Although designated hitters do not play in the field, they can bat when they replace the pitcher in the batting order.
As you might have guessed from the title, we’re talking about some of the best-designated hitters in MLB today.
Usually, the designated hitter’s bat in place of the pitcher can turn the tide of the game. As a result, using designated hitters is critical for any team.
We compiled a list after reviewing the designated hitters’ 2021 records. These players excel in their roles and are currently the best in the league. So, without further ado, let us get into the specifics.
The 12 Best Designated Hitters in Major League Baseball Right Now
We compiled the list primarily with the assistance of Overtimeheroics. But, before we get into the list, let’s take a look at the preview.
|12. Valdimir Gurrero Jr.
|Toronto Blue Jays
|11. Mitch Moreland
|10. Austin Meadows
|Tampa Bay Rays
|9. Jorge Soler
|Kansas City Royals
|8. Khris Davis
|7. Trey Mancini
|6. Albert Pujols
|Los Angeles Dodger
|5. Eloy Jimenez
|Chicago White Sox
|4. Yordan Alvarez
|3. Nelson Cruz
|2. Giancarlo Stanton
|New York Yankees
|1. JD Martinez
|Boston Red Sox
12. Valdimir Gurrero, Jr.
Valdimir Gurrero Jr., 31, is our number 12 player. He is a Dominican-Canadian professional baseball player who currently plays for the Toronto Blue Jays.
He is the son of former Major League Baseball player and Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr. The Blue Jays initially signed him as an international free agent in 2015. Before making his MLB debut, Gurrero Jr. was regarded as the top prospect.
He made his MLB debut in 2019 after making a big impression in minor league games. Since then, the baseballer has been a member of the team.
Gurrero Jr.’s notable career accomplishments and highlights include being an All-Star, being named to the All-MLB First Team, receiving the AL Hank Aaron Award, the Silver Slugger Award, and being the MLB home run leader.
His MLB statistics through the 2021 season show a.289 batting average, 72 home runs, and 213 RBI.
Keeping a high MLB batting average is a difficult task. However, these batters have the best batting average in MLB history. More information can be found by clicking here!
11. Mitch Moreland
Mitch Moreland, 36, is the next designated hitter on our list. He is a free agent who signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract with the Oakland Athletics in 2021.
Moreland was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 17th round of the 2007 MLB draft. He was originally drafted as a first baseman and outfielder. He did, however, make his MLB debut in 2010 when he was called up to replace the injured Ian Kinsler.
Moreland was a member of the Texas Rangers until 2016 when he signed a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox. However, he remained with the team until 2020, when he was traded to the San Diego Padres.
Moreland’s notable career highlights and awards include a Gold Glove Award in 2016, All-Star status, and World Series victory in 2018.
Through the 2021 MLB season, Moreland had a batting average.251, 186 home runs, and 618 runs batted in.
10. Austin Meadows
27-year-old man Austin Meadows is a baseball player who currently plays for the Tampa Bay Rays. He played baseball in high school and was regarded as one of the top prospects in the 2013 MLB draft.
Meadows was selected ninth overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of the 2013 draft. He signed a contract with the team that included a $3,029,600 signing bonus.
He was Pittsburgh’s second-best prospect in 2018 and made his MLB debut. Meadows was named the National League Rookie of the Month in May of that year. However, he was traded to the Rays by Pittsburgh in July.
Meadows has been an active player for the Rays since then, and he was named an All-Star in 2019. He was placed on the injured list in 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19. Following his recovery, he was reinstated to the active roster.
During his 2021 MLB season, Meadows had a.260 batting average, 70 home runs, and 225 runs batted in.
9. Jorge Soler
Jorge Soler, a Cuban free agent, is our number nine. The 30-year-old player, nicknamed “Soler Power,” is currently a member of the Atlanta Braves.
Soler was a member of the Cuban national baseball team before defecting to the MLB in 2011. He was regarded as a potential player due to his powerful hitting ability.
The Chicago Cubs then signed him to a nine-year, $30 million contract in 2012. Soler made his major league debut in 2014. After that, he was a member of the team until 2016, when he was traded to the Kansas City Royals.
World Series champion (2016, 2021), hit a home run in his first major league at-bat (2014), AL home run leader (2019), and World Series MVP are some of his notable career wins and awards (2021).
Meanwhile, Soler finished the 2021 season with a.246 batting average, 121 home runs, and 343 runs batted in.
8. Khris Davis
Khris Davis, nicknamed “Krush,” is ranked eighth on our list of the best-designated hitters. He is a 34-year-old free agent who was born Khristopher Adrian Davis.
Davis was drafted in the 29th round by the Washington Nationals in 2006. Krush, on the other hand, did not sign with the team and did not play college baseball. The Milwaukee Brewers selected him in the seventh round of the 2009 MLB draft.
Davis made his MLB debut in 2013 after spending time in the minor leagues. He was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers until 2015 when he was traded to the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics dealt him to the Texas Rangers before the 2021 season.
Davis agreed to terms with the Athletics on a minor league contract in August 2021. His most notable wins and awards include the Edgar Martinez Award, which is given to the best hitters and home run leaders in Major League Baseball.
His MLB statistics for the 2021 season show a batting average of.242, 221 home runs, and 590 runs batted in.
7. Trey Mancini
30-year-old Trey Mancini is a professional baseball player who currently plays for the Baltimore Orioles. Before his MLB debut, he played high school and college baseball.
