5 Greatest Designated Hitters of All-Time

The designated hitter has been around since 1973, over 40 years. Regardless of your opinion of the DH it’s here to stay. I believe the NL will eventually adopt it. While it has been around for 40 plus years very few players have made a career out of being a designated hitter. It has been and continues to be utilized primarily as a way to give players a break from playing the field while still allowing them to get plate appearances. Fewer than 20 players have made 1500 plate appearance while playing 51% of career games as a DH. Because of this, the greatest designated hitter list is only 5 players.

Here is the list of the 5 greatest designated hitters of all-time.

  1. Edgar Martinez
  2. Edgar Martinez
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    68.34 147 2055 8672 7213 1219 2247 514 15 309 1261 49 30 1283 1202 .311 .417 .515 .932

  3. Paul Molitor
  4. Paul Molitor
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    75.42 122 2683 12160 10835 1782 3319 605 114 234 1307 504 131 1094 1244 .306 .366 .447 .814

  5. David Ortiz
  6. David Ortiz
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    55.43 140 2408 10091 8640 1419 2472 632 19 541 1768 17 9 1319 1750 .286 .379 .551 .930

  7. Travis Hafner
  8. Travis Hafner
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    24.81 132 1183 4775 4058 619 1107 250 13 213 731 11 7 598 976 .272 .375 .498 .874

  9. Edwin Encarnacion
  10. Edwin Encarnacion
    WAR wRC+ G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    32.22 126 1807 7449 6463 999 1705 347 10 380 1156 61 13 829 1269 .263 .352 .496 .849

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