As the Baltimore Orioles begin their offseason after an ALDS loss to the Texas Rangers, the World Series is upon us. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers will do battle starting on Friday night to determine who will win the ultimate prize in baseball.
Maybe you prefer to root for the Rangers because of their star talent, knocking off the Houston Astros, or because Bruce Bochy is their manager. Maybe you're rooting for the D-Backs, a team who hadn't made the playoffs since 2017 and hadn't appeared in the World Series since 2001.
If you're someone who's stuck on who to root for, this could help you decide. There are some former Orioles playing in the fall classic. Who are they?
These former Orioles will play in the World Series this year
Christian Walker, 1B
Stalwart D-Backs first baseman Christian Walker is one former Oriole to keep an eye on. Walker was a fourth round draft choice in 2012 by the Orioles, breaking into the bigs with the Orioles with six games in 2014 and seven in 2015. He had four hits in 27 at bats with the Orioles, working four walks as well.
He was placed on waivers by the Orioles in February of 2017, where he was then claimed by the Atlanta Braves. He was placed on waivers by the Braves in March, where he was claimed by the Cincinnati Reds. He didn't last long there either, being claimed by the D-Backs a few weeks after joining the Reds.
Since joining the D-Backs, Walker has a .251/.330/.464 slash line, hitting 120 home runs with 358 RBIs and 132 doubles in 689 games. Walker will appear in every game for the D-Backs should he be healthy, as he's a mainstay in their lineup.
Miguel Castro, RP
One of the members of the D-Backs bullpen this October, Castro used to pitch for the Orioles as well. Castro pitched for the Orioles from 2017 through the first half of 2020 before he was traded to the New York Mets.
Castro had a 3.53 ERA in 2017, a 3.96 ERA in 2018, a 4.66 ERA in 2019, and a 4.02 ERA before the trade in 2020. With the D-Backs this year, Castro ended the regular season with a 4.31 ERA, 4.31 FIP, and 1.175 WHIP, throwing 64 2/3 innings in 75 relief appearances.
With D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo being an aggressive user of his bullpen so far this October, expect to see plenty of Castro in middle relief situations during the fall classic.
Jonah Heim, C
Heim, the Rangers starting catcher, was a former Orioles farmhand who never got into the bigs with the Orioles. Heim was a fourth round draft pick by the Orioles in 2013 out of High School. He was in the Orioles system from 2013 to 2016, never making it past High A.
Once he landed with the Tampa Bay Rays and then the Oakland Athletics, he began to get further up in the minors, making his debut in 2020 with the Athletics. Before 2021, he was traded to the Rangers as part of the Khris Davis-Elvis Andrus trade, where his career took off.
This season, Heim was an all-star starter, narrowly beating out Adley Rutschman in the voting. He had a .258/.317/.438 slash line, hitting 18 home runs with 28 doubles and 95 RBIs in 131 regular season games for the Rangers, following that up with some important home runs in the playoffs thus far.
Honorable mention: Jace Peterson, INF
I have Jace Peterson as an honorable mention because he wasn't included on the D-Backs NLCS roster and likely won't be on the World Series roster. He was included on the NLDS and Wild Card rosters but was taken off when the series went to the seven game format, necessitating another pitcher.
Peterson spent nearly two years with the Orioles, playing with the New York Yankees and Orioles in 2018 and spending all of 2019 with Baltimore. He had a dismal .195/.308/.325 slash line in 2018, hitting three homers, 13 doubles, and 28 RBIs in 93 games.
In 2019, Peterson was limited to 29 games, hitting two home runs, three doubles, and driving in 11 runs in those games. Since leaving Baltimore, Peterson has played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and the D-Backs, being traded to Arizona at this year's deadline.
These three players, four if Peterson makes it, will be the Orioles players to keep your eye on as the D-Backs and Rangers do battle for the World Series starting on Friday.