Sports

The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History 

Ranker Baseball
Updated May 19, 2020 2.3k votes 478 voters 11.2k views 32 items

List Rules Whether they knocked record home runs or led in OPS, who are best hitting pitchers in MLB history?

Going down as one of the greatest hitting pitchers in baseball history is a difficult feat, especially when you consider a majority of these star pitchers are only batting every 5 games—at most. Now known as "pitchers who rake", these aces aren't just winning games for their teams with strikeouts and dominant pitching in general; they're stepping up to the plate, getting on base, and scoring runs. Of all the MLB's top hitting pitchers, both old and new, who do you think is the best of all time?

Now, there have been some great hitting pitchers since the early days of professional baseball, but it wasn't until 1980 when the Silver Slugger started being awarded and they really started to get recognized for such an uncommon skill. From early winners like Bob Forsch and Rick Rhoden to modern-day baseball's Madison Bumgarner and Carlos Zambrano, these are certainly pitchers who rake. Of course, we can't forget some of the earliest sluggers of the mound, such as Sloppy Thurston, Jack Scott, and Don Larsen, among many others. Another thing to consider here is these aren't just your average pitchers who can swing the bat—many of them are even the MLB's greatest pitchers.

Take a look at the list of greatest hitting pitchers below and vote up your choices for the best of all time—whether you think that comes down to batting average, home runs, or OPS. Feel free to add others to the list as well.

list ordered by
1
Babe Ruth is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
joat added Boston Red Sox, Boston Braves, New York Yankees

Position: Right fielder, Outfielder, Left fielder, Pitcher

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Pigtown, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America

Career batting stats: .342 avg., 714 HRs, 2,214 RBIs

George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (February 6, 1895 – August 16, 1948) was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball (MLB) spanned 22 seasons, from ...more

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#1 of 709 The Best Hitters in Baseball History #1 of 598 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Timelisted on Longest Hitting Streaks in Baseball

2
Shohei Ohtani is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Position: Pitcher, Designated hitter

Nationality: Japan

Birthplace: Mizusawa, Iwate

Bats: Left-handed

Career batting stats: .292 avg., 36 HRs, 101 RBIs

Shohei Ohtani (born July 5, 1994) is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher and designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the ...more
3
Wes Ferrell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
joat added Boston Red Sox, Boston Braves, Brooklyn Dodgers

Position: Pitcher

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Greensboro, North Carolina

Career batting stats: .280 avg., 38 HRs, 208 RBIs

Wesley Cheek "Wes" Ferrell (February 2, 1908 – December 9, 1976) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball from 1927 through 1941. Primarily a ...more

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#203 of 523 The Best Baseball Players NOT in the Hall of Fame #87 of 365 The Best Boston Red Sox Of All Time #98 of 281 The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time

4
Mike Hampton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners

Position: Starting pitcher, Pitcher

Birthplace: Brooksville, Florida, United States of America

Bats: Right-handed

Career batting stats: .246 avg., 16 HRs, 79 RBIs

Michael William Hampton (born September 9, 1972) is an American former professional baseball player. Hampton played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a pitcher from 1993 through 2010. He pitched ...more
5
Carlos Zambrano is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Chicago Cubs

Position: Starting pitcher, Pitcher

Nationality: Venezuela

Birthplace: Puerto Cabello, Venezuela

Bats: Ambidexterity

Career batting stats: .238 avg., 24 HRs, 71 RBIs

Carlos Alberto Zambrano Matos (born June 1, 1981), nicknamed "Big Z" or "El Toro", is a Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher for the Chicago Dogs of the American ...more

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6
Madison Bumgarner is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Arizona Diamondbacks

Position: Pitcher

Nationality: American

Birthplace: Hickory, North Carolina

Bats: Right-handed

Career batting stats: .179 avg., 18 HRs, 61 RBIs

Madison Kyle Bumgarner (born August 1, 1989), commonly known by his nickname, "MadBum", is an American professional baseball pitcher for the San Francisco Giants of Major League ...more

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#272 of 598 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time #48 of 281 The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time #134 of 200 The Greatest Pitchers of All Time

7
Ken Brett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Ken Brett Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, Kansas City Royals

Position: Pitcher

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Career batting stats: .262 avg., 10 HRs, 44 RBIs

Kenneth Alven Brett (September 18, 1948 – November 18, 2003) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher and the second of four Brett brothers who played professional baseball, the most ...more
8
Don Drysdale is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Los Angeles Dodgers, Brooklyn Dodgers

Position: Pitcher

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Career batting stats: .186 avg., 29 HRs, 113 RBIs

Donald Scott Drysdale (July 23, 1936 – July 3, 1993) was an American professional baseball player and television sports commentator. A right-handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers for his ...more

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#90 of 598 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time #12 of 281 The Best Starting Pitchers of All Timelisted on Longest Pitching Streaks in Baseball

9
Don Larsen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Houston colt .45s, Kansas City Athletics, San Francisco Giants

Position: Pitcher

Birthplace: Michigan City, Indiana, United States of America

Career batting stats: .242 avg., 14 HRs, 72 RBIs

Don James Larsen (August 7, 1929 - January 1, 2020) was an American retired Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher. During a 15-year MLB career, he pitched from 1953 to 1967 for seven different ...more

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#42 of 158 The Greatest New York Yankees Of All Time #93 of 200 The Greatest Pitchers of All Time #2 of 23 The Best Perfect Games In Major League History

