among Tigers fans, was the scouting director. Homegrown Total WAR: 0.0
2005: Chicago White Sox: Theo Epstein broke a curse and the following year, Ken Williams broke the next longest World Series drought. Williams had a good, young core of talent that the Sox drafted with Joe Crede, Aaron Rowland, Mark Buehrle and getting a first-round talent in Jon Garland from the Cubs in a trade-in 1998. Williams, by the way, played for the Tigers for a season in 1989.
Even Brandon McCarthy, a 17th round draft pick by the Sox in 2002, pitched 65 innings. A key part of the rotation, Freddy Garcia, was acquired on June 27 of 2004 from Seattle for Mike Morse, Miguel Olivo, and Jeremy Reed. Morse played four seasons in Seattle part-time, Olivo was a solid backup and Jeremy Reed played in parts. Ken Williams used his prospects to bolster the rotation and it paid off. Homegrown Total WAR: 8.1
The Detroit Tigers’ next steps.
While there is plenty to address with the Tigers heading into the off-season, you have to like the progress of the farm system. How that will play a role in the team seems to point to a large one but seeing how the pitching development has come along, it seems like for now, the core of the homegrown talent may come from pitching.
Part two in which I cover the World Series winners from 2006 (and a few Detroit Tigers squads) to 2020 will be out later this week.