Last Updated on March 27, 2023 by Matt Musico
Although they haven’t been around very long, the Rays all time home run leaders list is full of memorable players from Tampa Bay’s short history. Roster turnover has always been a question for the Rays as a small-market club. What that looks like going into the future will be a big factor in how much the below list changes in the coming years.
We’ll first discuss the top-five home run hitters in Rays history before listing out the remainder of the top 24.
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Rays All Time Home Run Leaders: Top 5
Evan Longoria: 261 Home Runs
Although he no longer plays for the Rays, Evan Longoria is one of the few team-specific all-time home run leaders who are still active in the big leagues. Most of Longo’s tenure in Tampa Bay was quite consistent when looking at his home run production, too.
He spent 10 years with the organization, and the third baseman finished nine of them with at least 20 home runs. The only time he didn’t do that was in 2012, when he slugged 17 in just 74 games played. Another thing that helped in this consistency was Longoria’s ability to stay on the field.
That 2012 season was the only time he played fewer than 120 games in one year for the Rays. He appeared in 150-plus contests seven times, including at least 160 four consecutive years from 2013 to 2016. But when it comes to overall production, the first four years of Longoria’s career were among his best.
From his age-22 through age-25 seasons, he slashed a collective .274/.360/.515 while averaging 28 home runs, 37 doubles, 100 RBI, and 85 runs scored. He appeared in three All-Star Games, won two Gold Gloves, took home one Silver Slugger, and finished within the top-20 of AL MVP voting four times. That also doesn’t include him winning the 2008 AL Rookie of the Year Award.
Longoria finished each of these four seasons with an OPS above .850. He’s only accomplished that once since 2012.
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Carlos Peña: 163 Home Runs
For now, Carlos Peña is not only the Rays’ single-season home run record holder, but other powerful seasons have also landed him elsewhere atop Tampa’s leaderboard.
Peña clearly saved the best work of his MLB career for the Rays. During his 14 years in the big leagues, he enjoyed six seasons of 20-plus homers. Four of those occasions came with Tampa, and in consecutive years from 2007 through 2010. Peña enjoyed three straight years with at least 30 homers and 100 RBI from 2007-09.
What’s interesting about his 2008 performance, which included 31 dingers, is how consistent he was across multiple splits. He slugged 14 homers at home and 17 on the road that season. The first baseman also slugged 14 homers in the first half before returning from the All-Star break to hit another 17 dingers.
He accomplished this by missing virtually all of June. Peña appeared in six games and hit just one dinger during this time. Although he didn’t enjoy a month with double-digit homers that year, he did post three months with at least six.
A similar series of events happened the following year when he slugged 39 for the Rays. From April to July, Peña posted three months of at least six homers (nine in April, eight in May, and six in June). He appeared in seven September games, which led to only one homer. The month of August was key, as he slugged 12 homers and collected 29 RBI while posting a 1.050 OPS in 107 plate appearances.
Aubrey Huff: 128 Home Runs
Before he went on to be part of two World Series-winning teams in San Francisco, Aubrey Huff began his MLB career with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. His first two seasons (2000-01) included just 12 homers in 563 total plate appearances (150 games played). The outfielder spent the next four full seasons in Tampa, and he slugged 20-plus dingers on each occasion.
This also included a three-run stretch of at least 90 RBI. Huff also went over the century mark for RBI twice (’03 and ’04). This period was the most powerful of Huff’s career. He first slugged a career-high 34 dingers in 2003 before following it up with another 29 in 2004.
His averages during this span included 32 homers, 37 doubles, 106 RBI, and 92 runs scored. That ’03 performance included exactly 17 homers before and after the All-Star break. His best month of all was May, though. Huff slugged 10 homers and posted a 1.012 OPS in 116 plate appearances. That was the only time he experienced a month with more than four homers through the end of July. Then he went off from August 1st through the end of the year by hitting 15 total (seven in August, eight in September).
B.J. Upton: 118 Home Runs
B.J. Upton had himself an interesting MLB career. One that likely ended much earlier than he originally anticipated. The fleet-footed outfielder’s performance from 2013-16 took a steep overall dive, meaning his best work came with Tampa. He debuted in 2004 as a 19-year-old, posting a .733 OPS in 45 games played. Upton didn’t appear in the big leagues again until 2006 when he played in another 50 games.
His first full year in the majors was a doozy. Through 548 plate appearances, Upton slashed .300/.386/.508 with 24 home runs, 25 doubles, 22 steals, 82 RBI, and 86 runs scored. His speed stayed consistent throughout the rest of his Rays tenure, but the power was up-and-down.
Upton never stole fewer than 30 bases in a season following that 2007 campaign. This included three straight performances of 40-plus steals from 2008-10. He followed up those 24 homers with just nine in 2008, but the right-handed hitter made a steady climb prior to departing for Atlanta. Upton then hit 11 homers in 2009, 18 in 2010, 23 in 2011, and then a career-high 28 in 2012.
Through the end of July during that 2012 campaign, Upton had hit just nine homers before slugging 19 over the final two months. This included 12 dingers with a .902 OPS in September.
Ben Zobrist: 114 Home Runs
Like Upton, Ben Zobrist got a taste of the big leagues in his first couple of seasons before cementing himself as a regular. He appeared in no more than 62 games during his first three campaigns, but that final one included 12 homers and a .844 OPS in just 227 plate appearances.
The utility fielder went on to play in 145-plus games for Tampa in each of the next six years, including five seasons of at least 150 games played. Zobrist’s power was also a bit up and down. He never finished a full season with fewer than 10 homers. However, the switch-hitter had three 20-plus homer performances, along with three other campaigns that never finished above 12 dingers.
Zobrist slugged exactly 20 homers in a season in 2011 and 2012, but his most powerful showing came in 2009. He appeared in the first of his three All-Star Games and finished eighth in AL MVP voting after slashing .297/.405/.543 with 27 homers, 91 RBI, and 91 runs scored.
He stepped to the plate just about the same number of times in the first half (297 plate appearances) as he did in the second half (302 plate appearances). Zobrist did most of his work before the break, as he hit 17 dingers and drove in 52 runs while posting a 1.012 OPS. Once he returned from the midsummer classic, those numbers dropped to 10, 39, and .886, respectively.
Rays All Time Home Run Leaders: The Rest
Here’s what the remainder of the Rays’ top-24 career home run hitters looks like at the moment:
- Carl Crawford: 104 home runs
- Fred McGriff: 99
- Brandon Lowe: 84 (…and counting)
- Kevin Kiermaier: 82
- Matt Joyce: 76
- Jonny Gomes: 66
- Austin Meadows: 65 (…and counting)
- Steven Souza Jr.: 63
- Greg Vaughn: 60
- Desmond Jennings: 55
- Rocco Baldelli: 53
- Ji-Man Choi: 52 (…and counting)
- Corey Dickerson: 51
- Toby Hall: 44
- Brad Miller: 44
- Jorge Cantu: 44
- Logan Forsythe: 43
- Willy Adames: 43
To see the Rays all time home run leaders in its entirety, head over to FanGraphs.
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