UConn in the MLB: Former Huskies prep for playoff runs

Houston Astros' George Springer hits a two-run home run in front of Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph in the sixth inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Baltimore. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Houston Astros' George Springer hits a two-run home run in front of Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph in the sixth inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Baltimore. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

George Springer OF, Houston Astros

Despite making the All-Star team for the second consecutive time, Springer under performed in the power department this year. Last season, Springer hit 34 home runs with a slugging percentage of .522 in 140 games played. This year he hit only 22 home runs while posting a slugging percentage of .435 in 139 games. He’s picked up his game this last month, however, he is hitting .330 with an on-base percentage of .392. Like last year, Springer figures to be a key contributor for the Astro's postseason run.

Matt Barnes P, Boston Red Sox

Prior to the months of August and September, Matt Barnes was having an exceptional season. Other than Craig Kimbrel, Barnes was the Red Sox’s go-to bullpen guy. He had an ERA under 2.00, but the narrative has completely changed for Barnes since August and September. In his last 15 appearances, Barnes has posted an ERA of 8.56 and a WHIP of 1.83. Hip inflammation sidelined Barnes in the beginning of September, which could also be a reason for the decline. As the Red Sox enter the postseason, they are hoping Barnes will turn a corner and return to mid-season form.

Scott Oberg P, Colorado Rockies

Despite recently giving up a three-run homer to Yasiel Puig in a pivotal series game against the Dodgers that resulted in a loss, Scott Oberg has looked really good. He has had a career year this season. In 55 appearances, his record is 8-1. He also pitched to a career best 2.48 ERA with a WHIP of 0.98, which is the tenth lowest in the Major Leagues for relievers with 50 or more innings pitched. Oberg also made an appearance in the Rockies 163rd game for the NL West division title. He got two big outs in the seventh inning, but it was too late. By that point, the Dodgers had a five run lead.

Nick Ahmed SS, Arizona Diamondbacks

Nick Ahmed’s slash line of .234/.290/.411 is nothing to write home to mom about in terms of offensive prowess. He did however hit 16 home runs this season, which is more than he has ever hit in his career. Ahmed is a traditional shortstop in that his value is in his defensive skills. Ahmed’s fielding percentage was .985, and his 4.4 ultimate zone rating – a stat that puts a number on runs saved or given up on defense - ranks third among all National League shorts stops. Unfortunately for Ahmed, the Diamondbacks had a losing stretch in September where they lost 17-of-22 games that knocked them out of playoff contention.

John Andreoli OF, Baltimore Orioles

After being selected off waivers by the Orioles from the Mariners, Andreoli received some more playing time at the tail-end of this season. He played in 23 games in the last two months of the season for the Orioles. He ended up going 14-for-61 in his at bats. Andreoli was outstanding in the outfield in the short stretch of games he played. He covers a lot of territory with blinding speed. His sprint speed of 29.7 ft/sec. was the fourteenth best in all of Major League Baseball this year. If he gets the hitting part on track, he could be a really nice player for the Orioles.

Rajai Davis OF, Cleveland Indians

The UConn Avery Point star, Rajai Davis, mostly appeared in pinch running and pinch hitting roles for the Indians this year. Davis is stealing bases at a high rate. He has stolen 21 in 28 attempts this season. On September 22nd, Davis and his teammate Greg Allen executed a double steal that eventually resulted in an extra inning walk off win against Boston. That type of base running ability is what Cleveland will need in order to have success in the postseason this year.


Jordan Noto is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus and can be reached via email at jordan.noto@uconn.edu.