The Home Run Leader is one of the most prestigious titles in baseball. It is given to the player who hits the most home runs during a single Major League season.
The Home Run Leader is also among the popular baseball prop bets that we see in many betting sites before the start of the season.
This season, the early home run leader is Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers who has a total of 16 homers in 118 at bats. Next in the list is the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger who has a total of 14 dingers while Eddie Rosario of Minnesota has a total of 13 long bombs. Edwin Encarnacion, Joey Gallo and George Springer each have a dozen taters. Meanwhile, Jay Bruce, Gary Sanchez, Marcell Ozuna and Javier Baez have 11 long balls drilled to round up the Top 10.
It’s still too early to tell who ends the season as the MLB’s home run leader for 2019. Just as it’s too early to give a solid prediction on who will win the 2019 World Series. However, we know how last season ended, so for now, let’s take a look at who were the previous season’s top home run hitters. Read on:
1. Khris Davis – 48
Since coming over from the Milwaukee Brewers in 2016, Khris Davis has seen his homerun numbers almost double. Davis has been in the Top 5 in the Majors in home runs drilled since 2016 and last season, he led the Majors with 48 to become the first Oakland A’s player in the last 22 years to do so. His 48 long bombs are tied for fourth in A’s history and fifth most by any major leaguer since 2010. Last season was the third straight where Davis has finished with at least 40 home runs.
On another note, Davis also ranked second in the Majors to JD Martinez with 123 RBIs. Davis has had three consecutive season with at least 100 RBIs, He is the second player in A’s history to record three straight seasons with at least 40 homers and 100 RBIs. As of the end of the 2018 season, Davis’ total of 133 round-trippers are the most by any big leaguer since 2016.
2. J.D. Martinez – 43
The Boston Red Sox signed J.D. Martinez to make an impact in their lineup and he surely did last season. Martinez finished the 2018 regular season with a total of 130 RBIs and 43 home runs, leading the big leagues in the former and finishing second in the latter. Martinez’ 43 home runs also broke a 55-year Red Sox record for most home runs hit in a player’s first season with Boston.
Martinez also had a batting average of .330 last season to join Ted Williams and Jimmie Fox as the only Red Sox players to hit at least .330 with 40+ homeruns and 130+ RBIs. The last player to achieve that feat was Miguel Cabrera in 2013.
3. Joey Gallo – 40
There are players who hit well and there are players who hit home runs. Joey Gallo is the latter. At the end of the 2018 season, Gallo had a total of 88 home runs and just a total of 82 singles. Over the course of his career, Joey Gallo has been more likely to drill a home run than hit a single. That’s unusual.
Gallo became only the 6th player to post 40 home runs and have a slugging average below .500. Last season, his .206 batting average was the second lowest for any player in history to have 40 home runs in a single season.
4. Mike Trout – 39
Mike Trout raised his game to another level last season. He was fourth in home runs with 39 and was also fifth in batting average (.312), first in on-base percentage (.460) and third in slugging percentage (.628). His 1.088 OPS didn’t just lead the big league but it was also the second-highest in the majors this decade. All these led to Trout being named as the 2018 Major League Player of the year by Baseball America.
5. Jose Ramirez – 39
Despite a late season slump, Cleveland Indians infielder Jose Ramirez finished the 2018 regular season with 39 home runs, 5th best in the Majors. Ramirez also produced 105 RBIs, 156 hits and 110 runs scored. 81 of his 156 hits were for extra bases as he finished with 38 doubles, 4 triples and 39 homers. For his season success, Ramirez was third in the balloting for the 2018 AL MVP and was a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove Award for the second consecutive season.
6. Giancarlo Stanton – 38
Giancarlo Stanton was acquired by the New York Yankees from the Miami Marlins after leading the Majors with 59 home runs. It seemed that he was primed for success after delivering a home run in his first at bat and finishing his Yankees debut with a pair of long bombs while leading the team to its first season opener win since 2011.For the 4th straight year, Stanton hit the ball with the highest exit velocity of the season in the big leagues, which was 121.7 miles per hour.
7. Nolan Arenado – 38
Arenado is a player who can have an effect on both ends of the field. He is the only third baseman in history to win a Golden Glove in each of his first six seasons. He’s also finished in the Top 5 in the NL MVP voting in each of the last three seasons, including third last season when he hit 38 home runs and had 110 RBIs. Arenado has won four successive Silver Slugger awards and was named to the NL All-Star team in each of those four seasons. He has also led the NL in home runs three times.
8. Francisco Lindor – 38
Although the Indians didn’t achieve what they set out for, the consistent play of All-Star Francisco Lindor was one of the main reasons why the Tribe won a third straight division title and went to the postseason. His 38 home runs last season broke a franchise record for a shortstop and he also became the first shortstop in MLB history to post 35 home runs, 40 doubles and 20 steals in one season.
9. Nelson Cruz – 37
Nelson Cruz was the 8th oldest player in the American League last season. The now 38-year old from the Dominican Republic hit 37 home runs last season, which was 9th in the Majors but was his lowest total in five years. In 2017, he led the American League with 119 RBIs and was selected as the Edgar Martinez Award winner as most outstanding designated hitter of 2017. He was selected as an All-Star for the 6th time in his career last season an became a free agent at season’s end. He signed a one-year $14.3M contract with the Twins for the 2019 season.
10. Manny Machado – 37
In a season where he was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Manny Machado was still able to produce 37 home runs along with 103 RBIs and 35 doubles. Machado signed a 10-year $300M deal with the San Diego Padres last February. At the time of signing, it was the largest contract in American Sports history and was broken by Bryce Harper’s $330M deal two weeks later.
11. Trevor Story – 37
This is supposed to be a Top-10 list but because Trevor Story also hit 37 homers last season, we included him in our list. And what a story he has been. Story led the National League with 191 strikeouts in 2017 but last season, he produced 37 home runs, 108 RBIs, 27 stolen bases while batting at .297. Only one shortstop has produced those kind of numbers in a season and that was A-Rod in 1998.