It’s the ninth inning, and your team is at bat. There are two outs and they are down by a run. The other team’s pitcher has walked a batter, which has loaded up the bases. Who would you want stepping up to the plate to hit? What if it could be anyone? This week, I’m going to take a look at who my picks are for the clutch hitter I’d like at the plate, with my team down by a run with the bases loaded, in the ninth inning
Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
Posey doesn’t have the highest batting average in Major League Baseball; his batting average is .294. This statistic is misleading, though, as Posey had a ten-game winning streak at one point this season, and is quite capable of coming up clutch. The case and point for this happened in early May when Buster Posey hit a game-winning, walk-off home run against the LA Dodgers.
Jean Segura – Milwaukee Brewers
Jean Segura was perhaps the hottest offensive player in baseball this past week. He hit .500 and earned 19 bases over the last five games. On Saturday, against the Cincinnati Reds, Segura had his first ever four-hit game. His overall statistics for the year aren’t bad either. So far, he has a batting average of .364, third in Major League Baseball.
Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
Miguel Cabrera was last year’s American League MVP and the first American League player to win the triple crown since 1967. This year, Miguel Cabrera isn’t slowing down. He has the highest batting average (.373) in Major League Baseball and was on pace to hit in over 200 RBI’s for the season. As far as hitting clutch hits, Cabrera came up short just a few days ago when he almost hit a game-winning grand slam against the Houston Astros. When the Tigers played the Texas Rangers, Cabrera hit in the go-ahead run. It may have not been in the ninth inning, but it did end up being the winning run.
James Loney – Tampa Bay Rays
James Loney has a great batting average, .356, which is only bested by Jean Segura’s and Miguel Cabrera’s batting averages. Loney has been hitting out of his mind so far this season. He’s had multi-hit games, hit streaks, home runs, you name it. There might be a problem, though, and that would be most experts don’t expect him to keep up his performance for much longer. They make a strong case for him not keeping this up for the rest of the season, but if I needed a clutch player in the ninth inning right now, he’d definitely be one of my first choices.
Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
With a batting average of .339, Dustin Pedroia has the seventh-best batting average in Major League baseball. Besides having a high chance of getting a hit based on statistics alone, Pedroia has come up big in key moments. In fact, he came up big this past Saturday when the Boston Red Sox played the Minnesota Twins. He was struggling with the bat all game, but, when he came to the plate in the tenth inning, he got a hit, and ended up scoring the game-winning run.