MLB has some of the most incredible batters in the league; however, it also has some of the best pinch hitters of all time.
The pinch hitters are the substitute batters, and they are one of the crucial members of the team. Most of the time, they replace the starting player in case of injury.
Similarly, the pinch hitters can also replace the starting player if they have a high chance of leading the game. Most of the time, these players can change the game’s tide when they enter the game.
Keeping these things in mind, we have compiled a list of the best pinch hitters playing in the league right now. So, without further delay, let us know about these players.
13 Best Pinch Hitters in MLB Right Now
The following list has been prepared with the help of trusted sources from the internet like Bleacherreport.com, Sportsshow.net, etc. But before diving into the details, let us take a quick peek at the table below.
|13. Eduardo Escobar||New York Mets|
|12. Yuli Gurriel||Houston Astros|
|11. DJ LeMahieu||New York Yankees|
|10. Brock Holt||Texas Ranger|
|9. David Fletcher||Los Angeles Angels|
|8. Anthony Rendon||Los Angeles Angels|
|7. Ben Zobrist||Chicago Clubs|
|6. Nick Madrigal||Chicago White Sox|
|5. Chris Taylor||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|4. Michael Brantley||Houston Astros|
|3. Tommy La Stella||San Francisco Giants|
|2. Marwin González||Minnesota Twins|
|1. Luis Arráez||Minnesota Twins|
13. Eduardo Escobar
We will start our list of the best pinch hitters with a Venezuelan third baseman, Eduardo Escobar. Born and raised in Venezuela, 33 year-old Escobar made his MLB debut in 2011 for the Chicago White Sox.
One of the best pinch hitters playing in the league right now, Escobar has established himself as one of the useful utility players. In his first season, he played nine games where he had two hits in seven at-bats.
Making his MLB debut with the Sox, he was traded a year later to Minnesota Twins. He played for the Twins until the beginning of 2018, after which he was again traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Similarly, Escobar was again traded to Milwaukee Brewers. Finally, in 2021, he signed with the New York Mets for a two-year contract worth $20 million.
He was named an All-Star in 2021. Escobar’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season read .256 batting average, 138 home runs, and 536 runs batted in.
12. Yuli Gurriel
Yuli Gurriel is a 33 year-old Cuban player who plays the first baseman’s position. Nicknamed “La Piña,” he debuted in MLB playing for the Houston Astros in 2016.
Gurriel was part of the Cuban national team, Cuban Nation Series’s (CNS) club Sancti Spiritus and Yokohoma DeNa BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) before joining MLB.
Moreover, while playing for the Cuban national team, he won the Olympic Games gold medal in 2004. He had already established himself to be one of the best players in his home country before the Astros drafted him.
In his first MLB season, Gurriel played an important role in leading the Astros to the 2017 World Series championship. The victory made him the fifth player in the league to win an Olympic gold medal and a World Series title.
In 2021, he won the Gold Globe Award for the first baseman. Likewise, he also became the second Cuban-born player to win the AL batting title.
Gurriel’s MLB statistics throughout the 2021 season states .293 batting average, 86 home runs, and 382 runs batted in.
11. DJ LeMahieu
Counting at no. 11 on our list of the best pinch hitters is 34 year-old baseball infielder DJ LeMahieu. Chicago Cubs drafted DJ in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft with the 79th overall selection.
LeMahieu is known as one of the versatile players with a powerful hitting ability. Similarly, he also plays with some of the best techniques earning him the nicknames like “LeMachine” and “Big Fundy.”
From an early age, LeMahieu was involved in playing baseball. Although the Detroit Tigers selected him in the 2007 MLB draft in the 41st round in his senior year, he instead decided to go college.
While playing college baseball, LeMahieu had already attracted much attention from the media and scouts. Baseball America named him the No. 6 prospect in the Cape Cod League.
Some of his notable wins and awards in MLB include three-times All-Star, two-times All-MLB First Team, three times Gold Glove Award, two-times Silver Slugger Award, etc.
LeMahieu’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season read .300 batting average, 1,454 hits, 95 home runs, and 535 runs batted in.
