5. Jim Rice
Jim Rice has a whole lot of accolades to go along with his name. MLB Hall of Famer, 8x All-Star, 2x Silver Slugger, 1978 MVP, yada yada yada. What’s most impressive about Rice as a hitter was his versatility.
In his 16-year career in Boston, Rice had four seasons with over 200 hits, 4 seasons with at least 39 home runs, and 8 seasons with over 100 RBIs.
A career .298 hitter, Rice was the poster child of consistency. In seasons in which he played at least 140 games, his batting average never dropped below .280 and he never struck out more than 126 times. The righty hit for average and power, and he did it every single year.
What allowed Rice to hit so well was his simple but powerful swing. He wasted no movement because his swing had very little movement to begin with. When Rice stepped into the box, he was hunched over and coiled up like a spring, waiting to fire at any moment.
“When Jimmy hit the ball, it made a different sound than everybody else.”
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 7, 2018
His stride was minimal and his hand-load was almost nonexistent. All he had to do was release the pent up energy he created with the aforementioned “coil”, and boom. His hands were through the hitting zone and the ball was on its way. With such a simple, direct swing, Rice was able to connect with anything thrown his way.
Equipped with such a beautifully simple swing and the power of a Greek God, Jim Rice put together a Hall-of-Fame career. He’s definitely earned a spot on this list.