Giancarlo Stanton Tops List Of MLB Players With The Greatest Raw Power

By Jordan Shusterman

FOX Sports MLB Writer

Not all home runs are created equal.

OK, sure, wall-scrapers and upper-deck shots count the same on the scoreboard, but everyone knows certain players are far more capable of hitting particularly memorable homers than others. Yes, a livelier baseball in recent years has made it easier for players with below-average power to knock one over the fence, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still appreciate the dudes who live at the tippy-top of the raw power scale.

I’m not talking about the best hitters in baseball, though some of those are surely involved. I want to focus on the player who hit baseballs so hard and/or so far that we can’t help but watch (and often listen) to the amazing moment of contact over and over and over again.

It’s my turn to participate in everyone’s favorite internet activity of Ranking Some Stuff and tell you whom I believe to be the 20 major-leaguers who currently possess the rawest power. I’ve relied heavily on batted-ball data from the Statcast Era (since 2015) with an emphasis on the past three seasons to more accurately reflect the current power of these sluggers, but I’ve also factored in some less-quantifiable qualities to help line up these players.

Think about it this way: Balls hit with 95-plus mph exit velocity are considered hard-hit balls by Statcast. Every major-league hitter is capable of hitting a ball 95 mph. In fact, every major-league hitter is capable of hitting a ball 100 mph. 

But as you climb up the exit velo ladder – 105, 110, 115, 120 – the group of players physically capable of hitting a ball at each benchmark dwindles significantly. In turn, I believe it a worthy exercise to celebrate those players with a demonstrated ability to live in the upper-echelon of exit velo possibility.

Before we get to list, here are a few categories of honorable mentions for players considered throughout this process who didn’t make the 20:

HONORABLE MENTIONS

20. Kyle Schwarber

No other player exudes the overwhelming slow-pitch softball energy that Schwarber does, and that – along with his track record of memorable moonshots – is worthy of placement at the end of this Very Official ranking.

Has he done the Derby?

Yes: 2018 (runner-up).

19. George Springer

There are only three players with at least four 470-plus-foot homers in the Statcast Era: Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton and Springer, who notched his fourth recently in Dunedin:

Jays fans can look forward to him eventually suiting up for them back in Toronto, where he once hit a ball 474 feet:

Has he done the Derby? 

No.

18. Fernando Tatis Jr.

The top end isn’t quite as incredible as for everyone else (at least for now – he’s only 22!!!), but very few players hit the ball hard as consistently as Tatis has since he arrived in the big leagues in 2019, and he is also capable of some tremendously majestic blasts.

Has he done the Derby?

No.

17. Yordan Alvarez

Injuries have made it difficult for Air Yordan to fully establish himself as one of the premier sluggers in the game after his ridiculous 2019 campaign, but this guy is no fluke. Earlier u">>this season, he hit two HRs with 112-plus mph exit velo in the same game off former teammate Gerrit Cole. In 2019, he hit a ball to a part of Minute Maid Park that I did not know was reachable:

Has he done the Derby?

No.

16. Rafael Devers

Since the start of the 2019 season, no hitter has hit more balls 105-plus mph than Raffy (166!), comfortably ahead of second-place Abreu, at 148. His batter’s box charisma is shockingly similar to Juan Soto's, except Devers swaps out the measured, precise patience and discipline of Soto for a wildly exuberant swing that can impact the baseball anywhere in or around the strike zone. He’s so much fun.

Has he done the Derby?

No.

15. Franmil Reyes

You can’t be as large as Reyes and be nicknamed "The Franimal" without having some serious pop. He has started to put it all together as an overall hitter for Cleveland this season, but he has been launching the longest of long balls for a while now:

Has he done the Derby?

No.

14. Gary Sanchez

For all the exhausting discourse that dominates Yankees Twitter and beyond, we shouldn’t lose sight of Sanchez's basic premise: He is one of only three players in the Statcast Era to hit a ball in excess of 120-plus mph, alongside gargantuan Yankees teammates Stanton and Aaron Judge. And he’s a catcher (OK, not the best catcher, but save your complaints for another post!). That’s ridiculous!

Has he done the Derby?

Yes: 2017.

13. Marcell Ozuna

There’s something about the way Ozuna swings, particularly with his one-handed finish, that makes it look like he’s swinging a Wiffle ball bat as hard as he can. The fact he can swing like this and have any semblance of barrel control is a remarkable testament to his pure hitting ability, but it also unlocks some pretty ridiculous juice that has allowed him to hit seven homers 450-plus feet the past three seasons, behind only the tallies of Pete Alonso and his teammate Ronald Acuña Jr. in that span.

Has he done the Derby?

No.

12. Jorge Soler

Soler power: good for the environment, good for helping baseballs travel long distances. It took a few years for him to find his big-league footing before his gigantic breakout in 2019, when he led the American League in home runs with 48, which was all the more impressive considering that he played half his games in pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium.

Has he done the Derby?

No.

11. Miguel Sano

Sano is basically Bowser from Mario Superstar Baseball – you can strike him out pretty easily if you locate your pitches, but if you miss ... uh, watch out. Last year, he hit one of the most memorable empty-stadium homers of the 2020 season: a 114 mph laser beam that ricocheted off a bleacher seat in PNC Park and made a sound you might not hear ever again from a home run on TV:

He’s gonna hit it about as hard as anyone.

Has he done the Derby?

Yes: 2017 (runner-up).

