Eight under-the-radar players who could dominate MLB playoffs
College Contributor Network
If you count the MLB postseason play-in game, 10 of the 30 MLB teams will make the 2014 playoffs. That's 400 players total and while some of them are A-list superstars, many others have yet to dominate the headlines. So, in no particular order, here are some of my choices for unheralded players that could make a splash in the playoffs.
8. Cory Kluber – P, Cleveland Indians, AL Central
Debatably the second-best pitcher in the AL (nods to Chris Sale) and behind Felix Hernandez (of course), is Cory Kluber. He has a 2.58 ERA, in 195.1 innings pitched. The man also has a 1.13 WHIP thrown in for good measure. What more could you want from your team's ace? Let's just hope the Indians can beat out the Royals and Tigers for a playoff spot so we can see him in October.
7. Anthony Rendon – 3B, Washington Nationals, NL East
Well, Rendon certainly has got the numbers to back up the call-out. He's hitting .282/.341/.471 with 18 home runs. He also has the little things to add to that slash line. He's 12 of 13 on stolen bases, is perhaps the best base runner on the team, plays phenomenal defense at third and is a smart hitter –- grounding into just nine double plays this season. If you have a top-five MVP player on your team, then you're probably going to do fairly well in the postseason.
6. Zach Britton – RP, Baltimore Orioles, AL East
The Orioles employed Britton as their starting closer this season, moving Jim Johnson to the Oakland Athletics before the start of the campaign. To be sure, they've been very pleased with the results. His stat line includes a 1.87 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP, 32 saves and 57 strikeouts that show me that he's ready for tight playoff situations.
5. Ian Kinsler – 2B, Detroit Tigers, AL Central
I was a little iffy on this pick because of how average Kinsler has been down the stretch, but the guy put on a complete show in the first half of the season and he's also been starting to pick it up in his last three games -- going 5-for-15 with a homer and 6 RBI. This also could be potentially the best season in his career – as he might set his career high in hits.
4. Danny Duffy – P, Kansas City Royals, AL Central
Duffy has played a big role in the Royals' magical season. He's got a 2.47 ERA, that's good enough for fifth best in the MLB and tops the aforementioned Cory Kluber in that category. He's reliable, clutch, and has a likable competitive fire.
3. Jonathan Lucroy – C, Milwaukee Brewers, NL Central
Usually catchers are one of the most underrated positions on the diamond, but Lucroy is certainly starting to make a name for himself as one of the best in that department. While he may not win the NL MVP (Kershaw...obviously), he certainly has a strong case. He's got a 5.6 WAR (for reference, Giancarlo Stanton has a 5.7) and he handles a great pitching staff, which is always key for a playoff run.
2. Kyle Seager – 3B, Seattle Mariners, AL West
The influence of hitting mentor Robinson Cano has clearly shown, as Seager has consistently raked the entire year. His 21 homers and 84 homers highlight his productivity for a surging Seattle crew.
1. Oscar Taveras – OF, St. Louis Cardinals, NL Central
Taveras has been sent up and down the Cardinal's system, so he doesn't have a truly big enough sample size. But what I love about him is his potential that reminds me of Cuban outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig. Though he may possess a little less power, he's simply a five-tool player -- which is always a great piece for a playoff run.
Andrew Morris is a sophomore at Syracuse University. His friends refer to him in the third person and he has an everlasting love for Major League Baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A's, Golden State Warriors, and Indianapolis Colts. Follow him on Twitter: @Andrewmo123