Getting the game started right is an integral part of any team. Today we will run down our top 15 leadoff hitters of all-time.
Vince Coleman made his entrance into the major leagues at an incredible speed.
His 110 steals as a first-year player in 1985 set a remarkable record that could stand for decades to come.
Coleman had a history of struggling during the playoffs, but his legs came alive during the 1987 Fall Classic. In seven games, Coleman swiped six bases.
After the 1990 season, he signed with the New York Mets as a free agent. Unfortunately, injuries and suspensions derailed his promising career from there on out.
Brady Anderson effectively handed off the bat to Brian Roberts during his final season with the Baltimore Orioles in 2001.
He remains the only No. 1 hitter to hit 50 home runs in a single year (1996).
His 1.034 overall OPS from that summer and 1.029 OPS when leading off are unmatched by anyone else in the top 20.
Willie Wilson was an impressively efficient base stealer despite his high volume.
He never experienced more than 12 caught-stealings in any single season.
With Wilson in their lineup, the Kansas City Royals were contenders.
At his peak, he was too fast to be doubled up on a ground ball.
He didn’t earn an everyday job in the big leagues until his age-25 season but managed to have a very long career. He was a perennial All-Star in his mid-20s and early 30s.
During the 1962 season, Maury Wills batted .299, scored 130 runs and stole 104 bases. He whiffed only 57 times in 759 plate appearances. Wills spent his finest years with the Los Angeles Dodgers and won three championships with the club.
Being a middle infielder was not nearly as physically demanding as his original position, catcher. As expected, his hitting improved dramatically once he got out from behind the plate. He was always eager to “take one for the team.”Only Hughie Jennings (287 times) was plunked more often than Biggio (285).
Wade Boggs sticks out like a slow-footed third-baseman. Regardless, as a doubles machine and member of the exclusive 3,000-hit club, he had a resume worthy of first-ballot Hall of Fame induction. There haven’t been many better left-handed batters in the history of the game.
Bobby Bonds tended to strikeout, but his home run power was unparalleled as a leadoff hitter.
His.205 isolated power (slugging percentage less batting average) from the leadoff spot was by far the highest of any player featured in this article.
His elite base-stealing skills made him a legitimate NL MVP candidate during 1971 and 1973 as a San Francisco Giants outfielder.
In the 1950s, Richie Ashburn was unbeatable as a leadoff hitter. His excellent contact rate and just enough speed made him ideal for that position, providing him with enough advantage over opponents to hit for extra bases.
Ashburn only led the National League in stolen bases once as a rookie. But he won two batting titles and earned himself six all-star selections. Ashburn’s patience, control of the strike zone, and hustle make him one of baseball’s greatest leadoff hitters.
He is comfortably ahead of the rest in total hits (4,256), plate appearances (15,890) and games played (3,562). He wasn’t particularly powerful or quick. Rose made up for it with baseball instincts and, of course, hustle.
With a nickname like “The Ignitor,” Paul Molitor was destined to wind up high on this all-time list.
Contrary to what you would expect, he wasn’t unusually aggressive on the basepaths in his early years. However, a 1964 trade to the St. Louis Cardinals put him in an environment where theft was encouraged. In his age-35 season, he became the oldest player to tally triple-digit steals.
The active legend won American League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player on the winningest professional team baseball has ever had (2001 Seattle Mariners, 116 victories). In 2004, he broke George Sisler’s 84-year-old record for most hits in a single season with 262.
One of the most underrated players of the modern era. There were six consecutive seasons where he stole at least 70 bases and half a dozen more where he finished with 30-plus. He possessed considerable power for someone of his 5’8″ stature (170 home runs).
The numbers don’t lie. Rickey Henderson was no doubt the greatest leadoff hitter ever. He had power, speed, and everything you could want in a baseball player.
If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”
Contact us: email@example.com
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.