RANKED: Greatest Sluggers of All-Time

26. Aaron Judge


It may seem a bit premature to include Judge on this list after only 281 career games, but after watching Judge closely since his debut, it is clear he is amongst the greats. As a rookie in 2017, the Yankees slugger hit 52 home runs. An additional 27 extra base hits (XBH) amounted to a .627 slugging percentage (SLG). In an injury-shortened 2018 campaign, Judge has continued to mash. There have been very few people in the history of baseball that hit the ball as hard as Judge. His sheer power puts him in the upper echelon of sluggers — and based off his current trajectory, Judge will continue to rise.

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25. Hank Greenberg


“Hammerin’ Hank” was an absolute stud for the Detroit Tigers. Greenberg was able to put together a Hall of Fame career mainly due to his ability at the plate. A two-time MVP, Hank amassed 331 homers and an additional 379 doubles in 13 seasons. A three-year military stint in the middle of his prime kept his numbers from being greater, but a .605 SLG — sixth all-time — speaks for itself.

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24. Joe Dimaggio


Best known for his incredible 56-game hitting streak, DiMaggio was one of the greatest sluggers of his time. By the time he decided to hang up his spikes, “The Yankee Clipper” ranked fifth in career home runs (361) and sixth in SLG (.579). In his age-22 season, DiMaggio blasted 46 homers, knocked in 167 runs, and posted a .673 SLG. Like Greenberg, DiMaggio lost three prime years to the military. Generally regarded as one of the best players of all-time, DiMaggio’s slugging prowess shouldn’t be overlooked.

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23. Reggie Jackson


Due to his proclivity for clutch hitting in the postseason, Jackson became known as “Mr. October”. Although his postseason accolades will always be at the forefront when Jackson is discussed, his career excellence shouldn’t be forgotten. Not only did Jackson slug 563 homers, but the Hall of Famer added 463 doubles over the course of his 21 seasons. Jackson’s biggest moment — and one of the biggest in baseball history — came in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series. In the Yankees’ World Series-clinching game Jackson hit three home runs, becoming the first player to win the World Series MVP for two clubs.

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22. Giancarlo Stanton


If there is anyone in the MLB today that can challenge Judge as the top slugger, it’s Stanton. Only 28, Stanton will have surpassed the 300 homer mark by seasons end. In Giancarlo’s final season in Miami, the NL MVP hit 32 doubles and 59 dingers — setting career highs in SLG (.631) and OPS (1.007) in the process. Stanton is currently averaging 44 HR per year, and is well on his way to joining the 500 HR club.

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21. Rafael Palmeiro


Palmeiro’s career numbers look spectacular. Problem is, “I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period,” was proven to be a lie (under oath). A mere five months after his testimony, Palmeiro was suspended by Major League Baseball for testing positive for an anabolic steroid. Nonetheless, Palmeiro’s numbers still hold some weight. He is a member of both the 500 HR club (569), and the 3,000 hit club (3,020).

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20. Mickey Mantle


The greatest switch hitter of all-time, Mantle was known for hitting majestic home runs. A 20-time All-Star and three-time MVP, Mantle finished his career with 536 HR, 1,509 RBI, and a .557 SLG. His 1956 season remains one of the best individual seasons in history. “The Mick” won the Triple Crown, leading the AL with 52 HR, 130 RBI, and a .353 BA — also setting career marks in SLG (.705) and OPS (1.169).

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19. Mike Schmidt


One of the greatest third baseman to ever cover the hot corner, Schmidt terrified opposing teams with his bat. A three-time MVP, and six-time Silver Slugger, Schmidt was nearly unstoppable for 14 years. From 1974-1987, the Phillie great averaged 36 homers and 104 RBI per year and his .546 SLG was amongst the best in the league. The third baseman led the NL in home runs eight times on his way to 548 career dingers — good for 16th all-time.

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18. Frank Thomas


The picture above doesn’t do justice to just how physically imposing Thomas was on the diamond. Listed at 6-foot-5, 240-pounds, Thomas, aka “The Big Hurt”, was a powerhouse immediately upon arriving in the big leagues. Over his first four full-seasons, Thomas hit 135 homers while slugging .596, taking home two MVP’s in the process. One of the most feared hitters of his generation, Thomas ended his illustrious career with 521 HR, 1,704 RBI, 495 doubles, and .555 SLG.

