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The Best Lefthanded Batters and Lefthanded Pitchers in Baseball

Two Lefthanded Batters and One Lefthanded Pitcher among 2022 Hall of Fame Inductees

David Ortiz was a lefthanded throwing first-baseman and designated hitter who played 20 years in the majors (1997-2016), 6 years with Minnesota and 14 years with the Boston Red Sox.  Ortiz had ten different seasons with more than 30 HR and 100 RBI. 

Ortiz finished his career with 2472 hits in 8640 at bats for a .286 batting average, with 632 doubles (10th all time), 541 home runs (17th all time), 1768 runs batted in (22nd all time).  His .552 slugging percentage ranks 26th all-time, his 1319 walks rank 41st all-time, and his 4785 total bases ranks 32nd all-time.  Ortiz was a ten time all-star who added 17 home runs and 61 runs batted in 85 postseason games, winning the World Series MVP in 2013.  Ortiz was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022.

Tony Oliva is a righthanded throwing outfielder who played 15 years in the majors (1962-1976), all with the Minnesota Twins.  From 1964 through 1972, Oliva was one of the best players in the game.  He won the American League Batting Title three times (1964, 1965 and 1971).  He also led the league in hits five times, and in doubles four times during that time, and was voted to the American League All-Star team for eight straight years.

A serious knee injury caused Oliva to miss most of 1972 and while he did return and play a few more years he was never the same.  Still he finished with 1917 hits in 6301 at bats for a .304 batting average, with a .353 on base percentage and a .476 slugging percentage.  He had 329 doubles, 220 home runs, and 947 RBI.  Oliva was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022.

Other Great Lefthanded Batters

Prior to 1930          1930 to 1960          1960 to 1990          Since 1990

2022 Hall of Fame Inductees

​All-Time Greatest Lefthanded Batters

Jim Kaat pitched 25 years in the majors (1961-1983), 15 with the Minnesota Twins, 4 with Philadelphia, 3 with St. Louis, and 3 with the Chicago White Sox.  He was the best fielding pitcher of his time, winning the Gold Glove award 16 consecutive years (1962-1977).

Kaat won 283 games (31st all time), and also lost 237 (16th all-time), with a 3.45 ERA.  He made 625 starts (17th all time), pitched 4530 innings (25th all time) and had 2461 strikeouts (44th all-time). Kaat was a three time all-star and AL Pitcher of the Year in 1966.  Kaat was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022.