We all know pitching plays a critical role in determining the World Series champion each and every baseball season. Recently, we’ve seen the likes of Madison Bumgarner dominate on the mound, resulting in yet another championship for the San Francisco Giants last season. In that same season, we saw the Kansas City Royals display an electric bullpen in route to the AL Pennant. Having arms you can rely on can make up for deficiencies you amy have in other areas of the game, but those guys on offense are still pretty important too.
Seeing as baseball games (especially postseason baseball games) are generally tight, having clutch hitters in your lineup can be just as important as having a dominant ace on the mound.
With that said, we’ve seen some hitters really step up there play this postseason and lead their teams to the LCS. Here are the best of those hitters that are still alive in the playoffs.
3. Kyle Schwarber
- .381 batting average
- 4 home runs, 6 RBI
- 1.387 OPS
What a find Kyle Schwarber has been for the Chicago Cubs. The rookie 22-year old phenom didn’t get called up to the majors until late in the season, playing in just 69 games. He had great success in those 69 appearances, compiling 16 home runs and 43 RBI. The way he’s been hitting in the postseason though has been on a whole other level.
It’s not just the numbers for Schwarber, which are impressive on their own. It’s the way he’s been crushing the ball that makes him one of the top hitters of the postseason to this point. He was critical in the Cubs NLDS win over the St. Louis Cardinals and with the team down 0-2 to the New York Mets in the NLCS, they need Schwarber to continue his success. If he propels the team to the World Series, it might go down as one of the most impressive rookie performances of all-time.
2. Kendrys Morales
- .310 batting average
- 4 home runs, 10 RBI
- 1.088 OPS
Nobody wanted Kendrys Morales. After several seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Morales bounced around with a couple of teams before landing on the Royals’ roster this season. He provided Kansas City with a jolt of power throughout the regular season, picking up 22 home runs and 106 RBI. He’s been just as good or better in the playoffs and is playing a critical role in the Royals’ attempt to repeat as American League champs.
A solid batting average is nice. So too are 4 home runs. Above all though, what’s most impressive about Morales’s postseason is the fact that he is the leading RBI man above all other postseason hitters. He was critical in the Royals ALDS win over the Houston Astros and has been key in their 2-1 lead in the ALCS over the Toronto Blue Jays. With the balance of the Royals’ roster and their great bullpen, if Morales keeps raking, we could be witnessing this year’s champions in the Royals.
1. Daniel Murphy
- .357 batting average
- 5 home runs, 8 RBI
- 1.308 OPS
Daniel Murphy is an interesting player for the Mets, to say the least. It seems like a lot of people give him a hard time in New York, which could be warranted with some of his play in the past. He’s never hit a bunch of home runs in his career, never been a big run producer, and has always seemed to fall short of his potential. However, with the way he’s been swinging the bat this postseason, there might not be a more valuable player to any team than Murphy is to the Mets right now.
Murphy has hit more home runs than any other player this postseason, which is impressive alone. He also put the Mets on his back (with the help of the pitching staff) in their series clinching win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, with homers in the first two games of the NLCS against the Cubs, Murphy has a home run in four straight games, helping the team to 2-0 advantage over those Cubs. The man is simply on fire at the plate, which is something that not many can say they expected. He’s as important to the Mets as is Jacob deGrom or Matt Harvey. If he keeps hitting like this, a championships could be coming the Mets’ way.