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Chris Alvarez highlights 20 seasons of Grizzlies top players (KFSN)

Champions aren't built overnight.

In baseball, players are built over years in the farm system. For the past 20 seasons, Fresno has been a stomping ground for the next wave of baseball stars - first with the Giants and now the Astros.

"My experience is 14 years of Triple-A. Doesn't matter which city I'm in, it's the same situation," Grizzlies manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "Guys are frustrated they didn't make the major league team. Whatever the situation you got, come every day and battle. You have to put yourself in a position to get an opportunity to get back to the big leagues."

The Grizzlies began in 1998 as a San Francisco Giants Triple-A affiliate and, over time, produced stars like Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Pablo Sandoval and Matt Cain to name a few.

Beginning with the 2015 season, a partnership with the Astros developed players like Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman to the bigs.

This year's roster features players that figure to be a big part of their future.

"You never know how far this game is going to take you and how many different places it's going to take you," Grizzlies infielder Tony Kemp said. "I think it's the love for the game, it's not for the money, it's not for the fame, it's just because it's something that you love to do."

"You know the passion I have for the game and just the will to compete," Grizzlies pitcher James Hoyt said. "I crave that, it's like an addiction. Just go out there and compete and win games."

It's what the Grizzlies plan to do on a consistent basis with an eye towards the postseason.

"As a whole, I'm more excited about this year than I was about 2015, actually," DeFrancesco said.

We all know how that season ended - with a national championship.

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