As Major League Baseball kicked back into gear on Thursday, there was probably a surprising likelihood that your favorite team has a Houston-area player either on their current roster or somewhere in their system to reach the majors soon.
Officially, 19 players from the greater-Houston area were on MLB rosters on Opening Day. That includes three with the St. Louis Cardinals alone, including everyday stars Matt Carpenter and Paul Goldschmidt. As noted by the Houston Chronicle, two starting pitchers — the Pirates’ Jameson Taillon and Orioles’ Andrew Cashner — both threw the first pitches off the mound for their respective teams in their openers.
While the 19 players on Opening Day rosters — that’s nearly a full roster full, mind you — is impressive in itself, the true scope of Houston’s depth in MLB likely won’t be felt until later in the season, when a number of minor league depth and veteran options earn call ups. A further 10 athletes are near shoo-ins to spend at least some time on MLB rosters before the end of the regular season, bringing the true Houston impact total to 29 players.
It’s possible that some other region or city has a deeper impact than Houston (maybe L.A.? Though Southern California talent is more diffuse than talent in the Houston area), but that would take some doing. For now, Houstonians have plenty to be excited about in the season ahead … and that’s before one considers the Astros.