Toronto Blue Jays Single Season HR Leaders at Each Position

toronto blue jays single season hr leaders

Last Updated on May 18, 2024 by Matt Musico

If you’ve ever wondered which players are among the Toronto Blue Jays 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 75 games for the season in question.

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

Toronto Blue Jays Single Season HR Leaders

Catcher: J.P. Arencibia (2011) & Russell Martin (2015), 23 Home Runs

J.P. Arencibia‘s MLB career was short-lived — he played 466 games across six seasons. However, he made it count early on in the power department. His 23 homers for the Jays in 2011 occurred in his first full big-league season. Arencibia’s .720 OPS from that campaign was also a career-high mark.

His homer production was quite consistent. He hit between three and five dingers each month. It included four homers across each of the first three months, five in July, and three homers in each of the final two months.

Russell Martin slugged 20-plus homers three times. The 23 he hit in 2015 happened in his first campaign with Toronto. It also ended up being a career-high mark. He paired it with 23 doubles, 77 RBI, and 76 runs scored. Martin was named a 2015 All-Star and finished 24th in AL MVP Award voting.

His overall power was most prevalent in Blue Jays victories. He posted a .512 slugging percentage with 17 homers and 61 RBI in wins. Those numbers dropped to .383, six, and 16, respectively, in losses.

Pitcher: Mark Hendrickson (2003) & Marcus Stroman (2017), 1 Home Run

There have only been two pitcher home runs in Blue Jays history. Thanks to MLB’s Universal Designated Hitter rule, it’ll likely stay that way for the rest of time. Mark Hendrickson‘s home run came as a rookie. He wouldn’t go deep again for the rest of his career, which spanned a total of 107 plate appearances.

Marcus Stroman‘s career batting average settled in at .101 across 99 plate appearances. Of the nine hits he recorded, four went for extra bases. Outside of the homer, Stroman also collected three doubles.

First Base: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 48 Home Runs in 2021

If it wasn’t for Shohei Ohtani, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would probably have an AL MVP Award on his mantle right now. That’s how good his 2021 season was. His 48 homers led the league, as did his .401 on-base percentage, .601 slugging percentage, 1.002 OPS, 123 runs scored, and 367 total bases. But instead, he had to settle for second place and his first Silver Slugger Award.

He slashed .335/.421/.680 across 235 plate appearances in May and June. This included 19 homers, 11 doubles, 46 RBI, and 48 runs scored. He only racked up 23 plate appearances during the second inning of games in 2021 but went nuts. It resulted in a .632/.696/1.684 line. That’s good for a ridiculous 2.380 OPS. Of the 12 hits he recorded, 10 went for extra bases (five doubles and five homers).

Second Base: Marcus Semien, 45 Home Runs in 2021

Marcus Semien spent just one year in Toronto in hopes of building his value ahead of re-entering the free-agent market the following winter. He accomplished that — his 45 homers are an MLB single-season record for a primary second baseman. Semien also parlayed this huge campaign into a $175 million deal with the Texas Rangers.

Semien hit between five and eight home runs every month from March/April to August. But in September/October, he took things to another level. He posted his highest single-month totals for homers (13) and RBI (25) to finish the regular season.

His production was split evenly regardless of the venue, though. Semien slugged 22 homers with 50 RBI in home games, along with 23 homers and 52 RBI in away games.

Shortstop: Bo Bichette, 29 Home Runs in 2021

Bo Bichette is the third and final 2021 performance to make it on this list. This was the first time the shortstop surpassed the 20-homer plateau. Entering 2024, it’s something he’s accomplished three times. Bichette also added 102 RBI, 121 runs scored, 25 steals, a .828 OPS, and a league-leading 191 hits to his ledger.

While he doesn’t look like your prototypical cleanup hitter, that’s where Bichette hit in 51 games during 2021. He racked up 210 plate appearances and wasn’t intimidated by hitting in the four-spot. Bichette slashed .314/.352/.536 with 11 homers, 10 doubles, and 36 RBI.

It’s probably also not surprising that he produced a .915 OPS with 72 RBI in 164 plate appearances with runners in scoring position.

