Yordan Alvarez

Ranking the 10 Best Designated Hitters in MLB Ahead of the 2024 Season

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It’s a whole new ballgame for the best designated hitters in 2024. The universal DH rule has been a hit with most teams having a full-time DH or a couple of players who help to fill that role.

Of course, that has also led to increased competition to be considered among the top designated hitters in 2024.

Ranking 10 Best Designated Hitters Ahead of the 2024 MLB Season

Despite a large collection of candidates, we wanted to trim our list to the 10 best designated hitters for 2024. It wasn’t easy cutting our list down because some of these guys have a chance to be among the greatest designated hitters in MLB history one day.

While you might disagree, here is our list of the players who we think will be the top designated hitters in 2024.

10. Brent Rooker

The A’s don’t have a lot of bright spots on their roster, but Brent Rooker is one of them. He enjoyed a breakout season in 2023 with 51 extra-base hits, including 30 home runs.

       

His challenge in 2024 is repeating that now that pitchers know to pitch around him and make someone else in Oakland’s lineup beat them. Nevertheless, his numbers last season put Rooker in a group among the top designated hitters in baseball.

9. Mitch Garver

With Cal Raleigh behind the plate, the Mariners will be able to utilize Mitch Garver primarily as a DH this year. That’s not a bad role for the 33-year-old, who is better served as a hitter than as a catcher. Injuries last season limited Garver to fewer than 300 at-bats. Yet, he still hit 19 homers and produced an OPS of .870 for the Rangers before adding three homers and 14 RBI in 14 playoff games.

Surely, he’ll be a steady contributor to the Seattle lineup in the DH role this season, which should allow him to stay healthy.

8. Justin Turner

At age 39, Justin Turner is turning into an ageless wonder. He managed to give the Red Sox 23 homers and 31 doubles last season while batting a solid .276. Turner now heads to Toronto and will be the DH for the Blue Jays in 2024.

Obviously, we’re expecting him to slow down at some point. But until we start to see that, Turner deserves to be mentioned among the top designated hitters.

       

7. Jorge Soler

It’s a mystery why it took until mid-February for a team to sign Jorge Soler. He’s practically the textbook definition of a full-time DH. To be fair, he can run hot and cold at times.

But Soler hit 36 homers last year and also has a 48-homer season on his resume. He’s exactly the type of power hitter you want serving as a DH and should be set up for another big season in 2024.

6. Marcell Ozuna

At his age, Marcell Ozuna’s days of being an all-star or even an outfielder are over. But the same can’t be said of his days as a bonafide slugger. He gave the Braves 40 homers and an OPS over .900 last season.

Of course, his 2021 and 2022 seasons were disastrous, so there are reasons to be skeptical. However, Ozuna is still capable of at least coming close to matching last year’s productivity. 

5. Kyle Schwarber

It looks like the Phillies have finally wised up and will make Kyle Schwarber their full-time DH this season. He never really belonged in the outfield anyway. The caveat with Schwarber is that he’s a one-trick pony.

After batting .197 last season, he brings nothing to the table but power. But he does bring a lot of power, hitting 46 homers in 2022 and 47 last year. Don’t be surprised if Schwarber makes another push for 50 home runs in 2024, bringing a lot of value to Philly’s lineup.

4. Masataka Yoshida

The Red Sox are hopeful that they have enough outfield depth to make Masataka Yoshida their full-time DH. The two-time Pacific League batting champ proved last year that he can handle big-league pitching. Power-wise, Boston would surely like more than 15 homers out of him, which is all Yoshida produced last season.

But with 33 doubles, three triples, and a .289 average, Yoshida accomplished a lot last season and should be even better in his second season in the majors.

3. J.D. Martinez

Just because no team was in a rush to sign him this offseason doesn’t mean that J.D. Martinez can’t still hit. He proved that last year with the Dodgers, producing an OPS of .893 to go with his 33 homers and 103 RBI.

Granted, part of his success is likely due to batting in a loaded Los Angeles lineup. Nevertheless, the aging slugger still has plenty of power and figures to be one of the best designated hitters in 2024.

2. Yordan Alvarez

While he’s seen some time in the outfield in recent years, it looks like Yordan Alvarez will be Houston’s primary DH this year. Frankly, that’s where he belongs because hitting is what he does best. Alvarez is only 26, yet he’s smashed 101 home runs over the last three seasons.

Let’s not forget that he hit over .300 in 2022 and .293 last year. Alvarez is likely to flirt with .300 and a 1.000 OPS this season, meaning he’s not too far behind the guy at the top of our list.

1. Shohei Ohtani

He may not be pitching this season but Shohei Ohtani is still the best designated hitter in MLB. He wasn’t the unanimous MVP last season solely because of his work on the mound. Ohtani blasted an AL-high 44 home runs last season while also batting .304 and producing an OPS of 1.066.

Believe it or not, the metrics tell us that he continues to get better as a hitter. Since he won’t be distracted by having to pitch once a week, Ohtani could be even better as a hitter in 2024 than he’s ever been before, which is a scary thought.

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