10. Ronald Acuña Jr.

Like Tatis, Acuña’s power is rooted in his unbelievable quick-twitch athleticism and supersonic bat speed that produced the same number of 430-plus foot blasts (21) the past three seasons. And he just makes it look so damn easy. Who else could come off the injured list after two weeks, face Gerrit Cole and immediately take him deep for the farthest home run Cole has ever allowed? No problem for Ronald:

Has he done the Derby?

Yes: 2019.

9. Shohei Ohtani

When a player with elite raw power gets a good pitch to hit and squares it up perfectly, you know it’s gonna go a long way and make a lot of people say, "OMG, did you see where that landed?" But having this kind of juice also allows for the types of home runs that make you say, "OMG, how did he hit that out?"

Ohtani, amidst all of his other ridiculous talents that continue to make history on a near-daily basis, has demonstrated both of these types of dingers in 2021:

Has he done the Derby?

No.

8. Bryce Harper

Harper’s swing has been perfectly curated basically since he could pick up a bat. It's a beautiful orchestration of controlled violence scientifically designed to deposit baseballs over fences. He has been hitting legendary homers since he was in high school and has only continued to astonish at the major-league level.

Has he done the Derby?

Yes: 2013, 2018 (winner).

7. Nelson Cruz

It seems absurd that the Boomstick could keep this up at his age as his fellow 40-something Albert Pujols is scrapping for a job, but Nellie continues to amaze with his tape-measure shots and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

Has he done the Derby?

Yes: 2009 (runner-up).

6. Joey Gallo

The only player in baseball history who can rival Gallo’s hilariously amazing ratio of 127 career HRs to 143 career singles is Mark McGwire (583 HRs/785 singles), and that alone is worthy of jamming him way up this list. Gallo possesses a torque-heavy swing similar to that of his Las Vegas buddy Harper, except he’s even bigger, so when Gallo connects, special things can happen.

Has he done the Derby?

No.

5. Mike Trout

As weird as it feels to put Trout fifth on any sort of baseball ranking, this is about as high as I can reasonably put him. That said, the fact that he ranks as high as he does here while being one of the best pure hitters the game has ever seen should put into perspective how fortunate we are to watch this man play baseball. Now we just have to get him in the Derby ... at least before LeBron does the Dunk Contest.

Has he done the Derby?

No.

4. Pete Alonso

Since the beginning of the 2019 season, no player in baseball has hit more balls 110-plus mph than Polar Pete, with a whopping 72, 28 of which have gone over the fence. Sometimes the top-of-the-scale home run power is rooted in freakish bat speed like Acuña's or spectacular swing mechanics like Harper's. In Pete’s case, though, he’s just a large lad whose brute strength supplies all the power necessary for him to produce eye-popping exit velos on the regular. He is ridiculous, and the Mets are lucky to have him.

Has he done the Derby?

Yes: 2019 (winner).

3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The beauty of Vlad Jr.’s swing, as my compadre Jake Mintz wrote u">>earlier this week, is its remarkable combination of everything you could possibly want in a bona fide slugger. It’s clear he has leveled up in 2021 after getting in the Best Shape Of His Life over the winter, and now we can start dreaming on what kind of outrageous triple slash lines he’ll be putting up when he’s actually peaking. 

He’s just 22 and has already hit more baseballs 115-plus mph (17) than anyone not named Stanton, Judge, Cruz, Gallo or Carlos Gonzalez (wow, shout-out to CarGo, by the way, what a stud he was). This is only the beginning, and Guerrero is the favorite to be at the top of these rankings by the time the two guys at the top start to decline.

Has he done the Derby?

Yes: 2019 (runner-up).

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2. Aaron Judge

Let us never lose sight of the fact that a small forward plays for the Yankees and regularly makes MLB stadiums look like Little League fields. The 2017 season was so overwhelmingly ridiculous for Judge that the bar was set in another galaxy. The fact that he has reached those intergalactic heights only in short bursts since 2017 should not dampen his overall greatness as a player and certainly should not distract from the fact that he HITS BASEBALLS SO RIDICULOUSLY FAR. OH MY GOD:

Has he done the Derby?

Yes: 2017 (winner).

1. Giancarlo Stanton

Look, it’s not close.

  • 115-plus mph batted balls in ‘21: Stanton 20, everyone else 39

Let’s take that up a notch:

  • 118-plus mph batted balls since 2015: Stanton 34, everyone else (NO, LIKE, SERIOUSLY ALL OF THE OTHER HITTERS IN THE BIG LEAGUES COMBINED) 30

I probably didn’t have to tell you these numbers for you to be convinced that Stanton belongs at No. 1, but it’s important context for comprehending just how far ahead he is. 

I would be willing to listen to arguments for any other player to be moved up or down a few spots on these rankings, but Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton is so obviously No. 1 that if you believe otherwise, you are in pure denial of the man who might just have more power than anyone else in baseball history.

Has he done the Derby?

Yes: 2014, 2016 (winner), 2017.

Jordan Shusterman is half of i">>@CespedesBBQ and a baseball analyst for FOX Sports. He lives in Maryland but is a huge Seattle Mariners fan and loves watching the KBO, which means he doesn't get a lot of sleep. You can follow him on Twitter at i">>@j_shusterman_.

Source : https://www.foxsports.com/stories/mlb/mlb-raw-power-rankings-giancarlo-stanton-mike-trout-jordan-shusterman

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