2010 MLB Playoffs: The Most Important Player For Each 2010 Postseason Team

Sam BlumCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2010

2010 MLB Playoffs: The Most Important Player For Each 2010 Postseason Team

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 6: CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees reacts to giving up a walk to tie the game in the sixth inning during game one of the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins on October 6, 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Phot
    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    At the time of year when all the talk is of MVP hitters and Cy Young pitchers, many important players are often not even considered. Although MVP does include the term valuable, that award is usually given to the player who has produced the most offense, and the Cy Young to the pitcher with the lowest Earned Run Average.

    But there are so many more players—25 per team and 200 in the postseason total—all of them designated to a certain role. But the production of some players is more important to their team than others. So which players will be the most heavily relied on in this year's playoffs? 

Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays

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    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 06:  Outfielder Carl Crawford #13 of the Tampa Bay Rays steals second base as shortstop Elvis Andrus #1 of the Texas Rangers takes the throw during Game 1 of the ALDS at Tropicana Field on October 6, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Fl
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Although he is just one piece of a big puzzle in the Tampa Bay offense, his .307 batting average led the team. Through two games in this postseason he is batting .125. His getting on base is crucial because he is arguably one of the best base stealers in the game. He is the spark to the Ray offense which was no hit nearly three times this season. And with a total of just one run in two postseason games, this team from Tampa needs a spark. 

Jayson Werth, Philadelphia Phillies

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 06:  Jayson Werth #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies warms up before Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on October 6, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Jayson Werth is the difference between the Philadelphia offense being good and being elite. He has been with the Phillies core over the past two World Series seasons, and his experience is crucial. He is the transition between the middle guys in the order like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to the others like Carlos Ruiz and Wilson Valdez. This may be his last season with the Phillies, so he also has to make sure that his head is in the right place—the present—and not thinking about what lies after the season ends. 

Aubrey Huff, San Francisco Giants

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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 07:  Aubrey Huff #17 of the San Francisco Giants tosses his bat after he struck out with runners on second and third base to end the third inning of their game against the Atlanta Braves in game 1 of the NLDS at AT&T Park on Octobe
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Giants offense is by no means elite, and the main source of scoring has generally come from the Braves. The Braves pitching is one of the best in the majors so this will not be a high-scoring series.

    However, if Aubrey Huff can crack a homer or even a two-out double, then the Giants will be feeling fine being backed up by a Tim Lincecum or a Matt Cain. Huff leads the Giants in almost all of the main statistical categories for hitting. 

Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers

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    ST PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 07:  Outfielder Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers watches his team from the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game 2 of the ALDS at Tropicana Field on October 7, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    It really shouldn't be too hard to understand why this is the case. Josh Hamilton is the best hitter in the lineup and possibly in the majors, but he is crucial to his team specifically because the offense revolves around him.

    The Rangers struggled a bit in September without him, and they need his bat to get through the postseason. This is their run producer, their power hitter, their hitter for average. 

Billy Wagner, Atlanta Braves

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    ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Closing pitcher Billy Wagner #13 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after their 5-1 win against the Florida Marlins at Turner Field on September 29, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Braves rely on a solid seven-inning performance by their starting pitcher, a shutdown setup man, and then the closer. For a team that often needs to win close, low scoring games, having a player like Billy Wagner has been great.

    He has shut down lefty batters all season, and it is important that he has no trouble come this postseason when it comes to closing games. He might be needed on consecutive nights more than once. 

Bronson Arroyo, Cincinnati Reds

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    ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 3: Starter Bronson Arroyo #61 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on September 3, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    For the Reds the offense will come. Maybe not against Roy Halladay, but offense has not been a problem for the Reds this season. The Reds rely on a slew of a lot of young pitchers such as Homer Bailey, Travis Wood, and of course Ardolis Chapman. Edinson Volquez did terribly in his first start. Having a player like Bronson Arroyo with playoff experience is very important. His talent, coupled with his experience, make him a big piece of the Reds puzzle. Not to mention, he needs to win in order for the team to advance. 

Delmon Young, Minnesota Twins

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    MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 07:  Delmon Young #21 of the Minnesota Twins scores a run past Jorge Posada #20 of the New York Yankees during game two of the ALDS on October 7, 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    One thing that we have seen in the first two games of the Yankees-Twins series is that offense will be the deciding factor. The pitching has been good, but to beat the Yankees you need to win it with hitting. As good as Joe Mauer is, the man who has been driving in the runs is Delmon Young. With Joe Mauer, you know the offense will come, but it is up to the guys like Delmon Young to be the deciding factor.

CC Sabathia, New York Yankees

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    MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 06:  CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins during game one of the ALDS on October 6, 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    When the playoffs started, everyone was saying that the Yankees starting rotation was in shambles and that it was going to be up to CC Sabathia to win both of his games and hope the Yanks pick up at least one more. That's a lot of pressure to put on a pitcher's shoulders. He needs to be the automatic win. The Yankees do actually have a lot of problems with their rotation, and a player like CC needs to set the tone.