Finding the next breakout star of the MLB postseason

Sep 4, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Joey Gallo (13) is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two run home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Joey Gallo (13) is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two run home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

American League

Joey Gallo – New York Yankees

Gallo has yet to see the postseason in his career, so perhaps no one on this list could benefit more from the playoff spotlight. Gallo has always had power, but his average hasn’t been there over the course of his career. This could be his chance though to stamp his status in MLB as a clutch hitter if he can get some key home runs for the Bronx Bombers.

Bobby Dalbec – Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox first baseman would get to experience his first postseason this year, and Sox fans would love to see what he can do. Dalbec started the season slow, but has picked up his play recently. His bat in the middle of the Red Sox lineup, even if splitting time with Kyle Schwarber, will play a key role in the October hopes of Boston.

Wander Franco – Tampa Bay Rays

Franco is the biggest phenom in the majors right now, so he may not truly qualify for this list. However, playing in Tampa Bay, he does not get the coverage he would otherwise, so the playoffs will be a chance for him to be front and center for the national press.

Marcus Semien – Toronto Blue Jays

Semien has spent most of his career in front of the small crowds in Oakland, so despite his talent, he is not as well-known as many other second basemen in the league. Semien has had some postseason success in his career, posting a .371 batting average, but his A’s teams haven’t performed. The Blue Jays lineup this year is stacked, so if they can grab one of the two wild card spots, he could become more of a household name.

Luis Robert – Chicago White Sox

Robert has been talked about in Chicago for a number of years now, since the Sox signed him in 2017. But he looks primed to be a breakout star this postseason, if the White Sox can make a run to the World Series. Robert missed some time in 2021 due to a torn hip flexor, so his season stats don’t rank highly, but anyone who has seen him play knows he is explosive.

Yordan Alvarez – Houston Astros

The former Rookie of the Year is having another stellar season, with 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI. If the Astros go far in the MLB playoffs, they’ll need to rely on their cleanup hitter quite a bit. Alvarez has flown a little under the radar since winning the ROY, due to him having missed most of the 2020 season and with the Astros mired in controversy. He only has a year of postseason experience, hitting a home run in the World Series in 2019, but if he has a power surge in October, he’ll put his name on the map across the country.

Mitch Haniger – Seattle Mariners

After suffering a terrible injury in 2019, Haniger is a wonderful comeback story. The outfielder is having his best year yet, with 38 home runs to date and over 100 runs scored. But, the Mariners haven’t made the playoffs since 2001, so the attention he gets is minimal throughout the country. If the M’s can make it back this year, Haniger will be front and center.