Retrosheet: Best Hitters By Lineup Position

From SABR member Tom Ruane at Retrosheet on September 17, 2011:

What follows are a series of charts of career leaders in various offensive categories by lineup position. Once again, this covers all games played from 1918 to 2010.

[Batting leadoff]: Rickey Henderson’s domination in this category was not surprising. He came to the majors as a leadoff hitter and stayed there his entire career. The role of a leadoff hitter (fast, gets on base) hasn’t really changed much over the last few decades and Henderson fit that description even as his skills began to erode late in his career.


[Batting No. 3]: Babe Ruth and Ken Griffey are the only batters with 500 or more home runs at a single lineup position. Power hitters tended to move from year to year between third, fourth and fifth in the order.


[Batting No. 5]: Barry Bonds was walked intentionally more than any other fourth and fifth-place batter. Of course, intentional walks didn’t exist during Harry Heilmann and Jimmie Foxx’s day, but it is surprising how few players spent a long time hitting fifth.

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Originally published: September 19, 2011. Last Updated: September 19, 2011.