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The Best Hitters In Baseball Today

Did your favorite make the list?

While baseball seems to be geared more toward pitching dominance than slugging today, home runs still put more butts in the seats than strikeouts. There’s nothing baseball fans love more than a hitter who can get locked in at the plate and put runs on the board.

The measures of a great hitter have changed a lot in the past few decades, though, with more importance placed on stats like on-base percentage and wins above replacement than classic metrics like runs batted in and batting average.

We’ve taken a look at a wide range of hitting stats over the past few seasons and ranked the best hitters in the game as of March 2019. Take a look at the list and see if your favorite slugger made the cut.

#25 — Aaron Judge (New York Yankees)

Career Batting Average: .273

Career On-Base Percentage: .398

Career Slugging Percentage: .565

After a freakish rookie season in 2017, Yankees bomber Aaron Judge cooled off a bit in 2018, but he’s still got one of the most dangerous bats in baseball. In 2017, Judge crushed 52 home runs, breaking the all-time rookie record, and he also led the American League in runs and bases on balls, taking a ridiculous 127 walks. His figures in all those categories dropped by about a third in 2018, partly because he played in 43 fewer games, but he still put up a .392 on-base percentage. Judge may be poised for a big comeback in 2019.

aaron judge photo
Getty Images | Elsa

#24 — Michael Brantley (Houston Astros)

Career Batting Average: .295

Career On-Base Percentage: .351

Career Slugging Percentage: .430

Before joining the Houston Astros late in 2018, Michael Brantley spent 10 years with the Cleveland Indians. He’s a career .295 hitter but has been improving his impressive stats the last few seasons. In 2018, he batted .309 — the eighth-best average in all of baseball that season — and put up a .364 on-base percentage, both better than his career averages. Brantley’s 89 runs and 176 hits in 2018 were his highest totals since 2014 and helped earn him a nice, fat contract with the Astros.

michael brantley photo
Getty Images | Rob Carr

#23 — Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals)

Career Batting Average: .285

Career On-Base Percentage: .361

Career Slugging Percentage: .469

Another player who has only gotten better with age is Nationals star Anthony Rendon. In his sixth season in MLB, Rendon put up career-high numbers in batting average and slugging percentage, plus he led the National League in doubles. Rendon’s .308 average in 2018 isn’t only much better than his solid .285 career mark, it was also good enough for ninth best in all of baseball. With Bryce Harper gone, Rendon will undoubtedly be the centerpiece of Washington’s offense in 2019.

anthony rendon photo
Getty Images | Rob Carr

#22 — Scooter Gennett (Cincinnati Reds)

Career Batting Average: .289

Career On-Base Percentage: .331

Career Slugging Percentage: .456

No, “Scooter” isn’t the name on his birth certificate, but it’s the only one he goes by — and it’s much more interesting than Ryan. Gennett surprised many in baseball in 2018 when he put together a .310 batting average, which was sixth best in MLB. But a look at Gennett’s stats show that he’s had a season-long batting average of at least .289 in four of his six MLB seasons so far, three times hitting at least .295. His numbers have only been improving since he came to Cincinnati in 2017, with him putting up at least 20 home runs and 90 RBI in each of the last two seasons.

scooter gennett photo
Getty Images | Denis Poroy

#21 — Whit Merrifield (Kansas City Royals)

Career Batting Average: .293

Career On-Base Percentage: .342

Career Slugging Percentage: .437

Whitley Merrifield might sound like the name of some old-timey baseball player who slugged with Abner Doubleday but he’s one of the best young hitters in the game today. In fact, Merrifield led all of Major League Baseball in hits in 2018, putting up 192 of them. Once he got on base, he made more fireworks happen, also leading baseball in stolen bases with 45. In just his third season, Merrifield has steadily improved his batting average, on-base percentage and OPS (on-base plus slugging) figures every year, culminating in a .304 average last season. He’s still yet to make the All-Star Game, but that should change soon.

whit merrifield photo
Getty Images | Brian Davidson

#20 — Trevor Story (Colorado Rockies)

Career Batting Average: .268

Career On-Base Percentage: .333

Career Slugging Percentage: .530

Still early in his MLB career, Rockies star Trevor Story earned his first All-Star Game appearance and Silver Slugger honor in 2018. He led all of baseball in extra-base hits last season and ranked fifth in both total bases and slugging percentage. Story also contributed 108 RBI, 37 home runs and 27 stolen bases, all career-high marks. If he can keep his strikeout numbers down, you’ll see him climb even higher on lists like this in years to come.