10. Brock Holt
Brock Holt is a 34 year-old free agent utility player. He made his MLB debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012.
Holt played baseball since his high school days before entering the minor league and then being promoted to the major league. He has played in every position except for a catcher and primarily as an infielder.
While he made his MLB debut for the Pirates, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox in 2013. He played six seasons with the Sox before becoming a free agent in 2019.
Since 2020, Holt has played for the Milwaukee Brewers Washing Nationals, and he last played for the Texas Rangers. While with the Sox, he became the only player in MLB history to hit twice for the cycle in a postseason game.
His other notable wins include the World Series championship in 2018 and an All-Star in 2015. Holt’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season include a .262 batting average, 25 home runs, and 234 runs batted in.
9. David Fletcher
Our number 9 of the best pinch hitters is 28 year-old David Fletcher. He is a second baseball player whom the Los Angeles Angels drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 MLB draft.
While Fletcher played baseball in his college, he also played collegiate summer baseball for the Cape Baseball League’s Orleans Firebirds.
After being drafted by the Angles, he played in the minor league for several years. Then, he played his first professional season with the Orem Owlz.
Then Fletcher played for Burlington Bees, Inland Empire 66ers, Arkansas Travelers, Mobile BayBears, and Salt Lake Bees before making his MLB debut in 2018. He played in multiple positions in his first season.
On April 1, 2021, Fletcher signed a 5-year extension contract worth $26 million. His MLB stats through the 2021 season read .281 batting average, 12 home runs, and 139 runs batted in.
8. Anthony Rendon
Our next pinch hitter is a 32 year-old Anthony Rendon, playing as a third baseman for the Los Angeles Angels. Washington Nationals drafted him as the sixth overall in the 2011 MLB draft.
Rendon started playing baseball at an early age. He played in his high school and college baseball teams. During his freshman year, he had already accoladed numerous wins and awards.
Additionally, Baseball America named him the Freshman of the year in 2009. After being selected by the Nationals in the 2012 season, Rendon was considered as one of the top prospects in the MLB.
On April 21, 2013, he made his official MLB debut with the Nationals. He played for the Nationals until 2019, before Rendon signed a $245 million, 7-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
Some of his notable career victories and awards include an All-Star, World Series champion, All-MLB First Team, two-times Silver Slugger award, NL Comeback Player of the Year, and MLB RBI leader.
Rendon’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season states .287 batting average, 151 home runs, and 611 runs batted in.
7. Alex Bregman
The next pinch hitter to make it to our list is Alex Bregman. 28 year-old Bregman plays in the third base and shortstop position. The Houston Astros selected him as the second overall in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft.
Bregman was a star baseball player during his high school and college years. The Boston Red Sox drafted him in the 29th round of the 2012 MLB draft; however, he refused to sign with the team.
Instead, Bregman decided to attend Louisiana State University. Then after being drafted by the Astros, he made his professional MLB debut in 2016.
Known for his athletic prowess and instincts, Bregman made his appearance as the youngest member of Team USA in 2017. Similarly, his other career highlight wins and awards include two times All-Star, World Series champion, and Silver Slugger Award.
Through the 2021 season, Bregman’s MLB statistics state .281 batting average, 117 home runs, and 397 runs batted in.
6. Nick Madrigal
Born as Nicklaus Michael Madrigal, Nick Madrigal is the second baseman playing for the Chicago Cubs. He is a 25 year-old player and 6th on our list of the best pinch hitter.
Having played baseball in his high school and college, Cleveland Indians drafted Madrigal in the 17th round of the 2015 MLB draft. First, however, he decided to attend Oregon State University, where he played college baseball.
Again in the 2018 MLB draft, two years after being selected by the Indians, Chicago White Sox selected Madrigal in fourth overall. Nick was assigned to the AZL White Sox of the minor league.
Two years after the draft, Madrigal finally made his professional MLB debut for the White Sox on July 31, 2020. Although he hit his first major league home run on May 17, 2021, he suffered a proximal tear of his right hamstring on June 9.
