Means was born on April 24, 1993 in Olathe, Kansas. He graduated from Gardner Edgerton High School in 2011. While a senior at Gardner Edgerton, the Atlanta Braves selected Means in the 46th round, but he didn’t sign. Means decided to attend Fort Scott Community College for one year before transferring to West Virginia University. After graduating from West Virginia, the Baltimore Orioles selected Means with the 331st pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. Now six years later, Means is the backbone of the Orioles starting rotation. Means was also selected for the 2019 All-Star game.
2. Bubba Starling
Like Means, Starling attended Gardner Edgerton High School. Starling and Means both graduated in 2011. The Kansas City Royals selected Starling that same year with the fifth overall pick. Some Royals fans still aren’t happy with that selection. Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor was on the board when the Royals selected Starling. I understand why the Royals made this pick. Yes, I would have loved to have seen Lindor selected by the Royals; but, if they would have passed on Starling, and he would have turned into an all-star, that would have haunted the Royals for years to come. Unlike Lindor, Starling had to overcome multiple setbacks to reach the majors. To start off, he couldn’t stay healthy. The second thing that hurt him was his ability to hit. Despite his plate struggles and his injury history, his defense and speed was what made him great. Now after multiple years in the minors, Starling has finally made it to the big leagues with the Royals.
3. Trevor Rosenthal
Unlike Means and Starling, Rosenthal did not attend Gardner Edgerton High School. However, he did attend Cowley Community College in Kansas. After graduating from Cowley Community College, the St. Louis Cardinals selected Rosenthal in the 21st round of the 2009 MLB Draft. As a Royals fan, it hurt to see Rosenthal get selected by the Cardinals. During his fifth big league season with the Cardinals, Rosenthal was selected to the 2015 MLB All-Star game. After his all-star season, his production started to decline. After his release from the Cardinals, Rosenthal has bounced around the league. In 2019 Rosenthal played for the Washington Nationals and the Detroit Tigers. In 2020, Rosenthal has enjoyed his time playing for his hometown team, the Kansas City Royals.
4. Jason Adam
Adam attended Blue Valley Northwest in 2010. After his senior year of high school, Adam decided to enter the MLB draft. The Royals drafted the Overland Park native in the 5th round that same year. Adam had the opportunity to attend the University of Missouri but decided to enter the MLB draft. In 2014, the Royals traded Adam to the Twins for outfielder Josh Willingham. After only two seasons in the Twins organization, Adams elected free agency where he signed a minor league deal with the Padres. The Padres released him shortly after signing. After his release from the Padres, the Royals signed Adam to a minor league deal. The Royals non-tendered Adams making him a free agent. The Royals re-signed Adams to a minor league deal shortly after. Two years later, the Royals traded Adams to the Blue Jay’s for cash considerations. Now in 2020, Adams is part of the Cubs organization after signing a minor league deal back in January.
5. Nick Heath
Heath is another homegrown player that plays in the majors. Heath attended Junction City High School in 2012, but he did not stay in Kansas for college. Heath attended Northwestern State University in Louisiana. He did have college offers from colleges in Kansas, such as Coffeyville Community College, Hutchinson Community College and Emporia State. According to Royals Farm Report: “When one of Emporia State’s coaches left to be a grad assistant at Northwestern State, the door opened for Heath to go play D1 baseball.” The Royals selected Heath in the 2016 MLB draft. Nick Heath made his major league debut for the Royals in 2020 after Bubba Starling went down with an injury.
6. Blake Treinen
That’s right, another pitcher from the Kansas City area, but Treinen doesn’t have any connections to the Royals. The Wichita native attended Osage City High School in Osage City Kansas in 2007. After graduating from high school, he attended Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. After a short time a Baker University, Treinen transferred to the University of Arkansas. After another short stay at a university, Treinen transferred to South Dakota State University. After graduating, Treinen was selected by the Florida Marlins (now the Miami Marlins). Unfortunately an injury prevented Treinen from signing with the Marlins. A year later, the Oakland Athletics selected Treinen in the seventh round of the 2011 MLB draft. After only one season with the Athletics organization, the Athletics traded Treinen to the Nationals in a three team trade with the Seattle Mariners. Four years later, Treinen found himself back with the Athletics. Now, Treinen is part of the Dodgers bullpen after signing a one-year deal in 2019. That’s what I call a journeyman player if you ask me.
7. Logan Morrison
The final player on our list is first baseman Logan Morrison. Morrison was born in Kansas City, Missouri. It’s hard to say exactly where he grew up as a child because his family moved around the country pretty regularly. His father did attend the University of Kansas in the 1970s where he played defensive end. Before graduating from Maple Woods Community College in Maple Woods, Missouri, Morrison was drafted by the Marlins in the 2005 MLB draft. After the 2012 season, the Marlins traded Morrison to the Seattle Mariners. Morrison has been traded multiple times in his career.
It is great to see so many hometown players playing in the big leagues.
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