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Striking Out Without Getting On.

Posted by Raphy on November 27, 2009

In the 2009 season there were 4 players who came to the plate at least 300 times and struck out more than they reached base.

Rk Player OPS+ SO TOB PA Year Tm Lg G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB HBP BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Miguel Olivo 103 126 121 416 2009 KCR AL 114 390 51 97 15 5 23 65 19 0 5 .249 .292 .490 .781 *2D
2 Chris Davis 85 150 119 419 2009 TEX AL 113 391 48 93 15 1 21 59 24 2 2 .238 .284 .442 .726 *35/D
3 Jarrod Saltalamac 70 97 89 310 2009 TEX AL 84 283 34 66 12 0 9 34 22 1 1 .233 .290 .371 .661 *2/D
4 Bill Hall 58 120 94 365 2009 TOT ML 110 334 32 67 20 1 8 36 27 0 0 .201 .258 .338 .596 *579/48
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/27/2009.
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Hall (1.277) and Davis's (1.261)  ratios of strikeouts to times on base  were the second and third highest in baseball history (min. 300 PA). The only player with with a higher ratio was pitcher Frank Meinke, who struck out 89 times, while only reaching base 62 for the 1884 Detroit Wolverines (ah,  the memories) . (Meinke also had a W-L record of 8-23 that year.)

Meanwhile, Olivo became the 12th player to strikeout more often than he reached base and still post an OPS+ of 100 or higher. As Gerry and I mentioned in the PI Tag thread, only Dave Nicholson has done so while qualifying for a batting title.

Rk Player OPS+ SO TOB PA Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB HBP BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Pete Incaviglia 117 153 150 467 1988 24 TEX 116 418 59 104 19 3 22 54 39 3 7 .249 .321 .467 .788 *7D
2 Dave Kingman 109 122 105 351 1973 24 SFG 112 305 54 62 10 1 24 55 41 3 2 .203 .300 .479 .779 *53/1
3 Russell Branyan 108 132 114 361 2001 25 CLE 113 315 48 73 16 2 20 54 38 1 3 .232 .316 .486 .802 *57/D9
4 Bo Jackson 108 146 134 468 1988 25 KCR 124 439 63 108 16 4 25 68 25 6 1 .246 .287 .472 .758 *79/8D
5 Dave Nicholson 107 175 166 520 1963 23 CHW 126 449 53 103 11 4 22 70 63 0 0 .229 .319 .419 .738 *7
6 Wily Mo Pena 105 116 102 335 2005 23 CIN 99 311 42 79 17 0 19 51 20 0 3 .254 .304 .492 .796 *987
7 Mark McGwire 105 118 115 364 2001 37 STL 97 299 48 56 4 0 29 64 56 3 3 .187 .316 .492 .808 *3
8 Miguel Olivo 103 126 121 416 2009 30 KCR 114 390 51 97 15 5 23 65 19 0 5 .249 .292 .490 .781 *2D
9 Russell Branyan 102 151 139 435 2002 26 TOT 134 378 50 86 13 1 24 56 51 3 2 .228 .320 .458 .777 *753/D
10 Dave Kingman 102 125 118 393 1974 25 SFG 121 350 41 78 18 2 18 55 37 2 3 .223 .302 .440 .742 *35/97
11 Melvin Nieves 101 158 156 484 1996 24 DET 120 431 71 106 23 4 24 60 44 2 6 .246 .322 .485 .807 *97D
12 Rolando Roomes 100 100 99 334 1989 27 CIN 107 315 36 83 18 5 7 34 13 0 3 .263 .296 .419 .715 798
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/27/2009.

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Most of the players listed were young. Oliva however, is not. In fact, with the exception of Mark McGwire, Oliva is the oldest player to ever accomplish this feat.

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In terms of career numbers, only 4 players in history have posted an OPS+ of at least 100 with more strikeouts than times on base in at least 200 career PA. Three of those players are active.

Rk Player PA OPS+ SO TOB From To G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB HBP GDP BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Russell Branyan 2824 113 946 934 1998 2009 882 2431 347 568 117 8 164 396 339 27 27 23 .234 .331 .491 .822
2 Bo Jackson 2626 112 841 812 1986 1994 694 2393 341 598 86 14 141 415 200 20 14 40 .250 .309 .474 .784
3 Kelly Shoppach 1043 105 339 338 2005 2009 310 909 134 219 60 0 43 141 88 3 31 19 .241 .327 .449 .776
4 Chris Davis 736 103 238 224 2008 2009 193 686 99 177 38 3 38 114 44 3 3 11 .258 .304 .488 .793
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/27/2009.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 27th, 2009 at 11:15 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Striking Out Without Getting On.”

  1. Holy flying rat's butt! The Tigers of 1996 are the only team to have 2 or more players in the same season with more strikeouts than times on base (minimum 100 strikeouts)
    They are Tony Clark and Melvin Nieves

  2. Tough to read this without thinking of Mark Reynolds. A quick check shows that in 2009 he was on base 231 times versus 223 strikeouts. Last year he qualified easily with 196 TOB and 204 K's (but an OPS+ under 100.)

  3. Bo Jackson, really? I never figured he was such a strikeout machine - guess I just never knew.

    Also Meinke's 1884 stat line makes me laugh. Sort of a reverse George Foreman, as in "you're not going to get a lot, but you'll pay a lot."

  4. JohnnyTwisto Says:

    Re Bo Jackson the strikeout machine, check post 8 in this thread: http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/3583