Top 20 Single-Season Cincinnati Reds Home Run Leaders

single-season reds home run leaders

Last Updated on May 6, 2024 by Matt Musico

The Cincinnati Reds have been around as a professional baseball team for quite a while — since 1882, to be exact. During that time, they’ve had some excellent players take the field for them. But when it comes to having a historically powerful season for the leaderboard of Reds home run leaders, there’s a very small group who have reached the 40-homer plateau.

In Reds franchise history, there have been just 16 different seasons of a player slugging at least 40 home runs, which has been done by nine different dudes. Only one of them — which we’ll cover in a minute — has surpassed 50 home runs in a season.

Let’s check out the ranking of the Cincinnati Reds’ single-season home run leaders. We’ll first talk about the top five before detailing the remainder of the top 20. When you’re done, be sure to also check out the franchise’s all-time leaderboard.

Reds Home Run Leaders: Top 5

George Foster: 52 Home Runs in 1977

George Foster hit 348 home runs with 1,239 RBI during his 18-year MLB career, which is not something to overlook. However, when you take a peek at his year-by-year stats, it’s pretty clear when his prime was. It happened from 1976 (his age-27 season) to 1979 (his age-30 season). During that time, he slugged 151 home runs and 488 RBI, appeared in four straight All-Star Games, and finished in the top-12 of NL MVP voting each year. He also slugged 30-plus homers in three straight seasons, which were the only times he got over that number in his career.

The one time he took home the NL MVP hardware was in 1977. He was not only the league’s home run champion with those 52 taters, but he was also the RBI champion (149) while leading the way in runs scored (124), slugging percentage (.631), OPS (1.013), and total bases (388). It was a sharp rise in power for Foster, as he entered the year never hitting more than 29 in a single season, which he had done the year prior.

Foster posted a slugging percentage over .600 in each of his final four months of the year, but July and August were his best when it came to accumulating home runs. He hit nearly half of his season-long total (24) during this span, with 12 coming in each month.

Ted Kluszewski: 49 Home Runs in 1954

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know much about Ted Kluszewski before doing some research on him since he’s heavily featured on the Reds’ home run leaderboards. But the dude seemed like an absolute baller. His power didn’t blossom until his seventh year in the majors. When it did, it was fast and furious for a short period.

In Kluszewski’s first six seasons, he hit 74 dingers in 2,723 plate appearances. In 1953, he hit 40 in just 629 plate appearances. This was his first of three straight years with 40-plus homers, with his 1954 campaign being the best. He led the league in both homers (49) and RBI (141) while slashing .326/.407/642. He placed second in MVP voting to Willie Mays, but he did get selected to the All-Star Game for a second straight year.

Two situations “Big Klu” thrived in? The first was facing right-handed pitching. As a left-handed hitter, Kluszewski slashed .347/.437/.706 in 446 plate appearances, which included 36 of his 49 homers. He also loved hitting at home, as evidenced by the 34 homers and .724 slugging percentage he racked up in that situation.

Eugenio Suárez: 49 Home Runs in 2019

I love looking at Eugenio Suárez‘s home run progression between his MLB debut and his career-high mark of 49 in 2019. As a rookie with the Detroit Tigers in 2014, he hit four dingers. He then joined the Reds to begin his ascension in this category. It started with 13 in 2015, followed by 21 in 2016 and 26 in 2017. The upward trend continued with 34 in 2018 before getting to 49 in ’19, which set a franchise record for home runs by a third baseman.

Suárez was on track to keep his home run streak going by the All-Star break, but he went on a tear in the second half to bring things to a whole new level. At the midsummer respite, the third baseman had 20 home runs and a .811 OPS in 365 plate appearances. Over his final 297 trips to the plate, though, he slugged 29 homers with a 1.081 OPS that was powered by a .684 slugging percentage.

