The Top 10 Right-Handed Hitters in MLB History

Cliff Eastham@RedsToTheBoneSenior Writer IIJuly 9, 2009

Of the top 10 career batting averages, eight of the hitters are left-handed.

When you think of the best hitters ever, lefties pop up unceremoniously. Ty Cobb, Joe Jackson, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, and Babe Ruth.  As a side note, Ruth has Gehrig beat in career average by .002; however, six other players stand between them in the annals of baseball history.

So then, who are the best right-handed hitters of all time? What do you like: averages, power, hits?

It's hard to sift through and get a real feel for who is the best, and who are the rest.

With all that in mind, let’s roll the tape and see who I think the 10 best right-handed hitters in MLB history are:

10.  Cap Anson

Cap Anson was the first man to get to the 3,000 hit plateau. Not known as Mr. Congeniality, he's probably the only one who could give Hornsby a run for his money in being so salty.

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Anson batted .415 in 1872, and won two batting titles, while topping the .300 mark in 23 other seasons. He also won eight RBI crowns, topping 100 RBI seven times. He was the league leader in hits (once), in OBP (three times) and in OPS-plus (once).  He scored 100-plus runs six times.

BA=.333    H=3,418     R=1,996    HR=97    RBI=2,076

162-Game Season Averages

H=219     R=128    HR=6    RBI=133

9. Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols is the only active player on this list, and deservingly so. 

Only in his ninth season, Pujols has already been awarded Rookie of the Year and two MVP trophies (he was runner-up three times and finished third once). He has won one batting title, while batting .314-plus in every year he has played. Pujols has once led the league in hits with 212, in runs scored (three times), while scoring over 100 seven times. He has also led the league in OBP, SLG and OPS-plus (twice each), and in total bases (three times).

BA=.334    H=1,626    R=1,014    HR=350    RBI=1,059

162-Game Season Averages

H=199    R=124     HR=43     RBI=130

8. Honus Wagner

The “Flying Dutchman” is on practically everyone’s list as the best shortstop in history. It's amazing to me that he never won an MVP award, but he did finish second (once).

Wagner won eight batting titles, four consecutively, five RBI crowns (he had 100-plus RBI nine times), was the league leader in hits (twice), collected 200-plus hits (twice), while scoring 100-plus runs (six times). He also led the league in OBP (four times), in SLG (six times), in OPS-plus (six times), and in total bases (six times).

BA=.327     H=3,415    R=1,736     HR=101     RBI=1,732

162-Game Season Averages

H=198    R=101     HR=6   RBI=100

7. Al Simmons

Al Simmons is another great who fades into the background of superstar nirvana. 

He was runner-up in MVP voting, won back-to-back batting titles, hit over 30 home runs (three times), won one RBI title, while having 100 or more RBI (12 times), led the league in hits (twice), while collecting 200-plus hits (six times), and led the league in runs scored, while scoring 100-plus runs (six times). He also led the league in total bases (twice).

BA=.334    H=2,927    R=1,507    HR=307    RBI=1,827

162-Game Season Averages

H=214    R=110     HR=22    RBI=134

6. Joe DiMaggio

Joltin’ Joe had an amazing career, too bad it was too short. Mr. Coffee is remembered almost as much for being Mr. Marilyn Monroe, than his 56-game hitting streak.

Joe won three MVP awards,  two batting titles (11 times he hit over .300), two home run titles (he hit 30-plus HR seven times), two RBI crowns (knocking in over 100 runs nine times), and led the league in runs scored. He also was the league leader in SLG (twice), in OP-plus and in total bases (three times). DiMaggio had over 200 hits (twice) and scored over 100 runs (eight times).

BA=.325    H=2,214     R=1,390    HR=361    RBI=1,537

162-Game Season Averages

H=207     R=130    HR=34     RBI=143

5.  Jimmie Foxx

Double X should be the recipient of the “No Respect” trophy. The man hardly gets any love whatsoever. What a talent!

Foxx won three MVP awards (and was runner-up once), won two batting titles (batting .300-plus 12 times), won four home run titles (one of the few to hit 50 HR twice), three RBI crowns (over 100 RBI 13 times), in runs scored (11 times over 100), led the league in walks (twice), in OBP (three times), in SLG (five times), in OPS-plus (five times) and in total bases (three times). Foxx also had 200-plus hits (twice).

BA=.325     H=2,646     R=1,751    HR=534    RBI=1,922

162-Game Season Averages

H=185    R=122    HR=37    RBI=134

4. Willie Mays

The “Say Hey” kid was a fan favorite. His “basket style” catches are legendary. If he did anything wrong, it was probably playing a couple years too many.

Mays won the Rookie of the Year award, two MVP awards, won one batting title (he batted over .300 10 times), won four HR titles, led the league in hits and in runs scored (over 100 runs 12 times). He also was the league leader in OBP (twice), in SLG (five times), in OPS-plus (six times), and in total bases (three times).

BA=.302   H=3,283    R=2,062    HR=660   RBI=1,903

162-Game Season Averages

H=178   R=112   HR=36    RBI=103

3. Hank Aaron

Hammerin’ Hank was a phenomenal player. It's preposterous to think that in his illustrious 23-year career, he only won one MVP award, but did finish third in voting six times.

He won two batting titles, four HR titles, four RBI crowns (had over 100 RBI 11 times), was the league leader in hits twice (had over 200 hits three times), in runs scored (three times), scored over 100 runs (15 times), in SLG (four times), in OPS-plus (three times) and in total bases (eight times). He also batted over .300 (14 times).

BA=.305    H=3,771   R=2,174    HR=755   RBI=2,297 (All-time leader)

162-Game Season Averages

H=185   R=107   HR=37   RBI=113

2.  Nap Lajoie

Nap Lajoie was one of the best Mayflower (my term for dead-ball guys) players of all-time.  He won a Triple Crown, five batting titles (he hit .426 in 1901), one HR title, three RBI crowns, was the league leader in hits (four times) each time with over 200 hits, in runs scored, in OBP (twice), in SLG (four times), in OPS-plus (three times), and in total bases (four times).

BA=.338   H=3,243   R=1,504   HR=83   RBI=1,599

162-Game Season Averages

H=212   R=98   HR=5   RBI=104

1. Rogers Hornsby

Some people may want to quibble over the other nine, but you cannot take this prize from Rajah. He had three legitimate .400 seasons, two Triple Crowns, two MVP awards, seven batting titles, two HR titles, four RBI crowns, led the league in hits (four times), in runs (five times), in SLG (nine times), in OPS-plus (12 times), four years over 200. Not to mention, he had seven 200-plus hit seasons.

BA=.358   H=2,930   R=1,579  HR=301   RBI=1,584

162-Game Season Averages
H=210   R=113   HR=22   RBI=114

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