Nationals Single Season HR Leaders at Each Position

Nationals single season HR leaders

Last Updated on May 26, 2024 by Matt Musico

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

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

Nationals Single Season HR Leaders

Catcher: Gary Carter, 31 Home Runs in 1977

Some players simply own the top spot of a franchise’s positional home run leaderboard. And then there are guys like Gary Carter, who just about owns the entire leaderboard by himself. The Hall of Fame backstop owns each of the top four spots on this list and five of the top six. That’s what you call domination.

Carter slugged 20-plus homers nine times during his 19-year career, but he only surpassed the 30-homer plateau twice. The first occurrence came in 1977 as a 23-year-old. The right-handed hitter loved playing in Montreal during this campaign. That’s evidenced by his .990 OPS, 22 homers, and 55 RBI in 313 plate appearances at home. On the road, those numbers dropped to .761, nine, and 29, respectively, in 282 trips to the plate.

Pitcher: 7-Way Tie at 2 Home Runs

Why have a regular old tie when it can be a seven-way tie, right? The top of Washington’s single-season pitcher home run leaderboard is shared by Carl Morton (1970, 1971), Steve Renko (1971), Dan Schatzeder (1985), Felipe Lira (2000), Livan Hernandez (2005), and Stephen Strasburg (2017).

I’m going to shout out Strasburg since he’ll likely stand the test of time as the last pitcher dinger in Montreal/Washington franchise history. The right-hander had an excellent year on the mound. He went 15-4 with a 2.52 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 204 strikeouts in 175.1 innings pitched. That landed him in the All-Star Game and a third-place finish in NL Cy Young Award voting.

It was just as impressive in the batter’s box. Strasburg brought home his first and only Silver Slugger Award after hitting .277/.333/.426 in 53 plate appearances. The hurler also racked up five extra-base hits (four doubles, one homer), seven RBI, and four runs scored.

First Base: Adam Dunn, 38 Home Runs in 2010

Adam Dunn is a model of consistency in the power department if I’ve ever seen one. He hit exactly 40 homers every year between 2005 and 2008. The burly left-handed slugger landed in D.C. with the Nats in 2009 and stuck around for two seasons. He hit 38 homers with 105 RBI in ’09 before coming right back to slug another 38 dingers with 103 RBI in ’10.

Unsurprisingly, the Nationals typically won in 2010 when Dunn homered. He slugged 30 dingers with 73 RBI and a 1.253 OPS in Washington victories. But when they lost, Dunn hit just eight homers with 30 RBI and a .631 OPS. He also thrived stepping up to the plate with no outs. That scenario resulted in a .293/.381/.654 line with 18 homers and 32 RBI.

Second Base: Daniel Murphy, 25 Home Runs in 2016

After a memorable trip to the postseason in 2015 with the New York Mets, Daniel Murphy joined the Washington Nationals and put together a career year in 2016. He went to the All-Star Game, won his first of two career Silver Slugger Awards, and placed second in NL MVP Award voting. His 25 homers and 104 RBI were both career-high marks, and Murphy led the league in OPS (.985), slugging percentage (.595), and doubles (47). Before this performance, Murphy’s career high in homers was just 14, which he did the year prior.

The second baseman hit well regardless of where he was penciled into the lineup in 2016. He spent the majority of his time either hitting second (.986 OPS), third (.912), or fourth (1.140). It’s also worth noting that he torched his former team whenever they went head-to-head. In 81 plate appearances against the Mets, Murphy slashed .413/.444/.773 with seven homers, six doubles, 21 RBI, and 14 runs scored.

Shortstop: Ian Desmond, 25 Home Runs in 2012

Ian Desmond won three straight Silver Slugger Awards with the Nationals. This streak started in 2012, and it’s safe to say it was his best all-around performance. He slashed .292/.335/.511 with 25 homers, 33 doubles, 73 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 21 steals. Desmond was also named to his first All-Star Game and placed 16th in NL MVP Award voting. It was the only time he received down-ballot MVP votes during his career.

