Top 30 Most Leadoff Home Runs in a Season (Stats & Videos)

most leadoff home runs

Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Matt Musico

Everyone loves starting a baseball game on the right foot. And when I say “the right foot”, I mean by slugging a leadoff dinger. If you’re wondering who has hit the most leadoff home runs in a season, then the below list will answer all your questions.

We’ll share some pertinent statistics, along with as many videos as I can find to bring these performances to life.

Most Leadoff Home Runs in a Season

Want to see some homers in person this season? Of course you do. Grab MLB 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 your favorite team’s official merch from the MLB Shop or a ‘Big Dinger Energy’ shirt from our apparel store.

13 Home Runs

Alfonso Soriano, 2003 New York Yankees

Alfonso Soriano‘s 2003 campaign wasn’t as good as his 2002 performance (he placed third in AL MVP Award voting), but it was still pretty good. For the second straight year, he flirted with making Major League history by joining the 40-40 club after slugging 38 homers and stealing 35 bases. This was the only year between 2002 and 2006 where he didn’t win a Silver Slugger Award. Despite that, he was selected to his second career All-Star Game and finished 20th in AL MVP Award voting.

Soriano just loved stepping up to the plate with a clean slate. He hit 24 of his 38 homers with no outs. The right-handed slugger also posted a .362/.411/.777 line leading off the game for New York. Leading off an inning was also something he enjoyed — Soriano hit .340/.379/.680 in that situation.

12 Home Runs

Mookie Betts, 2023 Los Angeles Dodgers

Opposing pitchers typically don’t have a chance to breathe at any point while facing the Dodgers. That starts right at the top when facing L.A.’s leadoff hitter, Mookie Betts. He surpassed the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his career in 2023. The 39 dingers he slugged were a new personal best mark.

Imagine what number he would’ve finished at if he didn’t slump over the final month of the regular season. Betts hit .455/.516/.839 with 11 homers, 10 doubles, and 30 RBI across 126 August plate appearances. Over his final 107 trips to the plate in September/October, Betts struggled to a .244/.393/.326 line with just one homer and nine RBI.

Jose Altuve, 2022 Houston Astros

The 2022 season was another Silver Slugger campaign for Jose Altuve. He also finished fifth in AL MVP Award voting after posting a .921 OPS with 28 homers, 39 doubles, 57 RBI, and 103 runs scored for the eventual World Series-winning Astros.

Altuve relished leading off the game for Houston. In addition to those 12 homers, he slashed .330/.438/.730 in 137 plate appearances. His 1.172 OPS in the first inning was his highest of any frame that year. The only other inning where he posted an OPS better than 1.000 was the second inning (1.154 in 30 plate appearances).

George Springer, 2019 Houston Astros

Leading up to 2019, George Springer had already posted four seasons of 20-plus homers for the Astros. But this particular campaign went above and beyond since it included career-best marks for OPS (.974), home runs (39), and RBI (96).

In addition to his 12 first-inning homers, Springer added another 10 dingers in the third inning. The right-handed hitter collected 24 of those 39 homers in the first three innings of games. If we look at his OPS, Springer’s overall production continually dropped as the game wore on. It was 1.093 through the first three innings. That was followed by a .907 mark between innings four and six before finishing at .826 from innings seven through nine.

Alfonso Soriano, 2007 Chicago Cubs

Fresh off a 40-40 season with the Nationals, Soriano made an immediate impact with his new team on the North Side of Chicago. He posted a .897 OPS with 33 homers, 40 doubles, 70 RBI, and 97 runs scored for the Cubs.

The old adage about leadoff hitters is to take some pitches and allow his teammates to see what the hurler has in store for them that day. But Soriano was better when he stepped into the batter’s box in attack mode. He hit .345/.357/.632 when swinging at the first pitch for Chicago in ’07. When he took the first pitch, his line dropped to .270/.326/.514.

Brady Anderson, 1996 Baltimore Orioles

Brady Anderson‘s 50-homer performance in 1996 for the Orioles will forever be one of the best examples of an outlier when talking about baseball’s PED era. The outfielder hit 20-plus homers in a season only two other times when not counting what happened in ’96. Those instances came in 1992 (21 homers) and 1999 (24 homers).

The left-handed hitter particularly enjoyed playing the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, the two teams most of his homers came against. Anderson went deep eight times against Texas and six times against Seattle. No other team saw him go deep more than five times that year.

