Former Top Prospects Carried Astros, Braves To 2021 MLB World Series

Not every prospect becomes a major leaguer, but every major leaguer was once a prospect.

In the cases of the Astros and Braves, they relied heavily on top prospects becoming impact big leaguers to carve their paths to the 2021 World Series.

A combined 49 of the 52 players on World Series rosters this year ranked in at least one Baseball America Prospect Handbook before graduating to the major leagues. They include a multitude of top draft picks, including No. 1 overall picks Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson, and big dollar international signees such as Yuli Gurriel and Jorge Soler

For both teams, homegrown cores set the foundation for their success. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, second baseman Ozzie Albies and third baseman Austin Riley were all homegrown, as was rigthander starter Ian Anderson. The Braves acquired Swanson and lefthander Max Fried in the low minors in trades and developed them through their system. Even Game 1 starter Charlie Morton was originally drafted by the Braves, although he last pitched for the team in 2008 before signing with Atlanta as a free agent prior to this season. 

For the Astros, the infield of first baseman Yuli Gurriel, second baseman Jose Altuve, shortstop Carlos Correa and third baseman Alex Bregman has never played anywhere else, with Gurriel and Altuve signing as international free agents and Correa and Bregman being drafted with Nos. 1 and 2 overall picks, respectively. That infield has played 50 postseason games together, more than any other infield in major league history. The Astros homegrown influence is not limited strictly to that infield, however. Outfielder Kyle Tucker is another homegrown star who was a top draft pick (No. 5 overall in 2016) and their projected Games 1, 2 and 3 starters were all signed out of Latin America. In all, the Astros had the most homegrown roster of any team in the postseason this year.

Here is a breakdown of all the players in the World Series who ranked in a BA Prospect Handbook, including the years they ranked and which teams they ranked for.



Player Position Team(s) Years Ranked
Ian Anderson RHP Braves  2017-2021
Jesse Chavez RHP Rangers/Pirates 2006-07
Max Fried LHP Padres/Braves 2013-18
Luke Jackson RHP Rangers/Braves 2011-17
Dylan Lee LHP Never Ranked N/A
Chris Martin RHP Never Ranked N/A
Tyler Matzek LHP Rockies 2010-14
A.J. Minter LHP Braves  2017-18
Charlie Morton RHP Braves  2004-05
Will Smith LHP Angels/Royals 2009-10, 2012
Drew Smyly LHP Tigers 2011-12
Kyle Wright RHP Braves  2018-20
Travis d’Arnaud C Phillies/Blue Jays/Mets 2008-14
William Contreras C Braves  2018-21
Ozzie Albies 2B Braves  2015-17
Freddie Freeman 1B Braves  2008-11
Austin Riley  3B Braves  2016-19
Dansby Swanson SS D-backs/Braves 2016-17
Ehire Adrianza  UTIL Giants 2009-14
Orlando Arcia UTIL Brewers 2012-16
Adam Duvall  OF Giants 2012-13, 2015
Terrance Gore OF Royals 2014
Guillermo Heredia OF Mariners 2017
Joc Pederson OF Dodgers 2011-15
Eddie Rosario OF Twins 2011-15
Jorge Soler OF Cubs 2013-15


Player Position Team(s) Years Ranked
Luis Garcia RHP Astros 2018, 2020- 2021
Yimi Garcia RHP Dodgers 2014-15
Kendall Graveman RHP Athletics 2015
Zack Greinke RHP Royals 2003-2004
Cristian Javier RHP Astros 2018, 2020
Phil Maton RHP Padres 2016-17
Jake Odorizzi RHP Brewers/Royals/Rays 2009-2014
Ryan Pressly RHP Never Ranked N/A
Brooks Raley LHP Cubs  2010-2011
Ryne Stanek RHP Rays 2014-15, 2017
Blake Taylor LHP Pirates/Astros 2014, 2021
Jose Urquidy RHP Astros 2017, 2020
Framber Valdez LHP Astros 2018-19
Martin Maldonado C Brewers 2012
Jason Castro C Astros 2009-10
Jose Altuve 2B Astros 2011
Alex Bregman 3B Astros 2016
Carlos Correa SS Astros 2013-15
Yuli Gurriel 1B Astros 2017
Aledmys Diaz INF/OF Cardinals 2015-16
Marwin Gonzalez INF/OF Astros 2012
Michael Brantley OF Brewers/Indians 2008-10
Chas McCormick OF Astros 2021
Jose Siri OF Reds/Mariners 2017-20
Kyle Tucker OF Astros  2016-19
Yordan Alvarez DH Astros 2017-19

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