The best-hitting pitchers of all time


The designated hitter is now being utilized by each leagues. Most insiders assume that the DH is now right here to remain within the Nationwide League, so with hitting pitchers about to go the way in which of the dinosaur, it is price looking at these hurlers who raked (comparatively talking).


Icon Sports activities Wire / Contributor

Backe performed eight seasons, from 2002-2009, and most of them had been undistinguished, posting a 31-29 profession report, with a mediocre 5.23 ERA. Nevertheless, as a hitter with the Astros — they had been nonetheless within the Nationwide League throughout his stint — he confirmed some critical potential. He had 4 dwelling runs in 133 profession at-bats, however energy wasn’t probably the most spectacular a part of his recreation; Backe was an total stable hitter. He completed his profession with a .256 common and a .731 OPS.


Ken Brett

Focus On Sport / Contributor

George Brett’s older brother was a fairly truthful participant in his personal proper, posting a profession 3.93 ERA in 14 seasons. Given his household historical past, it’s unsurprising that there was some thunder in his bat. Brett’s two finest years as a hitter got here in 1973 and 1974, when he mixed to hit .281 with six dwelling runs in 167 at-bats, and submit a .766 OPS. When accounting for the offensive atmosphere of that period, Brett was, amazingly sufficient, an above-average hitter relative to his non-pitching friends.


Bullet Joe Bush

Bettmann / Contributor

Bush possessed each an all-time nice nickname and a few critical chops as a hitter. His profession straddled the tip of the Lifeless-ball period, and the start of the Dwell-ball period. When Bush acquired important plate appearances in 1921 and 1922, he proved that not solely was he not a pushover, however he additionally was a troublesome out. Bush hit .325 in 1921 and .326 the next season after which topped each of these years by hitting .339 in 1924. For his profession, he completed with a .253 common and 7 dwelling runs.


Madison Bumgarner

Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports activities

Bumgarner’s exploits as a hitter are well-documented. He’s taken Clayton Kershaw deep and has 19 profession dwelling runs in 594 at-bats — roughly a full season’s price. Bumgarner’s two finest years as a hitter, by far, had been 2014 and 2015. He mixed for 9 dwelling runs and 24 RBI, and hit .252. His .749 OPS was not solely superlative for a pitcher, however it additionally made him an above-average offensive participant total. One of the best half about Bumgarner’s work on the plate? He by no means acquired cheated on any of his swings.


Don Drysdale

Transcendental Graphics / Contributor

So far as hitting pitchers go, Drysdale is a legend. He hit 29 dwelling runs in 1,169 profession at-bats, however what is especially superb about his work as a hitter is that almost all of his manufacturing got here in two flukish, outlier seasons. As a 21-year-old in 1958, Drysdale hit an astounding seven dwelling runs in simply 66 at-bats, good for a .591 slugging share and an .852 OPS. Seven years later, at age 28, he hit .300 in 130 at-bats, cracked seven extra dwelling runs and had an .839 OPS. Oh, and he received a Cy Younger and is within the Corridor of Fame. Not dangerous, not dangerous in any respect.


Wes Ferrell

George Rinhart / Contributor

Right here’s a fairly good synopsis of Ferrell’s abilities as a hitter: His 38 profession dwelling runs are the all-time report for a pitcher, he was so good as a hitter that he was typically utilized in a pinch-hitting capability, and he had two seasons with an OPS higher than .950, to not point out two extra above .800. Ferrell might need been enjoying within the Thirties, however these numbers are spectacular in any period. He wasn’t too shabby as a pitcher, both, profitable 193 video games in a 15-year profession.


Yovani Gallardo

Mike McGinnis / Stringer

Gallardo had a powerful early begin to his profession, ending seventh within the Nationwide League Cy Younger race in 2010, however his abilities weren’t restricted to the mound. That very same season, he slugged 4 dwelling runs and completed with an .837 OPS whereas additionally managing to hit .254. That was by far his finest offensive season. A transfer to the American League in 2015 completed him as a hitter, however he made the underside of the Brewers lineup formidable each time he pitched.


