Hitting a homer for the first time in the big leagues is undoubtedly an adrenaline rush.
Some players will knock out a dozen or so during their rookie season. And others showcase their power, crushing as many as a seasoned veteran would in a career year.
In 2017, Aaron Judge broke the rookie home run record that had stood for 30 years – and just a couple of years later, Pete Alonso snuck past him with one more.
Below is a list of the most home runs by a rookie in Major League Baseball history in a single game, regular season and postseason.
Most Homers in a Season by a Rookie
1. 53 – Pete Alonso, New York Mets (2019)
Alonso kept fans on the edge of their seats as he vied for the rookie home run record, surpassing the newest mark set just two years before. The true rookie knocked out five homers in his first 10 games and hit 25 more before the All-Star break – where he proceeded to win the Home Run Derby. And Alonso clobbered 11 long balls in September, hitting his record-tying and record-breaking homers in the last three games of the season.
2. 52 – Aaron Judge, New York Yankees (2017)
With his 52 homers in 2017, Judge became the first player in MLB history with at least 50 in their rookie season. And like Alonso, Judge crushed 30 homers prior to the All-Star break and would go on to win the Home Run Derby. The Rookie of the Year slowed down his production over the second half of the season but caught fire with 15 round-trippers in September. While he recorded the most strikeouts by a rookie (208), Judge simultaneously set the highest walk mark (208) and finished the season hitting a homer every 10 at-bats.
3. 49 – Mark McGwire, Oakland Athletics (1987)
For three decades, McGwire held the major league record for rookie homers (until Judge broke it in 2017). Big Mac hit 15 homers in May and at one point, the first baseman hit three in a game and followed it up with two the following day. And unlike both Alonso and Judge, McGwire had more hits (161) than Ks (131), ultimately batting .289 on the season. The slugger – who did not win MVP even in a 70-homer season in 1998 – would go on to hit at least 30 dingers 11 times in his career.
Most Homers in a Single Game by a Rookie
34 Players Tied With Three
- Jordan Diaz, Oakland Athletics (May 9, 2023 vs. New York Yankees)
- Jack Suwinski, Pittsburgh Pirates (Jun. 19, 2022 vs. San Francisco Giants)
- Seby Zavala, Chicago White Sox (Jul. 31, 2021 vs. Cleveland)
- Ryan Mountcastle, Baltimore Orioles (Jun. 19, 2021 vs. Toronto Blue Jays)
- Mike Yastrzemski, San Francisco Giants (Aug. 16, 2019 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks)
- Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros (Aug. 10, 2019 vs. Baltimore Orioles)
- Aristides Aquino, Cincinnati Reds (Aug. 10, 2019 vs. Chicago Cubs)
- Ronald Guzman, Texas Rangers (Aug. 10, 2018 vs. New York Yankees)
- Christian Villanueva, San Diego Padres (Apr. 4, 2018 vs. Colorado Rockies)
- Hunter Renfroe, San Diego Padres (Sept. 20, 2017 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks)
- Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins (Aug. 1, 2016 vs. Cleveland)
- Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers (Jun. 3, 2016 vs. Atlanta Braves)
- Jarrett Parker, San Francisco Giants (Sept. 26, 2015 vs. Oakland Athletics)
- Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates (Aug. 1, 2009 vs. Washington Nationals)
- Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays (Sept. 18, 2008 vs Minnesota Twins)
- Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (May 7, 2008 vs. Chicago Cubs)
- Cody Ross, Florida Marlins (Sept. 11, 2006 vs. New York Mets)
- Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles (Aug. 22, 2006 vs. Minnesota Twins)
- Jonny Gomes, Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Jul. 30, 2005 vs. Kansas City Royals)
