DENVER, CO - JUNE 24: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels watches the flight of a third inning solo homerun in a game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 24, 2023 in Denver, Colorado.

Philadelphia fans, like most fans, love it when a local kid comes up and does well with the team. Think of how much Phillies fans have coveted Mike Trout over the years. It’s not just because he is a great player, but because he grew up in the area, and is a Eagles fan. Someone being from the area, and a fan of the same teams we love, just makes it that much easier to root for them. The same goes for Kobe Bryant during his career.

As a city, we love our own. We even went crazy when Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. If you are from Philly, South Jersey, or Delaware, we will get behind you.

But what if we could only have local players? What if there was no such thing as a draft or free agency, and players just had to play for whoever the closest team to you was? How would our teams look? Would they actually turn out well, or would we be stuck wishing that we could mix in some guys from New York, California, and Texas?

I put together how our local teams would look if only the local players were allowed to play for them. Starting with the Phillies. And trust me, after seeing this roster, you will be happy that is not the case. Philadelphia is not exactly the place to be if you are a baseball player. The weather does not lend itself to playing baseball year-round.

But with that said, we have a few guys from the local area who went on to be solid to great players. Is their presence enough to carry the rest of the roster? Or would the Phillies be doomed to mediocrity despite their presence? The criteria to make the team is that your hometown has to be closer to Philadelphia than any other team’s city. So some of these guys may be from places that feel more like New York than Philly. But because they are closer on the map to Philly, they count for the Phillies.

Here is what the Phillies would look like if they only had local players:

  • Catcher- Cam Gallagher- - Lancaster, PA

    CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 09: Cam Gallagher #35 of the Cleveland Guardians throws out Freddy Fermin #34 of the Kansas City Royals after a dropped third stike during the fourth inning at Progressive Field on July 09, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio.

    (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)

    As you can see, we are not off to a good start. Gallagher, from Lancaster, PA, was the best local catcher I could find. Gallagher has been a backup in the league for a while now. Last year he played in Cleveland and caught 56 games. His on-base percentage was under .200. He is decent behind the plate though. Not exactly the most inspiring of starts to building a roster. But he is at least an MLB player. Our other option was bringing 43-year-old Eric Kratz out of retirement.

    If we were building an All-Time roster they could have had Mike Piazza, who is from Norristown, or Roy Campanella, who is from Germantown. But if we are building a roster of players who could still play today, the options are very slim.

  • 1B- Christian Walker- Norristown, PA

    PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 31: Christian Walker #53 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a double in the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers during Game Four of the World Series at Chase Field on October 31, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.

    (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    It is not all bleak for this version of the Phillies. Walker is one of the best 1st basemen in the league. Both at the plate, where he has 69 HRs over the past two seasons, and with the glove, where he won the past two Gold Gloves. Walker is a great bat to build your lineup around. Having him batting 4 or 3rd is a good start. And given some of the other guys they will have at the top of this lineup, they may actually score some runs. They just won’t get any help from the back half of their lineup.

  • 2B- Jake Alu- Hamilton, NJ

    WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10: Jake Alu #39 of the Washington Nationals catches a fly ball hit by Freddie Freeman #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the eighth inning at Nationals Park on September 10, 2023 in Washington, DC.

    (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

    A lot of people probably don’t know who Jake Alu is. But to be fair, last year was his first season, and he was on a Nationals team no one wanted to watch play. So why would people know his name yet?

    His rookie season didn’t go great, but he had very little help around him. Alu looked like a solid player while down in the minors. He could turn into one in the Majors. But if he is your best option to play 2B, you have an issue. I tried to find a 2nd baseman better, or any middle infielder better. But I could not find one. So the Phillies wind up banking on Alu to grow into something.

  • SS- Joey Wendle- Wilmington, DE

    MIAMI, FL - JULY 21: Joey Wendle #18 of the Miami Marlins throws to first base after fielding a ground ball during the third inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies at loanDepot Park on July 21, 2023 in Miami, Florida.

    (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

    Okay, Wendle is solid. Not a star by any means. But given what the Phillies are working with, they will take it. Last year he was bad, but he is a .260 career hitter and has decent speed. The Phillies could do a lot worse. That much is clear from some of the other spots in their team in this hypothetical. In an ideal world, Wendle is more of a backup. But the Phillies have to take what they can get.

  • 3B- Phil Gosselin- Bryn Mawr, PA

    DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 19: Phil Gosselin #9 of the Philadelphia Philies rounds the bases to score on a Bryce Harper RBI double in the 12th inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado.

    (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    The Phillies hero returns. Gosselin spent a couple of seasons here and was Joe Girardi’s favorite player in 2020. And there were some real bright spots, including a 2-HR game. It led to Joe Girardi overusing him, as he loved to do with bench players. But if you got sick just watching him play vs every lefty, get ready to see him as an everyday player. Sadly he was the best active player I could find from the area who can play 3rd base.

  • OF- Chas McCormick- Westchester, PA

    HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 28: Chas McCormick #20 of the Houston Astros catches a fly ball in the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game One of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 28, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

    (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    Finally, another good player. We saw the Westchester native rob the hopes and dreams of Phillies fans in the World Series. His catch was one of the best you will ever see in the World Series. Too bad it hurt his hometown team. Then he went on to have a very solid season in 2023. 22 HRs, 19 steals, and an OPS of .842. Not to mention a solid glove in the Outfield.

