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The Greatest Hitting Pitchers in Baseball History

Updated May 19, 2020 3.9k votes 722 voters 17.7k views32 items

List RulesWhether 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.

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  • 1
    323
    66

    Babe Ruth

    Boston Red Sox, Boston Braves

    PositionRight fielder, Outfielder, Left fielder, Pitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplacePigtown, 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 1914 through 1935....  more

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    #34 of 39 Longest Hitting Streaks in Baseball#630 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • 2
    240
    109

    Shohei Ohtani

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    PositionPitcher, Designated hitter

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceMizusawa, Iwate

    BatsLeft-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 Hokkaido...  more
  • 3
    121
    43

    Wes Ferrell

    Boston Red Sox, Boston Braves

    PositionPitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceGreensboro, 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 starting pitcher,...  more
  • 4
    81
    28

    Don Larsen

    Houston colt .45s, Kansas City Athletics

    PositionPitcher

    BirthplaceMichigan 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 teams....  more

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    #43 of 149 The Greatest New York Yankees Of All Time#74 of 197 The Greatest Pitchers of All Time

  • 5
    132
    74

    Carlos Zambrano

    Chicago Cubs

    PositionStarting pitcher, Pitcher

    BirthplacePuerto Cabello, Venezuela

    BatsAmbidexterity

    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 Association of Independent...  more
  • 6
    96
    45

    Ken Brett

    Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies

    PositionPitcher

    BirthplaceNew 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 notable...  more
  • 7
    174
    114

    Madison Bumgarner

    Arizona Diamondbacks

    PositionPitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceHickory, North Carolina

    BatsRight-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 Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball (MLB)....  more

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    #22 of 118 The Greatest Left Handed Pitchers of All Time#184 of 316 The Greatest Left Handed Baseball Players of All Time

  • 8
    90
    42

    Don Drysdale

    Los Angeles Dodgers, Brooklyn Dodgers

    PositionPitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceVan 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 entire...  more

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    #5 of 25 Longest Pitching Streaks in Baseball #131 of 255 The Best Players in the Baseball Hall of Fame

  • 9
    120
    68

    Mike Hampton

    Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies

    PositionStarting pitcher, Pitcher

    BirthplaceBrooksville, Florida, United States of America

    BatsRight-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 for...  more
  • 10
    115
    64

    Zack Greinke

    Houston Astros

    PositionPitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceOrlando, Florida

    BatsRight-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 Royals,...  more

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    #184 of 582 The Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time#126 of 196 The Top Current Baseball Players

  • 11
    77
    39

    Dontrelle Willis

    Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins

    PositionPitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceOakland, California

    BatsLeft-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 Marlins, Detroit...  more
  • 12
    52
    20

    Sloppy Thurston

    Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Browns

    PositionPitcher

    BirthplaceFremont, 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 between...  more
  • 13
    77
    45

    Michael Lorenzen

    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
    88
    56

    Adam Wainwright

    St. Louis Cardinals

    PositionPitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceBrunswick, Georgia

    BatsRight-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 overall in...  more
  • 15
    59
    29

    Micah Owings

    Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds

    PositionStarting pitcher, Pitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceGainesville, Georgia

    BatsRight-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 played...  more
  • 16
    63
    34

    Rick Rhoden

    Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates

    PositionPitcher

    BirthplaceBoynton 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 Angeles...  more
  • 17
    48
    24

    Don Robinson

    Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants

    PositionPitcher

    BirthplaceAshland, Kentucky, USA

    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 Phillies from 1978...  more
  • 18
    45
    23

    Bob Forsch

    St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros

    PositionPitcher

    BirthplaceSacramento, 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
  • 19
    44
    22

    Carl Mays

    New York Giants, Boston Red Sox

    PositionPitcher

    BirthplaceLiberty, 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 four...  more
  • 20
    35
    20

    Jack Scott

    Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants

    PositionPitcher

    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, Boston...  more
  • 21
    33
    20

    Claude Hendrix

    Chicago Cubs, Chicago Whales

    PositionPitcher

    BirthplaceOlathe, 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 Pirates...  more
  • 22
    28
    18

    Les Sweetland

    Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs

    PositionPitcher

    BirthplaceSt. Ignace, Michigan

    Career batting stats: .272 avg., 0 HRs, 34 RBIs

    Lester Leo Sweetland (August 15, 1901 – March 4, 1974) was a professional baseball pitcher in the Major Leagues from 1927 to 1931. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs. ...  more
  • 23
    30
    29

    Yovani Gallardo

    Milwaukee Brewers

    PositionPitcher

    BirthplacePenjamillo, Mexico

    BatsRight-handed

    Career batting stats: .201 avg., 12 HRs, 42 RBIs

    Yovani Gallardo (pronounced gah-YAR-doh) (born February 27, 1986) is a Mexican professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round of the...  more
  • 24
    60
    74

    Noah Syndergaard

    New York Mets

    PositionPitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceMansfield, Texas

    BatsRight

    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 him in...  more

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    #44 of 65 The Most Likable Active MLB Players#7 of 130 The Best Current MLB Pitchers

  • 25
    63
    80

    Tom Glavine

    Atlanta Braves, New York Mets

    PositionStarting pitcher, Pitcher

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceConcord, Massachusetts, United States of America

    BatsLeft-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 New...  more

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