5 players to watch in 2022 World Series


The defining moment in a baseball player’s career tends to take place in October…or, in recent cases, November. 

Members of the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies will have the opportunity to seize that moment when the 2022 World Series begins on Friday, and carries into November.

Some of the stars in the series already have dramatic postseason moments on their resume. The Astros have become October mainstays, having advanced to the Fall Classic for the fourth time in six years. Members of the Phillies have also made deep October runs with their previous teams. 

Here are five players to watch in the World Series who might produce an iconic October (or November) moment…

Bryce Harper 

Harper delivered an October moment just days ago, hitting a dramatic, eighth-inning, go-ahead home run that sent the Phillies to the World Series. He is one of the sport’s biggest stars and has won plenty of hardware in his career, including two MVP awards, a Rookie of the Year award and even a Home Run Derby title. Now, he’ll look to add a World Series championship. Harper left the Washington Nationals to join the Phillies in 2018, and the Nats then went on to win the World Series in the first year of the post-Bryce era. The former No. 1 overall pick, now 30 years old and in his 11th major league season, has a chance to get a ring of his own.   

Yordan Álvarez

Álvarez is due. He was his usual self in the ALDS against the Seattle Mariners, launching a walk-off three-run home run that gave the Astros a 8-7 win in Game 1, then hitting a go-ahead two-run home run off Luis Castillo in a 4-2 victory in Game 2. Álvarez, the 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2021 ALCS MVP, then struggled in the Astros’ four-game sweep of the New York Yankees, going 3-for-14 with one RBI and six strikeouts. Expect the 25-year-old - who hit .306 with 37 home runs and 97 RBIs this season - to return to form in the World Series.      

Justin Verlander

Verlander made his World Series debut in 2006 when he was 23 years old. Now, 16 years later, a 39-year-old Verlander again will take the ball for Game 1, coming off what has arguably been the best season of his Hall of Fame worthy career. After winning the 2019 Cy Young, Verlander made one start in 2020 before experiencing elbow pain that would eventually require Tommy John surgery. He missed the entire 2021 season and returned better than ever, going 18-4 with a league-best and career-low 1.75 ERA. Four months shy of his 40th birthday, Verlander is now in position to win his third Cy Young and second World Series.   

Jeremy Peña

The 25-year-old rookie shortstop has been this October’s breakout star. Peña, after hitting .253 with 22 home runs and 63 RBIs this season, has hit .303 with three home runs over his first seven career postseason games. Two of those homers came in series clinchers as Peña hit a solo shot in the 18th inning of Game 3 against the Mariners for a 1-0 win and then drilled an early, game-tying three-run blast in Game 4 against the Yankees en route to a 6-5 win. Might he also go deep in the World Series clincher? 

Kyle Schwarber 

When it comes to October moments, it might be tough to top the “Schwarboard Home Run.” While playing in the 2015 NLDS with the Chicago Cubs, Schwaber crushed a ball so far it landed on top of the video board at Wrigley Field. It was later preserved in place…

It was one season later that Schwarber helped the Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years, going 3-for-5 in a Game 7 extra-inning victory. Schwarber will now play a pivotal role as the Phillies attempt to end their 14-year championship drought. 

The 29-year-old outfielder hit more home runs than anyone not named Aaron Judge this season, finishing with a career-high 46. He has gone yard three times in 11 playoff games during the Phillies’ run to the World Series. Scoreboards at Citizens Bank Park and Minute Maid Park should beware.   

Contact Us