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Prospects on Wild Card Series rosters

Plenty of top-30 prospects will be options for 16 playoff teams
Cristian Pache appeared in just two regular-season games for the Braves but cracked their Wild Card roster. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
September 30, 2020

The American League postseason began with four Wild Card Series on Tuesday. One day later, four National League Wild Card Series will join them for perhaps the most action-packed day of playoff baseball ever, featuring eight games. Here's a breakdown of the top-30 prospects featured on Wild Card Series rosters:

The American League postseason began with four Wild Card Series on Tuesday. One day later, four National League Wild Card Series will join them for perhaps the most action-packed day of playoff baseball ever, featuring eight games.

Here's a breakdown of the top-30 prospects featured on Wild Card Series rosters:

American League

Tampa Bay Rays

6. LHP Shane McClanahan
19. OF Randy Arozarena

McClanahan was a shock inclusion, considering the 23-year-old left-hander has yet to debut in the Majors. Tampa Bay has been impressed by his work at the alternate site, and with a plus fastball and impressive slider, the southpaw has the stuff to make an impact out of the bullpen despite never having pitched above the Double-A level. McClanahan would become the first Major League pitcher in the modern era to make his debut in the postseason if he gets in a game. Arozarena broke out with his power bat during the regular season, hitting seven homers and slugging .641 over 23 games. The outfielder, who also has above-average speed, has earned regular playing time in the Rays outfield, especially following an injury to Austin Meadows. Arozarena went 1-for-4 with a triple as Tampa Bay's No. 3 hitter in a Game 1 win over Toronto.

Oakland Athletics


The A's may not have a current top-30 prospect on their Wild Card Series roster, but the group does not lack impact rookies. Jesus Luzardo got the Game 1 start against the White Sox on Tuesday, just one day shy of his 23rd birthday, and Sean Murphy served as his backstop. Both players entered 2020 as Top-100 prospects and accrued enough playing time to graduate during the season.

Minnesota Twins

2. OF/1B Alex Kirilloff
6. C Ryan Jeffers

The Twins have always had big plans for No. 27 overall prospect Kirilloff, and following a calf injury to Josh Donaldson, those plans got pushed up in a major way. Minnesota added the outfielder/first baseman to the Wild Card series and will give him his Major League debut Wednesday in a must-win Game 2 as the club's starting right fielder. Kirilloff's bat should be up to the task with both his hit and power tools showing above-average potential in the Minors, where he topped out at Double-A Pensacola in 2019, and at the alternate training site in St. Paul. Jeffers has become the AL Central winner's starting backstop after posting a .791 OPS over 26 games during the regular season and showing strong framing skills behind the plate.

Cleveland Indians

3. RHP Triston McKenzie

The 23-year-old right-hander missed all of 2019 with a back strain, but Cleveland saw enough to give him a Major League rotation spot in late August. He was never sent back down after that, posting a 3.24 ERA and 0.90 WHIP with 42 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. McKenzie, who utilizes a rising fastball and two solid breaking options, will be used out of the bullpen to begin the playoffs but could be a starting option should Cleveland advance.

New York Yankees

3. RHP Deivi Garcia

Garcia was one of only two 21-year-olds to toss 30 innings in the Majors this season -- Sixto Sanchez was the other -- and while the numbers may not jump off the page (4.98 ERA, .254 average-against in 34 1/3 innings), the young right-hander remains an option out of the Yankees bullpen. Garcia could serve as a long man in relief should New York need to save arms, especially in later rounds.

Houston Astros

22. OF Chas McCormick

The third of three prospects who could make their Major League debuts in the playoffs, McCormick was another surprise inclusion on a Wild Card Series roster. The 25-year-old left-handed hitter posted a .269/.386/.432 line with 14 homers and 16 stolen bases between Double-A and Triple-A last season. He possesses above-average speed and has experience at all three outfield spots, making him a useful late-game option for manager Dusty Baker off the bench.

Chicago White Sox

3. 2B Nick Madrigal
4. LHP Garrett Crochet
5. RHP Dane Dunning

This list doesn't even include the graduated Luis Robert, and it still possesses plenty of top-notch talent. Madrigal -- and his elite contact-making skills -- locked down Chicago's starting second-base job. Crochet was the subject of plenty of headlines after his professional debut was also his Major League debut. The 2020 first-rounder consistently throws in the triple-digits and has already become a key weapon out of the White Sox bullpen. After missing the 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery, Dunning settled back in comfortably to the Chicago rotation and is in the conversation for a Game 3 start, if necessary. The right-hander posted a 3.97 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 35 strikeouts over seven starts (34 innings) following his Aug. 19 debut.

