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Michigan ranked No. 10 in U.S. for producing top MLB talent

The Detroit News

Michigan doesn’t have a reputation as a hotbed for baseball talent.

But in a WAR-based ranking compiled by (with an assist from Baseball Reference), Michigan, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, finished No. 10 in the country.

Charlie Gehringer

There have been 434 MLB players born in Michigan and they have compiled a 2,074.0 Wins Above Replacement.

“Michigan directly benefited from birthing Hall of Famers Charlie Gehringer and Hal Newhouser, given what they accomplished for the Tigers,” says’s Anthony Castrovince. “Not so much with Detroit native John Smoltz, who was dealt to the Braves.”

Gehringer, who was born in Fowlerville, had a WAR of 83.3; Newhouser (Detroit) was at 62.7; and Smoltz was at 69.0 – and all three are Hall of Famers.

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Here are the top three in the rankings:

►1. California: 2,311 players, 11,519.2 WAR (Barry Bonds, Ted Williams).

►2. New York: 1,216 players, 5,893.7 WAR (Alex Rodriguez, Carl Yastrzemski).

►3. Pennsylvania: 1,434 players, 5,853.3 WAR (Ken Griffey Jr., Reggie Jackson).