Ranking the Best at Every Postion For the 2010 MLB Playoffs
Well, the 2010 Major League Baseball playoffs are finally upon us, and who on your team is the best out there? What about battles like Mark Teixeira, Ryan Howard, and Joey Votto; Jorge Posada and Joe Mauer; and Roy Halladay against CC Sabathia.
To say the least, this should be one heck of a postseason.
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1. Roy Hallday
Halladay will be pitching in his first ever postseason, and after getting 21 wins for the first place Phillies, he is definitely the best playoff starter for the NL, however, he has no playoff experience as I said before.
2. CC Sabathia
CC carried the Yanks through the playoffs last year getting the ALCS MVP honors and will probably win the Cy Young award for the American League. He leads the league in wins at 22 and give the Yankees a great chance to win in any game he's in.
3. David Price
Price is 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA and is very similar to Sabathia. He is probably C.C.'s toughest opponent for the Cy Young (except maybe Felix Hernandez) and has been dominant in his first full year of starting the majors.
4. Tim Lincecum
The two-time and riegning NL Cy Young winner hasn't been his usual ace-like self, but has gotten back on track in September and has 231 strikeouts, the most by any pitcher in the 2010 postseason. Lincecum also is part of one of the toughest rotations in baseball joined by Matt Cain and is an excellent choice for Game One by San Fran.
5. Tim Hudson
Hudson is having a fabulous bounce-back year and will probably finsish in the Top Five for Cy Young voting. He is 17-9 with a 2.83 ERA and will be a tough challenge for the Giants.
6. Cliff Lee
Since coming to Texas Lee has been "out-of-sorts", but still is a great pitcher. He has 189 strikeouts and a 3.18 ERA.
7. Francisco Liriano
Francisco is almost back to being one of the best pitchers in all of baseball like he was before the surgery, but hasn't quite gotten there. He has over 200 strikeouts and has won 14 games this year for the AL Central winning Twins.
8. Bronson Arroyo
Though he isn't their Game One pitcher, Arroyo is definitely the best of the Reds staff. He is 17-10 with only 121 strikeouts, but he still has the same stuff that he had when he won a World Championship with the Red Sox.
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1. Mariano Rivera
The Sandman still has it getting 33 saves, but had a rough September. However, he's definitely the best of the playoff closers getting the most saves ever in the postseason.
2. Brian Wilson
Wilson has been a nice surprise for the Giants, with a 1.81 ERA and 48 saves in 74.2 innings. Basically, the Braves will have to beat San Francisco in eight innings.
3. Rafael Soriano
The trade for Soriano this off-season has to have been the best. He has a 1.73 ERA and and has the second most saves in the league; he is a big key for the Rays successes.
4. Billy Wagner
Having announced that this will be his final year, it has been Wagner's best. He has a 1.43 ERA and has over 100 strikeouts.
5. Neftali Feliz
Feliz is a lock for the AL Rookie of the Year and it's obvious why, with 40 saves in 69.1 innings he is the best closer the Rangers have had in a while. In late game situations, Feliz's success is a need for Texas.
6. Matt Capps
Capps has been a great acquisition for the Twins and has solidified the closer spot left empty by Joe Nathan's injury. On the season he has gotten 42 saves making him a big-time pitcher for the Twins.
7. Francisco Cordero
Cordero is similar to Francisco Rodriguez in that he doesn't make anything easy. With (for a closer) high ERA at 3.84, he isn't exactly a Hall of Fame pitcher, but has proven his worthiness 72.2 innings for the Reds.
8. Brad Lidge
Lidege still hasn't gotten back to his greatness of 2008, but has been significantly better than last season. With only 27 saves, the Phillies closer doesn't scream premier, but he does have eight strikeouts more than innings pitched.
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1. Brian McCann
The Braves catcher still has it batting .261 with 21 home runs, the most by any backstop in baseball. Atlanta will need his bat if they want to get past the Phillies in the ALDS.
2. Buster Posey
San Fransico's rookie since being called up has been fantastic getting 18 home runs with 67 RBI and is batting .305. Posey is a key for the Giants to go far in the playoffs, and his bat is welcomed for a light-hitting Bay team.
3. Joe Mauer
Last years MVP is batting .327, but has played in only 137 games and is battling an injury. To beat the Yankees, Mauer is desperately needed.
