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 — hitters who have slugged the most NLCS 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 ALCS Home Runs
- Most World Series Home Runs
Most NLCS Home Runs: Career
Albert Pujols: 10 Home Runs
Was there anything Albert Pujols couldn’t do well in a Cardinals uniform? He dominated in October as much as he did during the regular season. Across 360 postseason plate appearances, Pujols slashed .319/.422/.572 with 19 home runs and 54 RBI. The majority of that production came in the NLCS.
The Machine slugged 10 homers and 27 RBI in the NLCS, his most of any postseason round. It also included a ridiculous .367/.450/.664 line. We’ll talk more about his 2004 NLCS performance below.
Carlos Beltran: 8 Home Runs
Carlos Beltran was another top-notch postseason performer throughout his eventual Hall of Fame career. He got everyone’s attention in 2004 (which we’ll also talk about below), but his postseason career is nothing to scoff at. Beltran hit .307/.412/.609 in 256 trips to the plate in October.
The NLDS and NLCS were the only postseason rounds in which he produced an OPS better than 1.000. In addition to a .326/.441/.685 line in the NLCS, Beltran added those eight home runs, seven doubles, 17 RBI, and 24 runs scored.
Steve Garvey: 8 Home Runs
It’s a little weird to see a player from before the turn of the century still on here, but Steve Garvey has clearly made his mark on the postseason. Garvey collected 11 home runs and 31 RBI overall in his postseason career. Eight of those dingers and 21 of those RBI came in the NLCS, all while hitting .356/.383/.678 in 95 plate appearances.
Corey Seager: 7 Home Runs
Corey Seager enjoys playing in the latter portion of the postseason. As it currently stands, his OPS for the NLCS and the World Series are both above .900 for his career. He’s appeared in three NLCS matchups, which has led to a .257/.321/.581 line with those seven homers and 19 RBI. We’ll talk about his 2020 NLCS MVP performance in a bit.
Kyle Schwarber: 6 Home Runs
Kyle Schwarber has racked up 10 hits in 51 NLCS plate appearances, which is good for a .244 batting average. But since six of those 10 knocks have left the building, his slugging percentage (.683) and OPS (1.075) are still off the charts.
His best singular NLCS performance to date happened in 2022 against the Padres. Schwarber slashed .400/.571/1.000 with three home runs, four RBI, and six runs scored in 21 plate appearances.
Jim Edmonds: 6 Home Runs
Jim Edmonds played in 64 postseason games throughout his 17-year MLB career. All but three of those came with the St. Louis Cardinals. Across 124 total plate appearances during this round in October, Edmonds slashed .271/.363/.495 with those six homers, six doubles, 20 RBI, and 12 runs scored.
His best singular performance came in 2002 when St. Louis lost to the San Francisco Giants. Edmonds hit .400/.455/.650 with one homer, a pair of doubles, and four RBI across five games.
Above are the top-six all-time home run hitters in NLCS history. Here’s the remainder of the top 17, which is just an 11-way tie at five dingers:
- Cody Bellinger
- Chris Taylor
- Enrique Hernandez
- Justin Turner
- David Freese
- Jayson Werth
- Javy Lopez
- Ron Gant
- Gary Matthews
- Greg Luzinski
- Johnny Bench
Most NLCS Home Runs: Single Postseason
Corey Seager, 2020: 5 Home Runs
En route to winning their first World Series since 1988, the Dodgers literally couldn’t have done it without Corey Seager. He won NLCS and World Series MVP honors in 2020. During their seven-game battle vs. the Braves, he slugged those five homers to go along with 11 RBI, eight runs scored, and a .310/.333/.897 line in 30 plate appearances.
Rhys Hoskins, 2022: 4 Home Runs
Rhys Hoskins‘ epic bat spike will be talked about in Philadelphia for a long time. While he recorded just 11 total hits in 73 postseason plate appearances (good for a .159 average), he made those hits count. Six of them left the year, with four of them happening during the NLCS.
Those were the only four hits he recorded against the Padres. It resulted in a very weird .222/.300/.889 triple slash.
Daniel Murphy, 2015: 4 Home Runs
Remember when Daniel Murphy briefly morphed into Babe Ruth for the Mets? Yeah, it was pretty cool. He was off the chain during New York’s four-game NLCS sweep of the Chicago Cubs. He won series MVP honors after hitting .529/.556/1.294 with those four dingers, six RBI, and six runs scored in just 18 plate appearances.
Unfortunately for Murphy and the Mets, the second baseman’s production cratered in the World Series. He posted a .470 OPS with no extra-base hits in 25 trips to the plate.
Carlos Beltran, 2004: 4 Home Runs
Beltran was already an elite talent in the big leagues ahead of reaching free agency in the winter of 2004. His postseason performance with the Astros before he hit the open market really helped maximize his earning power, though.
After posting a 1.591 OPS in the 2004 NLDS, which included four homers and nine RBI, he essentially repeated that performance in the NLCS. Beltran hit .417/.463/.958 with another four dingers, five RBI, 12 runs scored, and four steals in a seven-game loss to the Cardinals.
Albert Pujols, 2004: 4 Home Runs
Speaking of the Cardinals, Albert Pujols was on the other side of the 2004 NLCS matchup that helped St. Louis reach the World Series. He took home series MVP honors because Houston couldn’t get him out.
The Machine slashed .500/.563/1.000 in 32 plate appearances against the Astros. That was all accompanied by four homers, two doubles, nine RBI, and 10 runs scored.
Jeffrey Leonard, 1987: 4 Home Runs
Jeffrey Leonard played in two different postseason series during his MLB career. The first was the 1980 NLCS as a member of the Astros. He went hitless in three plate appearances. His second appearance was with the Giants during the 1987 NLCS. That was a much more fruitful experience for Leonard.
San Francisco lost to St. Louis in seven games, but he still took home series MVP honors. Across 28 plate appearances, Leonard slashed .417/.500/.917 with those four home runs, five RBI, and five runs scored.
Steve Garvey, 1978: 4 Home Runs
Steve Garvey won NLCS MVP twice in his MLB career, and he did it for two different teams. The first instance was for the Dodgers in 1978. As Los Angeles advanced to the World Series, Garvey hit .389/.389/1.222 in 18 plate appearances.
He collected seven hits overall, with six going for extra bases (one double, one triple, four homers). Garvey also added seven RBI and six runs scored.
Bob Robertson, 1971: 4 Home Runs
On the Pirates’ way to winning the 1971 World Series, Bob Robertson went off in the NLCS vs. the Giants. In four games played (16 plate appearances), the right-handed hitter slashed .438/.438/1.250 with four home runs, one double, six RBI, and five runs scored.
He hit six total postseason home runs during his MLB career, and they all came during the 1971 playoffs (four in the NLCS, two in the World Series).
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