During the regular season, a panel of MLB.com voters established the Hitting Power Rankings, a look at the best hits and hottest hits in Major League Baseball.
But now there are two teams left: the Astros and the Phillies. They will meet in the World Series, which starts Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Accordingly, heading into the Fall Classic, our panel voted on the best hitters these two clubs will send to the plate during the sport’s biggest series. Although career histories and achievements in 2022 were taken into account, these rankings are largely based on the performances we’ve seen in this postseason.
Only 11 players between these two teams received votes, and we’ve included them all in this World Series edition of the Hitting Power Rankings.
1. Bryce Harper, Phillies
There wasn’t much to think about here, as each of our nine voters put Harper first on their ballots. That’s what happens when you hit .419/.444/.907 with six doubles, five homers and 11 RBIs in 11 postseason games and come into the World Series on a 10-game hitting streak. The two-time NL MVP is in for a big time in the 2022 postseason, including a go-ahead home run in Game 5 against the Padres and Phillies that helped Harper secure NLCS MVP recognition. He is on now.
2. Yordan Alvarez, AstrosThe consensus for Álvarez at No. 2 on this list was almost as strong. The 25-year-old Cuban put up offensive numbers this season that would be the envy of almost every hitter not named Aaron Judge, and that continued into the playoffs. Alvarez hit a memorable walk-off home run in Game 1 of the ALDS against Seattle and then the go-ahead shot in the sixth inning of Game 2. But after he didn’t make much noise in Houston’s next four games, he left 4-2 in the ALCS decider, including a seventh-inning single that tied the game.
3. Jeremy Pena, Astros
Some rookies might be overwhelmed by the magnitude of October, but Peña isn’t one of them. In addition to showing up in his first season replacing Puerto Rican Carlos Correa as Houston’s shortstop, the Dominican also slugged .824 to be recognized as ALCS MVP. Peña joined Cuban Randy Arozarena as the only position players to be named LCS or World Series MVP as rookies.
4. Alex Bregman, Astros
The most popular pick among MLB.com voters to win World Series MVP, Bregman appears to have gotten his swing back at bat. In his last 94 regular season games, he had a .288/.389/.514 slash line with 24 doubles and 17 home runs. He subsequently left identical and impressive sweeps lines in the ALDS and ALCS and is now on his way to making his mark in the World Series.
5. Rhys Hoskins, PhilliesThe Hitting Power Rankings don’t take into account the fact that Hoskins has struggled enough defensively, including in this postseason. These rankings focus exclusively on the bats, and Hoskins has as much power in his as any other hitter in this World Series. He hit 30 homers in the regular season and has another five in the postseason, including four in the ALCS – two key hits in Game 4 and another in Game 5.
6. Kyle Schwarber, Phillies
We could go into a lot of detail about Schwarber, but let’s focus on the obvious. First, he led the NL with 46 homers in 2022. Second, his huge drive in Game 1 of the NLCS may still be in orbit. What else do you need to know?
7. Yuli Gurriel, Astros
If we were talking about the regular season, Gurriel would not appear on this list, since at 38 years old he left a line of .242/.288/.360. But with the arrival of the playoffs, something changed. Gurriel’s aggressive style and tendency to make contact — he hasn’t walked or struck out in 30 plate appearances in the playoffs — has him hitting .367. He now has 81 hits in the postseason even though he didn’t get his first until he was 33 years old.
8. JT Realmuto, Phillies
Here is the complete list of catchers who have had a 20-20 season: Iván Rodríguez (1999) and Realmuto (2022). They are the only ones. And that speaks to the athletic ability Realmuto brings behind the plate and in the batter’s box. The nine-year veteran, who is contesting the postseason for the first time this year, blew the fence in the SDLN and the SCLN.
9. Jose Aluve, Astros
Altuve is the opposite of Gurriel. The Venezuelan shone during the regular season (.921 OPS, 28 home runs), but entered the postseason on a 25-0 slump. However, Altuve had three hits in the last two ALCS games and despite his uncharacteristic performance, his status as one of the most productive hitters in the playoffs allows him to be on this list.
10. Kyle Tucker, Astros
Tucker has modest numbers this postseason (.634 OPS, one home run, one RBI), but we’re talking about a player who has hit 30 homers in two straight seasons. Tucker also poses a threat on the bases (25 stolen in 2022), so the Phillies will have their hands full with him in the World Series.
**eleven. Nick Castellanos, Phillies
**Nick Castellanos didn’t have his best season in 2022, dropping from a 122 OPS+ (2016-21) to below league average 95, but he’s still a threat at bat. Castellanos drove in five runs for the Phillies in the NLDS against the Braves, and it wouldn’t surprise him if he made a splash against the Astros as well.
Voters: David Adler, Doug Gausepohl, Thomas Harrigan, Sarah Langs, Ted Lee, Mike Petriello, Manny Randhawa, Shanthi Sepe-Chepuru, Andrew Simon
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2022 World Series: Hitting Power Rankings