By Todd Singer @breakingbadfish on June 6, 2014
The home run has always been arguably the most exciting play in baseball and, although the rate in which balls are leaving the yard has recently fallen, there's nothing quite like a big home run to energize the fans. Home run hitters are always highly sought after because of their ability to change the game with one swing, but these 15 players, in particular, are the most exciting home run hitters in the game today.
Paul Goldschmidt led the National League in home runs last season and already has 11 to begin the 2014 season. While Goldschmidt is a great all-around hitter as opposed to just being a power threat, his power is prodigious when he gets a hold of one.
Yoenis Cespedes has put on a show in recent home run derbies, but his power also translates to game situations as well. Cespedes had 26 home runs last year in what was considered a down season and this year he's already up to 12. While Cespedes doesn't hit them with as much frequency as some others on this list, his power is immense.
Prince Fielder only has three home runs this season, and that number will remain as he'll miss the rest of the season after surgery to fix a neck issue. That being said, this will only be the second season, out of 10, that Fielder has failed to hit at least 25 home runs. While Fielder's home run totals have been declining, he still hits some of the most spectacular moonshots in the league when healthy.
David Ortiz is one of the best power hitters of this generation -- he's hit over 20 home runs in 12 consecutive seasons and is more than halfway there this season with 13. Ortiz also has a knack for hitting the big homer, and Big Papi has been a big reason why the Red Sox have three World Series titles during his tenure.
While Mark Trumbo is more of a pure power hitter than many other names on this list, he possesses "light tower" power. Trumbo has only played 21 games this season due to injury, but he already has seven homers in that span. Trumbo has hit 29-plus homers in each of his three full seasons in the bigs and can hit a ball farther than almost anyone in the league when he squares it up.
Ryan Howard doesn't possess the power or consistency he once had, but he's still one of the most feared power hitters in the game when healthy. Howard has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons and, as a result, his home run totals have suffered. However, Howard has stayed healthy thus far in 2014 and has already matched his home run total from 2013 in which he only played 80 games.
Jose Abreu is just a rookie on the major league scene, but in his first few months in the bigs he's shown exactly why the White Sox lavished him with a big contract despite never having seen him face big-league pitching. Abreu has 17 homers in just over 200 plate appearances, which would put him on pace for 50-plus over the course of a full season.
While there have been questions about whether or not Ryan Braun's power was aided by his PED usage, Braun has continued to hit for power even after he was caught and suspended. While Braun only hit nine long balls in 253 plate appearances last season, he's already matched that mark this season in 70 fewer PAs. Braun is also one of the most clutch hitters in the game as his home runs always seem to be at a crucial point in the game for Milwaukee.
Nobody would touch Nelson Cruz's free-agent demands this offseason, which led to Cruz accepting a one-year "prove it" deal with the Baltimore Orioles. Not only has Cruz "proven it" by leading the majors with 21 home runs, but he's likely earned himself a long-term deal when he hits the market next season. Cruz has now eclipsed 20 homers in six consecutive seasons and doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon.
Jose Bautista's transition from utility infielder into one of the game's best power hitters is truly staggering, but he continues to build on his legacy with each passing season. Although Bautista's home run totals slipped below 30 the past two seasons due to injuries, he's already got 14 this season in only 272 plate appearances, putting him well on his way towards another 30-homer season at age 33.
Although Mike Trout doesn't possess the type of power that many on this list do, he's certainly got a flair for the dramatic. Many of Trout's homers have come either early or late in games to either put the Angels up, bring them back from a deficit or win the game altogether. Trout was a 30-30 player in his rookie season and, although he fell just short of 30 homers last season, he's already got 11 this year.
Chris Davis was always heralded as one of the better power hitting prospects in baseball -- if he made contact. Last season, however, Davis finally turned those projections into results, blasting a career best and Baltimore record 54 dingers. While Davis has gotten off to a bit of a slow start this season with only eight homers in 44 games, he can still hit them with anyone.
Edwin Encarnacion just came off one of the best months in MLB history, launching 16 home runs in the month of May. Encarnacion's power has really taken off since he became an everyday player for the Blue Jays as he's registered 42 and 36 homers in the last two seasons, respectively. After his red-hot May, Encarnacion is already at 19 this season and has reminded everyone that he's one of the best power hitters in the game.
A list of the most exciting home run hitters wouldn't be complete without the best hitter in the game today, Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera has hit 30-plus home runs in nine of his 11 seasons in the bigs and has 44 in each of the past two seasons. Cabrera is off to a bit of a slow start as far as he's concerned with 11 homers in 56 games, but it's a good bet that he'll finish with 30-plus for an eighth consecutive season.
No player is a more exciting home run hitter than the Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton has always had ridiculous power, but at the age of 24, he's finally starting to put two and two together. Stanton had compiled back-to-back 30-plus homer seasons before he finished with "only" 26 last season due to injuries. Now that's he healthy again, he's already crushed 17 homers this season and could surpass 40 for the first time.
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