Last Updated on September 6, 2023 by Matt Musico
It doesn’t matter when it happens — everything is magnified during October baseball. Every pitch, strikeout, hit, run scored, and home run just matters more. That pressure and importance goes up as teams inch closer to the World Series. As you can guess by the above headline, we’re going to talk about the next stage — the hitters who have slugged the most ALCS home runs.
First, we’ll touch on those who have racked up the most taters during a career, followed by those who have hit the most in a single series.
Don’t forget to also check out the rest of our postseason content. Some of it includes the following:
- Most Wild Card Series Home Runs
- The Most Division Series Home Runs
- Most NLCS Home Runs
- Most World Series Home Runs
Most ALCS Home Runs: Career
Manny Ramirez: 10 Home Runs
Like it or not, Manny Ramirez is featured heavily among our postseason home run content. He’s slugged the most Division Series home runs, as well as the most career postseason homers. Playing one step away from the World Series was ManRam’s preferred time in October.
Across six ALCS appearances, Ramirez slashed .319/.422/.563 with 10 home runs and 23 RBI in 173 plate appearances. He hit exactly two homers in five of those appearances. The only time he was held homerless was in Boston’s seven-game 2004 ALCS victory. In fact, Ramirez didn’t homer or drive in a run during that entire series.
Jose Altuve: 9 Home Runs
Jose Altuve is another player who has found himself littered all over postseason home run leaderboards. That’ll happen when your team qualifies for October and makes a deep playoff run just about every year. Through 157 plate appearances in 6 trips to the ALCS, Altuve is hitting .291/.389/.530 with those nine homers and 18 RBI.
He won 2019 ALCS MVP honors after slashing .348/.444/.652 with two homers, three RBI, and eight runs scored against the Yankees. Of course, this included his Game 6 walk-off vs. Aroldis Chapman to clinch another World Series appearance for the Astros.
Bernie Williams: 9 Home Runs
Playing in the ALCS was easily Bernie Williams‘ favorite part of the postseason. His OPS went from .865 in the Division Series up to .962 in the ALCS before dipping back down to .677 in the Fall Classic.
To go along with a .321/.413/.549 line and those nine homers, Williams also collected 33 RBI and 31 runs scored in 189 plate appearances. He was named 1996 ALCS MVP after crushing Orioles pitching, too. Williams hit .474/.583/.947 with two homers, three doubles, six RBI, and six runs scored.
George Brett: 9 Home Runs
It’s nice to see a holdover from the 1970s and 1980s like George Brett still on these lists. Of course, during his playing days, reaching the postseason typically meant going right into playing in the League Championship Series. His nine homers came in 6 ALCS appearances. It was accompanied by a .340/.400/.728 line, 19 RBI, and 22 runs scored.
En route to winning the World Series in 1985, Brett was named ALCS MVP. He torched the Blue Jays with a .348/.500/.826 line, three homers, two doubles, five RBI, and six runs scored.
Nelson Cruz: 8 Home Runs
Nelson Cruz has appeared in just three ALCS matchups, yet finds himself on this list. That’s because he went off in the Texas Rangers’ 2011 matchup against the Detroit Tigers. Overall, Cruz hit .328/.409/.845 in 66 plate appearances. Of the 19 hits he registered, 14 went for extra bases (eight homers, six doubles).
Virtually all of his ALCS homers came during his 2011 MVP performance. However, I’m going to save thoughts/stats on that since it’ll be talked about shortly.
David Ortiz: 8 Home Runs
David Ortiz is one of the most clutch postseason performers of his generation. He produced a career OPS of .947 in October to go along with 17 home runs and 61 RBI in 369 plate appearances. His eight ALCS home runs are the most of any round he competed in. The same can be said about the 30 RBI he accumulated, and by a wide margin (17 RBI in Division Series, 14 in World Series).
Remember how we said the Yankees held Ramirez homerless and without an RBI in the 2004 ALCS? They didn’t do the same with Big Papi. He won ALCS MVP honors after several clutch hits. He also slashed .387/.457/.742 in 35 plate appearances. Ortiz collected three homers, 11 RBI, and six runs scored during Boston’s improbable comeback from a 3-0 deficit.
A total of 18 players have slugged at least five home runs in ALCS history. We’ve talked about the top six in detail. Here’s the rest:
- Jason Varitek: 7 Home Runs
- Derek Jeter: 7
- Alex Rodriguez: 7
- Carlos Correa: 6
- Jhonny Peralta: 6
- Reggie Jackson: 6
- George Springer: 5
- Miguel Cabrera: 5
- Kevin Youkilis: 5
- Sal Bando: 5
- Graig Nettles: 5
Most ALCS Home Runs: Single Postseason
Nelson Cruz, 2011: 6 Home Runs
Ah, yes — back to Boomstick. His 2011 ALCS was just absolutely bananas. He collected eight hits in 25 plate appearances, and every single one of them went for extra bases. Outside of those six homers, Cruz also hit two doubles. His final line settled in at .364/.440/1.273 with 13 RBI and seven runs scored.
Randy Arozarena, 2020: 4 Home Runs
Randy Arozarena‘s 2020 ALCS performance was just one piece of him hitting the most home runs in a single postseason. It didn’t matter which round he was participating in — Randy never stopped hitting. His lowest OPS for any round during the 2020 playoffs was in the ALCS. It settled in at 1.152 with those four home runs, six RBI, and six runs scored. Oh, and he won Series MVP honors.
Robinson Cano, 2010: 4 Home Runs
Robinson Cano hit eight postseason home runs during his career, which spanned 217 plate appearances. Four of them came in 24 plate appearances during the 2010 ALCS. In this six-game loss to the Rangers, Cano hit .348/.375/.913 with those four dingers, one double, five RBI, and five runs scored.
Josh Hamilton, 2010: 4 Home Runs
And on the other side of that 2010 ALCS matchup was Josh Hamilton. Before he won AL MVP honors that offseason, he was busy helping Texas win a pennant. He won Series MVP honors thanks to a .350/.536/1.000 line with four homers, one double, seven RBI, six runs scored, and three steals in 28 plate appearances.
This was in stark contrast to his other two rounds of postseason play that year. Hamilton posted a .311 OPS in the Division Series. That was followed by his 1.536 OPS performance against the Yankees before it dropped back down to .393 in the World Series.
Evan Longoria, 2008: 4 Home Runs
Evan Longoria has played in just one ALCS, and man, did he make the most of it. He hit .259/.333/.815 against the Red Sox in 30 plate appearances. He collected eight RBI and eight runs scored. All seven of his hits went for extra bases (four homers, three doubles).
B.J. Upton, 2008: 4 Home Runs
While B.J. Upton didn’t only register extra-base hits in Tampa Bay’s seven-game series win over Boston, he did pretty OK. The fleet-footed outfielder hit .321/.394/.786 with those four homers, one double, 11 RBI, eight runs scored, and two steals.
The only other time he appeared in an ALCS was in 2016 with the Blue Jays, where he went hitless in four trips to the plate.
Jim Thome, 1998: 4 Home Runs
Cleveland couldn’t take down the ’98 Yankees, but it wasn’t because Jim Thome didn’t come to play. Across the six-game ALCS matchup, Cleveland’s first baseman slashed .304/.360/.826 with four homers, eight RBI, and four runs scored. He’d collect just two more home runs and five RBI in two other ALCS appearances.
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