Every year, heroes emerge and carry their teams in October. And this year, the same thing will happen.
Last year, David Freese came out of nowhere, and Edgar Renteria was key in 2010. Hideki Matsui powered the Yankees in 2009, and Pedro Feliz knocked in the game-winning run in the 2008 World Series. If it’s happened the last four years, why can’t it happen this year?
Here are three players who could make a huge impact in the playoffs.
Raul Ibanez, New York Yankees
It’s fair to say Ibanez already has made a huge impact, during the regular season and postseason. But with all he’s done, it’s hard for me not to envision more.
Ibanez homered off of dominant closer Jim Johnson to tie Game 3 of the ALDS, and he hit an upper-deck bomb on a curveball upstairs to win the game for the Yankees. It was one of many clutch, game-winning hits, as he has come up big in the ninth and the later innings often this year.
His shots propelled the Yankees to a 2-1 series lead against the hungry Orioles, and his clutch hits in the regular season allowed the Yankees to escape with the AL East title. Ibanez didn’t have great stats, so it’s tough to start him. But his clutch hitting will allow him to make an impact in the playoffs.
New York is currently in a heated battle with the Orioles in the ALDS, and if they win, you can expect Ibanez to step up to the plate with a lot on the line (again). He has lots of MLB and postseason experience, and he’s playing like he has a lot.
Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants
Brandon Crawford doesn’t have experience, and he hasn’t done a ton for the Giants. However, he has the ability to change the game easily on defense or offense, and he is a Gold Glove candidate.
Crawford has made great plays tons of times this year, and he changed Game 5 of the NLDS with a diving catch, an RBI triple and a run in San Francisco’s 6-4 win over Cincinnati. He isn’t swinging a hot bat, and he doesn’t have much power. However, Crawford continues to impact the game in many ways, patrolling the infield and hitting eighth.
He has been platooning with Joaquin Arias for most