You never know who will go on a postseason power binge.
In many cases, it’s a renowned slugger. But in others, it’s a player not as well known for hitting the ball out of the park.
Only 10 players have homered at least seven times in a single postseason, and not surprisingly, all of them have done so in the Wild Card Era (since 1995), with expanded playoffs allowing for greater opportunity. (The pre-Wild Card Era record was six, set by the Pirates’ Bob Robertson in 1971 and matched by the Phillies’ Lenny Dykstra in 1993).
Here is a look at the players with the most roundtrippers in one postseason:
1) Randy Arozarena (2020 Rays): 10
Arozarena was the breakout star of the 2020 postseason, going from virtual unknown outside the Rays' fanbase to a household name within a matter of weeks. The 25-year-old outfielder set an MLB rookie record when he smashed his seventh home run of the postseason in Game 7 of the ALCS against the Astros, and then set a new MLB record for homers in one postseason with his ninth in World Series Game 4 against the Dodgers. Arozarena extended that record in Game 6, going deep in the top of the first inning for home run No. 10. Overall, Arozarena hit three homers in the ALDS against the Yankees, and four against the Astros in the ALCS before his three World Series homers. Along with the 10 homers, Arozarena set single-postseason records for both hits (29) and total bases (64).
2-T) Corey Seager (2020 Dodgers): 8
Seager had a postseason for the ages, smashing eight home runs overall, including five against the Braves to set a National League Championship Series record. Those eight total homers are the most by a shortstop in any single postseason, and Seager was named the MVP of both the NLCS and World Series. With his eighth homer of the postseason in Game 4 of the Fall Classic against the Rays, Seager tied Duke Snider for the second-most career postseason roundtrippers in Dodgers history, with 11. (Teammate Justin Turner homered in the same game for his franchise-record 12th career postseason home run).
2-T) Nelson Cruz (2011 Rangers): 8
The late-blooming slugger introduced himself to the nation in his first postseason, in 2010, launching six homers during the Rangers’ run to the World Series. Then he topped himself the next year, helping Texas win a second straight American League pennant. Amazingly, he did so despite going homerless in a 1-for-15 Division Series. How? Cruz blasted six homers in an MVP-winning performance in the AL Championship Series against the Tigers, the most by a player in any single postseason series. The damage included two homers in Game 2, the latter the only walk-off grand slam ever hit in the postseason. Cruz now has 17 career postseason big flies, putting him in the top 10 on the all-time list.
2-T) Carlos Beltrán (2004 Astros): 8
On June 24, 2004, the Astros acquired Beltrán from the Royals in a three-team trade also involving Oakland. It turned out rather well. Beltrán was good down the stretch for Houston, but he was otherworldly in his first chance at postseason play. The switch-hitting center fielder went deep four times in both of the first two rounds, a five-game victory over the Braves and a seven-game loss to the Cardinals, slashing a combined .435/.536/1.022.
2-T) Barry Bonds (2002 Giants): 8
Bonds never won a championship ring, but he certainly did all he could in 2002. Despite walking 27 times in 74 plate appearances -- 13 of those free passes intentional -- Bonds took advantage of his opportunities to do damage. He homered four times in a seven-game World Series loss to the Angels, including an absolutely monstrous blast off Halos closer Troy Percival in the ninth inning of Game 2 in Anaheim.
6-T) Jose Altuve (2017 Astros): 7
This performance was all the more amazing given that in his first three full Major League seasons (2012-14), the 5-foot-6 second baseman had finished with homer totals of seven, five and seven. By the time the 2017 postseason rolled around, Altuve had just hit 24 big flies for the second consecutive year, and he carried that power into Houston’s championship run -- beginning with a three-homer outburst in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox.
6-T) Daniel Murphy (2015 Mets): 7
Murphy did not have a reputation as a power hitter, to put it mildly, entering the 2015 postseason with 62 career homers in 903 games. That included 14 in 130 regular-season games in ‘15. Then the playoffs started. Murphy hit a key homer off Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the NLDS, then set a record by going deep in six straight contests, between Game 4 of that series and the Mets’ Game 4 clincher in the NLCS against the Cubs. Murphy cracked the decisive homer off Zack Greinke in a winner-take-all Game 5 of the NLDS and was named MVP of the NLCS.
6-T) Jayson Werth (2009 Phillies): 7
A big part of the Phillies’ 2008 championship run -- when he posted a 1.361 OPS in the World Series -- Werth was even better the next year. He popped a career-high 36 home runs in the regular season, then slugged .725 in 15 postseason games, although his club finished a couple wins short of defending its title. Werth had two multi-homer playoff games, including in Game 5 of the NLCS, when the Phillies finished off the Dodgers.
6-T) B.J. Upton (2008 Rays): 7
The 24-year-old hit all of nine home runs in 145 regular-season games for the 2008 Rays, who captured the AL East in what was the first winning season in franchise history. But after going homerless in his first two postseason games, Upton suddenly found his power stroke, going deep seven times in an eight-game span through Game 6 of the ALCS against the Red Sox. However, Upton went just 5-for-20 with no extra-base hits in a five-game World Series loss to Werth’s Phillies.
6-T) Troy Glaus (2002 Angels): 7
While Bonds was carrying the Giants in 2002, Glaus was doing the same for the Angels. The slugging third baseman, who had hit 118 homers over the past three regular seasons, was on fire all October. His .344/.420/.770 slash line included two multihomer efforts, a clutch go-ahead shot in the eighth inning of ALCS Game 3 against the Twins, and eight World Series RBIs that helped earn him MVP honors.