11 Home Runs

Kyle Schwarber, 2023 Philadelphia Phillies

Kyle Schwarber is not your prototypical leadoff hitter. But still, that man knows how to stake his team to an early lead. The 2023 campaign was Schwarber’s second straight 40-homer performance with the Phillies. These numbers already have him at the top of Philadelphia’s single-season home run leaderboard and climbing the club’s all-time list in short order.

Schwarber loved facing the opposing starting pitcher for the first time (.922 OPS) and the third time through the order (.996). That second at-bat, though? Not so much for some reason. He posted a .645 OPS in that situation.

Jacque Jones, 2002 Minnesota Twins

Jacque Jones is one of those sneaky-good players who consistently flew under the radar. His 2002 campaign was among the best he produced across his 10-year MLB career. He set single-season career-high marks for homers (27), RBI (85), doubles (37), runs scored (96), hits (173), and OPS (.852) in 149 games played.

He enjoyed being on the road more than anything else, though. Jones posted a .721 OPS with six homers in 308 plate appearances at the Metrodome. Those numbers paled in comparison to what he did as a visiting player in 318 trips to the plate: .977 OPS with 21 homers.

Bobby Bonds, 1973 San Francisco Giants

Bobby Bonds put together a lethal power/speed combo across his 14-year career. By the time he hung up his spikes, Bonds had slugged 332 homers with 1,024 RBI, 1,258 runs scored, and 461 steals. His five 30/30 seasons are tied for the most in Major League Baseball history. The player he’s tied with? That would be his son Barry. Funny how things work out, right?

The 1973 season was a career year for Bobby, as he posted a personal-best .900 OPS while winning a Gold Glove Award and finishing third in NL MVP Award voting. This was one of his 30/30 campaigns and he just missed creating the 40/40 club. Bonds slugged 39 homers with 43 steals, 96 RBI, and a league-leading 131 runs scored. He settled for being the first player in MLB history to hit double-digit leadoff home runs in a single season.

10 Home Runs

Marcus Semien, 2023 Texas Rangers

Marcus Semien put together an excellent second year with the Rangers. He led the league in games played (162), plate appearances (753), at-bats (670), runs scored (122), and total hits (185), on his way to being an All-Star, winning a Silver Slugger Award, and finishing third in AL MVP Award voting. Oh, and winning the World Series to top it all off ain’t so bad, either.

Semien turned things up a notch for Texas after the All-Star break. After hitting 11 homers with a .776 OPS in the first half, those numbers went up to 18 and .894, respectively, in nearly 100 fewer plate appearances.

Charlie Blackmon, 2016 Colorado Rockies

This article was published in 2024, so it’s hard to remember a time when Charlie Blackmon was an elite leadoff hitter for the Rockies. But it happened and he put up some huge seasons. This was his first of two straight Silver Slugger performances. Between 2016 and 2017, Blackmon slashed .327/.390/.578 while averaging 33 homers, 35 doubles, 10 triples, 93 RBI, 124 runs scored, and 16 steals.

Wondering about the Coors Field effect is just part of life for any Rockies player who puts together an exceptional year. But for Blackmon in 2016, he was equally good at home and on the road. He posted a .939 OPS with 12 homers and 15 doubles in 313 plate appearances at Coors Field. In 328 trips to the plate as a visiting player, he produced a .926 OPS with 17 homers and 20 doubles.

Most Leadoff Home Runs in a Season

9 Home Runs

George Springer, 2022 Toronto Blue Jays

The 2022 season was another All-Star campaign for Springer, and he relished the opportunity to lead off the game for Toronto. In addition to his nine homers, the right-handed slugger also collected five doubles and one triple in this scenario. That helped power a .313/.368/.609 triple slash.

Joc Pederson, 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers

Joc Pederson‘s 2019 with the Dodgers stands out on the back of his baseball card because he hasn’t been able to approach certain counting stats since. He hit 36 homers with 74 RBI, 83 runs scored, and 112 total hits, all of which are single-season career-high marks. Pederson enjoyed seeing a pitcher for the first time in a game. Upon facing a starting pitcher three times in one night, his nine homers in his first at-bat were the most.

Francisco Lindor, 2018 Cleveland Guardians

Francisco Lindor‘s home run progression between 2015 and 2018 is a straight line. He went from 12 to 15 to 33, and then up to 38, which is his current career high. Lindor’s 15 homers during the first three innings of games in 2018 were his most when breaking up a contest into three parts. However, he enjoyed the middle innings the most. When he stepped up to the plate between the fourth and sixth inning, his OPS went from .813 to .965.