Madrigal missed the remainder of his 2021 season because he had to undergo surgery. On July 30, 2021, the pinch hitter was traded to the Chicago Cubs. His MLB statistics through the 2021 season states a .317 batting average, 2 home runs, and 32 runs batted in.
5. Chris Taylor
Our number 5 of the best pinch hitter is a 31 year-old Chris Taylor. Nicknamed “C3”, he plays as the utility player for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Seattle Mariners drafted him in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB draft. Taylor played in minor league baseball at the rookie-level before making his MLB debut in 2014.
Primarily he played as a shortstop position, but he was promoted. Then the Mariners traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Zach Lee.
The next month, Taylor hit his first major league career home run, a grand slam in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Similarly, some of his notable wins and awards include NLCS MVP in 2017, World Series champion in 2020, and All-Star in 2021.
Taylor’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season states .261 batting average, 79 home runs, and 309 runs batted in.
4. Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley is a 35 year-old left fielder playing for the Houston Astros. He made his professional MLB debut on September 1, 2009, with the Cleveland Indians.
Brantley is the son of the former MLB player and hitting coach Mickey Brantley. Milwaukee Brewers selected him in the seventh round with the 205th overall selection in the 2005 MLB draft.
However, Brantley only played for the Rookie-level affiliates of the Brewers. He was traded to the Indians in 2008 before making his MLB debut.
Until the 2018 season, Brantley played with the Indians. Then on December 17, 2018, he signed a $32 million, two-year contract with the Houston Astros.
His notable career wins and awards include five-times All-Star and Silver Slugger Award. Brantley’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season read .298 batting average, 1,571 hits, 122 home runs, 687 runs batted in, and 124 stolen bases.
3. Tommy La Stella
Nicknamed “TL,” Tommy La Stella is a baseball infielder currently playing for the San Francisco Giants. The Atlanta Braves selected Stella in the eighth round in the 2011 MLB draft.
33 year-old Stella played college baseball at St.John’s University and Coastal Carolina University before being drafted by the Braves. He played in the minor league team before making his MLB debut in 2014.
Aside from playing for the Braves, Stella played with the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, and Oakland Athletics. The San Francisco Giants signed him in 2021 for a three-year contract worth $18.75 million.
His career highlight wins and awards include World Series champion in 2016 and an All-Star in 2019.
Stella’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season state .270 batting average, 38 home runs, and 190 runs batted in.
2. Marwin González
We are coming to the end of our list for the best pinch hitters. On our number 2 is a Venezuelan free agent playing in the utility player position, Marwin González. Chicago Cubs signed him as an international free agent in 2005.
Now 42 year-old González, played in the Cub’s farm system from 2006 to 2011 after being signed. Then in 2011, Boston Red Sox selected him in the 2011 Rule 5 draft.
It was in 2012 that González made his MLB debut after Sox traded him with the Houston Astros. He played with the Astros until 2018. After that, he played for the Minnesota Twins then for the Sox.
In 2021, he signed to return to the Astros. Moreover, González pinch-hit four times, collecting one hit during the World Series. However, in November of the same year, he became a free agent.
His most notable win included World Series champion in 2017. González’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season state .256 batting average, 101 home runs, and 397 runs batted in.
1. Luis Arráez
We have made it to the top of our list. Our number 1 is a Venezuelan baseball utility player, Luis Arráez. 25 year-old Arráez made his MLB debut in 2019 with the Minnesota Twins.
Minnesota Twins signed Arráez as an international free agent in 2013. However, he made his professional debut with the Dominican Summer League Twins in 2014.
After playing for the other rookie league affiliated teams until 2019, Arráez was moved to the major league on May 17, 2019. He played his debut game against the Seattle Mariners.
Arráez’s first season was a successful one. He hit his first major league home run on May 21 of his first season and finished sixth in American League Rookie of the Year voting.
Arráez’s MLB statistics through the 2021 season state .313 batting average, 6 home runs, and 83 runs batted in.
The pinch hitters on the list are the best in the league right now. Although they might be a substitute for an active player, they have proved that they can change the whole game.
So what do you think of our list? Do you know of any other pinch hitters who are on top of their game right now?