The leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and in baseball, solely one of the best and baddest stay. That may solely imply one factor: October. Listed below are ten guys we have now our eye on as postseason baseball takes the stage.
Aaron Judge, for the primary time since his rookie 12 months, put in a full season and re-affirmed his premier place among the many recreation’s finest. He additionally made probably the most talked about gear change of the MLB season.
Even after dropping his personal shoe with adidas, Decide began the season in disguised New Balance 3000s. He missed numerous time in 2020 attributable to calf damage, and with New Stability’s well-established popularity for consolation, its doable the tallest and heaviest centerfielder ever simply wanted slightly extra assist.
With solely two teammates batting higher than .260 (Urshela and Stanton), the barrel of Decide’s Victus JUD99 35 inch, 33 ounce bat will decide how lengthy the Yanks postseason run will probably be.
When Gabe Kapler took over for Bruce Bochy in 2020, the primary decisive factor he did was platoon Brandon Crawford. One of many few remaining Giants with championship pedigree, Crawford didn’t whine about it. As a substitute, he got here again in 2021 with an MVP season whereas main the Giants to their finest report in franchise historical past.
Crawford is a WPW first-ballot Corridor of Famer and at occasions, a gracious contributor (he’ll DM us if we beg him for pics of latest cleats). He’s additionally one of the crucial thrilling gamers to observe.
Crawford has a few of the sauciest cleats 12 months in and 12 months out, and his play makes them look even higher. Crawford is that uncommon shortstop that makes the unattainable look straightforward.
Control his ft this postseason. Right here’s a number of Crawford throwbacks to your enjoyment:
Anyone who can slug .557 over 140 video games with no batting gloves is value watching. Kyle Tucker swings an Previous Hickory JC1, which occurs to be an excellent selection for anyone available in the market for a wooden bat, and Tucker is proof.
In line with Previous Hickory, who’s offering the JC1 for $149 custom:
“The Previous Hickory JC1 is lower to the M110 profile. The JC1 has a medium barrel with a brief taper to a thick deal with that goes straight into the knob. This bat is nice for the participant on the lookout for an evenly balanced bat with a protracted barrel. The JC1 is without doubt one of the most balanced wooden bats in baseball.”
The M110 is without doubt one of the most enduring bat profiles within the recreation, first developed in 1944 and swung by Mickey Mantle, Didi Gregorius, Salvy Perez, Alex Bregman, Xander Bogaerts and Edwin Encarnacion have additionally made their mark with the M110. Tucker, in a sea of elite Houston hitters, can have loads of alternatives to make his mark in 2021.
Corbin Burnes is rock and roll. His gear isn’t any nonsense, however the rocker hair that he flips after each Ok, the facility strut and the nasty lower make this Cy favourite a must-see performer.
Whereas he obtained everyone’s consideration by beginning the 2021 season with 58 Ok’s with no stroll to set an MLB report, October is Burnes’ first gig as “headliner,” and also you’d higher not miss the present.
Nolan Arenado will all the time be one to observe in any recreation he performs, from each angle. He’s as full a participant as there’s within the recreation, having received each Gold Glove awarded since his debut (8), persistently driving in 100 runs, and manning his put up not less than 155 occasions a 12 months.
When he was despatched to St. Louis, our first thought after our condolences to Rockies followers was, “will his signature mint shade be coming with him?”
The reply is sure, and even with cardinal purple, it one way or the other stays superb.
Arenado retains the mint at a low decibel on his Nike Alpha Huarache Elite 3 mids when sporting the traditional Cardinals purple and white…
…however he lets it pop with the powder blues. Lets hope they put on these within the Wildcard vs the Dodgers for optimum ‘Nado swag.
Bizarre guys don’t come again from hip accidents and slug .622, however Luis Robert isn’t any atypical man.
The adidas athlete enters the postseason as one of many recreation’s hottest hitters, forming a cold-blooded 1-2 combo with Tim Anderson that can have the opposition shivering from the first inning. Curiously, Tim Anderson and Luis Robert swing the identical bat: the Victus TA7, which is lower to an i13/AP5 profile. Robert’s is a 34/31, and you may get it customized at VictusSports.com for $200, or store comparable choices, the HD13 or the extra youth pleasant YI13 for $140 at BaseballExpress.com.
Robert switched gloves from Wilson to Rawlings after a Gold Glove season, sporting the gold labels on a Rawlings Professional Most popular PROS303-6KB 13″ glove. Get this glove with out the gold labels at Rawlings.com for $490.
WPW “Scholar of the Recreation” Kiké Hernández is the closest factor MLB has to a summer season ball dirtbag, and I imply that within the nicest method. Kiké will play wherever requested, simply get him within the lineup as a result of he does one thing on a regular basis to win a recreation.
That’s swag in itself. On high of that, he’s among the many recreation’s most trendy gamers. His glove won last year’s “Best of WPW” and the cherry reds he’s sporting this 12 months may simply repeat.
Kiké will get his personal participant unique adidas cleats, and though they’ve launched the subsequent iteration of the Afterburner (the 8), he sticks with the Afterburner 7. We will’t argue with that selection. If the Crimson Sox make any noise, Kiké goes to be the lifetime of the get together.
Carrying the (shiny) torch for the Harper 6, Wander Franco debuted because the second youngest Ray in staff historical past (BJ Upton). Regardless of his youth, his cleats let you know that Wander is not going to stray from the highlight. With an on-base streak longer than some other 20 12 months outdated to play the sport, he dropped himself and his Cooperstown Bat WF4 Maple bat into the center of the Rays formidable lineup.
In line with Cooperstown Bat Co., Wander Franco’s WF4 (available for $100-$130) “has a big elongated barrel, a medium+ deal with with a flared knob. The bat really feel is balanced. Including the load below the fingers permits this bat to swing lighter than the size weight. We have now discovered that this bat swings finest as a -2. This mannequin was designed with Wander Franco for batting for common and energy.”
Whereas Juan Soto will probably be a troublesome act to comply with, right here’s one other 20 12 months outdated that might take over in October.
Julio Urias received three extra video games than some other pitcher in 2021. He went 11-0 to finish the season. His staff went 26-6 in video games he began. What else issues?
The 25 12 months outdated Mexican-born lefthander, who was found by the Dodgers at a showcase in Oaxaca at 15 years outdated, wears his coronary heart on his proper hand.
Urias’ Rawlings Professional Most popular PRO207-4KR is a wonderful shoutout to his roots and probably the greatest gloves within the recreation. Its out there for $490 at Rawlings.com.
Urias obtained a few of the most crucial outs within the 2020 World Sequence, and search for him when it issues most for the 2021 Dodgers, too.
The season may have been over for the Braves when Ronald Acuna Jr. went down in July. As a substitute, Austin Riley instructed the NL East to “maintain my beer,” driving in 65 to steer all Nationwide League third basemen. Riley did most of his injury with a Marucci JD20 Maple bat at 34/31.5, in addition to the AP5 and AJ12 sometimes. They’re all within the AP5/i13 household with a giant barrel and tapered deal with (AP5 – $160 at BaseballExpress.com.)
Riley led baseball in video games performed (160), counting on the Mizuno 9-Spike Dominant IC cleat on foot (BaseballExpress.com for $98).
Add vary to his energy and sturdiness, as Riley led all NL third basemen in assists and completed 4th within the NL forward of Manny Machado in vary issue. His lovely Mizuno Professional GMP2 is on the market precisely as you see right here, because of Mizuno’s Professional Participant Mannequin Sequence. Get it for $350.
Time to get this factor began. Who ya obtained to win all of it?