Toronto Blue Jays

1. RHP Nate Pearson
6. C Alejandro Kirk

Much was expected from the hard-throwing Pearson in his rookie season, but the No. 6 overall prospect faced early struggles and missed significant time with a flexor strain in his right elbow. He returned just before the conclusion of the regular season, however, and his plus-plus fastball should play up in the bullpen. Kirk made the jump from Class A Advanced to the Majors and didn't skip a beat following a late callup, going 9-for-24 (.375) with three extra-base hits over nine games. He also made a lot of hard contact, thus earning both a postseason roster spot and consistent playing time (especially against left-handed pitchers).

National League

Los Angeles Dodgers

2. C Keibert Ruiz

The 22-year-old switch-hitter only factored into two regular-season games but cracked the Wild Card roster as the Dodgers' third catcher behind Will Smith and Austin Barnes. Don't expect a lot of playing time for Ruiz in the playoffs, but if he does see the field,'s No. 68 overall prospect could provide an impact with his above-average hit tool and glove behind the plate.

Atlanta Braves

1. OF Cristian Pache
3. RHP Ian Anderson
7. C William Contreras

The Braves also only found two games to feature Pache during the regular season, but's No. 10 overall prospect has the skills to be useful in big postseason games. His plus-plus run tool makes him an ideal pinch-running option, and his Gold Glove-caliber defense will make him a good late-game replacement in the outfield. Anderson was a calming presence in the Atlanta rotation with a 1.95 ERA and 41 strikeouts over 32 1/3 innings since his promotion on Aug. 26. He is slated to start Game 2 against Cincinnati. Contreras will serve as the third catcher behind Travis d'Arnaud and Tyler Flowers.

Chicago Cubs

6. RHP Adbert Alzolay

Four of Alzolay's six appearances this season were starts, but the 25-year-old right-hander is expected to be used out of the bullpen for the NL Central winners. He thrives on two solid pitches -- a fastball that averages 95 mph and a slider that features well-above-average horizontal movement. They make him a solid bullpen option for the Cubs, rather than simply a long man or emergency starter.

San Diego Padres

3. RHP Luis Patiño
4. C Luis Campusano

Neither Luis ended the regular season with the Major League club but will get their chance to leave an impression in the postseason. Patiño had mixed results out of the bullpen (5.19 ERA, 21 strikeouts, 14 walks in 17 1/3 innings), but the 20-year-old right-hander still has the stuff to get Major League batters out, starting with a heater that averages 97 mph. Campusano got in one game following his jump from Class A Advanced to the Majors before suffering a wrist sprain. Austin Nola and Jason Castro are more likely to get time behind the plate, but Campusano has enough pop from the right side to get pinch-hitting opportunities.

St. Louis Cardinals

1. OF Dylan Carlson
14. RHP Kodi Whitley

Carlson struggled immensely out of the gate, leading to a demotion back to the alternate site on Sept. 8, before rebounding impressively in the final weeks. Following his return on Sept. 18, the switch-hitting outfielder went 10-for-36 (.278) with two homers and a .936 OPS over his final 12 games. He should be a constant feature in the outfield during the Cards' postseason run. Previously limited by COVID-19 and elbow issues, Whitley returns to the Cardinals bullpen where he made four regular-season appearances. His fastball and slider are both above-average options, though his changeup was his preferred off-speed pitch in the Majors this season.

Miami Marlins

1. RHP Sixto Sanchez
4. SS/2B Jazz Chisholm
7. LHP Braxton Garrett
8. 1B Lewin Diaz
9. LHP Trevor Rogers
10. OF Monte Harrison
11. RHP Nick Neidert

The most loaded prospect group of the bunch by far. Sanchez (3.46 ERA, 1.21 WHIP over seven starts) matched the hype that came with being's No. 19 overall prospect. The 22-year-old right-hander will get the ball in Game 2 against the Cubs. Chisholm, ranked No. 61 overall, has plenty of potential but struggled to make enough contact to warrant a starting spot in the Miami infield. He'll be joined on the Marlins bench by Diaz and Harrison -- the latter of whom should get plenty of opportunities as a pinch-runner/outfield defensive replacement. Garrett, Rogers and Neidert might be the future of the Miami rotation but will move to the bullpen for now.

Cincinnati Reds

6. SS Jose Garcia

The Reds have high hopes for the 22-year-old shortstop, giving him a Major League spot this season after he had previously topped out at Class A Advanced. That confidence didn't turn into production -- Garcia hit just .194/.206/.194 over 68 plate appearances -- but it still earns him a bench spot in the Wild Card Series. Garcia is considered a gifted defender, and that will be his best chance to make an impact this postseason.

Milwaukee Brewers

22. RHP Tyrone Taylor

Taylor will serve as a right-handed-hitting option off the bench with Christian Yelich, Ryan Braun and Avisaíl García taking up the three outfield spots, but keep an eye out for his run tool. Averaging 28.3 feet per second, Taylor ranked in the 82nd percentile for sprint speed during the 2020 season.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.