We all know that the postseason, let alone a portion of the postseason, is a small sample size, too small to be taken too seriously by fantasy owners looking ahead to next season. But this doesn't mean that a player's postseason performance should be ignored altogether. And when it comes to the top postseason performers, it's never too early to start forming opinions about these players. After all, these are high-pressure games that are being watched closely by the entire baseball universe, not just local fans or certain fantasy owners. Actually, I tend to shy away from some of these postseason stars simply because their draft day price could be inflated due to their October heroics. But if you're a believer in these guys and are willing to pay the necessary price in order to own them next year, you might as well decide now.
Justin Turner - Those who wrote off Turner's productive 2015 campaign as an aberration could not have been more mistaken. The Dodgers third baseman turned in a career year in 2016, batting .275 with 27 homers, 90 RBIs and 79 runs scored during the regular season. He then went 6-for-15 (.400 AVG) with one home run, five RBIs and five runs scored during the five-game Division Series versus the Nationals. Still, I can't get around the fact that he was a career-long role player prior to 2015. I might be proven wrong here, but if one of my league mates is willing to spend a mid-round pick to draft Turner as their starting CI in a 12-team mixed league or starting 3B in a deeper format, I'll let them do just that.
Javier Baez - Baez is looking like an ideal post-hype sleeper candidate heading into 2017. The 23-year-old is fresh off a quietly productive 2016 season in which he swatted 14 home runs while swiping 12 bags and hitting a respectable .273 across 421 at-bats. His minor league numbers suggest that a power spike is likely, and his position versatility (at least 25 games played at third base, second base and shortstop) and impressive postseason (.375 AVG, HR, 2 RBI, 4 R) only adds to his fantasy appeal. I'll be targeting this across-the-board contributor in all of my drafts next spring.
Joe Panik - Panik's postseason stat line (6-for-10, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R) should remind us that this is a player who could serve as a quality starting MI in deeper mixed leagues next season. And the best part? Thanks to an injury-marred and disappointing 2016 campaign, the Giants second baseman will be there for the taking in the late rounds. Expect him to be a steady source of runs and batting average in 2017.
Matt Moore - Sticking in San Francisco, Moore dominated the Cubs on Tuesday, allowing just one earned run on two hits over eight innings while racking up ten strikeouts. Injuries and inconsistency have plagued Moore throughout his big league career, but the 27-year-old former top prospect still carries breakout potential. Plus, moving from the hard-hitting AL East to the more pitcher-friendly NL West can only be seen as a good thing. Moore makes for an intriguing option as a fourth or fifth starter in mixed leagues next season.
Corey Kluber - I drafted Kluber this year with the 41st pick as the 12th SP off the board in my NFBC Draft Champions league, and I'm pleased to announce that I got what I paid for. As for this postseason, the Indians have to be pleased with what they are getting from their ace. How about 13 1/3 scoreless innings through two starts? Consider Kluber a clear-cut top-10 fantasy SP entering 2017, and don't be surprised if he climbs even further up the ranks.