Third Base: Tony Batista (2000) & Josh Donaldson (2015), 41 Home Runs

Tony Batista landed in Toronto during the 1999 season and slugged 26 homers through 98 games played. The 2000 campaign was his first full year with the Jays. It resulted in his first career All-Star selection and his only 40-homer performance. He enjoyed two other 30-homer seasons, but the closest he got to this was in 2004 when Batista hit 32 dingers for the Montreal Expos.

According to Baseball-Reference, Batista thrived in Late & Close situations. He hit .349/.389/.711 with seven homers and 19 RBI through 90 plate appearances.

Josh Donaldson‘s first year in Toronto was a memorable one. In addition to tying Batista’s single-season home run record, JD also won the AL MVP Award. He added 41 doubles while leading the league in both RBI (123) and runs scored (122).

He posted a .959 OPS with 28 home runs against starting pitchers in 2015. His favorite time to face them was in his first at-bat of a game. During that first turn through the lineup, Donaldson’s OPS was 1.062 with 19 homers.

Toronto Blue Jays Single Season HR Leaders

Left Field: George Bell, 47 Home Runs in 1987

George Bell is another Blue Jays slugger with a 40-homer season that also resulted in an MVP Award. Those taters didn’t lead the league, but his 134 RBI sure did, as did his 369 total bases. Bell posted four more seasons of 20-plus homers, but nothing came close to what he did in ’87. He didn’t hit more than 25 homers in a single season.

After posting a .838 OPS in March/April of ’87, Bell’s monthly OPS never fell below .900. He also compiled a total of 22 homers and 58 RBI between May and June. The outfielder feasted on teams with a losing record. He blasted 29 homers with 75 RBI and a .977 OPS against them in 357 plate appearances. It’s not like he didn’t do major work against winning teams, though. Those numbers settled in 18, 59, and .934, respectively, in 310 trips to the plate.

Center Field: Jose Cruz, 34 Home Runs in 2001

Jose Cruz slugged 204 homers during his 12-year MLB career. While this included five instances of 20-plus homers, his power peak is clear to see. He hit 30-plus twice, and they came in consecutive campaigns from 2000-01. The 2001 season resulted in several career-high marks for the outfielder. His 34 homers, 88 RBI, 92 runs scored, and .857 OPS were all personal bests.

Cruz’s power spiked following the All-Star break. He headed into the midsummer respite with a .500 slugging percentage, 11 homers, 16 doubles, and 44 RBI. While he duplicated his RBI total with another 44 in the second half, he dramatically increased his homers (23), doubles (22), and slugging percentage (.559).

Right Field: Jose Bautista, 54 Home Runs in 2010

It’s hard to find a breakout story better than Jose Bautista‘s with the Blue Jays in 2010. Across his first 2,038 plate appearances in the big leagues from 2004-09, the right-handed slugger hit 59 home runs. He nearly doubled that in 683 trips to the plate in 2010 for Toronto. It led to his first of four top-10 MVP finishes, his first of six All-Star Game selections, and his first of three Silver Slugger Awards.

Joey Bats slugged eight total homers in March/April and June (four each). He slugged at least 11 in the other four months of the regular season, including each of the final three months. Over his last 83 games played (360 plate appearances), Bautista hit .288/.397/.695 with 34 homers, 19 doubles, 74 RBI, and 62 runs scored.

Designated Hitter: Jose Canseco, 46 Home Runs in 1998

Jose Canseco had an impressive run as a primary designated hitter from 1998-99. He set the Blue Jays single-season DH home run record in ’98 and then did the same thing in ’99 with Tampa Bay. This particular campaign in Toronto was his third and final 40-homer campaign. These 46 dingers were a career-high mark for the right-handed slugger.

When Canseco was feeling good at the plate, it typically meant the Blue Jays were winning ballgames. In Toronto victories during the ’98 season, he slugged 34 homers with 75 RBI and a .655 slugging percentage. When the Blue Jays lost, those numbers dropped to 12, 31, and .358, respectively.

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