Last year, Ken Griffey Jr. retired, and with him went one of the sweetest swings in MLB history. Every time he swung the bat, it was a work of art, as he was so smooth and made it look so effortless.
Now, it is time to re-evaluate MLB and find the top 10 sweetest swings in the game. Albert Pujols claims the top spot, as he is so powerful at the plate but makes it look so effortless, almost like Griffey.
Here are the rest of the players joining Pujols on this list.
Carlos Gonzalez had a breakout year last year for the Rockies, crushing 34 HRs and 117 RBI.
The lefty hitter is off to another fast start this year, as he is already hitting .400 this season. He has a very relaxed swing that seems to make the ball just pop off his bat.
Alfonso Soriano is a home-run hitter but does not look like your prototypical home-run hitter. He is a skinny guy who generates a lot of power in his swing.
Since 2002, he has hit more than 35 HRs in five seasons and has hit as many as 46. Soriano has a long, drawn-out swing, but turns very quickly on pitches to hit them out.
David Wright has one of the more balanced swings in MLB, as he hits for average but also generates enough bat speed to hit for power.
He has hit more than 25 HRs every season since 2005 except one, while also hitting over .300 every season except one.
Because of his swing, he is one of the more deadly hitters in the game today.
Longoria is unfortunately on the 15-day DL right now, but when he is healthy, he has one of the best swings in MLB.
He is another home-run hitter, hitting as many as 33 in one season, but he also hits for average, as he hit .294 last season. Longoria has an interesting initial stance in the box, but explodes to the ball and gets in good position when he swings the bat.
Another player who is unfortunately injured like Longoria but has one of the best swings in MLB is second baseman Chase Utley.
The first second baseman to make the list has a very fluid swing at the plate and looks in control through his whole motion.
He has had some trouble staying healthy as of late, but when he is healthy, he will hit 30-plus HRs and hit around .300, which seems to be the norm for the players on this list.
The only catcher to make this list deserves to be here.
It's Joe Mauer.
Catchers who are just as valuable at the plate as they are behind the plate are rare, but Mauer falls into that category.
Mauer does not have as much power as some of the other players on this list, but he is a great contact hitter because of his swing, as he has hit for averages of .328, .365 and .327 over the past three years.
Another player who has had some serious success at the plate the last few seasons is Robinson Cano.
This second baseman for the New York Yankees has one of the sweetest swings in MLB, as he puts so much power and energy behind his bat but also makes it look so easy and fluid.
He has hit 29 and 25 HRs each of the past two seasons while hitting for averages of .320 and .319, and each swing for Cano is like a work of art.
The reigning AL MVP, like a lot of these players, puts so much power behind his swing but makes it look effortless.
Hamilton set the record in the 2008 home-run derby with 28 HRs in the opening round and finished with 35, the second-most in the history of the competition. Last year was by far his best year at the plate, as he hit over 30 HRs and 100 RBI, all while hitting for an average of .359.
He is off to a slower start in 2011, but with a swing like his, I don't expect that to last long.
This switch-hitter for the Yankees has routinely been a slow starter, as the month of April has not been his friend.
However, he is off to an unusually fast start in 2011, as he has already hit four HRs with 10 RBI in his first five games.
He does not usually hit for the same averages as some of these players, but he has one of the sweetest swings in MLB and has been one of the most dangerous hitters over the past eight years.
The reason he is this high is that his swing looks almost perfect from either side of the plate, which is very impressive.
Albert Pujols is by far the best player in MLB right now and has the sweetest swing. It is almost impossible to describe the impact this guy has had for the Cardinals and MLB as a whole.
Since his first season (2001), he has not posted fewer than 32 HRs, fewer than a 103 RBI or lower than a .312 average.
He has one of the smoothest swings in the game but absolutely crushes the ball when he makes contact. That home run that Pujols hit in 2004 against the Astros in Game 5 of the NLDS was hit so hard, I still don't think it has landed.
Unfortunately for MLB pitchers, it doesn't look like he is slowing down any time soon.