Desmond preferred facing starting pitchers (.874 OPS) over relievers (.792 OPS) in 2012. More specifically, the shortstop excelled after his first at-bat against that night’s starting pitcher. He posted a .790 OPS during Washington’s first turn through the lineup. That went up dramatically to .917 the second time through.

Third Base: Anthony Rendon, 34 Home Runs in 2019

Before things went down the tubes with the Angels, Anthony Rendon was a consistent force for the Nats. His final year in D.C. was a banner one, too. He earned his first All-Star Game selection, finished third in NL MVP Award voting, and took home his second Silver Slugger Award while leading the league in RBI (126) and doubles (44). Oh, and he helped the Nats win their first-ever World Series title.

Rendon did most of his damage toward the latter portion of games. Between the fourth and ninth innings, he slugged 26 homers with 88 RBI, all while having an OPS just a shade under 1.100.

Nationals Single Season HR Leaders

Left Field: Alfonso Soriano, 46 Home Runs in 2006

Alfonso Soriano spent one year with the Nationals before signing a big-money deal with the Chicago Cubs. It’s safe to say he made it count. After three performances of 30-plus homers and 30-plus steals, he finally broke through and joined the 40-40 club with Washington. His 46 homers in 2006 are also a single-season franchise record.

Soriano enjoyed two months of double-digit homers, hitting 12 in May and 11 in August. He failed to slug at least five homers in a month just once. It was the final month of the year when the right-handed hitter compiled three dingers over his final 27 games played.

Center Field: Andre Dawson, 32 Home Runs in 1983

It could be easy for many baseball fans to think of Andre Dawson as a Cub, especially since the Hall of Famer won the 1987 NL MVP Award while playing for Chicago. However, he played 11 of his 21 big-league seasons with the Montreal Expos. The 1983 season included his third straight All-Star Game selection and a second-place finish in MVP Award voting for the second time in three years.

The Hawk didn’t enjoy hitting at home in Montreal during the ’83 campaign. He slashed .272/.324/.453 with 10 homers and 42 RBI in 336 plate appearances. That’s not bad. However, it pales in comparison to the .322/.351/.615 line with 22 homers and 71 RBI he accumulated on the road in 362 plate appearances.

Right Field: Vladimir Guerrero, 44 Home Runs in 2000

Vladimir Guerrero raked for just about every team he played for. However, his best work came in Montreal with the Expos. His only two 40-homer campaigns came with the club. They happened in consecutive campaigns (1999 and 2000), with his 44 in 2000 being a single-season career-high mark. This performance was accompanied by his second All-Star Game selection and second Silver Slugger Award.

Guerrero posted an OPS greater than 1.000 in four different months during the 2000 season. He saved some of his best work for September/October. Over his final 122 plate appearances, he slashed .366/.418/.768 with 13 homers and 26 RBI. He didn’t hit more than five homers against any one opponent, but he did it three times (Diamondbacks, Marlins, and Phillies).

Designated Hitter: Nelson Cruz, 10 Home Runs in 2022

The 2022 season was the beginning of the end for Nelson Cruz‘s late-career power surge. Between 2014 and 2021, he slugged 30-plus homers seven times. The only campaign that didn’t happen was the shortened 2020 season. But still, Cruz managed to slug 16 homers in 53 games played.

His collective OPS over this eight-season stretch (4,555 plate appearances) was a healthy .908. In 507 trips to the plate for the Nationals, his OPS dropped down to .651 — the worst number he ever produced in a single season. He didn’t hit more than four in a month. Even then, he only reached that number once (June). Cruz went homerless in both July and September/October.

Want to see the Nationals slug dingers in person? Grab tickets from our friends at Vivid Seats. And before you get to the stadium, make sure you’re decked out in the right gear. Get official Nationals merch from the MLB Shop or a ‘Big Dinger Energy’ shirt from our apparel store.

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