Top 23 Single-Season Nationals Home Run Leaders (Videos)

single-season nationals home run leaders

Last Updated on June 9, 2024 by Matt Musico

Whenever we talk about Washington Nationals history, we can’t forget about the Montreal Expos, folks. The Nats didn’t arrive in the nation’s capital until 2005, but it’s been long enough that it’s easy to forget about the organization’s earlier history. While Washington’s single-season home run record holder accomplished the feat in D.C., the single-season Nationals home run leaders list has heavy ties to Montreal thanks to a certain Hall of Famer.

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Nationals Home Run Leaders: Top 5

Alfonso Soriano: 46 Home Runs in 2006

Alfonso Soriano spent just one season with the Nationals, but he made it count. Not only did he turn it into a long-term deal with the Chicago Cubs, but he also became the fourth member of the 40/40 club. And, of course, the 46 home runs he hit ended up becoming a new franchise record. Soriano represented Washington at the All-Star Game that year, took home a Silver Slugger Award, and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting for the second and final time of his career (he placed sixth).

He was on the cusp of breaking Vladimir Guerrero Sr.’s record entering September, as he already had 43 dingers with one month to go. Soriano finished with his worst month, which included just three homers and a .630 OPS. However, it was enough to get him over the hump.

Soriano did enjoy two months with double-digit homers (12 in May and 11 in August). After swiping seven or more bags just once over his first three months, he reached that number in each of the final three months.

Vladimir Guerrero: 44 Home Runs in 2000

From 1998 to 2002, Vladimir Guerrero enjoyed five straight seasons of at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI, which helped him climb the franchise’s all-time home leaderboards quickly. We’ll talk about a couple of his other powerful campaigns in a moment, so let’s focus on the best of the bunch.

In 2000, he set his career-high for homers and nearly did the same in the RBI department (he drove in 123) while slashing .345/.410/.664. That netted him his second of eight Silver Slugger Awards.

Guerrero posted a 1.000-plus OPS in both the first and second half with similar power numbers (23 homers before the All-Star break, 21 homers after), but his season would’ve looked a lot different if he didn’t finish with a flourish in September. Between July and August, Guerrero combined to hit just nine home runs with 30 RBI. He then slashed .366/.418/.768 with 13 dingers and 26 RBI over the season’s final month.

Bryce Harper: 42 Home Runs in 2015

Bryce Harper‘s 2015 was the breakout performance everyone was clamoring for. Through Harper’s first three big-league seasons — which spanned 1,489 plate appearances — he slugged 55 homers. He nearly doubled that total in just one year while winning the NL MVP Award and sharing the league lead in home runs.

The 22-year-old outfielder also led the league in runs scored (118), on-base percentage (.460), slugging percentage (.649), and OPS (1.109). Harper’s MVP season got off to a solid start in April, as it included a .986 OPS with five homers and 15 RBI, but things started to pop off in May. Throughout 109 plate appearances, he slashed .361/.495/.884 with 13 home runs and 28 RBI.

That was his best month of the season, but he also finished incredibly strong to the tune of a 1.216 OPS with 11 homers and 26 RBI in September.

Vladimir Guerrero: 42 Home Runs in 1999

The year before his incredible 2000 season, Guerrero had another career year in his age-24 campaign. It included 131 RBI, which ended up being a single-season career-high mark for the Hall of Famer. He was putting together a solid performance heading into the All-Star break (.914 OPS, 18 homers, 65 RBI), but it was what he did in the second half that made this all possible. He slashed .341/.389/.659 with 24 dingers and 66 RBI in 42 fewer plate appearances.

Similar to what he did the following year, it was a strong finish that was key. It wasn’t just about September, though — in this instance, he added August to the party. Over those two months (253 plate appearances), Guerrero hit .366/.419/.711 with 21 home runs, 59 RBI, and 46 runs scored. That all sussed out to a .468 wOBA and 177 wRC+.

Vladimir Guerrero: 39 Home Runs in 2002

This wasn’t Vlad’s final year in Montreal, but it was his last full one because his 2003 campaign was limited to 112 games. He captured another Silver Slugger Award and collected his first top-five finish in MVP voting (he finished fourth) while posting a 1.010 OPS with 39 homers, 111 RBI, and a league-leading 206 hits.

Guerrero didn’t have that one huge month as he did in 1999 and 2000, but he showed his ability to put the bat on the ball quite a bit. He posted a .340-plus batting average in three months, with two of those occurrences being above .370. Although the outfielder was effective in Montreal’s losses (.862 OPS with 17 home runs and 40 RBI), he was the key to victory. When the Expos won, Guerrero slashed .388/.470/.674 with 22 homers and 71 RBI.

During the five years between 1998 and 2002 mentioned above, Guerrero averaged 39 home runs and 116 RBI for the Expos.

Nationals Home Run Leaders: The Rest

Here’s what the remainder of Washington’s top-23 most powerful seasons in franchise history looks like:

These are all the seasons of 30-plus homers in Nationals history. See who just missed the cut by heading over the FanGraphs for the full list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the top home run hitters in Washington Nationals history?

Alfonso Soriano is the Nationals’ single-season home run king with 46 homers in 2006. Ryan Zimmerman is the franchise’s all-time leader with 284 dingers.

How many Nationals 40 HR seasons have there been?

There have been four 40-homer seasons in Nationals history. It’s been done by three different players: Alfonso Soriano (46 in 2006), Bryce Harper (42 in 2015), and Vladimir Guerrero (42 in 1999 and 44 in 2000).

Who hit the first home run at Nationals Park?

Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves had the honor of hitting the first home run at Nationals Park.

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6 thoughts on “Top 23 Single-Season Nationals Home Run Leaders (Videos)

  1. Vlad should’ve won more MVP’s, such a great player and still a strong hitter after all his injuries took their toll.

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