The World Series is a chance to perform on a national platform like no other in the baseball world. Sure, the Red Sox have a ton of nationally televised games throughout the year and a nation of faithful fans, but the Cardinals don’t always get all of the hype they deserve. With a chance to prove themselves, players can see their fantasy value boosted up a couple dollars for the following year just by playing well in front of a large audience. With the 2013 season officially over, let’s take a look at some of the players who benefited from their run in the playoffs.
68 PA, .353/.500/.706
Papi’s playoff performance wasn’t a breakout or anything, but it may have assured the world that the 37-year-old isn’t done yet. Although his regular season performance likely should have assured some owners, some are just waiting for signs that Big Papi will fall off the cliff and hit like his did in 2009. There are no signs yet, other than the age on his birth certificate.
13.2 IP, 34.8% K, 0% BB, 0.66 ERA, 7 SV
Koji likely got noticed a month or two before the playoffs began, but he more than showed he could pitch in big moments against some of the best in the game. Even with a relatively weak fastball, Koji will be fighting against Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman to be the first closer taken, and he’s definitely the first off the board in AL-only formats.
26 IP, 22.7% K, 5.5% BB, 2.77 ERA, 3-1 record
Lackey had a great 2013, but an ERA of almost five in September was going to leave some with a bad taste in their mouth had he not performed well in the playoffs and in the clincher. And hey, Lackey could be playing for a $500k contract in 2015!
34.2 IP, 21.6% K, 6% BB, 1.56 ERA, 4-1 record
Lester came out and pitched like an ace during the postseason. Lester’s regular season had pretty much guaranteed his 2014 option would be exercised, but now we may see Lester go for an extra dollar in drafts.
30.2 IP, 27.7% K, 10.1% BB, 2.64 ERA, 4-1 record
Getting smacked around by the World Champs in Game Six may drop Wacha down a tiny bit, but the postseason was a breakout for Wacha. More importantly then just showing the world he’s for real, Wacha locked up a spot in the 2014 rotation behind Adam Wainwright. Speaking of a rotation spot…
11.2 IP, 45% K, 7.5% BB, 0 ERA, 4 SV
Rosenthal’s numbers were certainly better than his outstanding regular season, but that’s not what will be the ultimate decider of his value. No, what drafters will get excited about is Rosenthal closing out games after racking up only three saves in the regular season while setting up for Edward Mujica and others. Rosenthal was previously a starter, but with Wacha dominating for most of the playoffs, Rosenthal will likely be stuck in the bullpen and one of the first five closers off the board.