4. Jorge Posada
Jorge would be higher up on this list if not for the fact that New York can survive without him, and also because Posada can't catch as much as the Yankees would like him too, and has battled injuries throughout the year. However, he does have 18 home runs as well as 57 RBI and is part of a Yankees lineup that has now letdown.
5. Carlos Ruiz
Ruiz isn't exactly Babe Ruth, because he mostly hits for average, and it shows with a .302 average, the third highest among regular postseason catchers. He isn't really that great, however the Phillies pitchers love him, and besides, the Phillies have other guys who carry the team offensively.
6. Ramon Hernadez
He has seven home runs and 48 RBI and is, like Ruiz, just a spot filler, but he's worse. Don't expect the Reds to go far with this guy.
7. Jon Jaso
Jaso has good power, and has shown that he is clutch. With Dioner Navarro down in the minors, expect Jon to to be the Rays catcher of the future.
8. Bengie Molina
Molina is known for his catching skills and arm, not his hitting, and it shows with his stats: he's hitting five home runs and only 36 RBI. The Rangers are going to need him though will facing the Rays, the fastest team in the majors.
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1. Joey Votto
The NL MVP favorite, with 33 home runs Votto has turned into a beast. He is yet another power hitting fist baseman like many others in the league, and has become a feared hitter by pitchers throughout the league. Watch out for his playoff production as he never has been to the Fall Classic.
2. Ryan Howard
Howard this year has been a little off his usual numbers, but he still is a beast. With over 30 home runs again, the Phillies slugger is a big piece for the Phillies to get back to the World Series for a third straight year.
3. Mark Teixeira
After a longer than usual beginning of the year start, Tex has come back big for New York. He had another 30 home run and 100 RBI season, and is part of a Yankees 3-4-5 hitters who all had 100 RBI.
4. Aubrery Huff
Huff's season came out of nowhere, hitting .290 with 26 home runs Aubrery is one of the many great signings the Giants made this year; he also adds veteran experience to a young team.
5. Carlos Pena
Pena has fewer everything in major categories since last year, and with only a .196 average, the Rays lost a feared hitter and has simplified the team for opposing pitchers so if worst comes to worst, they can intentionally walk Longoria and just pitch to Pena. However, he does have 28 home runs, the most on Tampa Bay.
6. Derek Lee
An August acquisition for Atlanta, Lee has kept the hits coming. However, he has a low average but the power is still there.
With a little power and normal average, Cuddyer just is a place holder for the twins. After the loss of Justin Morneau, Cuddyer has been "eh" since going to first.
8. Jorge Cantu
Brought to Texas for his supposed power, Cantu has been a major bust for the Texas Rangers. He only 11 home runs and 56 RBI, and at a power position, Cantu does the opposite and is a versatile infielder.
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1. Robinson Cano
Having a breakout year, Cano has leap frogged Utley for the best second baseman in baseball spot and has shown what the Yankees had hoped he would do when they first signed him. A lock for gold glove and Silver Slugger, Robinson is a main stake in the quest for 28 by the Yankees.
2. Brandon Phillips
With almost identical stats to Utley, I decided to chose Phillips because of the fact that the Phillies, unlike the Reds, have great hitters both before and after Utley, while Phillips has doesn't. Brandon has been a great player for the Red and has good power for a second baseman.
3. Chase Utley
Last year, Utley was great, however, after an injury and some struggles batting, his numbers are down. But, he still got 16 home runs and a .275 average.
4. Omar Infante
The Braves took a chance on Infante, and boy did it pay off. With a great .321 average and a little power, Omar was just what Atlanta was looking for when they assigned him the job.
5. Ian Kinsler
A usual all-star, Kinsler's power numbers are down but he is still a great player. A great fielder, Kinsler brings much to the table for Texas.
6. Freddy Sanchez
Sanchez is a guy most nobody talks about, however can hit and has a bit of speed. He really helps put the Giants in a good spot in late-game situations and any other time as well.
7. Reid Brignac
Brignac doesn't really have a lot of power and has a low average. He's just another guy on the Rays who doesn't hit well.
8. Orlando Hudson
The O-Dog is still a great player but he is getting up there in age. But, he brings playoff experience to the Twins which is a plus.
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1. Evan Longoria
Longoria in his his third of baseball, has worse numbers than his rookie year, but he still has great pwer and is a major productor for the Rays, if on a better offensive team, he might have more homers and RBI, but one thing is for sure, the Rays need him.
