Who will be World Series MVP?

Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro during practice in San Francisco, Calif., Oct. 23, 2012. (LUCY...

Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro during practice in San Francisco, Calif., Oct. 23, 2012. (LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:40 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO - It is a team game, of course, but in a small seven-game sample size like the World Series, success or failure depends on individuals coming through and punching above their weight class.

It's what makes World Series MVPs out of ordinary players like David Freese last year or Edgar Renteria in 2010, David Eckstein in 2006, Scott Brosius in 1998, Pat Borders in 1992, Bucky Dent in 1978, Gene Tenace in 1972 and so on down the line.

Maybe some superstar like Justin Verlander or Buster Posey will emerge, to no one's surprise, to become the MVP of the 2012 World Series but if it's not a big name, who could, who might?

For the Detroit Tigers ...

1. Alex Avila, catcher. Coming off a breakthrough season in 2011 in only his second full year in the bigs, Avila ran into some challenges in 2012. Because of hamstring and concussion issues, he played only 116 games and dropped off significantly in almost every offensive area. Avila started Game 1 against lefty Barry Zito, despite his .176 career average against port-siders, which means manager Jim Leyland has faith in him as a receiver and as a hitter.

2. Austin Jackson, centre field. In his third year as the Tigers everyday centre fielder, Jackson took his game to a new level. While he doesn't get the same kind of spotlight shone on him as his famous friends, two guys named Cabrera and Fielder, his table-setting ability as well as his solid power make him a feared leadoff man. In 2012, he improved his on-base percentage from .317 to .377 year over year and sent his OPS to .856. Hits lefties and righties equally. He has some star power.

3. Jhonny Peralta, shortstop. Leyland thinks Peralta is playing some of the best baseball of his career and the numbers show it. In the sweep of the Yankees, Peralta played outstanding defence and batted .353 with an OPS of 1.127. As a post-season player, Peralta's career numbers across the board are significantly better than his regular season output. He's hit six career homers and driven in 16 runs in 31 career games.

4. Delmon Young, left fielder. Coming off his ALCS MVP award, Young is hardly flying under the radar, but the Tigers DH has evolved into a very good all-round hitter. He obviously has plenty of power, but with runners in scoring position he's just as likely to hit the ball where it's pitched and go to the opposite field. Tigers and their fans will be holding their breath with him in left field in games in San Francisco but hope to reap a reward offensively for risking that sketchy defence.

For the San Francisco Giants ...

1. Marco Scutaro, second base. Similarly to Young, Scutaro isn't going to sneak up on anybody in this series after the wreckage he wrought in the NLCS -- 14 hits, six runs and four RBI in 28 at-bats. The former Blue Jay, traded to San Francisco in July by the Rockies for marginal prospect Charlie Culberson, has been on a roll right from the start. Scutaro, once considered a career utility player, hit .362 with 44 RBI in 61 regular-season games for the Giants and has been their best player in the playoffs.

2. Angel Pagan, centre fielder. After a sparkling season (.288, with 61 extra-base hits, including 15 triples), Pagan has been a bit of a disappointment in the playoffs, batting just .208 with a .246 OBP. Not a good number for the Giants leadoff man, but they know he's capable of so much more. If his bat comes to life, he could be a key performer for the Giants if they are to do any business against Detroit's slate of righthanded starters.

3. Sergio Romo, reliever. Six different pitchers had saves for the Giants this year, with closer Brian Wilson on the sidelines, but Romo (14 saves) got hot at the right moment and he's manager Bruce Bochy's choice as last man standing. In 7.2 innings in the playoffs, he has allowed four hits, one walk and just one run. He's particularly valuable in that he is not just a one-inning pitcher. If he's able to shepherd his starters' leads through crunch time, Romo will be a big man in this series.

4. Brandon Belt, first baseman. While not a classic power hitter, Belt has extra-base power and speed to back it up. He had 40 extra-base hits in 2012. He's an important piece for Bochy in that he's the Giants' best left-handed hitter (though Pablo Sandoval is a switch hitter) against a set of Detroit starters that is exclusively right-handed. In the six-game NLCS, Belt went 7-for-23 with a homer, a triple and a double. He'll need to be an offensive threat against the Tigers for the Giants to be successful.


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