Three players to watch in 2022 MLB Postseason

As the MLB divisional round plays on, there are a few surprises already in the postseason.

As the eight teams fight to advance to the championship series here are three players to watch.

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Aaron Judge

Eyes have been on Judge all season, and for good reason as he chased history.

He turned in an MVP-caliber season with a .311 batting average, 62 home runs and 131 RBIs.

Batting .417 in the month of September with a .565 on-base percentage, Judge looked ready for playoff baseball. But Judge faltered in the last five games of the season as he went 3-for-16. He walked three times, which raises his OBP to .350 in those games. With seven strikeouts in those games, the star center fielder showed a decline heading into the LDS.

Judge hit leadoff in the opening game of the LDS against Cleveland. He struck out three times and walked once. When he walked, he later stole second, and scored on a two-run blast from Anthony Rizzo. It was a small contribution from Judge, but he can turn it around.

Matt Olson

A .240 batting average does not inspire a lot of intrigue.

But Olson turned a horrible September around late, and rode that momentum into October. During one point in September the first baseman was hitting a horrible 0.074 before he turned the overall average to .169.

Again, not too inspiring.

In the last seven games of the season, Olson went 10-for-26 with five homers and eight RBIs. His overall average dropped from .249 all the way to .233 before bringing it to the .240 it was at seasons end.

Olson turned in a 2-for-3 performance, including a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, and two walks. While the Braves lost the first game, Olson showed he is poised to make an impact at the plate.

Cal Raleigh

Coming into the LDS with a .500 batting average, Raleigh played a pivotal role in the deciding game for Seattle in the Wild Card series. A three-hit game with three runs scored and an RBI helped the Mariners climb over Toronto 10-9.

It is worth watching how the Astros pitching approach him later in the series, and how he performs. In the first game, Raleigh went 1-for-4 with an RBI single and a strikeout. He won’t be expected to hit .500, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility in postseason play.

Raleigh hit .211 with 27 homers and 63 RBIs. In the last five games of the regular season, Raleigh hit 7-for-23 with three homers. This may mean the catcher is getting hot at the right time. However, the Astros held an incredible 2.90 ERA on the season, which ranked second in the league.