Here are the NL West's best pure power hitters

May 8th, 2020

We're living in an era in which power is prodigious. More than ever, sluggers are making harder contact, driving the ball deeper and homering at historic rates.

Our measures to tangibly quantify power might have changed in recent years, as has the increasing premium that clubs have placed on home runs. But the long ball has always been "in" -- it's arguably the most exciting play in sports.

With that in mind, we polled our beat reporters for their club's best power-hitting player. Below are the results for the National League West.

NL West players with the best tools: Hit | Batter's eye

D-backs: Ketel Marte
In his first at-bat this spring, hit a homer well up the beam in right field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, prompting teammates to marvel at his ability to seemingly pick up right where he left off in 2019. Marte added 12 pounds of muscle before the 2019 season, and it paid off for him with 32 home runs. But it’s not just the home run total -- it’s the ease of his swing and the way the ball explodes off his bat that is impressive. Most of Marte's homers still come from the right side of the plate, but he has also adjusted his swing to begin showing more pop from the left side. -- Steve Gilbert

Dodgers: Cody Bellinger
On another club, Max Muncy or even Joc Pederson could claim to have the best power tool. But the Dodgers have , whose .559 career slugging percentage is only the tip of the statistical iceberg. In just short of three seasons, Bellinger is projecting to average 40 home runs and 77 extra-base hits a year. And after struggling against left-handed pitching in his second season, Bellinger figured it out again in 2019 with a .596 slugging percentage against southpaws. His 111 home runs in his first three big league seasons are the most ever for a Dodgers player and rank fourth in MLB history. Carrying it into the postseason is the final hurdle. -- Ken Gurnick

Giants: Alex Dickerson
Acquired from the Padres in exchange for Minor League pitcher Franklin Van Gurp last season, enjoyed one of the best Giants debuts in franchise history, crushing a grand slam and driving in a career-high six RBIs against the D-backs on June 21. It was a preview of what was to come, as Dickerson went on to hit .290 with an .880 OPS, six home runs, 13 doubles and three triples over 56 games with San Francisco. The left-handed slugger has struggled with injuries throughout his career and missed time with an oblique issue last season, but when healthy, he’s shown that he can be a force in the middle of the Giants' lineup. -- Maria Guardado

Padres: Franchy Cordero
Unfortunately for the Padres, they haven’t seen much of over the past two seasons. Various leg and elbow injuries have limited him to 49 games in that span. But when he’s healthy, Cordero -- a gifted athlete with a powerful build -- does some special things. He owns the longest Padres home run ever tracked by Statcast, a 489-foot blast in Arizona in April 2018. Later that month, Cordero crushed a 459-foot moonshot at Petco Park, the sixth-longest at the ballpark. Sure, Cordero is prone to strikeouts, and he struggles against left-handed pitching. But the Padres are optimistic that a healthy Cordero will make a serious impact in their future outfield. -- AJ Cassavell

Rockies: Nolan Arenado
is upholding an interesting Rockies development tradition. The four homegrown players in the club's top 10 in career home runs -- Todd Helton (first), Arenado (tied for fourth with Carlos González), Charlie Blackmon (eighth) and Matt Holliday (10th) -- were not home run hitters in the Minors. Instead, they concentrated on solid hitting principles, and the power showed at the Major League level.

Arenado was the only one of the group who had as many as 20 in a Minor League season -- 20 in Class A Asheville's bandbox -- but by the time he reached the Majors, he was ready. Since hitting 28 homers over his first two seasons (2013-14), Arenado hasn't dipped below 37 in any year, and he's led the NL in homers in three of the past five seasons.

Arenado is maintaining power while improving his batting average and on-base percentage. Interestingly, Arenado's power is almost overshadowed by that of Trevor Story, who didn't have eye-popping Minor League power numbers yet has become the first shortstop in Major League history with at least 20 homers in his first four seasons. -- Thomas Harding