trevor story photo
Getty Images | Stacy Revere

#19 — Lorenzo Cain (Milwaukee Brewers)

Career Batting Average: .293

Career On-Base Percentage: .351

Career Slugging Percentage: .420

After some very productive years with the Kansas City Royals, including a World Series win in 2015, Lorenzo Cain had arguably the best season of his career after joining the Milwaukee Brewers last season. Cain put up career-high marks in walks, stolen bases, batting average and on-base percentage in 2018, ranking in MLB’s top 10 in the latter three stats. He also posted the seventh-highest figure for WAR (wins above replacement) in all of baseball. Cain just seems to be getting better with age.

lorenzo cain photo
Getty Images | Jonathan Daniel

#18 — Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves)

Career Batting Average: .293

Career On-Base Percentage: .378

Career Slugging Percentage: .497

With a career batting average just shy of .300 and a career slugging percentage just shy of .500, veteran hitter Freddie Freeman definitely deserves a spot on this list. In 2018, the Braves star had his best season since 2013, putting up a .309 batting average, which was seventh best in MLB. He also was on base more times than all but two players in the entire league and had the second-most hits in baseball with 191. Freeman’s stats were also helped by the fact that he stayed healthy all year and played in all 162 games during the regular season, a feat he also did in 2014.

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freddie freeman photo
Getty Images | Scott Cunningham

#17 — Giancarlo Stanton (New York Yankees)

Career Batting Average: .268

Career On-Base Percentage: .358

Career Slugging Percentage: .548

Compared to others on this list, Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton’s batting average and strikeout figures are painful to look at, but he’s someone most pitchers would hate to see in the box. Arguably the best home run hitter in the game today, Stanton has been in MLB’s top 10 for homers in three of the last five seasons, including placing sixth in 2018. Stanton’s numbers were down across the board last season — except for strikeouts — but we’ll bet it was just a blip in an incredible career at the plate. Among all active players, Stanton has the sixth highest adjusted OPS+.

giancarlo stanton photo
Getty Images | Mike Stobe

#16 — Alex Bregman (Houston Astros)

Career Batting Average: .282

Career On-Base Percentage: .366

Career Slugging Percentage: .500

He’s only got two full seasons as a starter under his belt but Alex Bregman has proven to have a bright future at the plate. His numbers have improved every year since first being called up in 2016, leading to his first All-Star season in 2018. Last year, he was top 10 in MLB across a slew of offensive categories, including on-base percentage, OPS, walks, runs scored and WAR. Bregman also led all of baseball in doubles and posted the second-best number of times on base, which are two stats all managers love.

alex bregman photo
Getty Images | Rob Carr

#15 — Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs)

Career Batting Average: .267

Career On-Base Percentage: .309

Career Slugging Percentage: .470

Known more as a vicious defensive player in the first few seasons of his career, Javier Baez has arguably become the offensive star of the Cubs now, as well. He posted the third-most RBI in all of baseball in 2018, contributing 111 runs with his bat, which led the National League. He also put up a career-high 34 home runs and was tied for fourth across MLB with nine triples. Baez was also a top-10 player in terms of total bases, slugging percentage and WAR in what could be seen as a breakout season at the plate.

javier baez photo
Getty Images | Norm Hall

#14 — Khris Davis (Oakland Athletics)

Career Batting Average: .248

Career On-Base Percentage: .320

Career Slugging Percentage: .519

Another one of the best long-ball hitters in the game, Khris Davis has ranked among baseball’s top four home run hitters in each of the last three seasons, leading the game with 48 in 2018. He also produced the second-most RBI in baseball last season, another category he’s near the top of every year. Davis also posted career-high numbers in hits, and the best mark for slugging percentage and OPS that he’s put up since becoming a full-time big leaguer.

khris davis photo
Getty Images | Ronald Martinez

#13 — Charlie Blackmon (Colorado Rockies)

