From the National Anthem to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" to the various jock jams played on stadium sound systems, music is a huge part of Major League Baseball. In recent years, player walk-up songs have increasingly become a topic of conversation for fans of America’s pastime. Selections range from hip-hop and reggaeton bangers to metal ragers and twangy country numbers, but most picks serve the same purpose. They psych up batters as they walk from the dugout to the plate and prepare to face off against the pitcher.
The 10 guys listed below have certainly mastered the art of picking good walk-up songs. Thanks in part to their musical tastes, they've got the best batting averages in the majors.
1. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
Batting Avg.: .362
"Firestone" - Kygo
This five-time All-Star second baseman doesn't need anything too aggressive en route to the plate. Featuring feathery vocals from Aussie singer-songwriter Conrad Sewell, Kygo’s 2014 smash “Firestone” is textbook tropical house: light, melodic, and super-refreshing on a hot summer evening.
2. Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers
Batting Avg.: .341
"Shape of You" - Ed Sheeran
With its tropical house melody and a dancehall beat, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” is a double play of summery sounds. It’s a feel-good song that feels even better when you’re a Dodgers fan watching Turner step to the plate and prepare to work his magic.
3. Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
"Your Love" - The Outfield
If the idea of an outfielder picking a song by The Outfield seems a little on-the-nose, give Blackmon a break. The Rockies centerfielder has selected a real ‘80s pop-rock gem with “Your Love.” The big hook and driving beat clearly get him pumped to knock balls into the outfield and beyond.
4. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
"Flower" - Moby
Harper has been called a “five-tool player,” a modern type of MLB star who excels in five age-old fundamental aspects of the game. That makes him old school and new school, much like Moby’s “Flower,” which pairs a booming beat with a “Green Sally up!” field holler recorded in Mississippi in 1959.
5. Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals
“I’m Shipping Up to Boston” - Dropkick Murphys
As a ballplayer, you’re lucky if you can find a song that mentions your name, and you’re doubly blessed if it’s a Celtic-punk rager like “I’m Shipping Up to Boston.” Murphy has used several walk-up songs, but nothing makes you want to club the ball -- either with a bat or a wooden leg -- like this Dropkick jam.
6. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
“Hell on Wheels" - Brantley Gilbert
Brantley Gilbert’s “Hell on Wheels” is an outlaw fantasy about speeding down I-95 with a six-gun in the glovebox and “thunder in the hood.” It’s a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, and a whole lot of badass inspiration for this Giants catcher.
7. Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
“Te Busco" - Cosculluela
The top pick of the 2012 MLB draft shows his Puerto Rican pride with “Te Busco,” a 2015 collaboration between reggaeton greats Cosculluela and Nicky Jam. The hook translates to “I’m looking for you,” a romantic phrase that must take on sinister meaning for every pitcher forced to face this All-Star shortstop.
8. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
“HUMBLE." - Kendrick Lamar
“Sit down, be humble,” the key phrase in Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.,” rarely applies to this Reds first baseman. The Canada-born five-time All-Star generally stands up, grabs his bat, and does something worthy of bragging about.
9. Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
“Some Cut" - Trillville
The MVP of the 2016 MLB All-Star Game keeps it nice and crunk as he strolls to the plate with Atlanta duo Trillville’s 2004 party-starter “Some Cut.” It’s a shame the Royals first baseman can’t round the bases in a Caddie.
10. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
“We Went" - Randy Houser
As if being a pro baseball player wasn’t already the coolest job in the world, this Diamondbacks first baseman dreams of being an outlaw. Or maybe he just likes the beat of Randy Houser’s “We Went,” a rockin’ country tune all about two young lovers outrunning the cops in a Black Pontiac. Either way, it’s working for him.