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Baseball's Best Leadoff Hitters

Having a reliable leadoff hitter is important once a game. But these guys also get the most opportunities at the plate so you better make sure that guy can hit in any situation as well as being a spark plug in the 1st inning. Every team has a different approach with their leadoff hitter, some managers just slot their fastest player at the top of their lineup while other managers make sure whoever is leading off, has a high on base percentage.

Back in the beginning of June, we went looking to find the best Leadoff hitter in the MLB and back then, the Colorado Rockies Charlie Blackmon was hitting .308 with 37 runs scored and 37 RBI, as the leadoff hitter.  But it is Matt Carpenter who comes out on top with yet another baseball season completed.  No one had more PAs than Carpenter (706) but his ability to draw walks (95) lowered his official ABs down to 592, good for 4th behind Nick Markakis, Jose Reyes and Denard Span.  Carpenter drew 26 more walks than the next guy, Christian Yelich, which led to a leadoff high 99 runs scored. 

Dee Gordon led the MLB in stolen bases with 64 stolen bases, but when he hit leadoff for the Los Angeles Dodgers he stole 56, the same number as Billy Hamilton when he led off for the Cincinnati Reds.

Carlos Gomez hit 23 home runs this season for the Milwaukee Brewers, and 20 of them came while hitting 1st in the lineup.

Matt Carpenter156592161332899599550.272622
Christian Yelich1395671623059925269210.286589
Denard Span1456081843985943750310.303587
Jose Reyes1426091753349945137300.287582
Charlie Blackmon13757816827319806929270.291574
Dee Gordon13357716422122903229560.284541
Nick Markakis1486171692601378465840.274518
Billy Hamilton1365561382486704834560.248510
Kole Calhoun1084481263021786583640.281505
Adam Eaton12348614626101763543150.300473
Carlos Gomez10641611522320725038270.276472
Brett Gardner10742711219717684846150.262455
Coco Crisp1184561122139664762170.246453
Ben Revere1235471711362652712470.313441
Danny Santana823561092466613515190.306377
Josh Harrison843571172961158331580.328374
Michael Bourn10444211417103572834100.258368
Ian Kinsler833591031931253501360.287365
Brock Holt934091152144652527100.281365
Nori Aoki1044071101941533635140.270365

Stats via FanGraphs 

  • Singles - 1pt
  • Doubles - 2pts
  • Triples - 3pts
  • Home runs - 2pts
  • RBI - 2pts
  • Runs Scored - 2pts
  • Walks - 1pt
  • Stolen Bases - 1pt