Bob Gibson

Bettmann / Contributor

A Corridor of Famer, and top-of-the-line, most intimidating pitchers in baseball historical past, Gibson was additionally no slouch when it got here to hitting. He managed to remain above the Mendoza Line for his profession, ending with a .206 common, and he additionally hit 24 dwelling runs. What was most spectacular about his hitting prowess was that he did it whereas having to take care of headhunting opposing pitchers sad about his aggressive inside pitching.


Tom Glavine

Dana Kaplan/Sports activities Imagery / Contributor

A Corridor of Famer and member of the 300-win membership, Glavine was at all times a fantastic pure athlete; ok to get drafted within the NHL and MLB. He made the precise selection when he went with baseball, and his pure athletic abilities allowed him to shine on the plate. Glavine had just about no energy, however he was an excellent bunter, main the league in sacrifices in 2001 and ending with 216 for his profession. He additionally managed to hit above .200 in 9 of twenty-two seasons.


Zack Greinke

Rob Schumacher/The Republic

Greinke has a Cy Younger Award, six Gold Gloves and a repute as one of many quirkiest gamers within the large leagues. He’s additionally top-of-the-line hitting pitchers within the league. Greinke hit .328 with the Dodgers in 2013 and had his finest offensive season in 2019, posting an .888 OPS with three dwelling runs with the Diamondbacks and Astros. Greinke enjoys and takes significantly his hitting, and it exhibits.


Mike Hampton

Brian Bahr / Employees

A two-time All-Star and 22-game winner in 1999, Hampton’s profession was derailed late by accidents, however for a time he was certainly one of baseball’s higher starters and presumably its finest hitting pitcher. Hampton swatted seven dwelling runs in 2001 and completed the season with a .291 common and an .891 OPS. He hit .300 or higher in 4 separate seasons, although some had been small pattern sizes, even for a pitcher. Nonetheless, Hampton greater than earned his repute as one of the harmful hitting pitchers within the league.


Jack Harshman

Bettmann / Contributor

Harshman dabbled as a primary baseman earlier than switching over to pitcher full time in his mid-20s, and he completed his profession with a 69-65 mark and a 3.50 ERA. His work as a hitter was spectacular, as he hit 18 dwelling runs in a five-season stretch from 1954-1958. Harshman by no means hit for excellent common, as he completed with a .179 profession mark, however he took a stunning variety of walks, was robust to strike out and had reputable pop in his bat.


Walter Johnson

Bettmann / Contributor

One of many recreation’s all-time finest pitchers, The Large Prepare was additionally a fearsome hitter in his day. Johnson received 417 video games for Washington, six occasions main the league in wins. Johnson hit 24 dwelling runs in a 21-year profession and was a .235 profession hitter. He was a mannequin of consistency, not often seeing his common dip beneath .200 for a whole season, placing up stable numbers. His finest season as a hitter got here at age 36 when he managed a .433 common and a 1.033 OPS in 97 at-bats.


Don Larsen

Bettmann / Contributor

Larsen is most well-known for throwing what stays the one good recreation in postseason historical past within the 1956 World Sequence, when he blanked the Brooklyn Dodgers whereas a member of the Yankees. Larsen may additionally hit, ending his profession with 14 dwelling runs, a .242 common and an incredible 1958 marketing campaign, when he hit 4 dwelling runs and completed with a .935 OPS in simply 49 at-bats.


Michael Lorenzen

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports activities

Have a look at that image and also you’d be forgiven for considering that Michael Lorenzen acquired misplaced on his technique to the fitness center and ended up a member of a Main League Baseball workforce. The Reds reliever is coming off his finest season as a professional, with a 2.92 ERA in 73 appearances, however he’s really noteworthy as a result of he cuts a bodily imposing profile and may hit the daylights out of the ball. By no means was this extra evident than in 2018 when Lorenzen hit .290 with 4 dwelling runs in simply 31 at-bats, good for a 1.043 OPS.


