Like yesterday, I’m focusing on three lesser known players who may impact the playoffs so no Kershaws here. Also, in an attempt to remain objective, I’m leaving any Cardinals off this list. I’ll cover them in a Cardinal-centric post of Cardinals to watch for the playoffs later on this week.
Away we go…
1) Scott Van Slyke: Dodgers
While Van Slyke only got 200 AB’s due to the Dodgers’ crowded outfield, his production in those AB’s was spectacular. He hit .294 with 11 home runs, a .384 OBP and a .527 SLG.Van Slyke played all of the OF positions for the Dodgers’ this year, and given that they have a starting CF who’s hitting .249, don’t be surpised to see Van Slyke gte nore than a few AB’s in the post season.
2) Doug Fister: Nationals
Many questioned Detroit trading Fister to the Nationals’, saying that the Tigers got too little in return for what appeared to be a premier starter. Fister has lived up to that billing, going 15-6 with a 2.55 ERA and a WHIP of 1.123. He made an already solid Nationals’ staff much deeper. They possess the deepest rotation in the game, with 4 very good starters and a fifth starter who’s not half bad either. The depth allows them to play match-up games in playoff series, a strength not many teams have.
3) Josh Harrison, Pirates
Harrison has been the ultimate super-sub, playing five positions (LF, RF, 2B, SS, 3B) for the Pirates while batting .316 with 13 home runs, a solid .346 OBP and a .493 SLG, all in 503 AB’s. He adds a high degree of flexibility to Pittsburgh, whether he’s starting or coming off the bench as a pinch hitter, pinch runner (he stole 17 bases) or even as a defensive replacement. He gives his manager, Clint Hurdle, a ton of options. Look for him to be featured prominently in the post season.
Those are just a few players to keep an eye on. There’ll be plenty of others, stars that’ll come out of nowhere, but that’s playoff baseball for you, and that’s part of what makes it so exciting.
As always, thanks for reading.