The following is a list of the best switch-hitters in major league baseball history. Switch-hitters have an advantage against pitchers because they always bat right-handed vs left-handed pitchers, and bat left-handed vs right-handed pitchers.
That is a huge advantage because in baseball pitchers naturally groove more pitches to hitters facing them from the opposite side of the plate. A lefty will naturally groove more pitches to a right-handed batter, and a right-handed pitcher will naturally groove more pitches to a left-handed hitter.
Switch-hitting is not easy, though, because a switch-hitter must learn to hit from both sides of the plate. These are the most successful switch-hitters in major league baseball history.
Best Switch-hitters in Major League Baseball History
- Mickey Mantle
In my opinion, Mickey Mantle is the greatest switch-hitter in major league baseball history. Mantle was a 16 time all-star, a three-time MVP, he won seven World Series, won a batting title, led the league four times in home runs, and was one of the greatest run scorers in baseball history.
Mickey Mantle led the league five times in runs scored, and scored over 100 runs in nine seasons. He scored 1,676 runs in 8,102 at-bats, for a run scoring average of .207. That is one of the highest run scoring averages in baseball history.
For his career, Mickey Mantle hit 536 home runs. That is the most among switch-hitters, and the 16th most in baseball history.
- Pete Rose
Pete Rose is another great switch-hitter, who is baseball’s all-time hits leader with 4,256. Pete Rose won three batting titles, was National League MVP in 1973, World Series MVP in 1975, won three World Series, was a 17 time all-star, and even though he played many different positions in the field, he still won two Gold Gloves.
Pete Rose is baseball’s all-time leader in games played and at-bats, and is in the top 20 in many other categories like runs scored, total bases, doubles, walks, and singles. Even though he bet on baseball games and is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame, there is no denying Pete Rose was great player, and a great switch-hitter.
- Eddie Murray
Though he only led the league in a few statistical categories in his career, Eddie Murray was a great switch-hitter who played 21 years in the majors. Murray’s 504 career home runs are the second most among switch-hitters, and 25th most in baseball history. He also has the most RBIs by a switch-hitter (1,917), and the 10th most in major league baseball history.
- Chipper Jones
Chipper Jones retired having hit the 32nd most home runs in baseball history (468), while scoring the 45th most runs (1,612), and having the 31st most RBIs (1,632). He was the National League MVP in 1999, won a batting title in 2008, and won the World Series in 1995 with the Atlanta Braves, the only team he played for in his 19 year career.
- Frankie Frisch
Frankie Frisch, the “Fordham Flash”, was a great switch-hitter who played in the major leagues for 19 seasons. Frisch was the National League MVP in 1931, he won four World Series, led the league three times in stolen bases, and retired with a career .316 batting average.
- George Davis
“Gorgeous” George Davis played in the major leagues for 20 years. He was a switch-hitter and primarily a shortstop in the field. He retired with 1,545 runs scored and 1,440 RBIs. He also stole 619 bases, and batted over .350 three times in his career.
George Davis won a World Series in 1906 with the Chicago White Sox, who famously beat their crosstown rivals the Chicago Cubs that year, after the Cubs had won a record 116 games during the regular season. Davis is one of the best switch-hitters in baseball history.
Other Great Switch-hitters in Baseball History
Besides the great switch-hitters in baseball history listed above, these are next best group of switch-hitters in major league history. Players are not listed in any particular order.
Max Carey (stole 738 bases), Bernie Williams (won batting title and four World Series), Ruben Sierra, Tim Raines (scored 1,571 runs and stole 808 bases), Chili Davis, Roberto Alomar, and Ted Simmons.
The best active switch-hitters include Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, Lance Berkman, and Jimmy Rollins.