The 2018 Major League Baseball postseason is finally upon us. Ten teams survived the 162-game season, four of which — the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Colorado Rockies, and Los Angeles Dodgers — needed an extra day to sort things out.
Those 10 teams have a combined 13 former DII baseball players on their rosters. The Boston Red Sox J.D. Martinez may be the highest profile name in the MLB playoffs. The former Nova Southeastern Shark put up numbers that may earn him the honors of becoming the first former DII player to win an MVP Award. Martinez hit .330 with 37 doubles, 43 home runs, an MLB-best 130 RBI, and an absurd 1.031 OPS in leading the Red Sox to an MLB-best 108 wins.
But don’t sell short the legend of El Oso Blanco. The Houston Astros Evan Gattis is one of the more familiar faces in the postseason, whose big bat (and bigger beard) has averaged 23.2 home runs per season over his six-year career.
Here are some interesting numbers behind the DII players heading to the MLB postseason.
1 — DII baseball players returning to the postseason that already played in and won a World Series. That honor goes to the Astros Evan Gattis. Barry’s Yan Gomes had a chance the year prior to Gattis, and Scott Alexander was on the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals, however, did not make the postseason roster. Aaron Brooks was also on that 2015 Royals team but was traded at midseason.
2 — Former DII players who appeared in the MLB All Star Game and MLB postseason this year. Martinez and the Indians Yan Gomes both represented DII at the Midsummer Classic.
2 — Players in the postseason who got their start at Young Harris. Although not a DII baseball program at the time, both Nick Markakis and Charlie Blackmon played Mountain Lion baseball. Young Harris is currently a member of the Peach Belt Conference.
4 — Sunshine State Conference schools represented in the postseason, the most of any conference. Nova Southeastern has two players, former Sharks’ teammates Martinez and Mike Fiers. Barry, Florida Southern, and Lynn all send one player to the postseason.
5 — DII players on the Oakland Athletics 40-man roster, the most of any team in the MLB postseason.
— NCAA Division II (@NCAADII) March 28, 2018
|Boston Red Sox||J.D. Martinez||Nova Southeastern||SSC|
|Chicago Cubs||Steve Cishek||Carson-Newman||SAC|
|Chicago Cubs||Brandon Kintzler||Dixie State||RMAC|
|Cleveland Indians||Yan Gomes||Barry||SSC|
|Colorado Rockies||DJ Johnson||Western Oregon||GNAC|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Scott Alexander||Sonoma State||CCAA|
|Houston Astros||Evan Gattis||UTPB||LSC|
|Oakland Athletics||Aaron Brooks||Cal State San Bernardino||CCAA|
|Oakland Athletics||Mike Fiers||Nova Southeastern||SSC|
|Oakland Athletics||Matt Joyce||Florida Southern||SSC|
|Oakland Athletics||Emilio Pagan||Belmont Abbey||Conference Carolinas|
|Oakland Athletics||Lou Trivino||Slippery Rock||PSAC|
|New York Yankees||Tommy Kahnle||Lynn||SSC|
(* All 40-man rosters per MLB.com. All conferences and schools are current as of the 2019 season. Dixie State moved from the PacWest to the RMAC for example.)