This is each position's top home run hitter

December 11th, 2020

Historically, different positions have come with different power expectations. This is evident when looking at the all-time home run leaders at each spot on the diamond.

For instance, the great hit 714 home runs in his career, yet he isn't the leading right fielder. Meanwhile, several players are first at their position with fewer than 450 homers.

Below, you'll find each position's top home run hitter.

For the purposes of this story, a player must have played at least two-thirds of his games at a position in order to qualify as its leader. Any player who played at least two-thirds of his career in the outfield (regardless of the specific outfield position) qualified in the outfield spot at which he played the most.

Catcher: , 427
Piazza had nine career seasons with at least 30 home runs, more than double the total of any other catcher, and his personal best was 40, which he accomplished twice (1997, ‘99). Overall, the Hall of Fame backstop crushed 427 career homers in 16 seasons, with 396 of his long balls coming while he was playing the catcher position. Piazza also hit 18 homers as a designated hitter, eight as a first baseman and five as a pinch-hitter.
Active leader: Yadier Molina (160)

First base: , 662
Pujols, the only positional home run leader who is currently active, has compiled 662 homers over 20 seasons in the Majors. A three-time MVP Award winner, Pujols became the ninth member of the 600 home run club in 2017 when he swatted a grand slam off Ervin Santana. However, Pujols actually ranks tied for second with Fred McGriff when it comes to home runs hit as a first baseman (462), trailing Mark McGwire (566). Pujols has crushed 104 homers as a DH, 64 as a left fielder, 24 as a third baseman, six as a right fielder and two as a pinch-hitter.
Active leader: Pujols

Second base: , 377
Kent, Robinson Canó and Rogers Hornsby are the only three players to hit 300-plus homers while playing at least two-thirds of their games at second base. Kent leads the way with 377, having recorded 20 or more 12 times. He earned National League MVP honors after hitting .334 with 33 homers, 125 RBIs and a 1.021 OPS in 2000.
Active leader: Canó (334)

Third base: , 548
Schmidt dominated the NL throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, leading the league in homers eight times and winning three MVP Awards. He earned his first MVP Award after blasting a personal-best 48 home runs in 1980 and hit his 500th roundtripper in ‘87, becoming the second third baseman in the club after Eddie Mathews. Schmidt played his final season in 1989 and finished his career with 548 homers.
Active leader: Evan Longoria (304)

Shortstop: , 431
In addition to holding the record for the longest consecutive games played streak at 2,632, Ripken is a member of the 3,000-hit club and had 431 home runs in his 21-year career. Although he moved to third base in 1997, the Iron Man played over three-quarters of his games at shortstop and is well ahead of the next-closest player (Miguel Tejada with 307) for the positional home run lead.
Active leader: Francisco Lindor (138)

Left field: , 762
Bonds isn’t just the home run leader among left fielders, he’s the leader among all players, period. The superstar slugger hit 40-plus homers eight times, including a single-season record 73 in 2001, en route to 762 for his career. The next closest left fielder is Manny Ramirez with 555 homers, followed by Ted Williams with 521.
Active leader: Ryan Braun (352)

Center field: , 660
Mays is one of just nine players to belt 50-plus homers in a season more than once, and in 1969 he became the second player in Major League history to hit 600 home runs, joining Ruth in accomplishing the feat. In his 22-year career, the Say Hey Kid smacked 660 homers, the most among center fielders. Ken Griffey Jr. came close to that mark but ultimately fell short, finishing with 630.
Active leader: Mike Trout (302)

Right field: , 755
Of the three hitters in MLB history with more than 700 home runs, two -- Aaron and Ruth -- primarily played right field. Ruth was the all-time home run king from 1920 until ‘74, when Aaron passed him with his 715th career homer. Aaron ended up with 755 long balls and held the career record until Bonds surpassed his total in 2007. That said, the leader in home runs while actually playing right field isn’t Hammerin' Hank or the Great Bambino, but rather Sammy Sosa with 538. Aaron had 520 homers as a right fielder, 68 as a left fielder, 64 as a center fielder, 61 as a first baseman, 22 as a DH, six as a second baseman and three as a pinch-hitter.
Active leader: Jay Bruce (318)

Designated hitter: David Ortiz, 541
While Edgar Martinez is the player most associated with the designated-hitter position, Ortiz is the DH home run leader by a wide margin. Big Papi crushed 30-plus homers in 10 different seasons, with 41 or more in every year from 2004-06 (career-high 54 in ‘06). Ortiz is the most recent player to join the 500 home run club, doing so in 2015.
Active leader: Shohei Ohtani (47)

Pitcher: Wes Ferrell, 38
Ferrell was an above-average innings eater in his day, averaging 266 frames per season from 1929-37 with a 123 ERA+ in that span. He also could do damage on the other side of the ball, hitting 38 home runs in his career and posting a .797 OPS over 1,344 plate appearances. Ferrell narrowly holds the all-time home run lead among pitchers, edging Bob Lemon (37), Red Ruffing (36), Earl Wilson (35) and Warren Spahn (35).
Active leader: Madison Bumgarner (19)