6 MLB Players Who Will Be Unexpected Playoff X-Factors

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 16:  Mike Tauchman #39 of the New York Yankees celebrates after hitting a three run home run against Erasmo Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox in the sixth inning during their game at Yankee Stadium on April 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees | Al Bello/Getty Images

You would think the top players on postseason rosters will rise up and carry their respective teams in October. That doesn't always happen, and there's always a player that doesn't get a lot of attention who comes up big in a key situation. So, who are some under-the-radar players on postseason teams who will have a huge impact?

Here are six players who will be unexpected playoff X-factors come October.

6. RHP Tony Gonsolin, Los Angeles Dodgers

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 30: Tony Gonsolin #46 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a first inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 30, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks | Norm Hall/Getty Images

The trio at the top of the Dodgers rotation is as good as any, but they'll need more in the pitching department if they want to make a deep run. Don't look past right-hander Tony Gonsolin. He's been solid in a small sample size, including very good outings against the Cardinals, Braves and Yankees. Whether he gets a start or comes out of the bullpen in the postseason, Gonsolin has proven the lights aren't too big and he can get big-time hitters out.

5. OF Matt Joyce, Atlanta Braves

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 31: Matt Joyce #14 of the Atlanta Braves celebrates in the dugout after scoring in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at SunTrust Park on August 31, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Chicago White Sox v Atlanta Braves | Logan Riely/Getty Images

The Braves looked at Matt Joyce as a bench piece when they signed him at the tail end (literally) of Spring Training. With injuries to their outfield, Joyce has been getting everyday at-bats and he's thrived. Yes, Nick Markakis is coming back, but with the way Joyce is hitting as a starter, it'd be shocking if Austin Riley or Ender Inciarte usurped his role. Of course, if that happens, Joyce can have an impact late in games as a pinch hitter. Manager Brian Snitker has a weapon that doesn't get much attention, but that might change once October rolls around.

4. RHP Giovanny Gallegos, St. Louis Cardinals

ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 30: Giovanny Gallegos #65 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the seventh inning at Busch Stadium on July 30, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs v St Louis Cardinals | Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

In the playoffs, a team's bullpen is seemingly as important as any other position on the roster, if not more. You need to be able to close games out late, and the Cardinals have several options who can do that. Carlos Martinez has been able to do the job in the ninth, and Andrew Miller has the postseason pedigree to bridge the gap. But the game can be won or lost before that, and right-hander Giovanny Gallegos has been lights out for St. Louis, posting a 1.59 ERA in 20 appearances since the All-Star break.

3. RHP Josh James, Houston Astros

DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 02: Pitcher Josh James #39 of the Colorado Rockies throws in the fifth inning against the Houston Astros at Coors Field on July 02, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Houston Astros v Colorado Rockies | Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

This Houston Astros team is just as good as the squad that won it all a few years back. However, what is concerning and could keep them from hoisting the trophy is this bullpen, especially with Ryan Pressly out. That's why need someone to step up, and Josh James could be that guy to close things out. James is a young pitcher but he throws triple-digits and has given up just one run over his last 7.2 innings, including a save.

2. LHP Taylor Rogers, Minnesota Twins

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 2:  Taylor Rogers #55 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the ninth inning at Comerica Park on September 2, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. The Twins defeated the Tigers 4-3. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers | Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Minnesota's offense is second to none, but the pitching staff is pretty average, especially the rotation which came crashing back down to earth in the second half. Relievers can mask a lot of issues, and closer Taylor Rogers has been doing just that with 23 saves and a 2.52 ERA. I'm not telling you he's the next Mariano Rivera in the postseason, but he has a chance to make a name for himself come October and help get this Twins team over the top in the AL.

1. OF Mike Tauchman, New York Yankees

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 04:   Mike Tauchman #39 of the New York Yankees follows through on a third inning two run single against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on August 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees | Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres get all the love on New York's vaunted offense, but if you notice, the heroes in October are usually part of that second and third tier on the roster. That's why the X-factor on this Yankee team is outfielder Mike Tauchman, who has been under-the-radar and owns a .954 OPS since the All-Star break. New York will need a big hit at some point in October, and don't be shocked if it's Mike Tauchman.