Career Batting Average: .302

Career On-Base Percentage: .359

Career Slugging Percentage: .497

He may not look like your typical baseball star but “Chuck Nazty” — yes, that’s spelled with a “Z” — is one of the most consistent hitters in the game. The Rockies stud has a career batting average of .302, which is eighth best among all active players, and led the National League in that category in 2017. He’s been in the top 10 for slugging percentage in the NL for two of the last three seasons and in the top 10 for hits for the past four seasons running. Blackmon also scores a ton of runs, topping 100 runs in each of the past three years.

charlie blackmon photo
Getty Images | Harry How

#12 — Paul Goldschmidt (St. Louis Cardinals)

Career Batting Average: .297

Career On-Base Percentage: .398

Career Slugging Percentage: .532

After eight outstanding seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, including six consecutive All-Star Game appearances, Paul Goldschmidt joined the St. Louis Cardinals in the offseason. That team is getting one of the most consistent hitters in the game, with “Goldy” ranking in the top 10 of on-base percentage across MLB for three of the past four seasons. He’s also got the fifth-highest career mark for adjusted OPS+ among all active players, which will make stat geeks swoon. Last season was more of the same for Goldschmidt, as he ranked in the top 10 for OPS, total bases and times on base across both leagues.

paul goldschmidt photo
Getty Images | Christian Petersen

#11 — J.D. Martinez (Boston Red Sox)

Career Batting Average: .292

Career On-Base Percentage: .353

Career Slugging Percentage: .534

He’s bounced around and played for more teams than most sluggers on this list but J.D. Martinez ranks among the best in the game for plate production. He was instrumental in Boston’s run to winning the World Series in 2018, leading MLB in RBI and placing second in home runs, a stat category where he routinely ranks among the game’s best. Martinez also led all of baseball in total bases in 2018 and was top three in hits, OPS, slugging percentage and batting average. His strikeout numbers are routinely high but he makes pitchers pay plenty.

jd martinez photo
Getty Images | Mike Stobe

#10 — Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies)

Career Batting Average: .291

Career On-Base Percentage: .346

Career Slugging Percentage: .539

A run-producing machine, Rockies slugger Nolan Arenado has ranked in the top four across baseball for RBI every season since 2015. In 2018, he ranked fourth in that category, and was in the top 10 for home runs, runs scored, total bases and OPS. Arenado also hasn’t had a season batting average lower than .287 since 2014, making him an all-around genius at the plate. He posted a career-high number of strikeouts last season but also career-high marks for walks and OPS+, so the tradeoff is probably worth it.

nolan arenado photo
Getty Images | Justin Edmonds

#9 — Bryce Harper (Philadelphia Phillies)

Career Batting Average: .279

Career On-Base Percentage: .388

Career Slugging Percentage: .512

There’s a reason the Philadelphia Phillies offered Bryce Harper a historically lucrative free-agent contract to play for them this year. The former Washington Nationals star not only puts fans in the stadium, but he also gets on base constantly. Among all active players, Harper has the seventh-highest mark for adjusted OPS+. He has also ranked in baseball’s top 10 for walks and on-base percentage in three of the last four seasons. Last season was no different, with him leading MLB in walks and placing 10th with a .393 on-base percentage. Harper also put up a career-best 100 RBI in 2018, which didn’t hurt his value.

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bryce harper photo
Getty Images | Mike Ehrmann

#8 — Manny Machado (San Diego Padres)

Career Batting Average: .282

Career On-Base Percentage: .335

Career Slugging Percentage: .487

The San Diego Padres should feel great about giving Manny Machado a ton of money this offseason because they’re getting one of the most consistent hitters in the game. In six great seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and just part of a National League title-winning season with the L.A. Dodgers, Machado has proven to be a hitting machine. He’s ranked in baseball’s top 10 for hits in four of the last six seasons and has topped 30 home runs in each of the past four seasons. He also stays in great playing condition, appearing in at least 156 games for all but one of the past six seasons, including playing in all 162 games twice.

manny machado photo
Getty Images | Harry How

#7 — José Ramírez (Cleveland Indians)

Career Batting Average: .285

Career On-Base Percentage: .357

Career Slugging Percentage: .487

After having back-to-back All-Star seasons, Cleveland’s José Ramírez has fully arrived as one of the game’s top hitters. He was tied for fourth in MLB for both home runs and WAR in 2018, helping the Indians to another AL Central division crown. One of the few guys who can hit for power and average, Ramírez posted at least a .310 batting average in two of the last three seasons. Last season, he also ranked in the top 10 across baseball for runs scored, stolen bases, RBI and OPS. He also seriously upped his number of walks last season, finishing fifth in MLB, and doesn’t strike out nearly as often as other top hitters.

