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The 5 Greatest Power Hitters in MLB History

The 5 Greatest Power Hitters in MLB History

Trying to home in on the five greatest power hitters in MLB history is a tough ask when you account for eras, quality of players, and medical advancements. Thus, the most objective solution is to look at the career slugging percentage leaderboard to find our answers.

             

5) Barry Bonds

Although many baseball fans want to discredit Barry Bonds’s achievements on the field because of his alleged—and still unproven—use of performance-enhancing drugs, ignoring his otherworldly statistics is impossible.

             

From 1992-2005, Bonds didn’t have a season where his OPS dipped below 1.000. More impressively, .749 was his lowest slugging percentage during a four-year period from 2001-2004, which includes his record-breaking 73-home run season.

             

There was never a more feared hitter in the game, considering he has more intentional walks (688) than the Tampa Bay Rays do as a franchise.

             

4) Jimmie Foxx

Even if you ask a diehard baseball historian for a list of their top ten sluggers, they might not name Jimmie Foxx as one the game’s greatest, but his .609 slugging percentage says otherwise.

             

Foxx edged out another criminally underrated first baseman, Hank Greenberg, thanks to his 1932 season, where his 58 home runs and 169 RBI gave him a slashline of .364/.469/.749/1.218. Foxx wanted to prove that remarkable season wasn’t a fluke by winning the triple crown the following year.

             

3) Lou Gehrig

We mostly remember how Lou Gehrig’s career ended rather than what he did on the field. But as perfect as his farewell speech was about being “the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” the real lucky ones were those who got to see him dominate at the plate.

             

Gehrig’s lifetime slashline of .340/.447/.632/1.080 is mind-blowing, especially when you realize he was playing second fiddle on his team. Nevertheless, the “Iron Horse” string of 2,130 consecutive games played—a record that Cal Ripkin Jr. eventually broke—and his lifetime statistics make him one of the most prolific MLB players ever.

             

2) Ted Williams

One could argue that Ted Williams is the best all-around hitter ever to pick up a bat since his .482 on-base percentage is on top of the record books. However, the “Splendid Splinter’s” .634 slugging percentage is second place.

             

Teddy Ballgame finished his career with 521 home runs, which is particularly impressive because he missed three years of his prime being a fighter pilot in World War II and the Korean War. Otherwise, Williams may have eclipsed the 600-home run threshold.

             

1) Babe Ruth

Smalls didn’t fear the wrath of his new stepdad in The Sandlot because he unknowingly took a ball signed by some scrub player. He and the rest of the game went toe-to-toe with Hercules because the most prodigious power hitter in MLB history had his John Hancock on the ball.

             

With a .690 career slugging percentage, Babe Ruth is unquestionably the greatest power hitter to ever step at the dish. He may have the advantage of playing 20-plus years before MLB integrated the game with Jackie Robinson’s arrival, but when you outhomer every team in the American League in 1920, you can be the top dog.

             

The five greatest power hitters in MLB history left their mark on the game. You cannot look at a career leaderboard without seeing at least one of their names near the top. If there were a sportsbook for MLB handicapping picks in the 1920s, Pregame would have informed you about taking the over for every Yankees game. Instead, we can help you make some extra money over the upcoming 2023 season!

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