As I was browsing the farm system links, I came across this story about Brian Gordon. Now, I’d never heard of him, never knew he played the outfield for Class AAA Round Rock last year, leave alone the Astros thought highly enough of his arm to convert him to a pitcher.
Yet, following in the Chris Sampson tradition, here’s another Texan (he graduated from Round Rock High School) who’s given a chance to pitch for the Astros. The Astros are steadily building up a team chockful of quality local products. Will this All Texas Team experiment really work? I don’t know. There seems to be a preference for the Venezuelan and Texan players by the management lately. It may be nothing, it may be quite something. Only time will tell.
But, if the Astros can keep mining the gold in local talent, and by local, I include the Venezuelans as the Astros were the first major league team to recruit in that country–then I say go for it. The Braves have been quite successful in recruiting talented Georgians for years. Having a history of success will help a team get great local talent, a lesson the Yankees have yet to learn.
Money isn’t everything. The pride of playing for your hometown or homestate team means a lot more to more and more young baseball players and teams like the Yankees, Cubs, and Red Sox better take notice. More and more really talented young players are wanting to play for the teams they grew up seeing in their home state than the juggernauts of Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs.
So take heart Royals, Brewers, Cardinals, Twins, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and of course the Astros–the newest generation of baseball stars don’t necessarily want to be a Yankee, Red Sox or Cub anymore.