George Springer, 2017 Houston Astros

The 2017 season was a banner year for Springer in multiple ways. It included his first All-Star Game selection, his first Silver Slugger Award, and winning the World Series with Houston. He slugged 34 homers overall in ’17, and the majority of his production came before the midsummer classic. Springer hit 27 homers with 61 RBI and a .993 OPS in the first half. That was followed by just seven homers, 24 RBI, and a .724 OPS in the second half.

Hanley Ramirez, 2008 Florida Marlins

A year before he won the 2009 batting title with a .342 average, Hanley Ramirez was busy setting a career-high mark in homers (and a Marlins shortstop record) with 33 in 2008. He also added 35 steals to clinch his first and only 30-30 season in the big leagues. Ramirez loved playing the Washington Nationals that year. He slugged seven homers with 17 RBI and a 1.197 OPS in just 17 games played against them.

Chris Young, 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks

Chris Young finished fourth in the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year Award voting off the strength of hitting 32 homers for the DBacks. That was not only a career-high mark for Cy, but it was a franchise record for Arizona center fielders. He would eclipse the 20-homer mark three other times during his 13-year career (22 in 2008, 27 in 2010, and 20 in 2011).

Jimmy Rollins, 2007 Philadelphia Phillies

Jimmy Rollins put up some incredible numbers for the Phillies in his 2007 NL MVP Award performance. He slugged 30 homers, 38 doubles, 20 (!) triples, 94 RBI, 139 runs scored, and 212 total hits. J-Roll registered 22 extra-base hits (nine homers, 11 doubles, and two triples) with a 1.036 OPS when leading off games for Philly in ’07.

Alfonso Soriano, 2006 Washington Nationals

After flirting with the milestone for years, Alfonso Soriano finally punched his ticket into the 40-40 club in 2006 with the Nationals. His 46 homers are not only the most of any 40-40 season in MLB history, but it’s also the most in Washington’s franchise history. His performance resulted in his fourth Silver Slugger Award in five years (and third in a row).

While Soriano did spend 131 games in the Nats’ leadoff spot, he also was penciled into the three-hole for 18 games. His 10 first-inning homers were his most of any frame that season. The third inning (nine homers) came in a close second, though.

Brad Wilkerson, 2004 Montreal Expos

Brad Wilkerson made sure his last year in Montreal with the Expos was a memorable one before the franchise got moved to DC. His 32 homers were a career-high mark by a wide margin. He never finished with more than 20 in any other season, which he did twice (2002 and 2007).

When it was between leading off the game and leading off an inning, Wilkerson’s stats showed a clear preference. He slashed .309/.393/.670 as Montreal’s first batter of the game. Those numbers dropped to .272/.365/.552 when leading off an inning.

Ray Durham, 2004 San Francisco Giants

Ray Durham is one of the few hitters here who didn’t enjoy a huge performance in the power department as a leadoff hitter. Just about 53% of his 17 homers for the Giants in 2004 came leading off the game for San Francisco. Durham did his best work while the Giants were behind on the scoreboard. He posted a .993 OPS in that situation, compared to a .653 mark when his squad had a lead.

Rickey Henderson, 1986 New York Yankees

You just knew it was only a matter of time before Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson made an appearance here, right? You’d think it would’ve happened with the Oakland Athletics, but not this time. He set career-high marks in homers (28) and RBI (74) with the Yankees, while his 87 steals led the league for the seventh straight season. Henderson didn’t hit more than four homers against any team in 1986, but he reached that number three times. The lucky opponents included the Twins, Mariners, and Blue Jays.

8 Home Runs

Gunnar Henderson, 2024 Baltimore Orioles

Since the 2024 season is still happening, I won’t do a full write-up on Gunnar Henderson’s sophomore season until it’s officially in the books. But after tying for the club lead in homers last season with 28, he’s already at 22 as of June 16. Follow along with each dinger by checking out the Gunnar Henderson Home Run Tracker.

Ronald Acuña Jr., 2023 Atlanta Braves

Ronald Acuña Jr.‘s 2023 NL MVP Award campaign was outrageous just from his surface-level stats. Creating the 40-homer, 70-steal club is amazing enough. But to have a 40-homer hitter with that kind of speed hit out of the leadoff spot? That’s even more special. He posted a 1.074 OPS when leading off the game for the Braves. That number went up even higher to 1.133 when he led off an inning for Atlanta. That’s the definition of sparkplug if I’ve ever seen one.