Greg Maddux

Jed Jacobsohn / Employees

Greg Maddux seems to be like a professor, a nerd, an accountant — absolutely anything apart from what he was, which was one of many biggest pitchers ever and top-of-the-line pure athletes to ever take the mound. Maddux received 355 video games in a 23-year profession, and whereas his exploits on the mound had been jaw-dropping, notably his 4 consecutive Nationwide League Cy Younger Awards from 1992-1995, he additionally carved out a repute as an often harmful hitter. Oh, who am I kidding? He had a profession .395 OPS, horrible even for a pitcher. He’s primarily included in order that we are able to all bask within the glory of this industrial.


Don Newcombe

Sports activities Studio Pictures / Contributor

Newcombe pulled off a uncommon MVP-Cy Younger sweep together with his 27-7 marketing campaign in 1956. In his 10-year profession, he received 149 video games, the 1949 Rookie of the 12 months Award and a World Sequence. Newcombe was additionally a harmful hitter. His 1955 season is likely one of the finest you’ll ever see from a pitcher on the plate (non-Babe Ruth class). That 12 months, Newcombe hit .359 in 117 at-bats, with seven dwelling runs, 23 RBI and a 1.028 OPS. He by no means got here all that near any of these numbers once more, however that degree of sustained brilliance deserves recognition, as does his glorious profession .271 common.


Joe Nuxhall

Bettmann / Contributor

Nuxhall is notable for the truth that he made his MLB debut at age 15, however he carved out a stable profession, profitable 135 video games with a profession 3.90 ERA. Whereas he solely hit .198 in his 16 seasons, he did have some constant pop in his bat, with 15 profession dwelling runs. Early on he was notably fearsome, piling up 11 dwelling runs from 1953-1956. He was notably nice in 1953, ending the 12 months with a .327 common and a .928 OPS.


Micah Owings

Christian Petersen / Employees

Owings the pitcher? Nothing to see right here. He had a 32-33 report and a 4.86 ERA in a profession that spanned six seasons. Ho-hum. Owings the hitter? That was an altogether completely different story. He burst onto the scenes as a rookie, hitting 4 dwelling runs in simply 60 at-bats and posting a .333 common for the 12 months, to not point out a 1.033 OPS. He adopted that up by hitting .304 the next 12 months after which added three extra dwelling runs to his whole the 12 months after that. Owings hit 9 dwelling runs within the majors, and ended his profession with a .283 common and an .813 OPS, the latter determine the most effective all time for a pitcher.


Milt Pappas

Hy Peskin Archive / Contributor

Pappas received 209 video games throughout a 17-year profession, and by some measures he doesn’t need to be referred to as a fantastic hitting pitcher. He completed his profession with a paltry .354 OPS and hit simply .123 as a professional. Nonetheless, he did handle to clobber 20 dwelling runs, and whereas I by no means noticed him hit, one will get the sense that he stepped into the batter’s field with one plan: Swing as laborious as attainable and hope for the most effective. Nothing however respect for that strategy.


Gary Peters

Bettmann / Contributor

Peters received 124 video games in a 14-year profession and completed with a stable 3.25 ERA. He additionally made his mark as a hitter. His finest season was his rookie marketing campaign in 1963 with the White Sox, one which noticed him win Rookie of the 12 months. That season, Peters hit .259 with three dwelling runs. He would stay a constant energy risk all through the remainder of his profession, ending up with 19 dwelling runs and a .222 common.


Schoolboy Rowe

Bettmann / Contributor

Three All-Star choices, the 1935 World Sequence with Detroit and a terrific nickname; Rowe had all of it. He was additionally hitter. In 15 seasons, Rowe clobbered 18 dwelling runs, hit .263, and had an OPS of .710. He hit .300 or higher on three separate events and did not hit .200 for a season simply 4 occasions in these 15 years. And it bears repeating: He glided by “Schoolboy.”