jose ramirez photo
Getty Images | Tim Warner

#6 — Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers)

Career Batting Average: .297

Career On-Base Percentage: .375

Career Slugging Percentage: .463

Brewers slugger Christian Yelich came very close to batting for a triple crown in 2018, winning the NL batting title with a .326 average. He finished the year ranked in the top five across MLB in a bunch of offensive statistics, including batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and RBI. Yelich was instrumental to Milwaukee’s run to the NLCS, ranking sixth in WAR for the year. He posted career-high numbers in virtually every major stat for hitting, including a .402 on-base percentage. He’s a career .297 hitter, so it stands to reason that his breakout year wasn’t just a fluke.

christian yelich photo
Getty Images | Michael Reaves

#5 — Francisco Lindor (Cleveland Indians)

Career Batting Average: .288

Career On-Base Percentage: .350

Career Slugging Percentage: .487

In his three full seasons as a big leaguer so far, Francisco Lindor has done nothing but win, being a big part of three consecutive AL Central division-winning teams. He’s been an All-Star all three years and has also earned some MVP votes each season, both for good reason. In 2018, he had the most plate appearances of anyone in baseball and was tied at the top for runs scored. His .871 OPS was the best of his career, as were the 38 home runs he hit, which was the sixth-best mark in MLB. Chances are, the 25-year-old Lindor will only get better from here, which is a thought that should scare pitchers.

francisco lindor photo
Getty Images | Jason Miller

#4 — Mookie Betts (Boston Red Sox)

Career Batting Average: .303

Career On-Base Percentage: .370

Career Slugging Percentage: .518

Red Sox star Markus “Mookie” Betts has put up sickening numbers since first being called up in 2014. Betts had an unbelievable season in all ways in 2018, becoming the first player in MLB history to win MVP honors, a Silver Slugger award, a Golden Glove award, a batting title and the World Series in a single year. But he’s been doing it his whole career, ranking in baseball’s top 10 for batting average in two of the last three years. He led all of baseball in batting average, slugging percentage, runs scored and WAR in 2018.

mookie betts photo
Getty Images | Bob Levey

#3 — Joey Votto (Cincinnati Reds)

Career Batting Average: .311

Career On-Base Percentage: .427

Career Slugging Percentage: .530

Former MVP Joey Votto’s career numbers would make any analytics lover drool. The guy is simply one of the best hitters, in terms of getting on base, that has ever played professional baseball. While the Reds have sucked for the past few years, Votto has continued to produce, ranking in MLB’s top four in walks and on-base percentage in 2018. He ranks in the top 10 for career WAR, batting average and adjusted OPS+ among all active players. Votto is a machine when it comes to plate vision, ranking in the top 10 for batting average in three of the past four seasons and the top five for walks in seven of the past eight seasons.

Getty Images | Justin Casterline

#2 — José Altuve (Houston Astros)

Career Batting Average: .316

Career On-Base Percentage: .365

Career Slugging Percentage: .453

As gifted a hitter for average as there’s ever been, Astros star José Altuve hardly misses at the plate. He’s got the second-highest career batting average among all active players, with a ridiculous .316 mark, which is also what he hit for in 2018. He’s ranked in the top three for WAR across all of baseball in two of the last three seasons and has been in the top two for total hits in four of the last five seasons. Don’t expect Altuve’s numbers to dip any time soon.

jose altuve photo
Getty Images | Elsa

#1 — Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels)

Career Batting Average: .307

Career On-Base Percentage: .416

Career Slugging Percentage: .573

Just seven full seasons into his MLB career — and an All-Star Game selection in each of them — some writers have already called Mike Trout the greatest baseball player in history. It reads like hyperbole but there’s definitely an argument to be made, especially when it comes to his on-base percentage, a stat in which he led MLB in 2018 at .460. He also led the game in offensive WAR, times on base and intentional walks last season. Among all active players, Trout ranks in the top eight for WAR, batting average and adjusted OPS+. There’s simply no hitter in baseball that can top Trout’s command at the plate.

Getty Images | Patrick McDermott