Mancini was chosen in the eighth round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft. In 2016, he made his official debut. Except for the 2020 season, he has been a member of the franchise since.
He had to have surgery in 2020 to remove a malignant tumor. He was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and was forced to go through chemotherapy. Mancini returned to the team in 2021 after battling cancer.
In 2021, he was named the American League Comeback Player of the Year. Mancini’s MLB statistics for the 2021 season included a.271 batting average, 107 home runs, and 309 runs batted in.
6. Albert Pujols
Albert Pujols is a Dominican professional baseball player who is one of our top six designated hitters. He’s a 42-year-old free agent known as “The Machine.” In the 13th round of the 1999 MLB draft, he was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Machine was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to America in 1996. Pujols made his Major League Baseball debut in 2001 and remained with the team until 2011.
He then became a free agent and signed with the Los Angeles Angels. Pujol signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021.
The athlete’s career highlights and awards are numerous. Gold Glove Award twice, Silver Slugger Award six times, NL Hank Aaron Award twice, Fielding Bible Award five times, and so on.
Through the 2021 season, Pujol had a.297 batting average, 3,301 hits, 679 home runs, and 2,150 RBI.
5. Eloy Jimenez
Eloy Jimenez, a 25-year-old pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, is up next. He was one of the top international free agents in 2013, and he signed with the Chicago Cubs that same year.
The Cubs signed Jimenez to a $2.8 million contract. However, he was traded to the White Sox before making his MLB debut. In 2017, he made his MLB debut.
Jimenez has been with the White Sox since his debut. He signed a six-year extension contract with the team worth $43 million in 2019. His contract was the richest ever for a player who had no service time before his MLB debut.
Jimenez won the Silver Slugger Award in 2020, his most notable career win and award. Unfortunately, on March 24, 2021, he ruptured his left pectoral tendon. As a result, he was placed on the 60-day injured list.
Fortunately, Jimenez was able to recover and return to the field. His MLB record for 2021 is stated. 270 batting average, 55 home runs, and 157 RBIs
4. Yordan Alvarez
Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros is our number four pick. He is a 25-year-old Cuban who made his Major League Baseball debut in 2019.
For two seasons, Alvarez competed in the Cuban National Series. Then, in 2016, he defected from his home country and settled in Haiti. He met Yuli Gurriel and his brother, both Astros players.
Although Alvarez attempted to sign with the Astros, he was turned down. The following year, he was signed as an international free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers signed Alvarez to a two-year, $2 million contract before trading him to the Astros.
Among his notable career accomplishments and awards are AL Rookie of the Year (2019), All-MLB Second Team (2019, 2021), and American League Championship Series MVP (2021).
Alvarez’s MLB 2021 statistics show a batting average of.290, 61 home runs, and 186 RBI.
3. Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz is a Dominican-American designated hitter who currently plays for the Washington Nationals. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the New York Mets in 1998. Cruz, 42, made his MLB debut with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2005.
Cruz was signed by the Mets in 1998 and later traded to the Oakland Athletics. He was traded by the Athletics to the Brewers in 2004, and he made his MLB debut the following year.
Cruz has been a member of several MLB teams since his debut. He has played for the Texas Rangers, the Baltimore Orioles, the Seattle Mariners, the Minnesota Twins, and the Tampa Bay Rays.
His notable career wins and awards include four Silver Slugger Awards, two Edgar Martinex Awards, seven All-Star appearances, an All-MLB First Team selection, and the Roberto Clemente Award.
Cruz finished his 2021 season with a.277 batting average, 1,913 hits, 449 home runs, and 1,238 runs batted in.
2. Giancarlo Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees is ranked second on our list of the best-designated hitters. He was formerly known as Mike Stanton and made his MLB debut with the Florida Marlins in 2010. (now Miami Marlins.)
Stanton was selected 76th overall by the Marlins in the second round of the 2007 MLB draft. When he was signed by the Marlins, he was signed to the richest total dollar value contract in team sports history at the time.
Stanton was a member of the team until 2016 when he was traded to the Yankees in 2018. His ability to consistently hit long home runs, combined with his physical strength, has made him one of MLB’s most powerful designated hitters.
His notable career highlights include two Silver Slugger Awards, two AL Hank Aaron Awards, four All-Star appearances, and so on.
During his 2021 season, Stanton had a.269 batting average, 1,299 hits, 347 home runs, and 893 runs batted in.
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1. J.D. Martinez
JD Martin, the designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox, takes the top spot on our list. The Houston Astros selected him as the 611th pick in the 20th round of the 2009 amateur draft.
Martin is the first player from his university, Nova Southeastern University (NSU), to play in Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his Astros debut in 2011.
Martin has played for the Detroit Tigers and the Arizona Diamondbacks since his MLB debut. Martinez signed a five-year, $110 million contract with the Red Sox in 2018.
World Series champion, three Silver Slugger Awards, AL Hank Aaron Award, All-Star four times, and so on are among his notable career wins and awards. Similarly, he won the Players Choice Award for Player of the Year in 2018.
During his 2021 MLB season, Martinez had a batting average of.290, 1,376 hits, 266 home runs, and 837 runs batted in.
Many talented and skilled designated hitters appeared in the 2021 season. We can only hope that more of these talented players will be able to break their current records in the 2022 season.