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Top-5 Designated Hitters in MLB History

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Publish Date: 04/07/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

5) Hal McRae

He recorded 5,778 of his 8,059 plate appearances as a designated hitter, posting a .295/.358/.465 line with 143 home runs as he was a big part of the Royals success during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Check out the top sports betting sites!

Video: A Hal McRae Highlight Video

A Hal McRae Highlight Video


4) Chili Davis

In 4,903 plate appearances, he had a .282/.381/.482 slash line with 200 home runs.

As a 37-year-old in 1997, he posted a .896 OPS and hit 30 home runs for the first time in his career. He is one of just 36 players to reach the 30-HR plateau at the age of 37 or older. He closed out his career winning back-to-back World Series titles in 1998 and 1999.

Video: Chili Davis Minnesota Twins Highlights!

Chili Davis Minnesota Twins Highlights!

3) Harold Baines

In 6,619 plate appearances, he had a .291/.370/.466 line with 235 home runs, and he made four of his six All-Star appearances as a DH. He started his career out as a right fielder but 1,769 of his 2,830 games played came as a designated hitter.

Overall, he finished his 22-year career hitting .289/.356/.465 with 384 home runs and 1,628 RBI (30th all-time), and that earned him a statue outside of U.S. Cellular Field.

Video: Harold Baines on Hall of Fame

Harold Baines on Hall of Fame

2) Paul Molitor

He was primarily a DH though, playing 1,188 games at the position and registering 5,334 plate appearances. During that time he hit .308/.374/.454 with 1,456 hits and 102 home runs and his 167 steals at the position are the most all-time.

Molitor took home four Silver Slugger awards at DH and started the 1993 All-Star Game at the position. Check out the top new sportsbooks!

Video: Paul Molitor - Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies

Paul Molitor – Baseball Hall of Fame Biographies


1) Edgar Martinez

In 6,218 plate appearances as a DH he hit .314/.428/.523 with 243 home runs. His best season was his first full year as a DH in 1995, as he won the batting title with a .356 average and also had AL highs of 121 runs, 52 doubles and a .479 OBP to finish third in AL MVP voting. Overall, he finished his career with a .312/.418/.515 stat line.

Video: Edgar Martinez is a 2018 HOF candidate

Edgar Martinez is a 2018 HOF candidate

Active players are not included on this list. Frank Thomas was included on the top 10 first baseman list so he will not be included here. Honorable mention goes to Don Baylor.

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