10
Zack Greinke is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Houston Astros

Position: Pitcher

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Orlando, Florida

Bats: Right-handed

Career batting stats: .222 avg., 9 HRs, 32 RBIs

Donald Zackary Greinke (born October 21, 1983) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Kansas City ...more

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#257 of 598 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time #60 of 281 The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time #127 of 200 The Greatest Pitchers of All Time

11
Dontrelle Willis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins

Position: Pitcher

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Oakland, California

Bats: Left-handed

Career batting stats: .244 avg., 9 HRs, 39 RBIs

Dontrelle Wayne Willis (born January 12, 1982), nicknamed "The D-Train", is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida ...more
12
Adam Wainwright is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
St. Louis Cardinals

Position: Relief pitcher, Starting pitcher

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Brunswick, Georgia, United States of America

Bats: Right-handed

Career batting stats: .200 avg., 10 HRs, 70 RBIs

Adam Parrish Wainwright (born August 30, 1981) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Atlanta Braves selected him 29th ...more

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#61 of 281 The Best Starting Pitchers of All Time #162 of 200 The Greatest Pitchers of All Time #205 of 295 The Top Current Baseball Players

13
Michael Lorenzen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Michael Lorenzen

Position: Outfielder

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Anaheim, California

Bats: Right-handed

Career batting stats: .253 avg., 6 HRs, 20 RBIs

Michael Clifton Lorenzen is an American professional baseball pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds organizaion. As a college baseball player, Lorenzen played outfield and pitched for the Cal State ...more
14
Rick Rhoden is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros

Position: Pitcher

Birthplace: Boynton Beach, Florida

Career batting stats: .238 avg., 9 HRs, 75 RBIs

Richard Alan Rhoden (born May 16, 1953) is a professional golfer and was a Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher. During his 16-year baseball career, he played for National League teams the Los ...more
15
Ken Forsch is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
tucci720 added Houston Astros, California Angels

Position: Pitcher

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Sacramento, California

Kenneth Roth Forsch (born September 8, 1946 in Sacramento, California) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Forsch graduated from Hiram Johnson High School and played in college ball at ...more
16
Micah Owings is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds

Position: Starting pitcher, Pitcher

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Gainesville, Georgia

Bats: Right-handed

Career batting stats: .283 avg., 9 HRs, 35 RBIs

Micah Burton Owings (born September 28, 1982) is an American former professional baseball player. During his career, Owings was used as a pitcher and an occasional pinch-hitter; he has also ...more
17
Sloppy Thurston is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Sloppy Thurston Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Browns, Brooklyn Robins

Position: Pitcher

Birthplace: Fremont, Nebraska

Career batting stats: .270 avg., 5 HRs, 79 RBIs

Hollis John Thurston (June 2, 1899 – September 14, 1973) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher with the St. Louis Browns, Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, and Brooklyn Robins ...more
18
Don Robinson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates

Position: Pitcher

Birthplace: Ashland, Kentucky, United States of America

Career batting stats: .231 avg., 13 HRs, 69 RBIs

Don Allen "Donnie" Robinson (born June 8, 1957), is a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, California Angels, and Philadelphia ...more
19
Noah Syndergaard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
New York Mets

Position: Pitcher

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Mansfield, Texas

Bats: Right

Career batting stats: .159 avg., 6 HRs, 15 RBIs

Noah Seth Syndergaard (born August 29, 1992), nicknamed Thor, is an American professional baseball pitcher for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Toronto Blue Jays selected ...more
20
Larry Christenson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
tucci720 added Larry Christenson Philadelphia Phillies

Position: Pitcher

Birthplace: Everett, Washington

Larry Richard Christenson (born November 10, 1953), nicknamed "L.C.", is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career for ...more
21
Tom Glavine is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Atlanta Braves, New York Mets

Position: Starting pitcher, Pitcher

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Concord, Massachusetts, United States of America

Bats: Left-handed

Career batting stats: .186 avg., 1 HR, 90 RBIs

Thomas Michael Glavine (born March 25, 1966) is an American retired professional baseball player. A pitcher, Glavine played in Major League Baseball for the Atlanta Braves (1987–2002, 2008), and ...more

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#101 of 598 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time #1,619 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Timelisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

22
Bob Forsch is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros

Position: Pitcher

Birthplace: Sacramento, California

Career batting stats: .213 avg., 12 HRs, 84 RBIs

Robert Herbert Forsch (January 13, 1950 – November 3, 2011) was an American right-handed starting pitcher who spent most of his sixteen years in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the St. Louis ...more
23
Jack Scott is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Jack Scott Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants, Boston Braves

Position: Pitcher

Career batting stats: .275 avg., 5 HRs, 73 RBIs

John William Scott (April 18, 1892 – November 30, 1959) was an American professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1916 to 1929 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, ...more
24
Claude Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
Claude Hendrix Chicago Cubs, Chicago Whales, Pittsburgh Pirates

Position: Pitcher

Birthplace: Olathe, Kansas

Career batting stats: .241 avg., 14 HRs, 97 RBIs

Claude Raymond Hendrix (April 13, 1889 – March 22, 1944) born in Olathe, Kansas, USA, is a former professional baseball player who played pitcher in Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh ...more
25
Carl Mays is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History
New York Giants, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees

Position: Pitcher

Birthplace: Liberty, Kentucky

Career batting stats: .268 avg., 5 HRs, 111 RBIs

Carl William Mays (November 12, 1891 – April 4, 1971) was a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1915 to 1929. Although he won over 200 games, 27 in 1921 alone, and was a member of ...more

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