Babe Ruth

Transcendental Graphics / Contributor

Fairly positive you understand about this man. As a pitcher, you may be to be taught that he went 94-46 in his profession with a 2.28 ERA and received the ERA title in 1916, at 1.75. Subsequent!


Warren Spahn

Focus On Sport / Contributor

Spahn received 363 video games in a 21-year profession, took dwelling the Nationwide League Cy Younger Award in 1957, was a 17-time All-Star and received a World Sequence in 1957. He additionally has the second-most dwelling runs of any pitcher in historical past, with 35. Spahn was a mannequin of consistency, by no means hitting greater than 4 round-trippers in a single season however usually knocking a number of out of the yard. Except for a 1958 season that noticed him hit .333, Spahn was not a very nice hitter, however his energy greater than made up for that.


Sloppy Thurston

Bettmann / Contributor

A man who glided by “Sloppy” doesn’t actually need a lot else added to his story, however Thurston was hitting pitcher within the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties. He completed his nine-year profession with a .270 common and hit over .300 4 separate occasions in his profession. He by no means confirmed a lot energy, with solely 5 dwelling runs, however he was a triples machine, with 10 to his credit score.


Jim Tobin

Transcendental Graphics / Contributor

Tobin had a dropping report for his profession regardless of a 3.44 profession ERA. He led the league in losses in 1942 however did earn some small measure of revenge, hitting six dwelling runs that season on the way in which to 17 for his profession. Tobin’s profession numbers would have regarded poor for a place participant, however his .230 common and .648 OPS had been greater than respectable for a pitcher, even in an period the place stable hitting from that place was barely extra frequent.


Dizzy Trout

Bruce Bennett / Contributor

The longtime Tigers hurler received 170 video games in a 15-year profession, posting spectacular numbers within the course of, together with an ERA title in 1944. That wasn’t his solely important achievement that season; Trout additionally hit 5 dwelling runs, a profession finest, and batted .271. Trout ended up with 20 dwelling runs for his profession and managed to hit higher than .200, ending his time within the majors with a .213 common.


Dontrelle Willis

Eliot J. Schechter / Stringer

Willis took the league by storm together with his Rookie of the 12 months-winning efficiency in 2003, going 14-6 and serving to lead the Marlins to a World Sequence in his age-21 season. He went on to steer the Nationwide League in wins in 2005, going 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA. Willis was recognized for his infectious vitality and funky windup, however solely the primary high quality utilized to his hitting, which was fairly conventional and fairly harmful. Willis had simply 9 dwelling runs for his profession, however he hit .244 total and managed a .286 mark in 2007, with an .856 OPS in addition. Willis’ profession might need been brief, however he made his mark on the mound and within the batter’s field.


Earl Wilson

The Sporting Information / Contributor

Wilson led the league with 22 wins for the Tigers in 1967, and whereas he was an above-average pitcher at some point of his 11-year profession, he was practically as well-known for his prodigious energy. Wilson hit 35 dwelling runs in all, together with 18 in a three-season stretch from 1964-1966 and was a basic feast-or-famine hitter. He managed only a .195 common total, however the specter of his energy pressured opposing pitchers to deal fastidiously with them, and he nonetheless made them pay.


Carlos Zambrano

Brian Bahr / Stringer

Zambrano was one of many league’s fieriest gamers over the course of his 12-year profession, the sort of participant definitely worth the value of admission whether or not you had been cheering for him or not. He led the league with 16 wins for the Cubs in 2006, however his prowess wasn’t restricted to the mound. Zambrano was a menace on the plate, with 24 profession dwelling runs and a .238 common. Not solely that: He was a switch-hitter, and his strategy on the plate might need been extra intense than it was on the mound. Probably the most enjoyable gamers to look at in current baseball historical past, it doesn’t matter what he was doing.

Chris Mueller is the co-host of The PM Crew with Poni & Mueller on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan, Monday-Friday from 2-6 p.m. ET. Proprietor of a canine with a Napoleon complicated, client of beer, cooker of chili, closet Cleveland Browns fan. On Twitter at @ChrisMuellerPGH – please snigger.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *