Mariners Single Season HR Leaders at Each Position

Mariners single season HR leaders

Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by Matt Musico

If you’ve ever wondered which players are among the Mariners single season HR leaders at each position, then you’re in the right place. Outside of pitcher, each player had to man their position for at least 100 games (or 75% of games played) for the season in question.

After you’re done checking this out, head over to our Mariners all-time and single-season home run leaderboards.

Want to see the Mariners slug dingers in person? Grab tickets from our friends at Vivid Seats. And you can get our gear inspired by the iconic home run calls from Dave Niehaus and Rick Rizzs at our merch shop or as printable wall art at our Etsy shop. You can also get official Mariners merchandise from our friends at the MLB Shop.

Mariners Single Season HR Leaders

Catcher: Cal Raleigh, 30 Home Runs in 2023

It hasn’t taken long for Cal Raleigh to show off his power at the catcher position. After hitting 27 dingers in 2022, he followed that up with the first 30-homer campaign by a catcher in Mariners history. He also became the first catcher ever to hit a homer from each side of the plate in the same game at Fenway Park.

The backstop got off to a somewhat sluggish start in the first half of the ’23 season. By the All-Star break, he had 11 homers and 35 RBI to go along with a .703 OPS in 294 plate appearances. But over his final 275 trips to the plate, those numbers increased to 19, 40, and .825, respectively.

During the season’s first three months, he hit five-plus homers just once (March/April). He did it three times over the final three months (five in July and September/October, nine in August).

Pitcher: Felix Hernandez, 1 Home Run in 2008

The Mariners are an American League team, so the opportunities for pitchers to hit have come few and far between. But can you believe that since their inaugural season in 1977, Seattle has had just one home run by a pitcher?

It came off the bat of Felix Hernandez in 2008 during a game at Shea Stadium. He slugged the above grand slam off Johan Santana. In 59 career plate appearances, Hernandez collected four hits. Two of them went for extra bases: a double and this grand slam we’re talking about.

Thanks to MLB’s Universal Designated Hitter rule, King Felix’s accomplishment very well could stand alone for all of eternity in the Mariners’ history books.

First Base: Richie Sexson, 39 Home Runs in 2005

Richie Sexson had some monster seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. However, his spot atop the franchise’s single-season home run leaderboard for first basemen was overtaken by Prince Fielder. Thankfully, he still has a spot here. His 39 dingers in 2005 was the fifth time he surpassed the 30-homer plateau. He’d do it one more time, too (34 for Seattle in 2006).

Sexson was consistent when looking at his monthly homer production in ’05. He never enjoyed a double-digit dinger month, but he hit somewhere between six and nine on five different occasions. The right-handed slugger only came up short in June when he hit four.

His production was also evenly spread throughout an inning. Sexson hit 14 homers with 35 RBI with nobody out, 14 homers with 45 RBI with one out, and 11 homers with 45 RBI with two outs.

Second Base: Robinson Cano, 39 Home Runs in 2016

Robinson Cano hit 14 home runs in his first season with the Mariners in 2014. That number went up to 23 in 2015 before cresting at a career-high 39 in 2016. It was the second and final time he surpassed the 30-homer plateau. He paired it with a .298/.350/.533 line, 103 RBI, and 107 runs scored en route to finishing eighth in AL MVP Award voting.

Between June and July of the 2016 campaign, Cano combined to hit just eight homers. He didn’t hit fewer than seven in a single month at any other time that season. His highest homer totals against teams all came against fellow AL West squads, but he tortured the Houston Astros the most. He posted a 1.184 OPS with nine homers and 25 RBI against them in 84 plate appearances.

Shortstop: Alex Rodriguez, 42 Home Runs in 1998 and 1999

As polarizing a figure Alex Rodriguez is thanks to his connection with performance-enhancing drugs, that dude knew how to hit taters. Not only does he have two shortstop seasons here, but he also has the only three 40-homer seasons in franchise history at the position.

His 1998 season was special because he became the third overall member (and still the only infielder) to join MLB’s 40-40 club. He added 46 steals to those 42 dingers. What’s interesting is he reached the same number of homers in consecutive years in very different ways.

In ’98, Rodriguez hit 27 homers in the first half and 15 in the second half. He also hit more on the road (24) than he did at home (18). In ’99, he hit 18 homers before the All-Star break, followed by 24 in the second half. His home/road splits were nearly identical, with 20 coming in Seattle and 22 coming as a visiting player.

Third Base: Kyle Seager, 35 Home Runs in 2021

It’s not often you see a player set a single-season career-high mark in homers during his final big-league campaign. That’s what third baseman Kyle Seager did in 2021, though. He hit 20-plus homers nine times during his 11-year MLB tenure. But before this particular performance, the only other time he reached 30 was in 2016 when he finished exactly on that number.

He struggled quite a bit at T-Mobile Park in ’21. In 79 games played, Seager slashed .159/.245/.329 with 13 homers, 10 doubles, and 34 RBI at home. He made up for that as a visiting player, raising his triple slash to .261/.323/.538 with 22 home runs, 19 doubles, and 67 RBI in 80 road games.

Mariners Single Season HR Leaders

Left Field: Raul Ibañez, 33 Home Runs in 2006

Raul Ibañez spent 11 seasons out of his 19-year MLB career in Seattle. It happened in three separate tenures, too. His 2006 performance came during his second tour with the club. He matched those 33 homers with 33 doubles, a career-high 123 RBI, a career-high 103 runs scored, and a .869 OPS. This was one of three times the outfielder received down-ballot MVP votes, finishing 21st.

Ibañez was at his best when the Mariners held a lead in ’06. In this particular situation, he hit .278/.377/.586 with 15 home runs and 47 RBI. And for whatever reason, he was a fan of hitting in the seventh inning. Across 70 plate appearances, he slugged six homers with 15 RBI with a 1.166 OPS.

Center Field: Ken Griffey Jr., 56 Home Runs in 1997 and 1998

The 1997 and 1998 seasons were part of an insane power peak for Ken Griffey Jr. He led the American League in home runs in both years (as well as 1999). The outfielder also took home two Gold Glove Awards, two Silver Slugger Awards, the 1997 AL MVP Award, and he went to two All-Star Games.

My favorite part about baseball is how there can be so much symmetry between unrelated situations. These two seasons are a perfect example of that. Just look at how similar Griffey’s counting stats were:

The fact that he hit his 50th home run of the year on the same date each year is just icing on the cake.

Right Field: Jay Buhner, 44 Home Runs in 1996

The 1996 season was right in the middle of a three-year power surge from Jay Buhner. He hit 40 homers with 121 RBI in 1995 and another 40 dingers with 109 RBI in 1998. As we can see here, the 1996 campaign was his most powerful with 44 homers. It also led to a single-season career-high mark in RBI with 138.

You don’t get that many rib-eye steaks without relishing the opportunity of having runners on base when you’re in the batter’s box. During ’96, Buhner slashed .247/.347/.529 with the bases empty. Those numbers climbed to .292/.387/.581 with men on. When runners were in scoring position, his triple slash increased again to .315/.406/.625.

Designated Hitter: Nelson Cruz, 43 Home Runs in 2016

Leading up to signing with the Mariners ahead of his age-34 season in 2015, Nelson Cruz had posted one year of 40-plus homers between 2005 and 2014. He did it twice during his four-year stay in the Pacific Northwest. He didn’t finish a year with fewer than 37 homers in Seattle.

Cruz enjoyed two months of double-digit homers, hitting 10 in June and 11 in September/October. That final stretch of the season was easily his best work, too. Over his last 122 plate appearances, the right-handed slugger slashed .318/.361/.682, which was good for a 1.043 OPS. It was accompanied by 11 homers, 26 RBI, and 20 runs scored, all of which were single-month bests for Cruz in 2016.

Want to see the Mariners slug dingers in person? Grab tickets from our friends at Vivid Seats. And you can get our gear inspired by the iconic home run calls from Dave Niehaus and Rick Rizzs at our merch shop or as printable wall art at our Etsy shop. You can also get official Mariners merchandise from our friends at the MLB Shop.

Related Post