Kershaw, Jeter and others to keep an eye on down the stretch

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There are always certain players every year that get into a zone knowing what is at stake in the hunt for October in Major League Baseball.

We as fans have witnessed players each year take their game to the next level in finals weeks. Most of us remember just a few years ago the impact that Tampa Bay Rays All-Star Evan Longoria made down the stretch, as he hit a walk-off home run to propel the Rays to the postseason in the 162nd day of the season.

The unknown player that makes a name for himself in the postseason to cement a legacy, that was David Freese as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals World Series team in 2011.

Look for these players to make a huge impact for their teams in the final month of the regular season to lift their team to the postseason.

Clayton Kershaw

The Dodgers ace seemingly goes out and gets it done each and every start, he is as close to automatic as it gets. It seems simple, with the lead that the Dodgers have in the National League West, if the Dodgers win every game in which Kershaw starts, they will only have to go about .500 to make the playoffs. Kershaw has made an impact this season, and look for it to continue.

Nelson Cruz

The Baltimore Orioles slugger has rebounded from a suspension last season and has put together another solid year. He has remained in the cleanup spot in a good Baltimore lineup, and has hit 36 home runs in the hitter-friendly Camden Yards. Cruz has made an impact before in the postseason as a member of the Texas Rangers, look for him to make the same impact with a different club this season.

Miguel Cabrera

Despite having a difficult month of August dealing with a sore right ankle, Cabrera will battle through the pain, and as always he will deliver. After hitting just one home run last month, the reigning AL MVP delivered two long balls in yesterday's game. Cabrera knows what is at stake and is arguably the best hitter in the game. He will show why during the final month of the season.

Bryce Harper

Many believe Harper has not lived up to all of the hype that he came into the league with. Harper and the Washington Nationals have been on a roll as of late and look for the trend to continue. Washington will be in the playoffs and has all of the pieces to be serious World Series contenders. Look for Harper to show why people should start believing the hype.

Mike Trout

The likely front-runner for American League MVP honors, Trout and the Angels have been playing like the best team in baseball over the past few weeks. Trout has been on fire and set a career high in home runs, and yes, there is still a month left. The sky is the limit for this young phenom. Look for Trout to continue his great play. How about a possible Angels vs Nationals matchup? Trout vs Harper in the Fall Classic anyone?

Buster Posey

The man has done it before, and who says he won't do it again? Posey has led the Giants to the World Series, and has caught fire at the right time. San Francisco will likely need to win the NL Wild Card game to make a serious run, but look for their success to rest on the back of their superstar catcher.

Derek Jeter

It's simple. Can the captain put together one more legendary act?

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