These are the best bats in the Fall Classic

October 28th, 2022

Throughout the regular season, a panel of voters put together the Hitter Power Rankings, a look at the best and hottest bats from across the Majors.

But now, there are only two teams remaining: the Astros and Phillies. They will square off in the World Series, which begins Friday night at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.

So the Hitter Power Rankings are following suit. Ahead of the Fall Classic, our panel voted on the best these two clubs will send up to the plate on the sport’s biggest stage. Keep in mind that while career track record and 2022 accomplishments certainly factor in here, these rankings also are based heavily on how these players have performed in this postseason.

With only 11 players across these two teams receiving votes, we’ve included each of them in this edition of the World Series Hitter Power Rankings.

1. Bryce Harper, Phillies
This was a no-brainer, as each of our nine voters put Harper in the top spot on their ballots. That’s what happens when you bat .419/.444/.907 with six doubles, five homers and 11 RBIs across 11 postseason games and carry a 10-game hitting streak into the World Series. Yeah, the two-time NL MVP is having his postseason moment in 2022. That includes the eighth-inning homer in Game 5 against the Padres that powered the Phillies into the lead and helped Harper lock up NLCS MVP honors. With Harper crushing the ball to the opposite field, he’s as locked in as it gets right now.

2. Yordan Alvarez, Astros
There was nearly as strong a consensus on Alvarez in the No. 2 spot on this list. The 25-year-old put up offensive numbers this season that would be the envy of just about anyone not named Aaron Judge, and that continued into the playoffs. Alvarez launched a memorable walk-off homer into the stratosphere in Game 1 of the ALDS against Seattle and then hit a go-ahead bomb in the sixth inning of Game 2. He was actually quiet over Houston’s next four contests but went 2-for-4 in the ALCS clincher, including a game-tying RBI single in the seventh inning.

3. Jeremy Peña, Astros
Some rookies might be overwhelmed under the glare of the October spotlight. Not Peña. If he didn’t already prove his mettle by capably stepping into the sizable shoes of Carlos Correa as Houston’s shortstop this year, then he certainly did by slugging .824 to capture ALCS MVP honors. He joined Randy Arozarena as the only rookie position players to win an LCS or World Series MVP Award.

4. Alex Bregman, Astros
The top pick of voters to take World Series MVP honors, Bregman seems to have his groove back at the plate. Over his final 94 regular-season games, he hit .288/.389/.514 with 24 doubles and 17 homers. Bregman followed that up with equally impressive stat lines in ALDS and ALCS sweeps and now appears poised to make his mark on the Fall Classic.

5. Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
The Hitter Power Rankings are not concerned with the fact that Hoskins has endured his share of defensive struggles, including in this postseason. These rankings are all about the bats, and Hoskins has as much pop in his as almost anyone. He launched 30 homers in the regular season and has delivered five more in his first postseason, with four in the NLCS -- including two big ones in Game 4 and another in the Game 5 clincher.

6. Kyle Schwarber, Phillies
We could provide a detailed breakdown of Schwarber here, but instead let’s stick to three simple points. First, he crushed an NL-high 46 homers this season. Second, his titanic blast in Game 1 of the NLCS might still be orbiting the San Diego sky. And last, but not least, he has learned to harness the power of the hoagie. What more do you need to know?

7. Yuli Gurriel, Astros
If this were about the regular season, Gurriel would be nowhere near this list, after batting a mere .242/.288/.360 at age 38. But when the playoffs arrived, it’s as if a switch flipped. Gurriel’s aggressive, contact-heavy approach -- he has zero walks or strikeouts in 30 plate appearances -- has yielded a .367 average. He now has 81 career postseason hits despite not notching his first until he was 33.

8. J.T. Realmuto, Phillies
Here is the complete list of catchers to have a 20-20 season: Ivan Rodriguez (1999) and Realmuto (2022). That’s it. And that speaks to the special level of athleticism that Realmuto brings both behind the dish and at it. The nine-year veteran, getting his first taste of the postseason, homered in both the NLDS and NLCS.

9. Jose Aluve, Astros
Altuve is the opposite of Gurriel. He was at his best during the regular season (.921 OPS, 28 homers) but then began this postseason in an 0-for-25 slump. Altuve did log three hits over the final two games of the ALCS however, and his status as one of the most productive playoff hitters of all time nabs him a spot here despite the uncharacteristic recent performance.

10. Kyle Tucker, Astros
It’s been a quiet-ish postseason for Tucker (.634 OPS, one homer, one RBI), but this is a player with back-to-back 30-homer campaigns. Tucker is also a threat on the bases (25 steals in 2022), so you can bet the Phillies will still have their hands full with him in the World Series.

11. Nick Castellanos, Phillies
This wasn’t Castellanos’ finest season, as he slumped from a 122 OPS+ (2016-21) to a below league-average 95, but he's still a threat at the plate Castellanos drove in five runs in the Phillies’ NLDS upset over the Braves, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he makes his presence felt against the Astros, too.

Voters: David Adler, Doug Gausepohl, Thomas Harrigan, Sarah Langs, Ted Lee, Mike Petriello, Manny Randhawa, Shanthi Sepe-Chepuru, Andrew Simon