  • OF- Mike Trout- Vineland, NJ

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 29: Baseball player Mike Trout smiles during the third quarter in the NFC Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 29, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    We finally come to the best player we have from the area. Trout’s career has taken a bit of a left turn with all the injuries he has suffered. But even with that, he is still among the league’s best players. And at one point he was without a doubt the best player in the league. Were Trout a Phillies player, he would be in that Chase Utley category of not being able to do any wrong in the eyes of fans. He is a guy Phillies fans have coveted for years. And it would maybe be the only good thing that would come out of this hypothetical.  

  • OF- Travis Jankowski, Lancaster, PA

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 16: Travis Jankowski #9 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a three run double in the bottom of the first inning against the Miami Marlins during Game One of the doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park on July 16, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    And we are back to mediocrity. Like Gosselin, Jankowski was once a beloved role player for the Phillies. Well for a bit, until it became clear that he was not all that good and was eventually released. He had a couple of big moments here and continues to be a role player bouncing from team to team. And were he just a 4th or 5th OF, you could deal with him. But in this case, he is one of your starting Outfielders. Not great.

  • DH- Paul Goldschmidt- Wilmington, DE

    ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Paul Goldschmidt #46 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a two-run homer in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on September 06, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.

    (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

    Paul Goldschmidt did not grow up a Phillies fan. But he was born in Wilmington Delaware. So he is a local even if he doesn’t like our Baseball team. And he is easily one of the best baseball players we have a claim to. Even at 35, he is still putting up numbers. He has a very good chance to pass 400 HRS. And that goes with his 4 gold gloves, his MVP, 7 All-Star Appearances, and 5 Silver Sluggers. Were he still in his prime, he would be the first baseman. But at this point, Walker has the better glove. So Goldy becomes a very good DH.

  • SP- Zac Gallen- Somerdale, NJ

    PHOENIX, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 01: Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the second inning against the Texas Rangers during Game Five of the World Series at Chase Field on November 01, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.

    (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    Well at the very least you have a great Ace. Gallen was a Cy Young Semi-Finalist. He struggled a bit more in the playoffs, especially against the Phillies. But still, he is one of the top pitchers in the MLB right now. He had a 3.47 ERA last year and a 2.54 ERA in 2022. No one would complain about him being your Ace. Unfortunately, the rest of the pitching staff is not quite so great.

  • SP- Charlie Morton- Flemington, NJ

    MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 17: Charlie Morton #50 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at loanDepot park on September 17, 2023 in Miami, Florida.

    (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

    Charlie was on the border between being more of a New York local or Philly local. But his hometown of Flemington NJ was just a tiny bit closer to Philly than to NYC, so he becomes the Phillies second starter behind Gallen. The 40-year-old has been a solid starter in the MLB for a while. Even last year he finished with an ERA under 4. Not exactly the ideal 2nd starter. But given the talent Pool the Philadelphia area has, we will take it.

  • SP- Ross Stripling- Blue Bell, PA

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 23: Ross Stripling #48 of the San Francisco Giants during a 7-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

    (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    In 2022 Ross Stripling was great, finishing with a 3.01 ERA while pitching in the AL East. Since then, and in most years before that, he was nowhere near that good. He turned that into a deal with the Giants, and his ERA ballooned to 5.36. Stripling was great in his first 4 seasons with the Dodgers. In each of those 4 seasons, his ERA was under 4. But in 3 of the 4 seasons since, his ERA was over 4, including 2 where it was over 5. Not ideal.

  • SP-Rick Porcello- Moorestown, NJ

    WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 26: Rick Porcello #22 of the New York Mets pitches in the second inning against the Washington Nationals during game 2 of a double header at Nationals Park on September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.

    (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

    Porcello is out of the league. But in this hypothetical league where you can only use local players, he would probably still be around. Porcello put together a solid career. But in his ERA eclipsed 5.0 in each of his final seasons. The Phillies would be desperate though. There are not many great pitchers from our area to select from. So welcome back to the MLB Porcello.

  • SP- Jesse Biddle- Philadelphia, PA

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 21: Jesse Biddle #63 of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 21, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Braves 3-0.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    Now we are really scrapping the bottom of the barrel. It is one thing to bring Rick Porcello, who was at one point a solid starter, out of retirement. It is another thing to take a guy who was never very good to begin with out of retirement. But he was the 5th best starter from our area I could find, who could feasibly still pitch. So here we are. Gallen, Morton, Stripling, Porcello, and Biddle is your rotation. The top 3 would not be the worst top 3 of a rotation in the league.

  • Closer- Chad Kuhl- Newark, DE

    WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 17: Chad Kuhl #26 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Miami Marlins during the seventh inning at Nationals Park on June 17, 2023 in Washington, DC.

    (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

    Well, maybe their bullpen can make up for the starters? Not likely. The bullpen they would put together would make those Gabe Kapler bullpens from a few years ago look great. Chad Kuhl was the best guy I could find that Philly would have a claim to. Chad Kuhl. If you are wondering who that is, you are not alone. Kuhl had an ERA over 8, and a WHIP just below 2 this season. And he is the best guy I could find. The other options would all be guys from the Minor Leagues mostly.

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