If you had to guess which hitters are currently at the top of the Blue Jays all time home run leaders list, who would you choose? One slugger in particular from the 1990s and early 2000s is safely at the top, while two of Toronto’s lineup stalwarts from their 2015 playoff squad are within the top five.
Below, we’ll provide details on each of the hitters on the Blue Jays’ top-five career home run leaders, along with who makes up the remainder of the top 20.
Blue Jays All Time Home Run Leaders: Top 5
Carlos Delgado: 336 Home Runs
Delgado played for the Blue Jays, Florida Marlins, and New York Mets during his 17-year MLB career. He was one of the game’s premier sluggers between 1996 and 2008, hitting at least 24 home runs in each campaign.
Eight of those occasions were with Toronto. Delgado’s first full season’s worth of plate appearances came in 1996. The then-24-year-old took advantage by slugging 25 homers with 92 RBI in 563 trips to the batter’s box. From there, he dominated by rattling off 10 straight years with at least 30 homers.
This included three performances of 40-plus dingers. The left-handed slugger also collected six years of 100-plus RBI.
Between his first 30-homer season in 1997 to his last year with Toronto in 2003, Delgado hit .290/.405/.578 while averaging 38 home runs, 41 doubles, 119 RBI, and 103 runs scored. He saved some of his best work for 2003, too. In 705 plate appearances, he led the league in OPS (1.019), RBI (145), and OPS+ (161), along with hitting 42 home runs.
Delgado won his third and final Silver Slugger award for this effort and finished second in AL MVP voting to Alex Rodriguez.
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José Bautista: 288 Home Runs
José Bautista’s breakout will always be an awesome story, as well as a testament to his dedication.
From 2004-08, Joey Bats played for four teams across 1,634 plate appearances. He slashed .239/.325/.398 with 46 home runs and 171 RBI. His 2009 performance in Toronto was slightly better (.235/.349/.408 with 13 homers and 40 RBI).
So, across his first six MLB seasons, he hit a combined 59 home runs. And then 2010 happened. He not only nearly doubled his career home run total with 54 dingers, but he also led the league and set a new franchise single-season record. Bautista followed that with another 43 homers in 2011, which led the league again.
After being limited in 2012 (92 games) and 2013 (118 games), he put together two more 30-100 seasons from 2014-15. Bautista slugged 35 dingers with 103 RBI in 2014 before besting those numbers in 2014 (40 and 114, respectively). The outfielder produced an OPS better than .900 in both seasons, finishing within the top-10 of AL MVP voting twice. Although he never walked away with the hardware, Bautista finished within the top-10 four times between 2010 and 2014.
For someone who spent parts of 15 seasons in the big leagues, this power peak took a while to take place. Once he finally got there, though, Bautista made the wait worth it.
Edwin Encarnación: 239 Home Runs
Edwin Encarnación’s career trajectory shares some similarities with Bautista. The big power breakout didn’t happen until his age-29 season in Toronto, although he did have six straight seasons of 10-plus homers prior to 2012. What I like looking at is how things progressed from 2010-11 to that breakout.
Through 230 games in his first two full seasons with the Blue Jays (897 plate appearances), Encarnación registered 38 homers and 106 RBI. The following season, those numbers increased to 42 and 110, respectively. In fact, the right-handed slugger had three season-long performances north of the border that had better numbers than the above two-year span. Here’s when it happened:
- 2012: 42 homers, 110 RBI
- 2015: 39 homers, 111 RBI
- 2016: 42 homers, 127 RBI
Prior to landing in Cleveland, Encarnación enjoyed five straight years with at least 30 homers, along with four seasons of more than 100 RBI. This was bookended by the only two 40-homer seasons of his career (2012 and 2016). His 2016 performance was significant because he finished with a career-high 42 homers. However, it also included a career-high 127 RBI, which led the league.
That streak with at least 30 homers extended beyond his tenure in Toronto. He did it two more times in Cleveland during 2017 and 2018. Encarnación added a couple more 100-plus RBI performances during that time for good measure, too.
Vernon Wells: 223 Home Runs
Vernon Wells was the Blue Jays’ top overall pick in the 1997 MLB Draft, coming right out of high school. It didn’t take him long to blow through the farm system and reach the majors, either. Wells made his debut in 1999 as a 20-year-old, but it took a while for him to stick in the big leagues for good.
He appeared in 57 total games between 1999 and 2001 before playing in 159 games during the 2002 campaign. He made the most of that opportunity by slugging 23 homers and driving in 100 runs for Toronto across 648 plate appearances. The outfielder enjoyed six more seasons with 20-plus homers before leaving Toronto after 2010. However, his peak with the Blue Jays was obvious.
Wells posted five seasons with at least 3.0 fWAR during his career. They all came in Toronto and four of them came consecutively from 2003-06. He slashed .292/.344/.509 during these 2,680 plate appearances, along with averaging 29 homers, 38 doubles, 97 RBI, and 92 runs scored.
His efforts in 2003, which included career-high marks in dingers (33), RBI (117), hits (215), and doubles (49) resulted in a Silver Slugger Award, an All-Star Game selection, and an eighth-place finish in AL MVP voting. Wells didn’t win another Silver Slugger the rest of his career, but this span did include three straight Gold Glove Awards.
Joe Carter: 203 Home Runs
Joe Carter will have the pleasure of being best remembered for his World Series-winning home run that ended the 1993 Fall Classic. He was also pretty good for the Blue Jays beyond that small set of games, though.
Carter didn’t arrive in Toronto until 1991, which was his age-31 season. He stayed with the organization through 1997 and never finished a year with fewer than 20 homers. This included four 30-plus homer performances, including his first three years from 1991 through 1993.
An average year from Carter during that three-year span included a .264/.318/.497 line with 33 home runs, 35 doubles, 116 RBI, and 93 runs scored.
The infielder won his only two Silver Slugger Awards during this time and finished within the top-five of AL MVP voting twice. His yearly homer total stayed consistent (33 in ’91, 34 in ’92, 33 in ’93), but his RBI production steadily increased from 108 to 119 to 121.
It’s also worth noting that all of Carter’s postseason experience came with the Blue Jays. He slugged a total of six homers in the playoffs, and he saved his best work for the World Series. Carter posted a career .892 OPS with four homers and 11 RBI in 54 Fall Classic plate appearances.
Blue Jays All Time Home Run Leaders: The Rest
Here’s what the remainder of Toronto’s top-23 career home run leaderboard looks like at the moment:
- George Bell: 202 home runs
- Jesse Barfield: 179
- Lloyd Moseby: 149
- Adam Lind: 146
- Ernie Whitt: 131
- Teoscar Hernandez: 129 (…and counting)
- Fred McGriff: 125
- Jose Cruz: 122
- Shawn Green: 119
- Justin Smoak: 117
- Josh Donaldson: 116
- Kelly Gruber: 114
- Ed Sprague: 113
- Willie Upshaw: 112
- John Olerud: 109
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: 104 (..and counting)
- Aaron Hill: 96
- John Mayberry: 92
To check out which players are on the outside looking in, here’s the full list on FanGraphs.