The Astros have made six-straight trips to the American League Championship Series, have appeared in four of the last six World Series, and won two of those. They're a dynasty with some of the best performers in playoff history.
Surely if the MLB were to release a list of the Top Players in the 2023 Postseason, it would be littered with Astros, especially the top-10, no?
Not so fast.
The MLB released that very list today, and only one Astros player made the top 10: Justin Verlander who ranked seventh.
MLB's postseason player rankings underrate Houston's biggest stars
That's right--no Jose Altuve. All he has done in his playoff career is hit the second most home runs in playoff history. He didn't just finish the year with a .915 OPS and 151 OPS+. But sure, ranking Luis Arraez at #10 over Altuve feels like the right call. Arraez picking up a lot of singles and having exactly 0 playoff home runs to his name definitely makes him a better option than Altuve.
Corbin Carroll, dynamic rookie or not, making the list feels crazy. Yes, he stole 54 bases, but his .868 OPS was 122 points lower than Yordan Alvarez. Alvarez only hit three absolutely titanic game-winning blasts last postseason, including the one that won the World Series, but let's put a rookie on the list simply because he doesn't play for the orange team that stole signs seven years ago.
Carroll also placed above Kyle Tucker, for what it's worth.
Not only was Yordan not top-10, but he barely snuck in the top-20, placing behind names like Sonny Gray. Makes sense.
Randy Arozarena was ranked 24th while Alex Bregman came in 36th. Bregman finished with an .804 OPS to Randy's .789, was worth more defensive runs saved, and had a bWAR 1.4 points higher, but since Randy wasn't a 2017 Astro, he gets the nod.
Aaron Nola placed 47th on the list and was basically unpunished for his mediocre 2023, but an arm like Cristian Javier that was better in 2022, specifically head-to-head in the playoffs, didn't get an honorable mention.
Javier wasn't exactly deserving of the list, but it's fascinating to see others' track records rewarded, while that of the Astros were overlooked.
Clayton Kershaw started only 24 games this year but somehow was placed ninth. He's a bad playoff pitcher and missed a huge chunk of time all year, but since he didn't play for the Astros, let's reward what he's done in his regular season career.
Evan Phillips of the Dodgers did get an honorable mention, even though his 2.05 ERA is higher than that of both Bryan Abreu and Hector Neris.
Another year of the Astros being disrespected heading into October before forcing the baseball world to respect them when the games are played. Just the way we like it.