As dingers start to fly out on a nightly basis during October, it seems like we ask the same question every year: who has hit the most postseason home runs in MLB history? The following list will likely change a bunch in the coming years — especially if MLB continues expanding the playoffs — but there are still a few players from past eras holding on.
Most Postseason Home Runs in a Career: The Top 10
Who has found their way onto this list from recent playoff runs and who is still sticking around despite not playing for a while? Look below and find out for yourself.
Manny Ramírez: 29 Home Runs
One of the best pure hitters I’ve seen with my own two eyes, it’s no surprise that Manny Ramírez holds MLB’s record for most postseason home runs in a career. Between playing in Cleveland during the late-1990s and the Boston Red Sox in the early 2000s, he had the perfect opportunity to rack up lots of homers. Between those two organizations and the Los Angeles Dodgers, ManRam enjoyed October baseball on 11 different occasions.
This nearly led to a full season’s worth of plate appearances in the playoffs, as he stepped up to the plate 493 times in 111 games played. What’s interesting is that Ramírez never had that huge power surge in a single postseason like Carlos Beltrán or Randy Arozarena did. However, just like he was in the regular season, he was consistent. He never hit more than four homers in a single postseason, but he hit that number on four different occasions.
In addition to winning two World Series in Boston and earning World Series MVP honors in 2004, his total body of work in the postseason was impressive. Through those 493 plate appearances, Ramírez slashed .285/.394/.544 with 29 home runs, 78 RBI, and 67 runs scored. This also included a 14.6% walk rate, an 18.5% strikeout rate, and a 140 wRC+.
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Jose Altuve: 23 Homers
Thanks to their recent success, which includes five straight trips to the ALCS, there will be several Houston Astros players here (current and former). I must say, though, having Jose Altuve the highest of them all will probably surprise many simply because of his stature. Despite that, his overall statistics through 363 plate appearances nearly mirror that of Ramírez: .286/.361/.547 with 23 home runs, 49 RBI, 70 runs scored, and a 144 wRC+.
Altuve hit seven dingers during the 2017 playoffs and are among the most home runs in a single postseason. He followed that performance with just one long ball through eight October games in 2018, but from then on, he’s been as consistent as possible. Over his last three postseasons, Altuve has hit exactly five home runs each time. His two favorite series are the ALDS, where he’s posted a 1.077 OPS and hit 10 of his 23 homers, and the ALCS, where he’s posted a .971 OPS and hit another nine of his 23 dingers.
Bernie Williams: 22 Homers
When thinking about the New York Yankees’ dynasty of the late-90s and early 2000s, there were a lot of postseason heroes. However, none of them could come up with a long ball in October more than Bernie Williams. It was also just a good time to be a Yankee – after not participating in the playoffs between 1991 and 1994, he was a part of a playoff team for each of the final 12 years of his career.
He hit more than three homers in a single postseason just once when he hit six in 1998. There were even three different postseasons (1997, 2005, 2006) where he didn’t hit any homers at all.
Again, like many of the players we’ll be talking about here, they’ve been fortunate enough to rack up a season’s worth of plate appearances in the playoffs. Through 545 plate appearances and 121 games played, his .275/.371/.480 triple slash with a 118 wRC+ isn’t much different than what he did during the regular season (.297/.381/.477 line with a 126 wRC+).
Derek Jeter: 20 Home Runs
Hall of Famer Derek Jeter enjoyed a 20-year MLB career with the Yankees. On 16 different occasions, his season ended with baseball in October (or November). That included every single year between 1996 and 2007, as well as every year between 2009 and 2012.
That’s a lot of postseason experience. Jeter played just about a full season’s worth of playoff games throughout his career (158, to be exact). In the 734 plate appearances he racked up over this time, he slashed .308/.374/.465 with a 121 wRC+. In fact, that wRC+ number is slightly higher than what he produced in the regular season through 12,602 plate appearances (119 wRC+). He did a lot of nickel and diming along his way to hit 20 postseason homers, as he never hit more than four in a single trip to October, and even then, he only did that once (2000).
Only three of these homers were hit in the World Series, and they all happened between 2000 and 2001. He absolutely torched the New York Mets in the 2000 Subway Series, taking home MVP honors thanks to a .409/.480/.864 slash in 25 plate appearances.
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Albert Pujols: 19 Homers
Albert Pujols has put together some epic postseason performances, but the 2021 season was the first time he’d been there in nearly a decade since the Los Angeles Angels haven’t clinched a playoff berth since 2014.
Pujols has mostly been a beast in October, as he was throughout the duration of his first stint with the Cardinals. A lot of the damage he did via homers happened in two specific years, though: 2004 and 2011. During the 2004 postseason, Pujols hit six home runs, drove in 14, and scored another 15 himself while posting a 230 wRC+. In 2011, he hit five (including three in one World Series game), drove in 16, and scored another 15 while posting a 204 wRC+.
Unsurprisingly, the St. Louis Cardinals reached the World Series during both of those years, taking home the trophy in 2011. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t get more prime Albert Pujols home runs in October over the years, especially since 2022 will be his age-42 campaign. His last two trips to the playoffs (’14 with LAA and ’21 with LAD) included a total of just 31 plate appearances, one home run, and two RBI.
George Springer: 19 Homers
As we’ll continue to see, George Springer had the benefit of being on the Astros during four of their five consecutive trips to the ALCS, which included two trips to the World Series. Getting deep into the postseason consistently while mostly hitting at the top of a talented lineup is a recipe for success at the plate. That’s exactly what Springer has done, with 18 of his 19 postseason home runs coming in his last four trips to October.
