Friday, January 18, 2008

Cooling Off The Crowd

Fans that remember power hitters who didn't strike out much (where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?) often complain about the high number of strikeouts in today's game. Players like Dave Kingman and Rob Deer were disparaged for the damage they did to their teams by not making contact. Of course, a strikeout is not always the worst outcome of a trip to the plate: a double play is even worse.

I want to find the players with the highest and lowest career strikeout rates (SO/PA). I'm going to use's minimum requirement for career rate stats: a player must have 3000 or more PA in his career. Also, strikeouts weren't recorded for batters in both major leagues until 1913 so I'm not going to look up players before then. Any players who played before and after this time will only have their plate appearances from 1913 forward counted.

Most Career SO/PA, 1913-2007, min. 3000 PA

1Rob Deer45121409.312
2Jose Hernandez50891391.273
3Pete Incaviglia46771277.273
4Adam Dunn40981092.266
5Brad Wilkerson3444879.255
6Cory Snyder3933992.252
7Don Lock3116776.249
8Steve Balboni3440856.249
9Ron Kittle3013744.247
10Preston Wilson44361085.245
11Dave Kingman74291816.244
12Gorman Thomas54861339.244
13Jim Thome84272043.242
14Dean Palmer55131332.242
15Henry Rodriguez3343803.240
16Pat Burrell47431137.240
17Jose Conseco81291942.239
18Mike Cameron62991500.238
19Jay Buhner59271406.237
20Nate Colbert3863902.233

Fewest Career SO/PA, 1913-2007, min. 3000 PA

1Joe Sewell8329114.014
2Lloyd Waner8326173.021
3Nellie Fox10349216.021
4Tommy Holmes5565122.022
5Tris Speaker9365220.023
6Emil Verban311074.024
7Stuffy McInnis7325189.026
8Andy High4969130.026
9Homer Summa331888.027
10Sam Rice10246275.027
11Frankie Frisch10100272.027
12Dale Mitchell4357119.027
13Charlie Hollocher339094.028
14Jimmy Brown3832110.029
15Johnny Cooney3675107.029
16Billy Southworth4927148.030
17Frank McCormick6207189.030
18Buddy Hassett3807116.030
19Ossie Vitt4188131.031
20Eddie Collins9052286.032

Joe Sewell Not-So-Fun Fact: He was installed at shortstop for the Cleveland Indians following Ray Chapman's death during the 1920 season. Chapman died after being hit in the head by a pitch from Carl Mays. Some people believe that pitch has been the major factor keeping Mays out of the Hall of Fame.

1 comment:

statsllc said...

Great work on the K-men. I would like to offer a special notice of my alltime favorite strikeout king. Paul Ratliff was a catcher for the Brewers and Twins in the early 70's. He only amassed 365 career PAs but managed to whiff 133 times for an average of .366. In his final year, 1973, he was 3 for 42 for Milwaukee with 23 K's. Numbers only a mother could love.