It’s a scenario that almost every child dreams of growing up. It’s the ninth inning and your team is down one. The bases are loaded and there are two outs.
In the 2011 World Series, this is a scenario that could certainly play out. There are a number of players that each team would want coming to the plate for them in a situation like this.
These players not only have to be big-time performers, but they also need to be guys that can perform under pressure. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers have a number of big names that they would like to have up in this situation, but there are also a few other players who may surprise fans with their ability to getting things done in the clutch.
In 11 seasons as a major league player, Nick Punto has just 14 career home runs. He is certainly never thought of as a power threat.
While he may be able to get a hit in a big situation, the odds are very low that he will hit a home run.
Elvis Andrus is by no means a power hitter, but he does have the ability to knock a ball out of the park every now and then. He hit five home runs during the 2011 season.
Andrus has had over 100 at bats in the playoffs over the past two seasons and while he has yet to hit a home run, he has been fairly productive. If a ball does bounce around in the outfield, Andrus has the speed to turn it into an inside-the-park home run.
The St. Louis Cardinals' utilityman is another player that does not have much power. He does occasionally blast a ball over the fences at Busch Stadium, but it is a rare occasion.
Skip Schumaker has a career high of eight home runs and that came in 2008. Since then, Schumaker has hit just 11 home runs.
The 2011 season is Daniel Descalso's first full year in the majors and he has already managed to reach the World Series as a rookie.
While Descalso only hit one home run this season, he has shown some power in the minors in the past. He has averaged nine home runs a year in the minors over the past three seasons.
For a shortstop, Rafael Furcal has showed some pop on a regular basis when he has been able to remain healthy. Furcal has hit 15 home runs in a season twice during his career.
He has hit four playoff home runs over the course of nine seasons including the one that he hit in the 2011 NLCS.
For Yorvit Torrealba to come up big for the Texas Rangers during the World Series, he would need to enter the game in a pinch hitting situation.
Torrealba is a veteran who has been able to show off a little bit of power during his career. He could be a surprising player to deliver a big home run.
John Jay was asked to take on a bigger role for the St. Louis Cardinals this season and he adjusted to the change fairly well. He did a good job during the regular season.
Jay saw his home run total increase from just four in 2010 to 10 this season. While Jay has not hit a postseason home run, a big moment would be a great time to get his first one.
If David Murphy was given the opportunity to play at least 140 games in a season, he would likely be able to break the 20 home run plateau. He has demonstrated good power during the early part of his career.
The Texas Rangers should feel fairly confident if they were to have Murphy step up in a big spot during the remainder of the World Series.
Mitch Moreland is another young player who has been thrust into the spotlight during the 2011 World Series. This is his first full season as a starter at first base.
He did play with the Texas Rangers in the 2010 World Series and hit a home run then. Moreland hit a home run in Game 5 of the 2011 World Series and there is no reason why he could not collect another one.
Before the season began, it was uncertain if Michael Young would be a member of the Texas Rangers. He had requested a team but the team did not move him. This was a smart decision as they have made back-to-back trips to the World Series with him.
Young has shown 20 home run power in the past, but he saw his home run total slip to 11 this past season. He has already slugged two home runs this postseason.
In just 200 at-bats during the 2011 regular season, Allen Craig hit 11 home runs. It was his first full year in the majors.
Craig has continued his impressive performance in the postseason where he has become a budding star. He has already hit two postseasons homers.
One would be hard pressed to name a player who has had a bigger breakout in this postseason than the one that David Freese has had. While the reports of his power had always been there, they have finally been manifested in his performance.
Freese has four home runs in the playoffs. He went off in the NLCS when he hit three home runs against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Since he left Coors Field, Matt Holliday's home run totals have dropped. While that is to be expected, Holliday has still remained a big power threat.
He is one of the most intimidating bats in the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup. Any time that he steps to the plate, he has a chance to hit one deep.
There are few second basemen in the game that are better than Ian Kinsler. He has hit for at least 30 home runs twice during his major league career.
Kinsler is a slugger than can come through with a big hit in a big moment. In his first career postseason series, Kinsler hit three home runs. He has only hit one since then, so he could be due for a big homer.
The Texas Rangers made the best trade of the year when they acquired Mike Napoli from the Toronto Blue Jays for Frank Francisco.
Even though he had just 369 at-bats this season, Napoli managed to blast 30 home runs. He has three home runs during the 2011 Postseason including two in the World Series.
Even with an already stacked lineup, the Texas Rangers made the decision to bring in Adrian Beltre this winter as a free agent. The move has certainly paid off.
Beltre hit 32 home runs during the regular season and made his 2009 season, where he hit just eight home runs, look like an anomaly. After hitting three home runs during the ALDS, Beltre added another home run to his total in Game 5 of the World Series.
After his struggles during the 2010 season, it appeared as if Lance Berkman's career was winding to a close. Fat Elvis silenced any of those thoughts with his performance in 2011.
He averaged a home run once ever 15.7 at-bats, which was the fifth best ratio in the National League. Berkman has performed well in big situations before and has eight postseason home runs in five playoff appearances.
In a big moment requiring a home run, there are few better players to rely on than the reigning American League MVP. Josh Hamilton, when healthy, is an absolute stud.
Hamilton has been hampered by a groin injury this postseason. He has been able to play through it and he could manage to created his own Kirk Gibson-esque moment during the remainder of the World Series.
As soon as Nelson Cruz was given a real chance to play everyday in 2009, he has reward the Texas Rangers with outstanding performances. His one problem has been staying on the field.
Even though he was limited to just 475 at-bats this season, Cruz hit 29 home runs. He hit a stunning six home runs in the ALCS and has 13 postseason homers during the past two years.
With a game on the line, it is a major advantage for a team to have the best player in baseball on their roster. When he gets a chance in big moments, Albert Pujols usually does not disappoint.
Pujols is a machine. His career low in home runs is 34. Pujols has 18 career postseason home runs which include five this year, three of which came in Game 3.