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Previewing the 9 Chatham alumni in MLB playoffs

by Josh Schaefer, 09-29-2020

Previewing the 9 Chatham alumni in MLB playoffs

Nine former Chatham players will be featured in Major League Baseball’s first ever 16-team playoff format. The 2020 MLB season began with 22 former Chatham players on Opening Day rosters. An additional five players made their MLB debuts during the season. 

The newly formatted postseason starts Tuesday, Sept. 29 with the World Series set to begin on Oct. 20. 

Here is the complete list of Chatham alumni who made the 2020 MLB postseason. 

 

Chicago Cubs

Former National League MVP Kris Bryant (Chatham ‘11) had a rollercoaster campaign in 2020, but concluded the regular season with hits in three of his last four games, including home runs on consecutive days against the White Sox. He crushed his fifth career grand slam on Saturday and helped the Cubs clinch the NL Central. 

Chicago White Sox

Adam Engel (Chatham ‘12) concluded his fourth season in Major League Baseball with a .295 batting average in 36 games with Chicago. He proved his dependability last Friday when White Sox starting left fielder Eloy Jimenez was sidelined with a minor foot injury. Engel started in left field for the conclusion of the season and hit .300 with a home run and 2 RBIs while filling in for Jimenez.

Despite Zach Burdi’s (Chatham ‘14) absence from the White Sox postseason roster, the right-handed pitcher impressed in his MLB debut on August 8. Chicago’s 2016 1st round pick allowed one run and recorded four strikeouts through his first four outings. 

Cleveland Indians

Relief pitcher James Karinchak (Chatham ‘16) dazzled in his first full season with the Indians. He posted a 2.52 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 25 innings and earned a spot on MLB Pipeline’s All-Rookie Team. 

Houston Astros

Right-hander Andre Scrubb (Chatham ‘15) emerged as a reliable reliever for the Astros in his rookie season. He made his MLB debut on July 28 against the Dodgers, the team that originally drafted him in the 8th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of High Point University. He ended the regular season with a 1.90 ERA in 20 relief appearances. 

Miami Marlins

Brad Boxberger (Chatham ‘08) concluded his ninth MLB season as one of the most reliable relievers on the Marlins’ staff. His 3.00 ERA in 23 games was the second-lowest mark in Miami’s bullpen behind closer Brandon Kintzler. 

Lefty pitcher Daniel Castano (Chatham ‘15) also impressed for the Marlins in 2020. The Baylor product made his MLB debut on Aug. 8 and concluded the season with a 3.03 ERA in six starts. 

Minnesota Twins

Rich Hill (Chatham ‘00-’01), the longest tenured Chatham alum in the Majors, posted a 2-2 record with a 3.03 ERA in 38.2 innings in his first season in Minnesota. His three home runs surrendered in 2020 were the fewest amongst the Twins’ starting rotation. He’ll begin the postseason on the taxi squad. 

Oakland Athletics

Utility player Chad Pinder (Chatham ‘12) continued to prove his reliability as an infielder and outfielder for the A’s in 2020. The former 2nd round selection from Virginia Tech hit .232 with a pair of home runs and only made one defensive error all season. 

St. Louis Cardinals

Two-time MLB All-Star and former Cape League Pitcher of the Year Andrew Miller (Chatham ‘04-’05) posted his best season in three years. He recorded a 2.77 ERA in 16 relief outings for the Cardinals in 2020. 

 

Despite MLB introducing the sport’s first 16-team playoff, a handful of former Chatham players did not advance to the postseason. 

Royals outfielder Whit Merrifield (Chatham ‘09) led the league with 248 at-bats and played in all 60 games. He hit .282 with 9 home runs, 30 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. 

Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen (Chatham ‘14) was dominant in 2020, recording a sparkling 2.75 ERA in 72 innings. He set a new MLB record in August, becoming the first pitcher in history to allow fewer than 3 earned runs in his first 22 career starts. 

Giants infielder Evan Longoria (Chatham ‘05) hit his 300th career home run on Aug. 21. The former Long Beach State slugger led the Cape League in home runs in 2005. 

Mariners’ infielder Kyle Seager (Chatham ‘07-’08) quietly had another impressive season in Seattle. He played in all 60 games and hit .241 with 9 home runs. His 40 RBIs were top-10 in the American League.