The MLB All-North Carolina Team
In this new series I am taking a look at different states around the country and putting together the best MLB-lineup of players from those states to ultimately determine which state could put up the BEST lineup. All the players I am using are ACTIVE players, so I am not considering anyone retired. I am also not selecting a bullpen, just the starting lineup. Let’s start this series by taking a look at our home state of North Carolina:
Madison Bumgarner (NC)
A pretty easy choice of who to go with as the starting pitcher. Bumgarner has been one of the game’s best for the better part of the last decade and has shown complete dominance throughout his postseason career. Definitely a strong point for the state of North Carolina.
Cody Stanley (Clinton, NC)
This position is really thin and would be the weakest point for the NC team. Stanley was drafted by the Cardinals and spent six seasons in the minors, where he put together a .269 batting average, 45 home runs, and 275 RBI. He was good enough to get called up to the big leagues in 2015 where he went 4 for 10 at the plate, but hasn’t had another major league at-bat since. He was actually out of the game for a few years until signing with the Sugar Land Skeeters this past winter.
Ryan Zimmerman (Washington, NC)
Certainly not a bad option to have at first base. Though Zimmerman is getting older and not producing like he once did, he still would be a solid option at first base. He’s had a very strong career for the Nationals and just two years ago hit .303 with 36 HR and 108 RBI.
Brandon Phillips (Raleigh, NC)
I always though Brandon Phillips was from Georgia, but he’s actually from Raleigh. This is another guy who’s had a very solid career, mostly spent with the Reds, with a career batting average of .275. At 38 years old now he’s barely hanging on to his career, playing for the Vallejo Admirals of the Pacific Association. He last saw MLB time last season. He doesn’t have much left in the tank anymore, but is still not a terrible option to have starting for the NC team considering all of his MLB experience and success.
Kyle Seager (Charlotte, NC)
The first of the two Seager brothers, this is definitely a solid guy to have starting for team North Carolina. He’s battled some injury issues this year, but at just 31 years old he’s got plenty to give. He’s put together very respectable numbers for the Mariners since his debut in 2011, amassing a total of 180 home runs and 618 RBI. He’s also very capable defensively as well.
Corey Seager (Charlotte, NC)
Kyle’s younger brother Corey presents a very strong point for this team. Though he’s had some injury issues (Tommy John last season), he’s just 25 and one of the best young shortstops in the game. He’s smooth in the field and can really hit it. One of the biggest prospects in the game just a couple years ago, attention has sort of shifted away from him since he missed almost all of last season due to Tommy John. But he’s still one of the better shortstops in the game with a bright career ahead of him.
Wil Myers (Thomasville, NC)
Wil has never really lived up to expectations after winning AL Rookie of the Year in 2013, even though he had a pretty strong 2017 season with 30 home runs and 74 RBI. He’s just 28, so everyone keeps waiting for him to turn a corner and be more consistent. Whether that happens or not is a good question, but he’s not a bad player at all to have starting for the NC team.
Cameron Maybin (Asheville, NC)
Maybin has been a voyeur across the MLB since his debut in 2007, playing for nine different teams. But he’s a great commodity to have on this team, as well as an actual MLB team. This year with the Yankees he’s hitting .314 across 118 at-bats, and filled in very nicely for an injured Yankee outfield. He’s also made some great plays in the outfield this year as well. A pretty strong point at center field if you ask me.
Dustin Ackley (Winston-Salem, NC)
Not the strongest position on this team, but Ackley won’t be a detriment either. He just never lived up to expectations after being the 2nd overall pick in 2009. He’s played six seasons in the majors so far, his last in a Yankees uniform in 2016. Since then he’s been in the minors and is actually a free agent this year. He’s not performed well enough to play in the majors the last several years, but when building a team solely with players from a particular state, he’s got plenty of talent to be a viable option.
Not a bad team at all because of all the MLB experience, even though some of the guys are getting up there in age. This team will go as far as Bumgarner will take them because he’s a guy that usually always gives his team a chance to win. If the lineup for Team NC can scratch out a few runs, which they are more than capable of, Bumgarner has the ability to do the rest.