6 Wildly Unexpected Contributors That Have Helped Each Division Leader During Playoff Push

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 12: Gio Urshela #29 of the New York Yankees celebrates with teammate Luke Voit #45 after hitting a two run home run in the ninth inning of the second game of the doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 12, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
New York Yankees v Detroit Tigers - Game Two | Leon Halip/Getty Images

To make the postseason, you need your star players to carry the bulk of the load. However, you also need the "other guys" to help contribute over the course of the season, especially down the stretch of a playoff push.

After looking at the current division leaders, here are six unexpected contributors that have helped their teams get to where they are.

6. RHP Tony Gonsolin, Los Angeles Dodgers

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 07: Pitcher Tony Gonsolin #46 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning of the MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers | Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

I know the top three starters in the Dodgers' rotation are set, but if they need a fourth starter, Tony Gonsolin is their man. In eight appearances (six starts), the rookie right-hander owns a 2.83 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 31 strikeouts over 35 innings. Gonsolin isn't exactly overpowering, but he pitches a clean game for the most part and will always keep the opponent at bay.

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

When Nick Markakis went down with an injury, the Atlanta Braves outfield looked pretty spotty. However, Matt Joyce, who they brought aboard their roster the day before the season, has been a godsend and a force at the plate, including in September where he's hit .310 with two homers, which has helped the Braves extend their division lead over the Nationals and Phillies.

4. RHP Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 08: Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 8, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates | Justin Berl/Getty Images

It doesn't matter that Jack Flaherty is a former first-round pick and top prospect because nobody saw THIS kind of performance coming. His second half has been unreal, with the right-hander posting a 1.05 ERA over his last 12 starts. He might end up winning the Cy Young, which nobody would've believed he was in the conversation for halfway through the season. If he's not pitching for the Cards, we're not sure where they'd be right now considering they are

3. C Mitch Garver, Minnesota Twins

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 07: Mitch Garver #18 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run against the Cleveland Indians during the seventh inning of the game at Target Field on September 7, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins | Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Did anyone outside of Minnesota know who Mitch Garver was? He's just a platoon catcher with Jason Castro, right? Well, you can take that label off of him, as the Twins would be nowhere without the slugger, who has 30 home runs this year and is slashing .360/.500/.920 with four long balls and eight RBI in September. Garver has been clutch when it's mattered, and if this Twins team expects to make some noise in October, he'll be leading the charge.

2. 1B Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - SEPTEMBER 14: Yordan Alvarez #44 of the Houston Astros rounds the bases on a three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals in the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium on September 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by John Sleezer/Getty Images)
Houston Astros v Kansas City Royals | John Sleezer/Getty Images

How did Yordan Alvarez quickly become one of the Houston Astros' best players? Yeah, we knew he had power, but in fewer than 300 big league at-bats, Alvarez is hitting .315 with 25 home runs and 75 RBI. His power is unmatched, and if he did this over the course of a full season, he'd surely be in the MVP conversation, not just the favorite to win Rookie of the Year.

1. 3B Gio Urshela, New York Yankees

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 11:  Gio Urshela #29 of the New York Yankees celebrates after driving in a run with a single in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles during their game at Yankee Stadium on August 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees | Al Bello/Getty Images

Gio Urshela was known as a defensive player, and whatever you could get offensively from him was considered a bonus. Well, the Yankees needed Urshela to step up with the absence of Miguel Andujar, and he's done that and more, as he's hitting .325 with 20 home runs and 72 RBI. Urshela has been one of New York's best players all season, which is crazy to think that's the case for the team with the best record in baseball.