Ranking the Top 25 Hitters in the 2013 MLB Playoffs
Top 25 Hitters in the 2013 MLB Playoffs
Looking ahead to next week and the start of 2013 MLB Playoffs, the 10 teams that will make the playoffs combined from each league are looking for some of their top hitters to step up.
The Detroit Tigers will be relying on Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to be at the top of their game -- even though Prince has been below-average this season compared to last year. The Boston Red Sox will rely heavily on David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia to carry the load for one of the best offenses in baseball. Some would argue the Red Sox have the best offense in all of baseball.
Baseball is hitting that time of year where the weather cools down and the teams from up north struggle to get elevation under the ball. Home runs become harder to hit and the moment they start seeing their breath in the brisk night air, they know it's playoff time.
While teams who play in the south and west have a bit of an advantage, the teams from the north are used to the poor conditions and know how to exploit them -- especially if a team like the Tampa Bay Rays have to travel to play the Red Sox. Who do you think has the advantage in that one?
No matter what the weather, every baseball team has those few hitters that just produce no matter what -- rain or shine, warm weather or cold.
The 2013 regular season is not quite over as a few teams in the American League are still fighting for the final two wild card slots. The Texas Rangers are on the outside looking in as they trail the Cleveland Indians by one game in the wild card. The Rays lead the Indians by just one game in the wild card, but with three games left, there could be a complete switch of teams who make and miss the playoffs.
Like I said earlier, teams will need top hitters to step up when it matters most. Take a look at this list of the top-25 hitters in the 2013 postseason.
25. Alex Rios
Rios is on this list solely because the Rangers still have a chance to make the playoffs. He was traded to the Rangers in the middle of the season and could be somewhat of an X-factor if they end up locking up a wild card spot. He has all the potential of a top hitter and has been solid in 2013.
24. James Loney
Loney is one of the lesser-known .300 hitters in baseball. He has the ability to hit with average and power when he needs to. He's hitting .303 with 13 homers and 74 RBI this year.
23. Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana is one of the best hitting catchers in baseball. He can go deep at any time and he might be the most reliable hitter on the Indians.
22. Torii Hunter
Hunter was an all-star caliber player this season and for good reason. He hit .304 with 17 home runs and 84 RBI. He seems to be getting better with age.
21. Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley is not a well-known player, as many Indians players aren't, but he has a nice bat on his shoulders. He is a big reason this team is where they are at and could be the best player on the entire roster -- potential-wise as well.
20. Omar Infante
Sure, Infante isn't as historically good as the likes of Prince Fielder at the plate, but this season, he has been one of the best hitters in the Tigers' lineup. Batting over .315 with 10 homers and 50-plus RBI will earn him keep at second base for a long time in Detroit.
19. Evan Longoria
Longoria was once regarded as the top prospect in baseball. Now, he's leading the Rays to playoff appearances on the norm. He has the potential to hit 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBI every season, but has a hard time staying healthy.
18. Matt Holliday
Holliday is a veteran leader for the Cardinals and a big reason that St. Louis has been so successful without Albert Pujols. He's hitting nearly .300 with 20 home runs and 91 RBI -- very productive.
17. Yadier Molina
Yadier Molina another veteran leader of the Cardinals and possibly the most playoff-experienced on the team. He is also one of the top-hitting catchers in baseball -- probably the best.
16. Adrian Gonzalez
Adrian Gonzalez has been lightly talked about since he left the Boston Red Sox, but he is still the same supserstar hitter. Gonzalez has 99 RBI on the season and will likely finish the year with 100 -- the most productive guy on the Dodgers.
15. Chris Johnson
Probably one of the least-known guys on this list, Chris Johnson might not be the most productive guy out there with just 11 homers and 67 RBI, but anyone who hits .323 has to be considered one of the best hitters in baseball.
14. Victor Martinez
After one of the slowest starts to a season in his career, Victor Martinez has raised his batting average nearly 70 points in a short period of time to become the Tigers' second-best hitter this season overall. With 14 homers and 83 RBI, he could just be starting to heat up.
13. Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia, a former-MVP, has to be on this list for being a guy that could get hot at any time. He is the second-best hitter on the best offense in baseball.
12. Yasiel Puig
Yasiel Puig had a scorching start to the season as he had a .400-plus average through the first month of his season. He has since cooled off, but is a big reason as to why this team is headed for the playoffs.
11. Allen Craig
Allen Craig has softened the blow of the loss of Albert Pujols. Being the guy who has helped fans forget Albert has to be enough to earn himself a spot on this list.
10. Adrian Beltre
If the Rangers end up making the playoffs, it will be due in large part to Beltre's stellar play in 2013. He has 29 homers and 91 RBI with a .315 average -- he is surely the MVP of the Rangers.
9. Matt Carpenter
Matt Carpenter is one of the best young second basemen in the major leagues. He can hit for average, field and has some pop in his bat -- with 73 extra-base hits in 2013.
8. Hanley Ramirez
Some people were a bit weary of the trade the Dodgers made for Ramirez last season after he struggled to stay healthy. However, a .346 average, 220 home runs and 57 RBI in just 80 games is extremely impressive. This guy has all the offensive potential in the world.
7. Josh Donaldson
Donaldson, a second-year third basemen out of Auburn, has quickly become the most potent hitter on the Athletics. Being the best hitter on the best team in the AL West deserves a spot in the top-10.
6. Carlos Beltran
While Carlos Beltran is getting up there in age at 36, he has seemingly been the most consistent veteran player in baseball for the past few years. Hitting .297 with 24 homers and 84 RBI is pretty impressive for a guy who's on the back-nine of his career.
5. Joey Votto
Joey Votto has been one of the best hitters in the league for his entire career. As a career .314 hitter, his .304 average this season is a bit low and he is still one of the top-five hitters in the entire postseason.
4. Freddie Freeman
It's hard to believe Freddie Freeman has only been in the league for three years because he plays like a veteran. The Braves' first baseman has had somewhat of a breakout year in 2013, hitting .317 with 23 home runs and 107 RBI.
3. Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen has been one of the best hitters in the league for the past few seasons. He has become everyone's favorite outfielder and his humble personality along with his five-tool play is something that is rarely seen these days. A guy who can hit for power, hit for average, field, run and produce is very hard to find.
2. David Ortiz
David Ortiz is the kind of hitter you want on your team. Sure, he doesn't play in the field, but his bat has been lethal for years -- and there's no signs of slowing. He's 37 years old and he's playing some of the best baseball of his career. Ortiz is hitting .308 with 30 home runs and 103 RBI -- incredible.
1. Miguel Cabrera
There's no way around it, Cabrera is the best hitter in the world. If it weren't for Chris Davis's incredible power-ridden season, Cabrera would have gotten a second-straight Triple Crown title. He actually trumped his stats from last season with a .345 average, 44 home runs and 137 RBI -- and that's after he cooled off in the final month of the season