SI asked major league scouts who have closely followed the playoff teams to help prepare these reports on the four participants in the League Championship Series. The scouts were promised anonymity in exchange for their candor. Here's what they revealed.
.300, 4 HRs, 31 RBIs
Pesky, hard to strike out, will bunt for hits and steal bases. Can expand the zone away on him.
.278, 16 HRs, 76 RBIs
Might be best shortstop in league. Can struggle with breaking balls, but make a mistake and he can hit the ball far.
.295, 42 HRs, 108 RBIs
Complete player, though strikes out a lot. Need to change patterns on him. Defense good as it gets.
.319, 21 HRs, 70 RBIs
Leave something soft up in the zone and he'll hurt you. Run fastball away or backdoor slider or curve.
.253, 26 HRs, 65 RBIs
Struggled all season against lefties. Good low-ball hitter. Can throw fastballs by him up in the zone; has trouble with cutters on his hands.
.295, 18 HRs, 57 RBIs
Likes ball middle to middle in. Get him out by staying away early, then coming in if ahead.
.256, 3 HRs, 35 RBIs
Shame Cardinals lost Mike Matheny. Hernandez has decent arm but isn't as mobile. High-ball hitter, struggles with breaking balls.
.316, 5 HRs, 39 RBIs
Cardinals comfortable with him at third, short or second. Contact hitter who stays inside the ball well. Tough to strike out.