The 2023 MLB Playoffs are underway, and Team USA alumni have already made their mark through the Wild Card round. Over 20 percent of the eight Wild Card rosters featured Team USA alums, and the 43 players representing USA Baseball had some standout performances through the first two days of the postseason. Catch up with all of the action below!
MARLINS VS. PHILLIES
Team USA alums were all over the diamond in Philadelphia, as 89% of the Phillies’ hits came from players who have previously donned the stars and stripes. Seven months after his hot bat carried Team USA at the World Baseball Classic, Trea Turner shined yet again in the clutch by going 4-for-7 with a pair of doubles and an RBI in the two-game sweep. His WBC teammates, J.T. Realmuto (3-for-8, HR, 2B) and Kyle Schwarber (2-for-8, 2B, R), were also key contributors in the series. Collegiate National Team alum Bryson Stott delivered the knockout blow in Game 2, blasting a grand slam in the sixth to put Philadelphia comfortably in front. 2009 18U teammates Nick Castellanos (2-for-8, 2 2B, RBI) and Bryce Harper (1-for-6, 2 BB, 2 R) also chipped in offensively, 2019 Pro Team alum Alec Bohm went 2-for-8 with a pair of doubles and an RBI, and 2013 WBC alum Craig Kimbrel tossed a scoreless ninth in Game 1 to earn the save.
On the other side, six U.S. alums saw action for the Marlins. 2016 CNT member Jake Burger collected a pair of hits while Xavier Edwards of the 2019 Pro Team notched a base hit in his only at-bat. The 2015 CNT was well-represented in Game 1, as Garrett Hampson had a pinch-hit assignment and A.J. Puk tossed a scoreless inning of relief. Three-time alum David Robertson and 2015 18U alum Braxton Garrett combined to toss five innings on the mound.
DIAMONDBACKS VS. BREWERS
Corbin Carroll was all over the stat sheet in the Diamondbacks’ two-game sweep, going 4-for-7 with a home run, three runs scored, two RBIs, and two walks. The 18U National Team alum’s home run came at a crucial juncture in Game 1, kickstarting Arizona’s comeback victory. Alek Thomas (2017 18U) hit a similar longball in Game 2 after Arizona fell behind early, hitting a solo shot in the fifth before a four-run sixth put the Diamondbacks in front. 2007 and 2009 Pro Team star Evan Longoria delivered a hit and made a huge defensive play in Game 1, starting a double play to escape a jam in the fifth. On the mound, Paul Sewald (2015 Pro) earned saves in both games with two shutout innings and three strikeouts.
For Milwaukee, 2017 WBC alum Christian Yelich led the way with four hits in eight at-bats, also drawing two walks. Yelich doubled in the ninth inning of Game 2 to try to lift the Brewers to a comeback, accounting for one of the team’s two doubles in the series. Three-time alum Brice Turang started both games at second base for the Brew Crew, while Jesse Winker (2011 18U) made a pair of pinch-hit appearances. 2011 CNT alum Hoby Milner pitched in both games and allowed no runs over 2.1 innings of work, while 2023 WBC relief pitcher Devin Williams also made an appearance on the mound in Game 1.
RANGERS VS. RAYS
Team USA alums Josh Jung (2018 CNT) and Corey Seager (2010 16U) played crucial roles in the Rangers’ sweep of Tampa Bay. Jung picked up three hits, with all of them coming in a 3-for-4 performance in Game 2, where he hit a pair of doubles and drove in a run. Seager went 4-for-8, collecting two hits in each game, including three doubles overall. The shortstop had two RBIs, scored twice, and drew two bases-on-balls, reaching in six of his 10 plate appearances. Robbie Grossman (2007 18U) was the three-hole hitter in both games for Texas and picked up a hit in nine at-bats.
2016 CNT player Taylor Walls started at shortstop in each of the two games for the Rays and posted a 2-for-6 stat line. Zach Eflin (2015 Pro) earned the Game 2 start and suffered the loss, yielding four runs in five frames.
TWINS VS. BLUE JAYS
Two-time Team USA alum Royce Lewis got the Twins started early in their two-game sweep over Toronto. The former 15U and 18U standout hit a pair of home runs in Game 1, sending blasts over the Target Field wall in each of his first two at-bats of the series. Lewis finished the two games going 2-for-6 with three RBIs, three runs scored, and two walks. 2012 CNT alum Kyle Farmer got a pinch-hit at-bat in Game 1, while Matt Wallner (2018 CNT) drew a walk in four plate appearances. On the hill, two-time CNT alum Sonny Gray was lights-out in Game 2, tossing five shutout innings with six strikeouts to earn the win. 2019 Pro Team pitcher Caleb Thielbar threw in both games and did not allow a run in 1.2 innings of work.
With their stints on the Collegiate National Team separated by three years, Matt Chapman and George Springer combined for three hits and a walk for the Blue Jays offensively. Cavan Biggio (2012 18U) chipped in a hit in eight at-bats, while 2019 Pro Team member Daulton Varsho started both games in left field. Two-time Team USA alum Kevin Gausman got the ball to start Game 1 and suffered the loss after allowing three runs in four innings pitched.
The 2023 MLB Playoffs continue with Division Series action, beginning on Saturday. Be sure to follow @USABaseball on all social media to keep up with Team USA alums in the postseason!