Which Phillies are the most pivotal for a World Series return in 2023?

Kyle Schwarber and Brandon Marsh of the Philadelphia Phillies
Kyle Schwarber and Brandon Marsh of the Philadelphia Phillies / Elsa/GettyImages
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The Phillies will rely on Kyle Schwarber's power again in 2023.

Throughout the 2022 postseason, we saw what Dombrowski envisioned for this lineup when Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper each smashed six home runs.

The duo's power was pivotal in helping the Phillies go from the NL's final seed to its World Series representative. However, Harper will not likely return to the lineup until around the All-Star break. This means the Phillies will once again turn to Schwarber to hit the long ball.

Schwarber's 46 home runs were not only a career high, but they also led the National League and got him invited to the 2022 Home Run Derby. Despite not winning the contest, Schwarber was the first Phillies player to participate since Rhys Hoskins in 2018. Ironically, Hoskins was eliminated in the 2018 derby's second round by Schwarber.

There is no doubt that Schwarber has had a successful career, but can he play like one of baseball's best power hitters in Harper's absence? Schwarber being in the MLB's top 20 in 2022 in slugging percentage and RBI suggest so. His left-handed batting stance will also go a long way to complement the right-handed stars that will dominate the Phillies lineup — especially with Harper missing time.

Trea Turner, J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, Nick Castellanos, and Alec Bohm are all left-handed bats set to start for the Phillies on Opening Day. If manager Rob Thomson opts to throw Kyle Schwarber in the middle of that group to bat as the third or fourth slot as the cleanup power bat, it could lead to him getting off the a hot start the Phillies will need to be playing well into October.