On a mission to reach 700 career home runs, Albert Pujols is already the Latino with the most long balls in baseball history, and has once again sparked the debate about the greatest Hispanic hitter of all time.
We put together a list of 10 of the most fearsome Latino batters, each with their own strengths and characteristics, but all Major League Baseball legends.
Member of the greatest team of all time in baseball, the "Big Red Machine" in the 70s. The Cuban is among the best Latin hitters in different departments, with 2,732 hits, 1,652 RBIs and 4,532 total bases over 23 seasons in the majors. The three-time World Series champion also belted 379 home runs.
Sammy Sosa became one of the most imposing and feared players in baseball. The Cubs outfielder hit a staggering 609 home runs in 18 major league seasons, smacking 2,408 hits, driving in 1,667 runs with a .273 batting average. The Dominican won the 1998 NL MVP after hitting 66 home runs in one season and led the league in home runs in 2000 and 2002. Say what you will about steroids, but Sosa was a monster in the batter's box.
10. Vladimir Guerrero
"Vlad the Impaler" had an extraordinary combination of power, contact, and speed to become one of the best hitters of all time. In 16 major league seasons, the Cooperstown inductee batted.318 with 449 home runs and 2,590 hits. Guerrero attended the All-Star Game nine times and won the AL MVP award in 2004.
9. David Ortiz
"Big Papi" entered the Hall of Fame on his first ballot because he had a truly spectacular career, where he reached his peak with the Boston Red Sox. Winner of three World Series and the MVP in 2013. RBI leader three times (2005,2006,2016), home run leader once (2006). During his whole career, he posted a good average of .286, blasting 541 home runs, driving in 1,768 runs, and racking 2,472 hits.
8. Rod Carew
Rod Carew posted a remarkable .328 average over 19 seasons in the major leagues, smashing 3,053 hits. The Panamanian attended the All-Star Game on 18 consecutive occasions between 1967 and 1978. Seven-time batting champion, 1977 American League MVP, and Hall of Famer.
7. Adrian Beltré
It's not talked about enough, but Aldrian Beltre's career is worthy of entering the Hall of Fame and hopefully he will do so in 2024. The Dominican native has 3,166 hits, 477 home runs, 1,707 runs batted in and six TOP-10 MVP finishes, not to mention being among the best Latinos in terms of at-bats, doubles (636) and total bases (5,309).
6. Rafael Palmeiro*
The Cuban bomber went yard 569 times and connected 3.020 hits. Palmeiro is among the top five Latinos in games played, hits, home runs, runs batted in, and total bases. We put an asterisk in his name because of his steroids situation; however, no one can deny that the slugger first baseman was outstanding.
5. Roberto Clemente
The legendary outfielder played 18 seasons in the majors, leaving a lifetime batting average of .317, with 3,000 hits. The Puerto Rican attended 15 All-Star games, was a four-time batting champion and was also named NL MVP in 1966. The iconic #21 won the 1971 World Series as the most valuable player.
4. Manny Ramírez*
After his retirement, the talented Red Sox outfielder left behind a.312/.411/.585 line with 555 home runs and 1,831 runs batted in. The Dominican holds the record for most home runs in the postseason with 29, proving to be essential in crucial moments. Ramírez was batting champion (2002), home run leader (2004) and twice World Series champion, being the most valuable player in the 2004 final.
3. Miguel Cabrera
The Venezuelan star proved he was special at the age of 20, when he won the 2003 World Series by hitting a number of important home runs. Miguel Cabrera not only won the American League triple crown after 45 years, he surpassed the 500 home run and 3000 hits barrier, maintaining a lifetime average over .300 in 20 seasons. He is undoubtedly one of the best and most versatile hitters baseball has ever seen.
2. Alex Rodríguez*
You can love him or hate him, but you can't deny that A-Rod has been one of the greatest hitters of all time. Rodriguez trails only Albert Pujols in home runs (696) and RBIs (2,086) among Latinos, while his 3,115-hit mark is also second only to Pujols and Beltré.
The Yankees and Rangers superstar was a three-time AL MVP (2003, 2005, 2007), five-time home run leader, and batting champion in 1996. His .295 batting average after 22 seasons also cements him as one of the best.
1. Albert Pujols
Undoubtedly "The Machine" is #1 on this list, one of the best players of all time who has his place in Cooperstown secured. No Latin player has more hits (3,368), doubles (684), home runs (697), runs batted in (2,198) and total bases (6,175), plus a lifetime average of .296 in 22 Major League Baseball seasons. The numbers you just read will continue to change. We still have a few games left to enjoy this living legend in 2022.
The Cardinals first baseman was a three-time MVP winner, second only to Barry Bonds with seven. He won the rookie of the year award, batting champion in 2003 and home run leader in 2009 and 2010. Undoubtedly, great memories come from his two World Series with St. Louis in 2006 and 2011.