World Series 2011: CJ Wilson and 5 Players with Most to Prove
The Fall Classic is upon us, which means another chance for players to shine and prove themselves.
This year, we don't have the usual suspects of who has the most to prove. Instead, we have some new faces trying to make a name for themselves in the World Series.
Some of these guys are free agents to be, while others are veterans looking for that ring.
The front-runner of this group is CJ Wilson, who is most likely to be the pitching prize of the offseason. If he wants that paycheck, he has to show what he can do in the World Series.
It's not easy being a team's No. 1 while also being one of the top prizes of the offseason.
While he only gave up three runs in Game 1, he looked nothing like the 2.94 ERA pitcher he was in the regular season.
He didn't have much control, walking six while striking out only four. Wilson went 5.2 innings and took the loss—not exactly what you want from your ace.
With the Rangers winning Game 2, Wilson should get another chance to prove himself. He's the team ace but hasn't acted like it so far this postseason.
He's going to have to in order to show everyone why he's the free agent everyone should want.
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Everyone thought Berkman was pretty much done after last season. He was reaching the tail end of his career and just didn't look like the Big Puma of old.
Then this year happened, showing that he can still play, for now.
It would be great if Berkman's comeback year was capped off with a championship.
He's been in the majors since 1999 but has made only one other trip to the World Series, with the Astros in 2005. The Astros were swept by the Chicago White Sox, and Berkman never got that ring.
If he wants to make a bid for the Hall of Fame, Berkman has to win that ring. Also, if he wants to show people he can still play at a high level for a couple more years, he has to prove himself in the World Series.
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Now here's a guy who's had to prove himself ever since his 48-home run season in 2004.
Adrian Beltre then signed a contract that he didn't play up to and became the poster child of inflated stats in contract years.
Granted, he's still a good defensive third basemen, but the question is, will he ever recapture that power from 2004?
He showed flashes of it against the Tampa Bay Rays when he blasted three home runs against them in one game, but he hasn't hit another one since.
His performance in this World Series will be the first step in getting the critics and doubters off his back.
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Here's another guy looking for a ring and looking to silence his critics.
Matt Holliday hasn't replicated his stats from Coors Field, making people wonder if his numbers were mainly a product of the place.
This thought was echoed loudly when he struggled in Oakland, but now he's found a home in St. Louis.
He's still not that 30-plus-home run and 100-plus-RBI guy he was in Colorado, but he's doing his part to help the Cardinals win.
If he can be an important factor in the Cardinals winning the World Series, people will stop saying that Coors Field hit his home runs for him.
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Josh Hamilton has had to prove himself his entire career, so this World Series wouldn't be anything different for him.
He had to prove that he can come back to baseball, then he had to prove why he was drafted first overall in 1999.
He's struggled to stay healthy, making some question his longevity in the league. Not to mention, he hasn't exactly been the MVP he's capable of being in the postseason.
Last year he hit .190 with 13 strikeouts to 11 hits, but he did crush five home runs in the postseason. This year his average is up to .250, but he has no home runs.
Hamilton is the heart and soul of the Rangers' lineup. He has to show why he was last year's MVP by carrying his team to a championship.