Kyle Schwarber, 2021 Washington Nationals/Boston Red Sox

Before Schwarber joined the Philadelphia Phillies and started hitting 40-plus dingers per year, he reached the 30-homer plateau for the third time in his career in 2021.

He slugged 32 homers total, and it wouldn’t have happened without his ridiculous June. Across 116 plate appearances, he slugged 16 (!) homers and 30 RBI with a 1.122 OPS. He had nine homers and 23 RBI through the first two months of the season, followed by seven homers and 18 RBI over the final three months (he missed virtually all of July because of injury).

Cedric Mullins, 2021 Baltimore Orioles

Cedric Mullins suited up for 115 games with the Orioles to begin his major league career between 2018 and 2020. He was a switch hitter and posted a .225/.290/.342 line with seven homers and 27 RBI during that time. The center fielder ditched batting right-handed starting in 2021…and it paid immediate dividends. Mullins proceeded to hit .291/.360/.518 with 30 homers, 37 doubles, 59 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 30 steals. He was selected to his first All-Star Game, placed ninth in AL MVP Award voting, and won his first Silver Slugger Award.

Most of his homer production was done at Camden Yards (22 of his 30 homers were hit at home). Meanwhile, the majority of his stolen bases (18) came on the road. That’s one way to become part of the 30-30 club.

Ronald Acuna Jr., 2018 Atlanta Braves

It didn’t take Acuña long to make an impact at the big-league level. His 2018 Rookie of the Year campaign came in his age-20 season. He also finished 12th in NL MVP Award voting after he hit .293/.366/.552 with 26 homers, 26 doubles, 64 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 steals.

The majority of the outfielder’s plate appearances came with nobody out (205 out of 487), and it was a situation he thrived in. Acuña posted a .310/.366/.642 line with 16 homers and 19 RBI in that scenario. His 1.007 OPS was much higher than it was with one out (.836) and two outs (.861).

Matt Carpenter, 2018 St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Carpenter hit 20-plus homers in four straight seasons. The 2018 campaign was a little extra special because it was the first time he surpassed the 30-homer plateau. Carpenter slugged 36 taters with 81 RBI, 111 runs scored, and a .897 OPS.

The infielder’s season included a slow start and finish. His OPS in both March/April and September/October came in below .600. But he was a completely different hitter between May and August. Across 456 plate appearances during that time, he posted a 1.051 OPS with 33 homers, 34 doubles, 63 RBI, and 79 runs scored.

Joc Pederson, 2018 Los Angeles Dodgers

Across Joc Pederson’s first five MLB seasons with the Dodgers, he surpassed the 20-homer plateau in a single season four times. His 25 homers in 2018 marked the fourth and final time he did it. Pederson enjoyed stepping up to the plate with the game tied the most during this campaign.

He posted a .679 OPS when hitting while the Dodgers were losing. That number jumped up to .822 when Los Angeles had a lead. However, it climbed to 1.036 with the game tied. The first inning (1.104 OPS) and the second inning (1.093 OPS) were the only two frames where he posted an OPS above 1.000.

Brian Dozier, 2017 Minnesota Twins

Brian Dozier‘s Twins tenure gets a lot of attention for the 42 homers he slugged in 2016. And rightfully so, as it’s a franchise record for second baseman. He followed that performance up with another 34 dingers and 93 RBI while capturing his only Gold Glove Award in 2017.

His offensive performance wouldn’t have been nearly as good without a solid final two months. Through the end of July, Dozier hit .247/.329/.438 with 17 homers, 21 doubles, 52 RBI, and 50 runs scored. Over his final 56 games, the second baseman slashed .314/.411/.605 with 17 homers, nine doubles, 41 RBI, and 56 runs scored.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who holds the record for the most leadoff home runs in a single season?

Alfonso Soriano is the all-time MLB leader for most leadoff home runs in a single season. He hit 13 in 2003 for the New York Yankees.

Which MLB player has hit the most career leadoff homers?

Rickey Henderson is the all-time leadoff home runs leader with 81. Other notable players on the list include Alfonso Soriano (54), Craig Biggio (53), Ian Kinsler (48), and Curtis Granderson (47). Mookie Betts is the leadoff home runs leader among active players with 52 (as of 6/16/2024).

Want to see some homers in person this season? Of course you do. Grab MLB 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 your favorite team’s official merch from the MLB Shop or a ‘Big Dinger Energy’ shirt from our apparel store.

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