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4 managers, 16 players among former Pac-12 baseball stars in 2022 MLB Playoffs

Oct 7, 2022

Thanks to an expanded postseason format this season, more teams than ever will compete in the MLB Playoffs, which means more former Pac-12 baseball stars will get a chance to shine under baseball's brightest lights.

Four of the 12 managers in the postseason as well as 16 players hail from the Conference of Champions.

Player Position School MLB Team
Casey Candaele Interim Bench Coach Arizona Toronto Blue Jays
Brandon Dixon Infield Arizona San Diego Padres
Terry Francona Manager Arizona Cleveland Guardians
Kevin Long Hitting Coach Arizona Philadelphia Phillies
Austin Barnes Catcher Arizona State Los Angeles Dodgers
Seth Martinez Pitcher Arizona State Houston Astros
Mark Canha Outfielder California New York Mets
Bob Melvin Manager California San Diego Padres
Tyler Anderson Pitcher Oregon Los Angeles Dodgers
Garrett Cleavinger Pitcher Oregon Tampa Bay Rays
David Peterson Pitcher Oregon New York Mets
Matthew Boyd Pitcher Oregon State Seattle Mariners
Steven Kwan Outfield Oregon State Cleveland Guardians
Drew Rasmussen Pitcher Oregon State Tampa Bay Rays
Tommy Edman Infield Stanford St. Louis Cardinals
Cal Quantrill Pitcher Stanford Cleveland Guardians
Gerrit Cole Pitcher UCLA New York Yankees
Dave Roberts Manager UCLA Los Angeles Dodgers
Aaron Boone Manager USC New York Yankees
Lars Nootbar Outfield USC St. Louis Cardinals
Mark Prior Pitching Coach USC Los Angeles Dodgers
Garrett Stubbs Catcher USC Philadelphia Phillies
Adam Cimber Pitcher Washington Toronto Blue Jays

Of the notable names is Stanford standout Tommy Edman, who has enjoyed a breakout season for the St. Louis Cardinals. Edman's 6.2 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is nearly double his best mark from previous years. The infielder has set career highs in home runs (13) and walks (46) but his defense and baserunning has been where Edman has truly announced himself to the league. He ranks third overall in Defensive WAR (2.8) and is second in the National League with 31 stolen bases.

Outfielder Lars Nootbar (USC) has been another breakout star for the Cardinals, cranking 14 homers and posting a .788 OPS in 108 games.

Austin Barnes (Arizona State) has been a steady presence behind the plate for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who enter the postseason as the World Series favorites after winning a franchise-record 111 regular-season games. Manager and former Bruin Dave Roberts’ club is headed back to the postseason for the 10th straight season.

Tyler Anderson (Oregon) has been one of the best starting pitchers for the Dodgers, going 15-5 with a 2.57 ERA in 178.2 innings.

Managed by USC alumnus Aaron Boone, the Yankees won 111 games to earn a first-round bye.

Since being taken No. 1 overall out of UCLA in 2011, Gerrit Cole has become a six-time all-star and perennial Cy Young candidate. Cole has been a workhouse for the New York Yankees in 2022, leading the league in starts (33) and innings pitched (200.2). But that stress on his arm didn’t diminish his effectiveness. The righty also led the league in strikeouts (257). 

The Yankees will face the Tampa Bay Rays or Cleveland Guardians in the ALDS.

The Guardians are managed by Arizona's Terry Francona, a two-time World Series Champion and Manager of the Year. Former Oregon State star Steven Kwan has been a spectacular leadoff hitter for Cleveland, hitting .298 with a .373 on-base percentage and 19 stolen bases. Stanford's Cal Quantrill has been a reliable starter, logging a 15-5 record and 3.38 ERA in 186.1 innings.

Three former Pac-12 stars helped the New York Mets to their first playoff appearance since 2016. As both a starter and reliever, David Peterson (Oregon) pitched his way to a solid 3.83 ERA and obliterated his personal high for strikeouts with 126.

Matt Canha (Cal) has showed why the Mets signed him to a $26.5 million contract before the season. Playing mostly left field, Canha hit .264 with 12 home runs while setting his personal high in base hits (121). He also kept up his knack for finding creative ways to get on base, leading the league in hit-by-pitches (28) for the second straight season. The Mets will face the San Diego Padres in New York in the Wild Card round.

The Padres are managed by former Cal standout Bob Melvin, who's in his first season in San Diego but has plenty of playoff experience going back to his time as the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland Athletics.

Former ASU standout Seth Martinez has been a reliable piece of the Houston Astros' bullpen, posting a 2.09 ERA in 38.2 innings. The Astros will face the Toronto Blue Jays or the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS.

The Mariners snapped the longest postseason drought in North American professional sports this year, giving fans in the Pacific Northwest a chance to catch postseason baseball for the first time since 2001. Matt Boyd, who played college ball just a few hours away at Oregon State, was a key September call-up, allowing just two runs over 9.1 innings pitched.

These Pac-12 stars and more will get to show if they have what it takes to compete in October when the MLB postseason gets underway on Friday, Oct. 7. The full bracket can be found on MLB.com.