May I direct your attention to a new feature along the right column of this web site. I've taken the Texas League alumni section that has been a feature of this blog almost since its inception in January 2006 and changed it up a little bit.
Instead of one long list of every Major League player (other than former Travelers) who've spent time in the Texas League, I've now broken it down by team. Now you can see what players from all eight teams in the Texas League are currently playing in MLB on any given day. I've also included and will be keeping track of the alumni lists from former TL teams Wichita, El Paso, Round Rock (back in its Double-A days), Jackson, and Shreveport. If you haven't figured this out by now, note that the highlighted names are those that are new to the list, meaning they are the most recent call-ups.
Why do I entertain this time-consuming venture on this blog? Because I think most people, even us regular Travs fans, don't have a good grasp of just how many MLB players pass through the Texas League, and I think it surprises a lot of people and shows the kind of product that is on the field night after night. And I hope fans from around the Texas League will find this a useful resource (except NWA Naturals fans -- of course, I kid).
Also, it's interesting some of the things you can glean from these lists, such as what farm systems may be producing the most MLB talent, and what MLB teams are able to retain their home-grown players. For instance, poor Wichita. They really had a good thing going for the Royals. It's too bad they didn't get more support at home and had to lose the Wranglers to NWA.
Tulsa seems to be the most successful when it comes to former players reaching the Majors, but Midland is not far behind and has produced the likes of Eric Byrnes, Jim Edmonds, Andre Ethier, Troy Glaus, Tim Hudson, Huston Street, Nick Swisher, and Barry Zito. Not bad, except that only nine of 41 players are still with the A's. Frisco seems to lead the league in rehab assignments.
Below is a breakdown of the number of players each current and former Texas League team has in the Majors, as well as the number of players still with the parent club. Note that San Antonio changed affiliations last season, so two parent clubs are counted.
44 - Tulsa Drillers (17 with Rockies)
41 - Midland Rockhounds (only 9 still with A's)
38 - San Antonio Missions (13 with Padres or Mariners)
34 - Wichita Wranglers (9 with Royals)
31 - Arkansas Travelers (16 with Angels)
31 - Frisco Roughriders (15 with Rangers)
31 - El Paso Diablos (10 with Diamondbacks)
18 - Round Rock Express (4 with Astros)
12 - Corpus Christi Hooks (6 with Astros)
12 - Jackson Generals/Mets (2 with Astros)
10 - Shreveport Captains/Swamp Dragons (1 with Giants)
8 - Springfield Cardinals (all with Cardinals)
0 - NWA Naturals (insert Simpsons laugh here)
One thing that jumps out at me is how few players the Springfield Cardinals have sent to St. Louis since becoming an affiliate in 2005. I really thought there would have been more by now, and I expect that to change with the organization's new emphasis on developing home-grown talent and you can see it in that every Springfield player who has gone on to MLB is still in the Cardinals organization. But unfortunately for Springfield fans, many home-grown players who are in St. Louis now were already in Memphis by 2005.
It's interesting to see what players missed Springfield and went on to St. Louis not only for Springfield fans, but also for Travelers fans to see what current Cards we missed while they were playing in New Haven in '01-'02 and then Tennessee in '03-'04.
And here they are -- Chris Carpenter, Anthony Reyes, Tyler Johnson, Josh Kinney, Brad Thompson, Yadier Molina, Chris Duncan, Skip Schumaker, Rick Ankiel (as an outfielder), and in a rehab appearance, Jason Isringhausen. Personally, I think it would have been fun to follow some of these future Cardinals in Little Rock, but that's just me.