2. Alex Rodriguez
A-Rod would probably be on the top of this list in not for the fact that Longoria almost has as good numbers, and he does it with a struggling Rays offense. Anyway, Alex still got to the 30 HR, 100 RBI plateau, and has come back strong as (maybe not like his MVP seasons) ever. The Yankees need him to hit in the clutch like last year's playoffs.
3. Michael Young
Young, who has the most hits in franchise history, can still hit the ball a far way, and playing in Airlington Stadium doesn't hurt either. Watch for his veteran experience to help the Rangers navigate through the playoffs.
4. Scott Rolen
Rolen had the kind of year that makes the Blue Jays wish they would've held on to him for at least another year, and its obvious why. Now on a playoff team Scott seams to have turned on a switch hitting 20 long balls and driving in 85.
5. Pablo Sandoval
Kung Fu Panda isn't having the kind of year he had last year, but he still is producing. Although, the Giants didn't need another guy who can't hit, and, Sandoval seems like he's getting close to that.
6. Placid Polanco
In the start of the year Polanco was having a great season, but an injury stopped his season short. Now back, the Phillies as well as Placid hope that he can get back to that All-Star worthy beginning of the year.
7. Danny Valencia
Valencia, a rookie, is filling in a much needed spot that the Twins haven't filled in for a while; third base. With an average north of .300 and 40 RBI, Danny will be the Twins "hot corner" of the future.
8. Brooks Conrad
An unknown player, Conrad is having a horrible season. With only a .250 batting average and less than 10 home runs, he needs to step it up in the postseason if he wants to stay with Cincinnati.
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1. Juan Uribe
Uribe has the most home runs of all shortstops in baseball and is the best stat-wise in the 2010 playoffs. He is a great bat and if the Giants want to succeed, they need him to keep doing what he does.
2. Alex Gonzalez
With over 20 homers and 80 RBI, Gonzalez, like Uribe, is a great bat and a force in the Braves offense. For a pitching-heavy team, Atlanta desperately needs offense, and they have it at the SS spot.
3. Derek Jeter
A playoff king, Jeter has always done well in the postseason despite his regular season. However, the Yankees captain has never had a season like this year's. Most Yankees fans as well as me though, believe that Jeter can step it up a notch and continue to perform like he has in the Fall Classic, the only question now is, what will it take to get ring No. 6?
4. Jimmy Rollins
J-Roll needs to get on one, with only a .243 average and haven already battled through an injury, but one thing stays constant. When Rollins does well, the Phillies win.
5. Orlando Cabrera
Cabrera has had a good season and means a tremendous amount for the power-house Reds. He's done everything before; he's a well seasoned veteran and can do it all, especially on the defensive side of things.
6. J.J. Hardy
Brought to Minnesota for his defense, Hardy has shown that that's pretty much all he can do. Not even hitting 10 home runs doesn't cut it for most teams, but then again, the Twins aren't exactly the Yankees and have a 40-homer type guy in the minors waiting to be called up.
7. Elvis Andrus
The rookie Andrus is a good player and will have a great career. With fantastic speed and being a good contact hitter, Andrus has it all, well that is, except power. He hasn't hit a home runs yet in his major league career but all he needs to do is get on base to distract the pitcher, and the Rangers have hitters who do great things when the pitchers aren't paying attention to them (cough cough, Guerrero).
8. Jason Bartlett
Barlett can't hit a lick to save his life, but then who can on Tampa Bay? He does have a little speed and isn't that what the Rays do, run?
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1. Josh Hamilton
Hamilton is having an MVP type season and can hit for average, power, and can even bring the guy on third home. This was an obvious choice as Texas needs Hamilton if they even want to contend in the postseason.
2. Carl Crawford
Crawford is a speed demon and usually takes a base at least once every game. Carl also has good power and a .307 batting average on the year.
3. Delmon Young
Young finally has achieved what the Twins traded for him. With almost a .300/20/115 line, Delmon is a fantastic hitter and should help the Twin Cities chances of finally getting past the Yankees greatly.
4. Pat Burrell
Burrell is back to what he did in Philly and is producing much for San Francisco. He is a great hitter but his defense is sub-par at best.
5. Raul Ibanez
Ibanez is having a down year from last, but its very tough to do what Raul did in the beginning of last season's start. He is another key for the Phillies hope of going to a third straight WS.
