HOUSTON – The Phillies’ three-game National League Championship Series streak ended with a pitcher taking the mound in the minor league system. The lineup they fielded for Friday’s World Series opener included three infielders they drafted.

For all the headlines the nine-figure hitters have earned this postseason, it’s no coincidence that the Phillies’ run to the World Series has relied just as much on a core of home-grown talent.

“When you have three significant contributors to a World Series team that were drafted and developed through your player development system,” general manager Sam Fuld said Thursday, “that’s a great place to start.”

It was also a natural place to start for an organization in need of, if not an overhaul, at least a major revitalization after the ill-fated Matt Klentak regime. It all starts with the simple ability that has eluded this administration to identify and develop MLB-caliber players with any regularity.

There’s no set formula, Fuld says, and many teams have struck a balance between development and cost in different ways. All that is known is that no team — especially not the Phillies — can buy Bryce Harper at every position. And every quality major leaguer the Phillies produce from within is one less than they have to acquire.

In particular, Fuld singled out not only those who started, but also the ballast of the list – such players as Matt Virling, Darrick Hall, Nick Mayton and Connor Brogdon. If you don’t have to find these participants on the open market, you can focus your investment on fewer key locations and get the most bang for your buck.

The key, according to Fuld, is flexibility in terms of resources and no holes to fill.

“We’re seeing what we’ve identified so far this year,” he said. “We haven’t been able to overcome a lot of homegrown players and get the most out of their abilities. We know we have to rely on a certain level of young, home-grown players to achieve success – certainly this level of success.”

Whether it’s quality or quantity, it’s a multi-step process. The first is to identify the right guys. The stumbles of Mickey Maniac, Adam Haseley, and others. speaks for itself, as does the general lack of international signings. On both fronts, the Phillies reinvested and rethought their scouting.

There’s also a development piece, from top to bottom, to prepare prospects for the big leagues. It doesn’t end once they debut in the majors. Players like Ranger Suarez, who went from lights-out reliever to quality starting pitcher, and Alec Bohm, who dropped from a Rookie of the Year finalist in 2020 to Triple-A in 2021 before rebounding to become a key starter in 2022, embody it.

“These two in particular are two wildly different people,” Fuld said. “It’s meeting these guys on an individual level and trying to get the most out of them based on who they are as people, what they’re like physically and what their journey has been to this point.”

Zach Eflin is another example. For all the years the Phillies have misfired with big-name relievers, the void created by their chronic inability to develop live arms has this year’s bullpen bolstered by homegrown pitchers like Eflin and Serantani Dominguez.

Eflin credits his roots in Philadelphia with helping him get through a tough summer, missing nearly three months with knee problems. His ability to lean on his teammates in the toughest of times helped him develop into a late-season contributor out of the bullpen. And those long-standing relationships, especially among position players in the Phillies’ “nursery,” are one of the many threads that have created the club’s distinct identity.

“Everybody wants the ball in a big situation, everybody wants to hit in a big situation, and it’s just a collective unit, nobody’s selfish,” he said. “Everybody wants to be a part of it, wants to be able to celebrate together and win on the biggest stage.”