WEYMOUTH, Mass. (October 27, 2022) -- After earning American League Championship Series MVP honors last week, Houston Astros shortstop Jeremy Peña’s memorable MLB Postseason journey will continue as he becomes the first Futures League alum to play in the World Series.
Just a 24-year-old, Peña has made an impact at key times this October since becoming the first former Futures Leaguer to play playoff baseball at the highest level. The Providence, R.I., native and former University of Maine star played for the Torrington Titans in 2015. As the month continued, 2014 Worcester Bravehearts pitcher Aaron Civale made a start for the Cleveland Guardians during the American League Division Series.
Peña’s memorable month started in the Division Series against the Seattle Mariners, as it was his solo home run in the top of the 18th inning that gave the Astros the lead and the eventual 1-0 win in the deciding third game. That game is tied with three others for the longest in MLB Postseason history.
He remained an offensive catalyst over the course of a dominating ALCS performance against the New York Yankees, going 6-for-17 with two doubles, two home runs, four RBI and three runs scored. He hit a game-tying, three-run homer in last Sunday’s fourth and ultimate game, becoming just the fifth player in MLB history to homer in multiple potential series-clinching games during a single playoff run.
Peña led the Astros with a 1.177 OPS during the four-game series, helping Houston pull off the first ALCS sweep since 2014. Houston eventually clinched the series with a 6-5 win at Yankee Stadium and will play in the World Series for the fourth time in the last six years.
The Astros eliminated New York which took out Civale’s Guardians in a deciding fifth ALDS game on Oct. 18. Civale had finished the regular season with three consecutive victories and returned from the injured list to make his Postseason debut in the winner-take-all contest in the Bronx.
The star rookie has found a home as the No. 2 hitter in Houston’s lineup, holding down that position in 24 of the team’s last 31 regular-season games. The Astros were 42-7 this season when he hit second. Peña’s 22 homers ranked second among rookie position players in the American League.
Peña played in the Futures League prior to beginning his college career at Maine. He recorded five extra-base hits, nine RBI, 13 runs scored and four stolen bases in 28 games for Torrington. He went on to a standout career at Maine, earning America East All-Rookie and All-Conference honors before becoming Houston’s third-round draft choice in 2018.
The Futures League saw a record number of MLB players climb to the MLB level for the first time during the 2022 season. Peña became the seventh league alum to reach “The Show” when he debuted as Houston’s starting shortstop on Apr. 7. Five others joined him to make a total of 12 by the end of the season, including another former Titan infielder in Matthew Batten with the San Diego Padres.
Peña will look to make some more history and become the first Futures League product to hoist the World Series trophy. The Astros will face the Philadelphia Phillies in the Fall Classic, which will begin on Friday, Oct. 28 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. All World Series games will begin at 8:03 p.m. Eastern on Fox.
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