A scout's-eye view of the leading players in the battles for the league pennants—and berths in the World Series
Luis Polonia, If. Dangerous leadoff man who can fly. Sprays ball, but can drive it over outfielders to left and left center.
Stan Javier, cf-lf. Has become a better hitter righthanded, though average (.258) doesn't reflect it. Good base runner, fine outfielder, valuable role player.
Dave Henderson, cf. Huge talent came together in 1988. Hits low ball for power. Learned to be selective. Best athlete on team.
Jose Canseco, rf. Most teams try to minimize his damage and pitch to Parker. Chases breaking balls. Power is from alley to alley. Runs at will.
Dave Parker, dh. Improved down the stretch since recovering from thumb injury. Lefthander who, when jammed, will fight ball into left. Hits lefties well.
Mark McGwire, lb. Has holes—particularly fastballs in—but crushes breaking balls and any mistakes. Underrated first baseman with soft hands.
Carney Lansford, 3b. Right thumb injury limits ability to handle bat and hit for power. Sometimes chases bad pitches, but a deadly breaking-ball hitter.
Terry Steinbach, c. Underrated. Good high-fastball hitter, but can also handle off speed stuff. Batted .300 since All-Star break. Very tough with men on.