The biggest homerun hitters of the 2010 MLB playoffs will have a stiff challenge, facing some of the best pitchers in baseball. But that never stopped any bopper from trying to steal the show.
During the regular season, quality baseball, consistent pitching, and measured tactics are the key to victory. Come October, these methods go out the door. It's all about who can hit the most homeruns.
Outside of simply including the Yankees starting nine, here are the most prolific power hitters in the 2010 postseason.
This year, Brian McCann was the best power-hitting catcher in the league. Even with Jason Heyward in the lineup, McCann is the best hitter on the Braves. He has the ability to go yard in any situation, and despite his 22 homeruns, provides protection to the rest of the Braves lineup.
As any fantasy baseball fan will tell you, Chase Utley has been a godsend at second base. He hits for average, he hits for power, and he can steal a base. But this year, Utley spent a lot of time on the DL—lowering his counting stats considerably from his norms.
Had he been healthy, or shown that he’s fully recovered, he’d be much higher on this list.
Nelson Cruz started off the year on fire; he hit .323 with seven homeruns through April.
Although his homerun prowess cooled off during the rest of the year, Cruz is among the most powerful hitters in the league the last two years. If he gets on a roll, he’ll have a monster postseason.
Jim Thome went through a year of revival in the Twins new ballpark; in just under 300 at bats, Thome blasted 25 homeruns, inching closer to the 600 homerun club. Despite his age, Thome should be highly dangerous in the postseason.
Evan Longoria is the premier third baseman in the game today.
He is the most consistent hitter in the star-studded Rays lineup. Although he is outpaced by his teammate Carlos Pena in homeruns, Longoria is the better power hitter this year. With a slugging percentage 100 points higher than Pena, Longoria is the more well-rounded power hitter.
Just don’t steal his cap!
Alex Rodriguez is not the player he used to be: his bat speed has slowed, making him susceptible to fastballs and changing his approach to the plate.
His placement at No. 5 shows just how good he used to be. But even in an off year, Rodriguez managed to hit 30 homeruns. Now with the playoff monkey off his back, Rodriguez should be ready to contribute in a lineup stacked with stars.
Ryan Howard had a serious down year: after a string of 40 and 50 plus homerun years, he only hit 31. But anytime Howard steps to the plate, he has the potential to go deep. With nearly 250 homeruns over the last five years, Howard can take any pitch and put it in the seats.
Despite suffering through a broken toe for much of September, Mark Teixeira is among the best hitters in this postseason.
With speedy Brett Gardner in front of him and perennial threat Alex Rodriguez behind him, Teixeira will be given plenty of opportunities to display his prodigious power hitting abilities. With a short porch in right field, Teixeira will be particularly dangerous from the left side. Although he only hit .256 for the year, he still managed to club 33 homeruns, making him a serious threat.
Josh Hamilton is simply a monster: he hit .359 this year with 32 homeruns, deserving to win the MVP in the American League.
In a lineup filled with power hitters, Hamilton cannot be ignored by opposing pitching. He sported the highest slugging percentage in the league at .633, and if he weren’t coming off injury, would easily be first on this list.
Joey Votto had an MVP caliber season, largely on the strength of his homerun hitting.
He hit 37 homeruns and had a slugging percentage of .600. Given a strong lineup around him, Votto should see plenty of pitches to hit. He may have seemed like a surprise during the year, but no one outside of Albert Pujols was as feared by pitchers in the National League.
If the Reds' pitching rotation was a little more experienced, Votto might be able to carry the team by himself.