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17. David Ortiz


From “The Big Hurt” to “Big Papi”.  After a pedestrian first six seasons in the big leagues, Ortiz joined the Red Sox and immediately became a superstar. In his first five seasons in Boston, Big Papi smashed 208 homers, drove in 642 runs, and held a .612 SLG. While his numbers dipped slightly during the middle years of his Red Sox tenure, Ortiz finished his career with a bang. During his age 38-40 seasons, Ortiz tacked on an additional 110 HR and slugged .564. Papi’s 541 career home runs place him 17th on the all-time list, while his .552 SLG is good for 25th.

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16. Harmon Killebrew


Harmon “The Killer” Killebrew might have been small, but his swing was mighty. The 5-foot-11 first baseman hit a whopping 573 home runs over the course of a 22-year career. Killebrew’s furthest homer measured at 520 ft, and became the first player to ever hit a homer over the left field roof at Detroit’s old ballpark. The legendary Twin led the AL in home runs six times, as well as pacing the league in RBI three times. Outside of his moon shots, Killebrew tallied 314 XBH on his way to the Hall of Fame.

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15. Manny Ramirez


One of the best hitters of the past few decades, the only thing that may have matched Ramirez’ skill was his personality. Starting his career with the Cleveland Indians, Manny posted a .603 SLG and hit 217 homers. Ramirez made his name with the Red Sox, where he helped the team win the 2004 World Series. Manny added 274 homers during his stay in Boston before being shipped to Los Angeles. Ramirez smashed 17 HR in his first 53 games with the Dodgers, terrifying the NL in the process. Manny’s two PED suspensions have tarnished his reputation, but there is no denying the fearsome slugger was a real player. Manny left the game with a .312 BA, 555 HR, 1,831 RBI, and a .585 SLG.

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14. Jimmie Foxx


If you earn the nickname “The Beast”, you are clearly doing something right. Foxx was a dominant force for the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Red Sox. Before Alex Rodriguez superseded him in 2007, Foxx was the youngest player to reach 500 home runs. From 1929-1940, Foxx hit at lest 30 dingers and drove in more than 100 runs. His .609 SLG ranks fourth all-time, and is the best amongst right-handed hitters.

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13. Frank Robinson


Before becoming a manager for four different organizations, Robinson made a name for himself as one of the greatest ball players of all-time. An NL and AL MVP, Robinson ended his playing days in fourth place on the all-time home run list. Robinson’s 586 homers are the tenth most all-time and his .537 SLG is firmly in the top-40. His 528 doubles nearly match his prodigious home run total. All in all, Robinson is clearly one of the top sluggers to ever play the game.

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12. Jim Thome


A recent inductee into the Hall of Fame, Thome hung his hat on his prolific home run ability. Thome broke the 40 home run threshold six times, leading the NL in 2003 with 47 dingers. Spending the best years of his career with the Cleveland Indians, Thome smashed 337 of his 612 homers for the Tribe — 8th on the all-time list. Thome finished his career with a very respectable .554 SLG, and a .956 OPS. Combining Thome’s home run’s and penchant for getting on base, it is clear he is one of the game’s greatest sluggers.

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11. Lou Gehrig


Nicknamed “The Iron Horse,” Gehrig enjoyed one of the greatest careers in baseball history. Gehrig slugged 493 homers and added 1,995 RBI during his illustrious career. His .632 SLG trails only Ruth and Williams. Gehrig is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats, but coming up just short of joining the 500 HR club kept him from placing higher on our list.

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10. Sammy Sosa


Smack dab in the middle of the steroid discussion lies ‘Slammin’ Sammy. After only hitting 95 homers over his first six seasons in the big leagues, Sosa exploded in the late 90s and early 2000s. From 1995-2003, Sosa hit an incredible 444 home runs — including seasons of 66, 63, 50, 64, 49 — and was a huge part of bringing fans back to the game. Sosa’s reputation has been tainted due to PED speculation and his corked bat incident, but there is no denying Sosa’s unbelievable stretch was one of the best the sport has seen. Sosa retired with 609 homers, good for 9th all-time.

