23 Weakest Hitters in Major League Baseball
The home run is the most exciting play in baseball, but not every hitter is adept at hitting the long ball.
Some ball players instead make a living by playing strong defense, stealing defense and slapping singles all over the field.
These 23 hitters would struggle to hit one out during the HR Derby, let alone during a big league game against real pitchers. Nonetheless, here they are in order of decreasing power.
In the interest of fairness, pitchers do not qualify as hitters.
Michael Bourn, OF, Atlanta Braves
Bourn is a legitimate All-Star talent, but it’s not because of his power. The 28-year-old outfielder has just 12 homers in his career and is much more likely to end up at third base (32 career triples) than home plate.
Bourn is slugging .400 this season, so there may still be time for him to crack double-digit home runs eventually in his career.
Omar Vizquel, SS, Chicago White Sox
Vizquel may have more career home runs (80) than anybody else on this list, but at the age of 44 his days of mediocre power are well behind him.
The slick-fielding shortstop has just four homers in his last 900+ at-bats and his slugging percentage (career .353) hasn’t cracked .345 in a single season since 2006.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, IF, Minnesota Twins
It may be a small sample size, but in 180 at-bats the Japanese import has just five extra-base hits and they’re all doubles.
Nishioka did hit 55 home runs during his time in Japan, so it may just be a matter of time before he connects on one in the majors. Multiple bombs may be asking a lot though.
Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas Rangers
Andrus may be one of the best young players in the game, but the one tool he’s missing is power.
In 400 games he has just nine home runs and a .336 career slugging percentage. He’s also led the league in sacrifice hits for two years in a row.
Rajai Davis, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
Davis’ .377 career slugging percentage is misleading because the veteran outfielder has nearly twice as many triples (20) as home runs (13).
The speedy Davis did manage to launch a career-high five last season, but he’s back to his regular powerless self this season with just one home run in 315 at-bats.
Nyjer Morgan, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Morgan is another speedster who has inflated his .377 career slugging percentage with more triples (24) than home runs (seven).
He has already tied his career high with three shots this season, so perhaps whatever raw power there was is finally showing.
Jordan Schafer, OF, Houston Astros
If Schafer has anything resembling power, he certainly hasn’t shown it yet. In 363 career at-bats the outfielder has a measly three home runs and a .303 slugging percentage to go with it.
Schafer’s still just 24, so maybe he needs more to adjust to major league pitching. He could also use a lot more upper body strength.
Chone Figgins, IF, Seattle Mariners
Figgins was never much of a power threat during his time with the Angels, but since coming to Seattle he’s become as close to an automatic out as an everyday player can be.
Figgins has just two home runs in his last 900 at-bats and he’ll need to have a very strong second half just to get his slugging percentage this season above .250.
Alex Cora, IF, Washington Nationals
There’s a reason that Cora hasn’t appeared in more than 100 games a season since 2004, when he hit a career-high 10 home runs, and that’s because his power is gone.
Cora, 35, hast just one home run in the last four seasons (over 700 at-bats) and his slugging percentage (career .338) hasn’t been above .310 since 2008.
Aaron Miles, IF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Middle infielders aren’t typically known as power threats, and Miles definitely confirms the stereotype.
The Dodgers’ second baseman has just one home run in his last 600 or so at-bats and a paltry 17 on his career. The .354 slugging percentage isn’t fooling anyone.
Jack Wilson, IF, Seattle Mariners
Wilson, 33, has come to the plate nearly 500 times in his three seasons in a Mariners uniform and has just one measly home run to show for it.
Some of that could be explained by the cavernous confines of Safeco Field. Some of it could also be explained by Wilson’s complete lack of power. What happened to the guy who hit 12 bombs in 2007 as a young Pittsburgh Pirate?
Adam Everett, SS, Cleveland Indians
Everett may have 40 career home runs, but he hasn’t hit one since 2009 and hasn’t cracked double digits since 2005 (also the first and only time Everett cracked double digits).
Now in the later stages of his career, Everett has become nothing than a situation hitter who’s more likely to bunt (80 career sacrifice bunts) than try to get the ball out of the infield.
Nick Punto, IF, St. Louis Cardinals
A name like “Punto” doesn’t exactly inspire fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers, and the veteran utility man has never been much of an offensive threat.
With just 13 career home runs in nearly 3,000 plate appearances, Punto is about as powerful as a pitcher. Still, he’s having a career year this season.
Brendan Ryan, IF, Seattle Mariners
The Mariners may be one of the most offensively challenged teams in baseball history, but even Ryan makes them look bad.
The 29-year-old shortstop is good for a home run about every 100 games and owns a .343 career slugging percentage.
Ryan Theriot, IF, St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals have three big boppers in Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman, but Theriot isn’t in the same class, or universe, as the rest of the offense.
The utility man has a home run in each of the last six seasons, but just 17 in total despite ample playing time. Somebody has to be on base for Pujols and company.
Willie Bloomquist, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
Bloomquist has played nearly every position known to man, but slugger definitely isn’t one of them.
The veteran has a .340 career slugging percentage, but on the bright side with one more home run this season he’ll have a new career high: five.
Tony Gwynn Jr., OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Unlike his father, the young Gwynn Jr. never managed to find his power stroke. The 28-year-old has just five home runs in nearly 500 games, and it’s a small wonder he’s managed to hit even that many.
Gwynn has the dishonor of being one of the only players in major league history with a higher career on-base percentage (.320) than slugging percentage (.317).
Craig Counsell, IF, Milwaukee Brewers
Counsell, 40, nearly set a major league record for consecutive hitless at-bats earlier this season, but his homerless streak continues. He has none in 122 at-bats this season and just nine in the last four years.
The veteran infielder has a relatively impressive .341 career on-base percentage. Unfortunately, his slugging percentage is only three points higher.
Willy Taveras, OF, Washington Nationals
Taveras is one of the fastest players in baseball, but none of it matters when it comes to hitting home runs.
The 28-year-old with the .327 career slugging percentage averages just two a season and is often better off bunting than trying to get the ball out of the infield.
Jamey Carroll, IF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Carroll, 37, has one of the longest homerless streaks in baseball at more than 700 at-bats and counting.
The veteran infielder does have 12 in his career, but interestingly enough seven of them came from when he was a Colorado Rockie. I guess the Coors effect does exist.
Cesar Izturis, IF, Baltimore Orioles
With a slash line of .255/.295/.322 it’s incredible that Izturis has been in the big leagues for 11 seasons.
However, despite an utter lack of power Izturis still has an All-Star selection and a Gold Glove on his resume. Home runs aren’t everything.
Juan Pierre, OF, Chicago White Sox
Pierre has carved out quite a successful career, but it hasn’t been because of the home run. The outfielder has just 15 in his career despite close to 7,000 at-bats and 12 big league seasons.
A telling sign that Pierre is a singles hitter? His career on-base percentage (.346) is nearly identical to his slugging percentage (.364).
Reggie Willits, OF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
In 414 career games Willits is still waiting for his first career home run. He has 35 career doubles and a triple, but the round-tripper has eluded the 30-year-old outfielder.
Willits’ time in the major leagues may be running out if he continues hitting at his current pace (.045/.192/.091 this season), but a .302 career slugging percentage doesn’t offer much hope.