The MLB All-Pennsylvania 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 take a look at the state of Pennsylvania now to see what the Keystone State is working with.
Taking a Look Back
Ross Stripling (Bluebell, PA)
Possibly the strongest point for this Pennsylvania team, Stripling is a guy you can throw out there and be pretty confident about your chances. He’s got a career 3.51 ERA through 3 ½ seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s had the opportunity to pitch in big games with LA and is in the prime of his career right now at 29 years old.
Tim Federowicz (Erie, PA)
This backup catcher out of UNC is in his 8th season in the majors, having played for 6 different teams. Federowicz isn’t a premier catcher by any means, but he certainly won’t hurt this teams either. He’s got a lot of experience in the pros, working with many different pitchers. Not the strongest offensive option with a career .203 batting average, but you can live with that with his defensive experience.
Brendan McKay (Darlington, PA)
This is an interesting option for several reasons. First, he is one of the game’s most intriguing prospects because he is a pitcher and a DH. Coming out of the University of Louisville, this guy has always excelled at pitching and hitting at every level. Second, he doesn’t play first base. But with this team, you have to have his bat in the lineup and you would feel better with Stripling on the mound. So given his athleticism, I’m sure he’s more than capable of handling first base duties.
Neil Walker (Pittsburgh, PA)
Even though he plays first base now, Walker spent many years at second base with his hometown Pirates, and with this lineup, second base is the best fit for him. While not spectacular, he’s a solid bat to have in the lineup, hitting .270 so far this season. This is another guy who’s had a lot of experience in the league, with this being his 12th year playing.
Cory Spangenberg (Clarks Summit, PA)
Not a strong position for Pennsylvania, Spangenberg was the best active third baseman I could find. He’s split time between the majors and minors from 2014-2018, before solely playing in the minors this season in the Brewers’ organization and being DFA’d in May. His best season was in 2015 with the Padres where he hit .271 in 303 at-bats.
Phil Gosselin (West Chester, PA)
Here’s another guy that a lot of people probably aren’t familiar with. Since being drafted out of the University of Virginia in 2010, Gosselin has spent time on 6 different major league teams, this year playing with the Phillies. A bench bat in Philadelphia, he has hit .245 in 49 at-bats this season. He’s a guy that’s good enough to still make a roster, but won’t ever be a starter in the league.
Matt Adams (Philipsburg, PA)
Probably the strongest bat in this lineup, Matt Adams would fit nicely in the 3 or 4 spot. He’s moved around with several teams, but has been a valuable piece to every team he’s played for since making a name for himself with the Cardinals. I hated when he left the Braves because he was killing it. He’s having another solid season this year with the Nationals. Though he plays first base, he will have to play LF in this lineup. He’s actually spent a little time in left field before with the Cardinals, even though I don’t think the experiment was all that successful.
Ian Happ (Pittsburgh, PA)
This is definitely a plus-guy for this lineup, but Happ has been a little less-than stellar for the Cubs over his very short career. He’s only 24, so he’s got plenty of time to live up to some of the expectations that fans had of him when he came into the league. But he’s definitely capable of big numbers. Happ would be the perfect leadoff guy for Team PA.
Travis Jankowski (Lancaster, PA)
Rounding out the lineup, from Amish Country, is Travis Jankowski. He’s spent his 7-year career in the Padres organization, where he’s split time between the majors and minors. His most successful season was last year where he hit .259 with 4 home runs and 17 RBI. He’s not terrible, but won’t be a big producer for this team.
Out of the three states I’ve looked at so far, this is easily the weakest team. The lineup won’t produce very many runs, and it says a lot when Matt Adams is your best hitter (and that’s not a knock on Adams). They do have a very intriguing young player in McKay, who has the potential to be a future all-star, and Ian Happ still has plenty of time to prove himself, perhaps with another team than the Cubs. Stripling is certainly a good enough pitcher to have represent your state, but the problem lies with this team’s inability to get him very many runs to work with.