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9. Willie Mays


“The Say Hey Kid” is not only an elite fielder, but one of the greatest hitters of all-time. Topping 3,000 career hits and finishing his career with a .302 BA, Mays was simply sensational. The Giants great had eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons, and two 50+ home run campaigns. Mays’ 660 home runs are the fifth most all-time. Mays added 523 doubles and 140 triples, helping the legend reach 1,903 career RBI.

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8. Ken Griffey Jr.


If it weren’t for injuries that limited “The Kid” for four seasons in Cincinnati, Junior could have had a shot at Babe Ruth’s 714 home run tally. As it stands, Griffey’s 630 dingers rank as the 7th most in MLB history. Griffey took home seven Silver Slugger Award’s, two of which came in one of the most dominant two-year stretches the league has ever seen. In 1997 — 56 HR, 147 RBI, .304 BA, .646 SLG. In 1998 — 56 HR, 146 RBI, .284 BA, .611 SLG.

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7. Albert Pujols


At No. 7, Pujols is the highest ranked individual amongst active players. Though his play has dipped slightly since joining the Angels, the numbers Pujols put up with the Cardinals speak volumes. Over the course of 11 seasons, “The Machine” hit 445 HR, tallied 1,329 RBI, and had a .617 SLG. Pujols was walked a remarkable 975 times, and managed to add 455 doubles to his résumé. In seven seasons with the Angels, Pujols has added 188 HR while slugging .454. Pujols’ 633 HR (as of August 24, 2018) rank 6th all-time.

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6. Mark McGwire


The second player on this list squarely placed in the middle of the steroid debate. Alongside Sosa, Mark “Big Mac” McGwire helped revitalize baseball. After hitting 363 homers with the Oakland Athletics, McGwire became the center of the baseball universe with the St. Louis Cardinals. Big Mac hit 70 dingers in 1998 — at the time a single-season record — and followed it up with 65 more in 1999. In only four and one-half seasons in Cardinal red, McGwire blasted 220 homers. His .588 SLG ranks 7th, and his 583 homers rank 11th all-time.

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5. Ted Williams


Quite possibly the greatest all-around hitter to ever play the game, Williams was a monster slugger. Despite losing three years to the military in the early part of his career, Williams still slugged 521 home runs. Williams also holds the record for career on-base percentage (.482), and is second in SLG (.634). Imagine what his numbers would have been if he didn’t leave to serve our country.

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4. Alex Rodriguez


One of the greatest players of all-time, regardless of his admitted steroid use between 2001-2003, A-Rod was a monster. A-Rod finished his career with a .295 BA, 3,115 hits, 2,086 RBI, and 696 HR — the fourth most all-time. Rodriguez also holds an MLB record with 25 career grand slams. A 10-time Silver Slugger and three-time MVP, Rodriguez was a force to be reckoned with from the start of his career. In his first full season, a 20-year-old A-Rod hit 54 doubles and 36 HR while driving in 123 runners.

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3. Babe Ruth


The top three on our list should come as no surprise. The man with perhaps the greatest nickname (The Sultan of Swat) in baseball history, Ruth will forever be considered one of the all-time great sluggers. Ruth is near the top of all the major categories associated with slugging. Third in home runs (714), second in RBI (2,214), third in walks (2,062), and first in slugging by a wide margin (.690).

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2. Hank Aaron


The one-time Home Run King, Aaron is still regarded by many as the true home run leader. Aaron’s illustrious career was punctuated by surpassing Ruth’s vaunted home run record. Aaron’s record 755 HR held up for 33 years before Barry Bonds broke his mark. In addition to hitting more homers than all but one man, Aaron holds the lifetime RBI record with 2,297 runs batted in.

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1. Barry Bonds


Although Bonds’ legacy continues to be hampered by steroid allegations, there is no denying he is one of the greatest all-around hitters to ever play the game. Whether it’s hitting for average, power, or just getting on base, Bonds is a step ahead of the pack. His 762 home runs seem to be out of reach for the foreseeable future. His 73 HR year (2001) is also seemingly untouchable. A .607 SLG and 1,996 RBI are good for 5th all-time.

One of the more incredible statistics when looking at Bonds’ legacy — 2,558 walks. Imagine what his numbers would look like if he didn’t have nearly 400 more walks than any player in history. From 2001-2004 Bonds was walked 755 times, including 249 intentional walks. No batter has ever been feared more than Bonds. The greatest slugger, one of the best all-around hitters, a top three player of all-time, Bonds is a legend.

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