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Whiffing Without Clout

Posted by Raphy on March 1, 2009

In 2008 Emilio Bonifacio struck out 46 times. While this may not sound like a lot, it was enough to lead the league among players without a home run. Just one year earlier, in 2007,  Bonifacio's total would have placed him fifth, a full 40 strikeouts behind league leader Nook Logan.

Here are the all-time leaders for strikeouts in a season without a home run (Strikeouts became an official NL stat in 1910 and an official AL stat in 1913):

  Cnt Player             **SO** HR Year Age Tm  Lg  G   PA  AB  R   H  2B 3B RBI  BB IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions
 ----+-----------------+-------+--+----+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------
    1 Manuel Lee          107    0 1991  26 TOR AL 138 485 445  41 104 18  3  29  24   0   2  10   4  11   7  2  .234  .274  .288  .562 *6
    2 Vince Coleman        98    0 1986  24 STL NL 154 670 600  94 139 13  8  29  60   0   2   3   5   4 107 14  .232  .301  .280  .581 *78
    3 Steve Jeltz          97    0 1986  27 PHI NL 145 510 439  44  96 11  4  36  65   9   1   3   2   9   6  3  .219  .320  .262  .582 *6
    4 Tim Johnson          93    0 1973  23 MIL AL 136 510 465  39  99 10  2  32  29   2   1  11   4  10   6  3  .213  .259  .243  .502 *6
    5 Gary Pettis          91    0 1991  33 TEX AL 137 343 282  37  61  7  5  19  54   0   0   6   1   4  29 13  .216  .341  .277  .618 *8
    6 Nook Logan           86    0 2007  27 WSN NL 118 350 325  39  86 18  4  21  19   1   0   5   1   9  23  5  .265  .304  .345  .649 *8
    7 Luis Castillo        85    0 1999  23 FLA NL 128 563 487  76 147 23  4  28  67   0   0   6   3   3  50 17  .302  .384  .366  .750 *4
    8 Otis Nixon           85    0 1995  36 TEX AL 139 656 589  87 174 21  2  45  58   1   0   6   3   6  50 21  .295  .357  .338  .695 *8
    9 Reggie Willits       83    0 2007  26 LAA AL 136 518 430  74 126 20  1  34  69   2   3  11   5   7  27  8  .293  .391  .344  .735 798D
   10 Marvell Wynne        81    0 1984  24 PIT NL 154 702 653  77 174 24 11  39  42   0   0   5   2   8  24 19  .266  .310  .337  .647 *8
   11 Don Kessinger        80    0 1967  24 CHC NL 145 628 580  61 134 10  7  42  33   1   4   7   4   3   6 13  .231  .275  .272  .547 *6

One more list, just because . Here are the seasons since 1913, in which there were 5 or more players with 50 strikeouts and no home runs.

 1914     18 Donie Bush / Jack Farrell / George McBride / Burt Shotton / John Leary / Joe Agler / Hughie Miller / Jimmy Austin / Walter Blair / Oscar Stanage / Nemo Leibold / Sam Agnew / Ed Holly / John Misse / Charlie Mullen / Everett Booe / Earl Moseley / George Kaiserling
 1965      9 Hal Lanier / Maury Wills / Dick Groat / Ty Cline / Jimmy Stewart / Chris Cannizzaro / Woody Woodward / Bob Veale / Dean Chance
 1971      8 Larry Bowa / Roger Metzger / Bud Harrelson / Tim Foli / Mickey Lolich / Wilbur Wood / Bill Stoneman / Vida Blue
 1991      6 Lance Johnson / Rafael Belliard / Manuel Lee / Gary Pettis / Dick Schofield / Gilberto Reyes
 1969      6 Hal Lanier / Bud Harrelson / Tom Matchick / Darrel Chaney / Bill Stoneman / Gary Gentry
 1968      6 Maury Wills / Hal Lanier / Bud Harrelson / Dean Chance / Bill Hands / Bob Veale
 1967      6 Hal Lanier / Don Kessinger / Woody Woodward / Nate Oliver / Dean Chance / Jim Lonborg
 1976      5 Roger Metzger / Juan Beniquez / Frank Taveras / Dave Chalk / Gene Clines
 1966      5 Woody Woodward / Dal Maxvill / Al Weis / Dean Chance / Sandy Koufax 

A lot of years from the late '60's and early  '70's. In 1913 four players qualified for this list and in 1915 it was only 3. So what happened in 1914 that an amazing 18 players qualified for this list?  For one thing, eight of the 18 players played for the Federal League which only existed for the 1914 and 1915 seasons (2 of the 3 from 1915 were also from the Federal League). I would also assume that there was some watering down of talent that resulted from the creation of the Federal League that helped add to the astronomical total of 1914.



This entry was posted on Sunday, March 1st, 2009 at 10:11 pm and is filed under Leaders, Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Whiffing Without Clout”

  1. Interesting stuff.

    I am actually surprised that this list is comprised mostly of modern era guys (1969-present), if only because there is so much more emphasis on the long ball these days back now than there was back then. Even most utility infielders can scrounger one or two a year.

  2. There was another post a bit ago which had abnormal figures for 1914. The Federal League probably really messed things up.

  3. JohnnyTwisto Says:

    1914 was a real scoring trough. Scoring bottomed out around 1908, and I think a new ball was experimented with, which pushed scoring up a bit for a couple years. But then offense fell again in the mid-teens. Then there's also the fact that these stats (batter strikeouts and, in the previous post, caught stealing) were counted in 1914, but not in some of the surrounding seasons, and I guess it really makes that year stand out.