Ted Kluszewski: 47 Home Runs in 1955

A year after his 49-homer performance, Kluszewski followed it up with another 47 taters and 113 RBI. It included placing sixth in MVP voting and appearing in another All-Star Game. Not a bad encore performance, right? This was his third straight season with at least 40 homers. He had a total of four years with 30-plus dingers (he hit 35 in 1956). Outside of these four years, though, he eclipsed 20 just one other time when he hit 25 dingers in 1950.

His performance was much more even this time around when checking out his platoon and home/road splits. He hit 27 homers against righties and 20 against lefties. He also hit more homers on the road (25) than he did at home (22).

Either way, I love looking at it this way — Big Klu enjoyed a 15-year MLB career that yielded 279 home runs. But in just about a quarter of his career, he slugged about 61% of his total homers (171).

Adam Dunn: 46 Home Runs in 2004

Adam Dunn was drafted by the Reds in the second round of the 1998 MLB Draft right out of high school. He was in the big leagues by 2001 as a 21-year-old. The 2004 season was the first of three straight years in which Dunn led the league in strikeouts, but this was a certified power breakout for the outfielder. It was his first of five straight 40-homer seasons, which was a number he’d ultimately get to six times during his career.

By the looks of it, Dunn enjoyed putting together a huge performance every other month in 2004. He began in April with eight homers, 18 RBI, and a 1.288 OPS. After a .717 OPS in May, it went back up to 1.052 in June with 11 homers and 21 RBI. While his .947 OPS in July isn’t too shabby, it went back up in August to 1.001 with another 11 homers and 22 RBI.

Reds Home Run Leaders: The Rest

Some guys I expect to see on this list at some point soon include Elly De La Cruz (who is racking up homers and stolen bases at a remarkable pace in 2024) and Spencer Steer. Some well-known names from past Cincy teams you won’t be seeing? That would include Joe Morgan, Jay Bruce, Reggie Sanders, Eric Davis, Todd Frazier, and Barry Larkin, to name a few.

You also won’t be seeing Pete Rose. Baseball’s all-time hit king finished with double-digit homers eight times in 24 seasons. His single-season career-high mark was 16, which he accomplished as a 28-year-old in 1969. Unsurprisingly, Rose finished the ’69 regular season schedule with the highest batting average in the National League (.348). It was the second straight year he won a batting title, something he’d go on to do just once more.

Here’s what the remainder of the top 20 most powerful seasons in Reds history look like right now.

If you’re looking for the rest of the franchise’s single-season home run leaderboard, check out this full list on FanGraphs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Cincinnati Reds player had the most home runs in a single year?

George Foster is the Reds’ single-season home run king. He hit 52 home runs in 1977. There have been some close calls along the way, but he’s still the only player in franchise history to post a season with 50-plus home runs.

Who are the top five Cincinnati Reds players in home runs for a single season?

The five most powerful seasons in Reds history are the following: George Foster (52 home runs in 1977), Ted Kluszewski (49 home runs in 1954), Eugenio Suarez (49 home runs in 2019), Ted Kluszewski again (47 home runs in 1955), and Adam Dunn (46 home runs in 2004).

Who leads the Cincinnati Reds in all-time home runs?

The Reds’ all-time home run king is Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench. He spent 17 years in the big leagues with Cincy and racked up 389 career homers.

Where does Joey Votto rank among single-season Reds home run leaders?

Votto, who has been the league’s on-base percentage champion seven times in his career, is right behind Bench on the Reds’ all-time home run list with 356 career home runs. He’s mysteriously absent from this list because of the arbitrary cut-off I made at 38 homers. He’s surpassed the 30-homer plateau three times while playing for the Reds: 37 in 2010, as well as 36 in both 2017 and 2021.

Want to see the Reds slug dingers in person? Grab tickets from our friends at Vivid Seats. And before you get to the stadium, make sure you’re decked out in the right gear. Get official Reds merch from the MLB Shop or a ‘Big Dinger Energy’ shirt from our apparel store.

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