Cleveland Indians: Who’s Tribe’s best power hitter over last 30 seasons?

Jim Thome #25 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Tim Umphrey/Getty Images)
Jim Thome #25 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Tim Umphrey/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians, Travis Hafner
Travis Hafner #42 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Travis Hafner

When Jim Thome left the Tribe in free agency prior to the 2003 season, Cleveland traded catcher Einar Diaz and pitcher Ryan Drese to the Texas Rangers for a power hitter named Travis Hafner. At the time of the trade, Hafner had just one career home run in the major leagues over 23 games. He would go on to knock 200 for the Cleveland Indians over the span of the next 10 years.

It was a slow rise for Hafner, hitting just 14 during his first season in Cleveland, as well as a rather rapid decline, hitting 20 or more home runs just four times. Nevertheless, when healthy Hafner was a force in the middle of the Tribe’s lineup, especially during the 2006 season. In that year, Hafner logged a career-high 42 home runs, tied for eighth in club history for a single season, in addition to leading the American League in slugging percentage with a mark of .659.

While Hafner’s prime was a bit short-lived, he was still able to rack up enough home runs to place him ninth in club history. It wasn’t all home runs either for Pronk. He also registered 30 or more doubles in three consecutive seasons, spanning from 2004 to 2006.

Hafner’s rise coincided with the team’s resurgence that led to the 2007 season that fell just shy of the World Series. He might have been a bit injury prone, but overall Hafner was a strong bat in Cleveland’s lineup for a decade.