MLB Playoff Predictions 2012: Young Studs Primed for Breakout Postseason

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 02: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals walks to the dugout after grounding out in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on October 2, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Now the nail-biting pennant races have reached their conclusion, the Major League Baseball playoffs are finally here.

Some teams and players have been here before, while others are getting their first taste of October action.

We've seen young breakout players decide postseason battles before. Andruw Jones and Miguel Cabrera, anyone?

Let's take a look at three players who will turn some heads as they cut their postseason teeth.


Josh Reddick, OF, Oakland Athletics

Reddick was part of the deal that sent Andrew Bailey to the Boston Red Sox, and it couldn't have turned out better for the Athletics.

The Oakland outfielder only hit .243, but his 32 home runs and 84 RBI paced the Oakland offense.

On a team of mostly no names, Reddick stood out. His power supply gives Oakland the boost they need to compete, and his rise adds to its unlikely persona.

The A's will play Detroit in their first series. Look for Reddick to rise to the occasion, just like he's done all season long.


Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals

Harper's season as a 19-year-old outfielder has been as documented as any, and he won't disappoint in October.

Everything about this kid screams primetime performer. A performance a la Andruw Jones of 1996 wouldn't shock me in the least, and it shouldn't surprise you either.

Harper finished the regular season with a .270 batting average, 22 home runs and 59 RBI. He was off and on, but the production was there.

His brash personality is taken for arrogance many times, as it should be, but it's that attitude that will allow him to play lights out in the postseason.

Expect him to play a major role on the National League's No. 1 seed.


Kris Medlen, SP, Atlanta Braves

Medlen's pitching success has been ridiculous this season, but he's still not receiving the chatter he deserves.

He's 8-0 in the final two months of the season with a 0.88 ERA. Yes, you're reading that correctly.

Now, he will have a chance to prove that value against the Cardinals in Friday's National League wild card play-in game.

Medlen features a dominant array of pitches, and he's not afraid of the big moment. Watch him prove that against Kyle Lohse in Friday's contest.

At 26 years old, he's just arriving.