2) Taylor Ward - Los Angeles Angels
Taylor Ward enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2022 in which he slashed .281/.360/.473 with 23 home runs and 65 RBI. Ward suffered an injury that hampered his production for a couple of months but he ended the season with a very strong September.
Ward is projected to lead off for the Angels and hitting in front of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani should only give him more pitches to hit. I expect big things from the 29-year-old in 2023, an all-star appearance perhaps?
1) Yordan Alvarez - Houston Astros
As much as I'd love to put Ward at number one, Yordan Alvarez is too good to ignore. He might even be the scariest hitter in the game right now. Alvarez slashed .306/.406/.613 with 37 home runs and 97 RBI in 135 games. Alvarez likely hits 40-45 home runs if he plays a full season but he missed time with injury.
We all saw how great Alvarez is when he hit a couple of home runs in the ALDS against the Mariners and hit a booming home run in the clincher of the World Series. The Astros lineup is elite and Alvarez is the best hitter in that elite lineup.