His overall production has cooled considerably after he caught fire for the entirety of 2017 and 2018. Here are his wRC+ numbers from his last four postseason appearances: 164, 248, 99, and 115. Even with that dip, his power has remained constant, hitting no fewer than four dingers each postseason, with six coming during Houston’s 2017 title run.
Speaking of Houston’s title run, the outfielder was just on another level in the Fall Classic that year. Five of his six homers came in the Astros’ matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he took home MVP honors after posting a ridiculous .379/.471/1.000 line. It was also the start of something nobody had ever done before. Between that Fall Classic and their 2019 matchup against the Washington Nationals, Springer hit a home run in five consecutive games, which is a record.
Carlos Correa: 18 Home Runs
Carlos Correa’s tenure with the Astros was quite successful. Not only did it include a World Series title, but the former top overall pick has built up quite a postseason reputation despite only entering his age-27 season in 2022. Through 334 plate appearances, the shortstop has slashed .272/.344/.505 with those 18 homers, 59 RBI, 37 runs scored, and a 130 wRC+.
Similar to Jeter, Correa has been slightly better in the playoffs than he has in the regular season (128 wRC+). The peak so far from an offensive standpoint was the 2020 postseason. You know, the one where the Astros were below .500 in the regular season, found a way to sneak in because of the expanded playing field, and still reached the ALCS.
During this particular October, Correa slashed .362/.455/.766 with six home runs, 17 RBI, and 7 runs scored, which all accounted for a 225 wRC+. When he racks up performances like that, it’s no surprise that he’s among the leaders for most postseason home runs in a career.
Reggie Jackson: 18 Homers
Did you really think Mr. October himself wouldn’t be here? Outside of his three-homer game in the 1977 World Series, Jackson had held a share of the MLB record for most consecutive games with a homer by hitting four straight before Springer surpassed him. Jeter and Correa just barely outproduced their regular-season plate production, but Jackson was comfortably ahead. His 152 wRC+ in the playoffs is significantly better than the 139 mark he produced prior to the playoffs starting.
Of those 18 homers he collected during his career, nine of them happened from 1977-78. His three homers in the World Series were a big driver for his total in ’77, but his postseason production overall was jaw-dropping during this short snippet of time. The left-handed slugger enjoyed consecutive Octobers with a wRC+ of at least 200.
Jackson had a hard time performing in the ALCS, which led to him posting a .679 OPS. But that changed the moment he got deeper into October. In the Fall Classic, he posted a 1.212 OPS through 116 plate appearances. He was OK during the regular season, too.
Mickey Mantle: 18 Homers
Mickey Mantle is different from every single player on this page. Why? Well, he played the entirety of his 18-year Hall of Fame career with the Yankees prior to the expansion era. So, whenever New York clinched a playoff spot, it meant they won the AL pennant and were heading to the World Series.
As you can imagine, they did that a lot in the 1950s and 1960s. Between 1951 and 1964, Mantle and the Yankees played in 12 Fall Classics, winning seven of them. Coincidentally enough, his best overall performance in a World Series came in 1960 when they lost in seven games to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mantle slashed .400/.545/.800 with three home runs, 11 RBI, and eight runs scored. He never hit more than three round-trippers in a single Series but hit at least two on six different occasions.
Since he could only play in the World Series and not deal with the Division and Championship Series, he also holds the record for most career homers in the Fall Classic. His performance in October was obviously just a continuation of what he did during the regular season. His last game played was in 1968, yet he’s still second on the Yankees’ all-time leaderboard.
Nelson Cruz: 18 Home Runs
I’m convinced Nelson Cruz is simply a machine that’s programmed to hit an endless number of dingers until he decides he doesn’t want to do it anymore. That certainly feels like the case in the postseason, even though 14 of the 18 homers he’s hit came in 2010 and 2011 while with the Texas Rangers, who enjoyed back-to-back trips to the World Series (although neither trip ended well). This enabled him to become the franchise’s postseason home run leader. He played 33 games between those two occurrences, and he’s played in just 17 playoff games since.
Either way, his performance has been noticed along the way. Through 207 plate appearances, Cruz has put together a .631 slugging percentage. That’s slightly more than 100 points higher than what he’s done during the regular season.
Unsurprisingly, most of Cruz’s damage in the power department has come in the ALDS and the ALCS – 15 of his 18 home runs have happened during that time. He’s also posted a .581 slugging percentage and a .898 OPS in the ALDS, while he’s also put together a .845 slugging percentage and 1.254 OPS in the ALCS. He’s come a long way in the homer department after one of his first career dingers was an inside the park home run.
Who Will Join the List of Most Postseason Home Runs?
This specific home run list heavily features players from the most recent generation of baseball. One can only wonder how long the current group will stick around on this leaderboard for a couple of reasons. One is the launch angle revolution — players are swinging differently than in the past and typically can slug balls over the fence with greater frequency. The other is MLB’s expanded postseason. The most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement ratified in time for 2022 has expanded the postseason from 10 teams to 12 teams.
A change in approach and more opportunities will probably lead to a vastly different-looking list of players with the most postseason home runs in a career within the coming years. It’s been impressive to see hitters like Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson stick around for so long, but it certainly seems as if their days on this list are numbered now more than ever.