This is the time of year when everyone in the baseball world turns their attention to the All-Star game and festivities that comes with it. While the game itself has taken on more importance in recent years, it’s the Home Run Derby that remains the most entertaining. Some of the greatest power hitters in the history of the game have taken part in this event.
And there is a reason why they were asked to do so. They simply represent the best of the best from a home run hitting standpoint. Let’s go ahead and check in on the “Top 10 Home Run Swings Of The Modern Era.”
There are four specifics to which the following players were evaluated on
1) Power – Some players have great swings. Some times, those swings accidentally equate to home runs. To make this list, you have to be considered a power hitter. Sorry Joe Mauer, you won’t be making this list.
2) Modern Era – If a 32-year-old baseball fan hasn’t heard of you or seen a highlight of you, sorry…you don’t make the list.
3) “Wow” Factor – Some guys just have it, most don’t. The REAL power hitters have a different sound off their bat when launching moon shots into the stands. This is a must for anyone to be considered for this list.
4) Natural Ability – PED’s were ignored. Steroids don’t make your swing better…and this is a SWINGS list, not total’s list.
10. Manny Ramirez – One of the most clutch home run hitters of all time. When Manny hit one, you knew Manny hit one.
9. Hank Aaron – A pure natural. Hammerin’ Hank swung that stick with one thought in mind…hit it hard and hit if far. His swing was mimicked for years, but not often with the results.
8. Darryl Strawberry – Man oh man. When Straw hit one out…it went WAY out. Anyone who watched Strawberry come in to the league knew he was special. His swooping swing was so effortless for how far he launched baseballs.
7. Giancarlo Stanton – One of the best active swings in baseball. Stanton hits absolute lasers for home runs. More of a line-drive type hitter, he crushes home runs when you miss your spot. Outfield scoreboards cringe when Stanton steps to the plate.
6. Albert Pujols – Perhaps Pujols should be higher on the list, however, considering the criteria…he’s not. Pujols is a fluke in that he’s not TRYING to hit home runs, he’s just that good. His follow-through alone is deflating to pitchers…because they know it as soon as Albert knows it.
5. Mark McGwire – Big Mac gets this high on the list due to his power and his “wow” factor. PED’s or not, he has a pure home run swing. Short and compact with tons of extension through the ball…and Popeye arms. McGwire could pull a pitch down and away for a 400-foot home run, and that’s scary.
4. Miguel Cabrera – Hands down the best home run swing in baseball today. Cabrera hits them every part of the field…often times without a doubt. And to think, he used to be hungover all the time! High and inside? Gone. Low and away? See ya. Nasty change-up? Call Best Buy, you’ll need new LED screens on the scoreboard. Power+Natural+Effortless+Wow Factor…he’s got it all.
3. Barry Bonds – From day one, Barry’s swing has been the same. Same set up, same speed through the ball, same result. He didn’t need PED’s to hit home runs…it’s said that his ego got to him. Not many players could pull a bomb down the right field like Bonds could.
2. Jim Thome – As far as home run swings go, Jimmy boy’s picture should show up on Wikipedia when searching for “home runs.” When you talk about “wow factor,” Thome should come to mind. A meaty left hook. Every. Time. How many kids mimicked his swing with a Wiffle Ball bat? How many major league PLAYERS mimicked his swing in their yards? Yeah…….a lot.
1. Ken Griffey Jr. – You won’t find many people who wouldn’t have “The Kid” at the top of this list. If it weren’t for injuries, Griffey would be sitting at the top of the all-time home run list. So fluid, so gorgeous, so awesome. His follow through was even recognizable.
Honorable mention: Adam Dunn, Alex Rodriguez, Reggie Jackson, David Ortiz and Joe Carter