Talking Strike Outs and Strike Out Records (for batters)

We’re having some fun with strike outs on the Dingers Blog today.

First and foremost, here’s your YEAR OF THE PITCHER stat for today. If the season finishes with its current rate stats, 2010 will be the best K/BB season in modern baseball history. That’s right, only 1879, 1884, 1878, 1875, 1880, and 1883 have had better K/BB years than 2010 has had. Pretty amazing, if you ask me.

The Diamondbacks are still on pace to break the Brewers’ 2001 record for most strike outs by a team. The D-Backs have 1,269 before today’s game and have played in 138 games so far, about 9.19 Ks per game. Remarkably consistent, since that was the number from last time we checked in. Yes, they’re still on pace for 1,490 or so (Brewers’ record was 1,399).

That means if they continue pace, they’ll break it on game 152.

That game is Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 9:40 EST against the Colorado Rockies (at Arizona). Set your DVRs.

In addition, Mark Reynolds is gonna come close to tying or breaking his record for most strike outs in a season at 223. He did that in 155 games, mind you. So jeez, he could’ve improved upon that. Reynolds has 185 so far, and has missed about 10 games, so it looks like he’ll miss the mark, but not by much. Barring some season-ending injury, though, he’ll likely hit 200 strike outs for the third consecutive year.

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Reynolds has 741 strike outs in his career so far and he’s 26. Ryan Howard has 1,009 in his career so far and is 30.

Reggie Jackson has the record for most strike outs over a career with 2,597, ol Jimbo (Jim Thome) is second with 2,388, though it’s doubtful Thome (who will be 40 next season) will see enough playing time this year forward to come close.

At that pace, Reynolds will have to play 12 seasons to break Jackson’s record, which seems doable since he has three under his belt already and hasn’t hit 27. Reynolds also has prodigious power and excellent on-base skills, but his contact rate declined precipitously this year, so it’s more a question of whether or not he’ll be able to hit the ball in years 11 or 12.

Likewise, Ryan Howard is almost half-way there, but will need 1,500 for the rest of his career. That’ll mean about 8 more years. Howard was cursed with a late-career call-up, receiving full playing time only after he was 26.

However, since he’s signed through 2016 (and with an option clause in 2017), if he plays full time all those years plus one, he should get it with ease.

The big difference here is that Jackson was able to be valuable in his later years and play until he was 40, so that’ll be Reynolds’ and Howard’s biggest obstacle to overcome as they age.

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Filed under MLB, MLB history, strike out records

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