6. Johnny Gomes
Johnny has been great for Cincinatti and is a good hitter. On the other hand, he doesn't hit for contact rather than power which explains hitting below the .270 line.
7. Brett Gardner
Gardner has great speed and that is some thing the Yankees just don't have much of. When needed, he can drop down a bunt in a late-game situation and is a regular in the best offense in baseball's lineup.
8. Melky Cabrera
There's a big question the Braves ask themselves about Melky Cabrera. "Where'd his hitting go?" And they wouldn't be the only one to. Many analysts scratch their heads when they think about Cabrera's season, but I know how to describe it; TERRIBLE.
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1. Drew Stubbs
Stubbs has been a solid for the Reds and has over 20 homers and 70 RBI which most CFs don't. The Red Machine needs Stubbs to get past the Phillies and much more.
2. Curtis Granderson
Granderson is a great combination of speed, defense, and power. Though he struggles early on in the season, Curtis has gotten everything back just at the right time, October.
3. Shane Victorino
The Flying Hawaiin is having a down year and has also gone through an injury. But, he does have 18 home runs and lots of postseason experience.
4. B.J. Upton
Know for slacking, Upton didn't help his case this year. Having a low everything he needs to step it up if the Rays don't want to get beat by a Rangers team who hadn't one a postseason game until this year.
5. Andres Torres
Torres has come up big for the Giants and the manager can't get enough of him. He said something like whenever there's a big spot, he wants Torres up to bat; hopefully he can prove his coach correct this year and push San Fran past the Braves.
6. Julio Borbon
Borbon had a bad season and needs to be better and hit consistently for the Rangers. But, He does have good speed which is always a plus.
7. Denard Span
Span has under achvieved this year whil hitting only three long balls and I question the Twins manager on even having him in the lineup, but there's one thing for sure, he can JUMP.
8. Nate McLouth
With only a .190 average, you would think that the Braves could have someone better to fill in the spot than McLouth, but alas, they don't. He doesn't hit well and if he wants to continue playing, he better get on a tear soon.
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1. Nick Swisher
For the second straight year, Swish has come withing one of getting 30 home runs. Think about that, he was only one homer shy of being tied with A-Rod; now that's saying something.
2. Nelson Cruz
Cruz is having a heck of a year and is a great right fielder. With a .318 average, Nelson is a great overall hitter and an asset for Texas.
3. Jayson Werth
In the last year of his contract, Werth is showing what he can do. He is a big bat in the Phillies lineup and seems like he always gets the big hit.
4. Jay Bruce
Bruce's season came out of nowhere and has shown good power. Watch out for him to succeed in Cinci's first trip to the postseason in a while.
5. Jason Kubel
Kubel always had good power, and brings depth and a veteran to a good Minnesota team. All he needs now to do is hit a bit more and you've got yourself a perennial All-Star.
6. Jose Guillien
Getting picked up by the Giants mid-season must've sparked something as he has 19 home runs 77 RBI on the year. He has good power but, like Kubel, needs to hit more.
7. Jayson Heyward
Now, I know most people will disagree with this, but just hear me out. Though he had a terrific season, he is just a rookie and has never tasted the joys of October baseball. Who knows, maybe he'll be like A-Rod before last year, great regular season hitter but just can't do it in the fall.
8. Matt Joyce
Jocye has a little pop, but that's about it. Called up from the minors, Joyce is just a place-holder for the AL East winning Rays, but beware, he has shown he can hit when it matters most.
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1. Vlad Guerrero
The Vlad man has been a great surprise for the Rangers, and in his late 30's still has the power. With over 100 RBI and 29 home runs, Guerrero is back to what he once was. Forced to play DH because of bad knees and speed; he isn't exactly flying around the bases but hey, you don't need to run when you hit homers.
2. Jim Thome
Thome has it again, hitting as many home runs as ever, and without him, the Twins wouldn't be where they are now. In the short porch in left filed at Yankee Stadium, he is likely to be a key for Minnesota if they finally want to beat New York.
3. Marcus Thames
Brought in for his power to hit righties, Thames has proved that he can also hit southpaws. A regular DH, or as about of regular you can be in Girardi's lineup, Thames has tremendous power and is yet another Yankee with great hitting ability.
4. Brad Hawpe
The Rays are a light-hitting team, and that may be because of their DH. Brought in for his so-called power, Hawpe has flunked like the past ball players Tampa has tried at the DH spot and with only nine homers, maybe he should go back to Corrs Field.