It seems every postseason there is somebody who simply steals the spotlight. Shane Victorino, David Ortiz and Koji Uehara did it in 2013 and this guy named Madison Bumgarner did it to the moon and back in 2014. A team can surprise us like the 2104 Kansas City Royals making a miraculous run to be stopped short by the Giants heroics. It also can be done by a singular player like David Freese who pretty much threw the city of St. Louis on his back for the 2011 postseason by winning Most Valuable Player honors for both the NLCS and the World Series. Here are my picks for this year’s breakout candidate.
Clayton Kershaw- Los Angeles Dodgers
This seems like an easy pick because he is the best pitcher and baseball, but his wiffleball movement and stellar regular season play hasn’t translated into October. He has had an immense amount of pressure in LA trying to bring the Dodgers to the promised land. It is definitely not easy to get Sandy Koufax comparisons in Los Angeles and not feel pressure. Now that Greinke has stepped up and this team has two legitimate aces he will not hold back and have an unreal postseason.
Wade Davis- Kansas City Royals
With Greg Holland out Wade Davis is now the anchor of the KC bullpen, and Davis is definitely up to the task. Alongside Kelvin Herrera, one of the top bullpens in the MLB should be fine. Davis in last year’s run to the World Series accumulated over 21 innings and let up only one earned run. He was lights out when it mattered in 2014 and with more experience I do not see any major reason why that should change. I would not be astonished if Wade Davis did not let up one earned run during his time on the mound this October.
Chris Carter- Houston Astros
Chris Carter pretty much only hits a homerun or strikes out but I’ve been impressed lately by his patience at the plate. Carter will definitely hit his stride and has been doing just that lately towards the regular season in Houston. I think he will be a big power factor in the Astros offense. If Houston wants to make a run into the postseason, Mr. Carter will have to be a part of it.
Other Borderline Obvious Candidates
Jake Arrieta- Chicago Cubs
Josh Donaldson- Toronto Blue Jays
Michael Conforto- New York Mets
DISCLAIMER- I had Gregory Polanco on this list since I was convinced that the Pirates were going to win, but nope. Great Pick TJ!!