While height doesn’t matter in baseball as much as it does in basketball, there are a few advantages to being on the taller end. Most professional baseball players are a little over six feet tall, but there are some who stand nearly or over seven feet!
Who is the tallest baseball player ever? Loek Van Mil holds the record for being the tallest player in professional baseball history, while Frank Szczepanik is the tallest college baseball player of all time.
3 Tallest Baseball Players of All Time
Interestingly, no MLB player has ever made it (yet) to the list of the three tallest baseball players worldwide
The tallest of all-time honors go to an NCAA division baseball player and two Minor League aspirants, and none of them ever got to play in the majors. All three players stood north of seven feet.
Here is a list of the three tallest baseball players in sporting history:
1: Frank Szczepanik
Standing at 7 feet and 2 inches, Frank Szczepanik is both baseball’s tallest player and the world’s tallest pitcher. Szczepanik played as a relief pitcher for Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, at the beginning of his sophomore year in 2010.
His impressive height can be put down to Marfan syndrome, a disorder that can affect the body’s growth. Szczepanik himself has confirmed that he inherited this syndrome from his maternal side.
Currently, Frank Szczepanik works as Senior Coordinator for Football Operations at the National Football League (NFL).
2: Loek van Mil
Standing at 7’1”, Loek van Mik had a colorful baseball career playing as a relief pitcher in different baseball leagues.
Born in the Netherlands, he played for the Dutch National team and had short stints with various Minor League teams, such as the Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Angels.
It was towards the end of his 13-year baseball career while playing in the Australian Baseball League when van Mil suffered serious head injuries following a hiking accident in December 2018. He made a full recovery and returned to the field a month after.
In July 2019, van Mil announced his retirement and passed away a week later. The Loek van Mil cause of death seems somewhat vague—the player’s family opted to merely report his passing as a result of serious injuries following a “fatal accident.”
3: Ryan Doherty
Not much focus has been given to Ryan Doherty as one of the tallest baseball players in the world. The Minor League relief pitcher stood at 7’1” tall – tying with Loek van Mik as the second taller baseball player.
Doherty played just three seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2005 to 2007 before moving to California to pursue a professional career in beach volleyball.
How Height Can Be an Advantage in Baseball
Statistics indicate that 6 feet 2 inches is the average for current MLB players by height. Additionally, experts claim that 6 feet 1 inch is the best height for a baseball player to play different positions on the field.
For starters, baseball scouts look into a player’s height and weight, in addition to standard baseball-related skills such as arm strength, hitting power, running speed, and fielding proficiency.
While there is no height requirement in both amateur and professional baseball leagues, baseball scouts and coaches consider a player’s height when determining their playing position on the field.
This is especially true for pitchers, so it comes as no surprise that the three tallest players in baseball history are pitchers. Save for exceptional pitching prowess, your chances of playing as a pitcher in college or professional leagues are lesser if you’re under six feet tall.
Taller players have more body mass and longer limbs, so it’s only natural they are able to throw a ball with more velocity. Consequently, it will benefit any team to have a taller pitcher in a sport where ball speed matters.
Research has also demonstrated that certain pitch types are best delivered by taller pitchers. Comparative studies specifically state that four-seam fastballs and curveballs are more effective when thrown by a 6-foot-4 starting pitcher than a shorter pitcher.
Frequently Asked Questions
Has there ever been a 7 foot player in MLB history?
Not yet. The tallest baseball player in Major League Baseball so far remains only at 6 feet and 11 inches. However, the new recruit Jared Beck, who recently got drafted for the Baltimore Orioles, may take this title.
Standing an exact seven feet, Beck signed with the Orioles in the 13th round of the recently concluded 2022 MLB draft. The Iowa-born, left-handed pitcher may well become the tallest MLB player in history the moment he makes his major league debut.
In short, we’ll have to wait until Jared Beck joins his first official big league game before we have a 7-foot player in MLB.
Who is the tallest MLB player in history?
It’s a tie between Jon Rauch and Sean Hjelle, who both stand at 6 feet and 11 inches. Both players are pitchers for their respective teams, also making them the tallest MLB pitchers of all time.
Rauch last pitched for the Miami Marlins in 2013 before moving down to the minors and eventually retiring in 2014.
Hjelle plays for the San Francisco Giants and makes his debut in the majors this 2022 playing season. His towering height literally makes him a “giant on the mound.” Hjelle is currently the tallest active MLB player.
Who is the tallest MLB position player?
It’s also a tie between Nate Freiman and Tony Clark for the tallest non pitcher in MLB history. Both players are 6 feet and 8 inches tall and played the same position for their respective teams.
Freiman was the first baseman for the Oakland Athletics from 2013 to 2014, while Clark handled first base for six different major league teams in his 15-year baseball career.
Who is the biggest MLB player in history?
Walter Young of the Baltimore Orioles leads the list of the biggest baseball players ever when it comes to body mass. He stood 6 feet and 5 inches, had a BMI of 38.2, and weighed 322 pounds, also making him the heaviest MLB player ever.
Who is the shortest MLB player ever?
Eddie Gaedel of the St. Louis Browns is the shortest player in MLB history. He stood just 3 feet and 7 inches and wore the number ⅛ on his jersey.
It’s interesting to note that there is a drastic 43-inch difference between the shortest and tallest baseball players. Gaedel was just half as tall as the tallest baseball player ever!
How tall is Randy Johnson?
Randy Johnson height is 2.8 meters, or 6 ft 10, indeed among the tallest players in Major League Baseball. He can throw the baseball as fast as over 100 mph.
Pitchers are usually the tallest players in a baseball team, with first basemen coming in a close second. While height isn’t as crucial as other factors, such as throwing, hitting, and fielding abilities, a few added inches on the arms and legs can give players that extra edge.
We hope you enjoyed our article on who is the tallest baseball player ever in college and in minor and major baseball leagues. Feel free to share this with every baseball enthusiast you know.
A powerful swing and the ball is flying across the field, just one hit, and we might never forget the thrill it brings. I do not know about you, but I never do. Every baseball game is the chance to compete with others and cooperate with your teammate. It is among my biggest passions.