Seven USA Baseball Alums Become World Series Champs

Team USA alums made up over a quarter of Atlanta Braves' World Series-winning roster

CARY, N.C. – With the Atlanta Braves 7-0 win in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night, seven USA Baseball alumni became World Series Champions, as announced by the organization on Wednesday.

Ian Anderson, Travis d’Arnaud, Freddie Freeman, AJ Minter, Drew Smyly, Dansby Swanson, and Kyle Wright were all crowned champions after the Atlanta Braves’ series-clinching victory over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Anderson tossed 5.0 hitless innings in Game 3 of the World Series, earning a win in his only appearance of the series. It was the second longest no-hit bid by a rookie in the World Series. The 2015 18U National Team alum made four starts throughout the postseason, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA. He earned a win in Game 3 of the National League Division Series (NLDS), pitching five scoreless innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. Anderson made a pair of starts in the National League Championship Series (NLCS), posting a 3.86 ERA against the defending-champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The right-hander, who is now 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA in his postseason career, won a gold medal with Team USA at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup in 2015.

d’Arnaud, a 2011 Professional Team alum, caught all 16 of the Braves postseason games. He hit two homers in the World Series, going yard in back-to-back games in Games 2 and 3. d’Arnaud hit .216 and drove in three runs throughout the postseason, and served as the catcher for a pitching staff that had a 3.06 ERA in the World Series. d’Arnaud caught four games for Team USA at the 2011 Baseball World Cup.

Freeman batted .318 in the World Series, hitting a pair of homers and driving in five runs. Playing first base in every inning of the postseason, the two-time alum accumulated a .304 batting average with five home runs in the postseason. Freeman had a .420 OBP in the playoffs while anchoring the Braves infield defense. He now owns a .290 career postseason average to go along with nine homers and 20 RBI. Freeman played for Team USA in back-to-back years, suiting up for the 2005 16U National Team before playing for the 2006 18U National Team.

Minter, a 2014 Collegiate National Team alum, dominated in the NLCS before appearing in three games in the World Series. Minter made four appearances in the NLCS against the Dodgers, allowing no runs and striking out eight batters in 6.0 innings. He allowed just one two hits in the series. Minter threw 4.2 innings in the World Series and struck out seven while allowing four runs. The southpaw earned the win in Game 1 of the World Series, throwing 2.2 innings in a 6-2 win. Minter won a gold medal with the Collegiate National Team at the XXVIII Haarlem Baseball Week in Haarlem, Netherlands.

Smyly went 1-0 in three games in the postseason. The two-time Team USA alum earned a win in his first appearance of the playoffs, throwing 3.1 innings in a 9-2 NLCS Game 4 win over the Dodgers. He pitched twice in the World Series, striking out six batters in four innings. The left-hander is now 2-0 in his playoff career, which has spanned three different seasons. After pitching at the 2011 Baseball World Cup, Smyly was part of the gold-medal winning team at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Swanson hit two homers in the World Series and played all 16 games of the postseason at shortstop. He hit a game-tying homer in Game 4 of the World Series and hit another home run in Game 6. The 2014 Collegiate National Team alum batted .224 with two home runs and four RBI in the playoffs, picking up at least one hit in 12 of the team’s 16 games. He now owns a .264 career postseason batting average with five homers. Swanson was a teammate of Minter’s in 2014, when they won gold at XXVIII Haarlem Baseball Week.

Wright, a 2016 Collegiate National Team alum, made two appearances in the World Series. The right-hander struck out the side in his World Series debut in Game 2, before throwing 4.2 innings and allowing one run on five hits in Game 4. Wright was added to the Braves postseason roster for the World Series after making his postseason debut in 2020. He had a 2.20 ERA in five appearances with the Collegiate National Team in 2016.

The American League-champion Astros had three USA Baseball alumni participate in the World Series. Five-time alum Alex Bregman, two-time alum Ryne Stanek, and 2015 15U National Team alum Kyle Tucker all represented Team USA in the Fall Classic.