FULLERTON, Calif. – A school record 10 former Cal State Fullerton Titans will be participating in this year 's 2018 Major League Baseball postseason, as the playoff rosters and field were officially finalized on Tuesday. The 10 members and six players are also the most by any school this year.
The Titans have representatives on five of the 10 postseason teams with Justin Turner (2003-06) and Dylan Floro (2010-12) appearing on the Los Angeles Dodgers, Khris Davis (2007-09), Matt Chapman (2012-14) and Mark Kotsay (1994-96) on the Oakland Athletics, Phil Nevin (1990-92), P.J. Pilittere (2001-04), and Mike Harkey (1985-87) coaching on the New York Yankees, Kurt Suzuki (2002-04) on the Atlanta Braves and of course Chris Devenski (2011) on the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros.
The 10 postseason participants and six players are both the most Fullerton has boasted in a single MLB postseason in school history. The 10 MLB participants and six players are also the most by any school this year.
Davis and Chapman are two of the reasons the Athletics are back in the postseason for the first time since 2014.
Davis finished the regular season with a career and league high 48 dingers to run away with the home run crown. J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox was Davis' next closest competition, blasting 43 round trippers on the year. Davis has hit over 40 homers in each of his three seasons with Oakland, hitting 42 in 2016, 43 in 2017 and 48 this season.
His 133 homers since the beginning of 2016 is the most in the majors and his 123 RBI this year was second best in the league behind Martinez.
Davis is the first Oakland player to be crowned baseball's home run king since Mark McGwire rung up 52 in 1996. His numbers easily put him in contention for American League MVP consideration.
Davis played for the Titans from 2007-2009 and was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Chapman was equally impressive, holding down the hot corner all season long for Oakland. Chapman will undoubtedly win a Gold Glove this year thanks to his cannon of an arm. He made just 20 errors on the season.
The Lake Forest, California native hit a career-high .278 with 24 home runs to go along with 68 RBI, 42 doubles and 100 runs scored. Chapman's 42 doubles were seventh best in the AL and his 100 runs were 10th most.
Chapman played for the Titans from 2012-14 and was drafted by the A's in the first round of the 2014 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Turner kept his stellar play up for the Dodgers this year after suffering a wrist injury in Spring Training. The former Titan great batted .312 to go along with 14 dingers, 52 RBI, 62 runs scored and 31 doubles in 103 games this season.
Turner played for Cal State Fullerton from 2003 to 2006 while helping lead the Titans to the College World Series crown in 2004. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round of the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Floro certainly did his part to help the Dodgers lock down their sixth consecutive National League West Championship. He was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in a midseason trade and was absolutely phenomenal for his new team. He boasted a 3-1 record to go along with a 1.63 ERA, while fanning 31 batters in 27.2 innings out of the bullpen for Los Angeles.
The Merced, California native played for the Titans from 2010-12 and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Suzuki will be making his second MLB postseason appearance in his 12th year in the Big Leagues. The veteran catcher is an invaluable part of a Braves team that is currently one of the youngest in the league. In 105 games, Suzuki batted .271 and recorded 50 RBI for a second consecutive season. In addition, he racked 94 total hits with 24 of them going for extra bases.
The Wailuku, Hawaii native played for Fullerton from 2002-04, while helping lead the Titans to their fourth National Championship in 2004. He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the second round of the 2004 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Devenski is aiming to lead his Astros to another championship after being an important part of Houston's title run a year ago.
Devenski pitched in 50 games in 2018 and struck out 51 batters to go along with a 4.18 ERA. He played for the Titans in 2011 and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 25th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Harkey pitched at Cal State Fullerton from 1985-87 and compiled a 22-12 record to go along with a stellar 3.22 ERA and 281 strikeouts in 333.0 innings pitched. He is in his ninth season as the Yankees' bullpen pitching coach.
Nevin is arguably the most successful two-sport performer in Cal State Fullerton history. He won freshman All-American honors from The Sporting News as a placekicker in 1989 and developed into an outstanding punter as well for Coach Gene Murphy's Titan football team. In baseball, Nevin bridged the Larry Cochell (1990) and Augie Garrido (1991-92) eras and earned national recognition as Baseball America's National Player of the Year and the Golden Spikes Award winner. He was also named the 1992 College World Series Most Outstanding Player. Nevin is in his first year as the Yankees' third base coach.
Professionally, Nevin was the first player chosen in the 1992 draft by the Houston Astros and went on to enjoy a 12-year major league career that saw him hit 208 home runs and compile a .270 batting average. His best years (1999-2005) came in San Diego where in 2001 he posted career highs of 41 home runs, a .306 batting average and 126 runs batted in.
Pilittere also had himself a nice playing career for the Titans, as he played for Fullerton from 2001-2004. He hit .320, drove in 110 runs, scored 118 runs and recorded 35 doubles for his career. Pilittere was also a part of Fullerton's 2004 championship squad. He managed to have his best season that year, batting an impressive .351, while starting in all 69 games. He's in the midst of his first season as the Yankees' assistant hitting coach after spending six seasons coaching in their minor league system.
Last but certainly not least, Kotsay serves as Oakland's quality control coach. Kotsay is undoubtedly one of the best Titans to ever lace them up, as he helped lead Fullerton to the College World Series Championship in 1995 and was named the CWS MVP. He was also a member of the CWS-All Tournament Team in 1994. He's one of two Titans on the College World Series Legends Team to this day, along with Jason Windsor.
He played 17 years in the Majors with the Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.
The MLB postseason kicks off with the National League Wild Card game, Tuesday at 5 pm PT, featuring the Chicago Cubs and the Colorado Rockies.
The American League Wild Card game featuring the Athletics and Yankees will be Wednesday at 5 pm PT.
Both National League Division Series begin on Thursday, while the American League Division Series start on Friday.
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