- Jose Ortiz, Colorado Rockies (Aug. 17, 2001 vs. Florida Marlins)
- Trot Nixon, Boston Red Sox (Jul. 24, 1999 vs. Detroit Tigers)
- Bobby Estalella, Philadelphia Phillies (Sept. 4, 1994 vs. Montreal Expos)
- Mark McGwire, Oakland Athletics (Jun. 27, 1987 vs. Cleveland)
- Fred Lynn, Boston Red Sox (Jun. 18, 1975 vs. Detroit Tigers)
- Joe Lahoud, Boston Red Sox (Jun. 11, 1969 vs. Minnesota Twins)
- Lee Thomas, Los Angeles Angels (Sept. 5, 1961 vs. Kansas City Athletics)
- Norm Zauchin, Boston Red Sox (May 27, 1955 vs. Washington Senators)
- Jim Pendleton, Milwaukee Braves (Aug. 30, 1953 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates)
- Eddie Mathews, Boston Braves (Sept. 27, 1952 vs. Brooklyn Dodgers)
- Jim Tabor, Boston Red Sox (Jul. 4, 1939 vs. Philadelphia Athletics)
- Merv Connors, Chicago White Sox (Sept. 17, 1938 vs. Philadelphia Athletics)
- Hal Trosky, Cleveland (May 30, 1934 vs. Chicago White Sox)
- Mickey Cochrane, Philadelphia Athletics (May 21, 1925 vs. St. Louis Browns)
- Butch Henline, Philadelphia Athletics (Sept. 15, 1922 vs. St. Louis Cardinals)
Most Homers in a Postseason by a Rookie
1. 10 – Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays (2020)
Arozarena surpassed his season total of seven homers with a rookie single-season record of 10 in the playoffs. He knocked out a solo shot against Gerrit Cole in the American League Division Series against the Yankees before homering in the next two games. After the Rays won the series in five games, Arozarena hit four round-trippers against the Astros. The last of which came in a 4-2 win in Game 7, propelling the Rays to the World Series. The hitter went yard three more times in the Fall Classic, including a solo shot in Game 6 that proved futile as the Dodgers won the title that same game.
2. 6 – Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays (2008)
Longoria started off the 2008 ALDS with a bang, knocking out two home runs in Game 1 against the White Sox. The Rays sent them home in four games, and in the AL Championship Series against the Red Sox, Longoria hit a homer in four consecutive games. The slugger had three RBIs in a 9-8 win in Game 1 and helped the team take a 3-1 lead in the series. After narrowly eliminating Boston in seven games, the Rays made their first World Series appearance in franchise history. With just one hit and no homers, Longo had run out of steam and the Rays lost in five games.
3. 5 – Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs (2015)
In his 2015 rookie season, Schwarber nearly single-handedly won the Wild Card Game against the Pirates. The outfielder hit a homer and drove in three of the team’s four runs, sending the Cubs to the National League Division Series against the Cardinals. Schwarber provided run support for the team with homers in three consecutive games as Chicago advanced to the NL Championship Series for the first time since 2003. Though Schwarber hit two dingers, the Mets extended the Cubs’ title drought with a sweep.
Most Homers in a Postseason/World Series Game by a Rookie
9 Players Tied With Two
- Michael Conforto, New York Mets (2015 WS Game 4 vs. Kansas City Royals)
- Carlos Correa, Houston Astros (2015 ALDS Game 4 vs. Kansas City Royals)
- Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays (2011 ALDS Game 3 vs. Texas Rangers)
- Andruw Jones, Atlanta Braves (1996 WS Game 1 vs. New York Yankees)
- Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves (1995 NLDS Game 1 vs. Colorado Rockies)
- Charlie Keller, New York Yankees (1939 WS Game 3 vs. Cincinnati Reds)
- Tony Kubek, New York Yankees (1957 WS Game 3 vs. Milwaukee Braves)
- Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays (2008 ALDS Game 1 vs. Chicago White Sox)
- Willie McGee, St. Louis Cardinals (1982 WS Game 3 vs. Milwaukee Brewers)
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