The Top 25 Single-Season Guardians RBI Leaders

single-season Guardians RBI leaders

Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by Matt Musico

While they’ve existed in several iterations, the Cleveland Guardians have been an active organization since 1901. So, with all that opportunity, one would imagine there have been many 100-RBI performances in franchise history. You’d be right, as it’s been done by a Cleveland player 94 different times. For today, we’ll discuss the top 25 single-season Guardians RBI leaders.

First, we’ll break down the top five RBI seasons in detail before listing out the remainder of the top 25.

Single-Season Guardians RBI Leaders: Top 5

Manny Ramirez: 165 RBI in 1999

Manny Ramirez‘s 1999 performance was part of an insane three-year stretch before hitting free agency. Between 1994 and 1997, the right-handed slugger posted two years of 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBI. However, he topped out at 33 dingers and 112 RBI. Between 1998 and 2000, Ramirez’s worst season was 2000 when he hit 38 dingers with 122 RBI.

The consistency from Manny in the RBI department from month to month was rather eye-popping. He had just one month in which he drove in fewer than 25 runs. It happened in July when he drove in 20. Ramirez also posted three different months of 30-plus RBI (30 in March/April, 33 in May, and 30 in September/October). As if that wasn’t enough, he had 96 RBI at the All-Star break. Oh, and 92 of his 165 RBI came in road games.

Hal Trosky Sr.: 162 RBI in 1936

Despite last suiting up in an MLB game for Cleveland in 1941, Hal Trosky Sr. is still among the franchise’s all-time home run leaders. That tells you a little bit about how good he was. His 162 RBI in 1936 led baseball, and it was part of a six-year stretch where he drove in no fewer than 104 runs in a season.

In addition to those RBI, Trosky either tied or set new single-season career-high marks in homers (42), total hits (216), doubles (45), triples (nine), runs scored (124), OPS (1.026), and total bases (405). Somehow, he only finished 10th in MVP voting.

The difference between Trosky’s home and road splits in 1936 is worth mentioning, as well. On the road, he hit 12 homers with 62 RBI and a .290/.328/.508 line in 322 plate appearances. But at home, the dude was an absolute animal. He slugged 30 homers with 100 (!) RBI and a .393/.431/.770 triple slash in nearly the same number of plate appearances (349).

Albert Belle: 148 RBI in 1996

In 1995, Albert Belle finished second in AL MVP Award voting after leading the league in homers (50), RBI (126), doubles (52), and runs scored (121). What did he do for an encore, you ask? Well, he followed it up with 48 more homers to go along with 148 RBI, 38 doubles, and 124 runs scored. He finished third in the 1996 MVP voting.

Belle split his RBI production right down the middle between the first and second half by driving in 74 runs in each instance. It also didn’t matter whether the bases were empty, runners were on, or those runners were in scoring position — Belle posted an OPS better than 1.000 in each instance. However, he turned up the dial when an RBI chance was in view. With runners in scoring position, Belle hit .351/.491/.812, giving him a ridiculous 1.302 OPS.

Al Rosen: 145 RBI in 1953

The 1953 campaign was an MVP performance for Al Rosen. Not only did he lead the league with those 145 RBI, but he also was at the top of the leaderboard when it came to home runs (43), runs scored (115), total bases (367), slugging percentage (.613), and OPS (1.034).

Rosen loved stepping up to the plate with the score tied during this particular season. With a lead up for grabs, he hit .365/.418/.741 with 19 home runs and 63 RBI. The majority of Rosen’s damage came in the first inning of games, too. His 11 homers and 41 RBI during that frame were easily his highest of any inning in 1953.

Manny Ramirez: 145 RBI in 1998

Before Ramirez led the league in RBI during the 1999 season, he made his presence felt in 1998. He was selected to his second career All-Star Game and finished sixth in AL MVP Award voting. What I like looking at here is his jump in production from 1997 to 1998. The year prior, Ramirez hit 26 homers with 88 RBI in 150 games played (651 plate appearances). In 150 games played (663 plate appearances) the next year, those numbers settled in at 45 and 145, respectively.

As we can see above, Ramirez started hot in 1999 concerning RBI production. He had 63 RBI by the end of May. But in 1998, he started slower in this category. By the end of May, Ramirez had driven in 35 runs. From June to the end of the season, he didn’t drive in fewer than 26 in a single month. August and September/October were on another level, as they were also the only months he produced double-digit homers that season. Collectively, Ramirez hit 21 homers with 57 RBI over his final 227 trips to the plate.

Single-Season Guardians RBI Leaders: The Rest

As mentioned above, there have been 94 different instances of a 100 RBI campaign in Cleveland’s franchise history. Here’s the remainder of the top 25:

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