The power-hitting game in Major League Baseball has evolved rapidly over the years. The old tradition held that the only players who hit the long ball consistently were players who couldn’t leg out doubles and triples on a consistent basis. However, as we now sit in 2014, the state of the power game has changed. Today, players of all shapes and sizes are considered “power hitters”. This list contains the top ten power hitters through mid-2014. The power game isn’t just for the big men anymore.
10. Jose Bautista — Toronto Blue Jays
For the past four years, Jose Bautista has been a staple in lists dedicated to power hitters in the Major Leagues. In mid-2014, Bautista is still a contributing factor to the power image many youngsters dream of when playing baseball in their youth. Jose has slapped 17 home runs this season and has driven in 52 runs. While many respect Jose as a powerful slugger, he is still not up to par with his stats of years’ past. In 2010 and 2011, Jose hit 54 and 43 home runs, respectively. While the mid-point of the 2014 season is closing in, many are wondering if Bautista will bring his game from years past. Even with Bautista not hammering home runs and doubles, his stats are still good enough to land him the #10 spot on this list.
9. Miguel Cabrera — Detroit Tigers
Miguel Cabrera has brought outstanding numbers to the game of baseball for the past three years. This year is no exception. Cabrera is a big man, but moves extremely well for someone his size. Already this season, Miguel has hit 32 doubles. Not only can he move on the bases better than the average big guy, he can also hit the cover off the ball. He has hit 14 home runs and driven in 67 RBIs. Clutch doesn’t even begin to describe his performance, as he is always getting the right hit at the right time. His slugging percentage is hovering around the .540 mark, which is pretty good for professional baseball. Out of all the players on this list, Cabrera is the one who induces the most fear and stress from opposing pitchers and defenses alike.
8. Mike Trout — Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels’ star center fielder, is a menace to pitchers when it’s his turn to bat. Trout is a clutch hitter, seemingly always getting a hit when it’s needed the most. He is a deep threat who is to be feared by defenses. With 18 home runs and 59 runs batted in on the year, he may seem like a one trick pony. Sure, he can hit home runs. But, can he also leg out doubles and the occasional triple? The answers to these questions are yes and yes. Mike has clobbered 23 doubles so far in 2014. Oh yeah, and the triples? He’s hit five of them. That’s impressive for a player to possess the strength of a consistent home-run hitter and the speed of a doubles hitter. Trout brings it all to each and every game he plays.
7. Troy Tulowitzki — Colorado Rockies
The hard-hitting shortstop for the Colorado Rockies, Mr. Tulowitzki has come into his own in the past three years in the big leagues. Reaching the All-Star game three times out of the past four years and winning back-to-back Silver Slugger Awards in the National League, Troy’s power is on display this season. Driving in 47 runs and hitting 18 homers through mid-2014, Troy is destined for another solid season in the record books. Adding in his slugging percentage of .600 and his 17 doubles (and a triple), Tulowitzki’s power is well known around the majors and makes him a threat when standing in the batter’s box.
6. David Ortiz — Boston Red Sox
A name infamous in the world of sports, David Ortiz is always one to spark controversy. Whether you love him or hate him, one thing is clear: the man can swing a powerful bat. Always having been considered a power hitter, it’s no surprise he has made this list. As a multiple World Series winner, Ortiz has had the opportunity to show off his power in the postseason. David has cracked 17 home runs, 21 doubles, and two triples in his postseason career. This year is no exception, as David continues to churn out great power numbers. So far through this season, he has hit 19 home runs and driven in 52 runs. Though he has been in the majors for quite some time, David Ortiz continues to impress with his bat and his regular displays of power.
5. Victor Martinez — Detroit Tigers
Switch-hitting DH Victor Martinez, like the man above him David Ortiz, has consistently been giving power performances in the hitting game for years and years. Enjoying some great seasons with the Cleveland Indians (his best HR performance coming in 2007 with 40 of them and 114 RBIs to boot), the AL central Tiger is concocting yet another stellar power year. Since the beginning of the 2014 season, Victor has garnered 20 home runs on the year. He is only two doubles shy of tying his home runs for the season at 21 and sports a high slugging percentage of .599. On a team full of powerful hitters, Martinez stands out as one of the best.
4. Giancarlo Stanton — Miami Marlins
A fresher face than most on this list, Stanton made his debut only four short years ago for the Florida Marlins. Coming off of an average year in the batter’s box, Giancarlo Stanton has exploded onto the scene in 2014. At 21 home runs, 21 doubles, 1 triple, and 62 runs batted in, Stanton has almost matched his numbers from last year. Being so young works to Giancarlo’s advantage, since many opposing pitchers don’t have a lot of information about his batting preferences. The young man is also sporting a .559 slugging percentage. Not too bad for a youngster.
3. Nelson Cruz — Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles left-fielder Nelson Cruz is generating a lot of attention due to the type of season he is having so far. As the halfway point of the 2014 season edges closer, Cruz doesn’t look like he will be stopping his batting tear any time soon. So far, Nelson has racked up 26 home runs (his highest total for a season is 33). As Cruz continues to tear the cover off the ball, he remains a threat in the AL East. David Ortiz better watch out, as this divisional foe has the numbers to back up his powerful performances at the plate.
2. Edwin Encarnacion — Toronto Blue Jays
Arguably the second best batter in the major leagues in 2014 season so far, Encarnacion has been on another planet when it comes to his batting numbers. Home runs? Yeah, he’s got 26 of them. How about RBIs? Yeah, he’s got those too (70 to be precise). Well, what about extra base hits? Does he have any of those? Edwin has clobbered 21 doubles so far this season. He has even hit two triples. With a slugging percentage three shades under .600, Edwin is a force to be reckoned with in the AL East.
1. Jose Abreu — Chicago White Sox
The top spot on this list belongs to Jose Abreu, a player who has absolutely dominated his opponents this season. Chalking up 27 home runs and 69 runs batted in; Abreu is constantly a pain for both pitchers and defenses when he comes up to bat. He can also run the bases, as he owns 17 doubles for the season, as well as one triple-bagger. Showcasing a slugging percentage of .627, the White Sox first baseman has clearly shown that he has come to play. Mr. Abreu is a player who should be feared by opponents. He has earned that respect.