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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.

ATLANTA BRAVES

PlayerPositionTeam(s)Years Ranked
Ian AndersonRHPBraves2017-2021
Jesse ChavezRHPRangers/Pirates2006-07
Max FriedLHPPadres/Braves2013-18
Luke JacksonRHPRangers/Braves2011-17
Dylan LeeLHPNever RankedN/A
Chris MartinRHPNever RankedN/A
Tyler MatzekLHPRockies2010-14
A.J. MinterLHPBraves2017-18
Charlie MortonRHPBraves2004-05
Will SmithLHPAngels/Royals2009-10, 2012
Drew SmylyLHPTigers2011-12
Kyle WrightRHPBraves2018-20
Travis d'ArnaudCPhillies/Blue Jays/Mets2008-14
William ContrerasCBraves2018-21
Ozzie Albies2BBraves2015-17
Freddie Freeman1BBraves2008-11
Austin Riley3BBraves2016-19
Dansby SwansonSSD-backs/Braves2016-17
Ehire AdrianzaUTILGiants2009-14
Orlando ArciaUTILBrewers2012-16
Adam DuvallOFGiants2012-13, 2015
Terrance GoreOFRoyals2014
Guillermo HerediaOFMariners2017
Joc PedersonOFDodgers2011-15
Eddie RosarioOFTwins2011-15
Jorge SolerOFCubs2013-15
Carlos_Correa_AlexTrautwigGetty.jpg

Baseball America 'Insider' Mailbag Volume 2: Valuing Pitchers, Golden Age Of Shortstops & More

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HOUSTON ASTROS

PlayerPositionTeam(s)Years Ranked
Luis GarciaRHPAstros2018, 2020- 2021
Yimi GarciaRHPDodgers2014-15
Kendall GravemanRHPAthletics2015
Zack GreinkeRHPRoyals2003-2004
Cristian JavierRHPAstros2018, 2020
Phil MatonRHPPadres2016-17
Jake OdorizziRHPBrewers/Royals/Rays2009-2014
Ryan PresslyRHPNever RankedN/A
Brooks RaleyLHPCubs2010-2011
Ryne StanekRHPRays2014-15, 2017
Blake TaylorLHPPirates/Astros2014, 2021
Jose UrquidyRHPAstros2017, 2020
Framber ValdezLHPAstros2018-19
Martin MaldonadoCBrewers2012
Jason CastroCAstros2009-10
Jose Altuve2BAstros2011
Alex Bregman3BAstros2016
Carlos CorreaSSAstros2013-15
Yuli Gurriel1BAstros2017
Aledmys DiazINF/OFCardinals2015-16
Marwin GonzalezINF/OFAstros2012
Michael BrantleyOFBrewers/Indians2008-10
Chas McCormickOFAstros2021
Jose SiriOFReds/Mariners2017-20
Kyle TuckerOFAstros2016-19
Yordan AlvarezDHAstros2017-19
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