One of the first quirky things I ever wanted to investigate was the number of players who managed to have a "strikeout percentage" above their slugging percentage in a season. I also wanted to make sure the list only consisted of players who stuck with a team for a significant part of the year, so I set a minimum of 200 AB. I figure that makes up at least half a season for a bench/platoon player. The initial results of this study were posted by me on Brew Crew Ball, so any visitors from there may be familiar with this.
These are all the players from 1901 to 2007 who have accomplished the feat.
Kimera Bartee holds the record for highest batting average among the players listed with .253 in 1996. Jack Clark's .350 in 1992 is the OBP leader. Rob Deer, unsurprisingly, has the slugging record with .386 in 1991. Deer's .700 is the highest OPS, as well. When you use OPS+, however, Dave Nicholson is the leader, with 96 in 1964. Go figure, none of these guys was an average offensive player. Interestingly, Bill Bergen's 1911 campaign scores a -4 OPS+.
Billy Consolo, Ray Oyler and Gary Pettis are the only multiple offenders. Rob Deer (25), Reggie Jackson (14) and Dave Nicholson (13) were the only players with double-digit home runs in their seasons. Bobby Bonds and Dick Tracewski were only one strikeout away from having the same total bases and strikeouts. Darrel Chaney had 26 fewer total bases than strikeouts in 1969 and actually had the same number in both categories in 1973. The only two batters to record over 400 AB in the season were Rob Deer and, of all people, Benji Gil.
There are a few players this season who have a shot at finishing with total bases than strikeouts in over 200 AB.
- Ryan Langerhans has 189 AB with 54 TB and 71 SO and could potentially become the first player to perform the feat while playing for three teams during the year.
- Joe Borchard has 179 AB with 56 TB and 60 SO, but he was recently designated for assignment by Florida.
- Ryan Shealy has 172 AB with 53 TB and 53 SO though he probably won't be called up to get the final 28 AB he needs to make the cut.
- Wily Mo Pena has 59 TB and 56 SO in 151 AB, but he doesn't play often enough to become a serious contender.
If your team is already out of the running or you just need a distraction from the stress of a pennant race, you now have something to check out.