Blog Entry

D-backs' Reynolds approaches K history

Posted on: September 25, 2010 1:37 am
Mark Reynolds
There has been a lot of attention on the Diamondbacks breaking the single-season record for team strikeouts, which is actually good, because it points out that strikeouts are overrated as a "bad" outcome.  A strikeout is just an out, and even while being the strikeout-ingest team in history, the Diamondbacks are solidly average offensively (eighth in the National League in runs scored).

But the strikeout-related landmark third baseman Mark Reynolds is on the verge of reaching at least has to be considered interesting. As noted by, Reynolds is on pace to become the first regular player in history to finish with a strikeout total higher than his batting average (or, technically, his batting average multiplied by 1,000).

Reynolds is batting .200 with 206 strikeouts. No other non-pitcher has had more strikeouts than batting-average points while making more than 35 plate appearances. Reynolds has the three highest single-season strikeout totals in major-league history -- he's the only man ever to top 200, and his 223 last year is the record.

Actually, the .200 part of his stat line is the troubling part, not the strikeouts. And it's fairly impressive that someone batting .200 could get enough playing time to amass 206 strikeouts.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2010 3:19 am

D-backs' Reynolds approaches K history

Some strikeouts aren't bad, especially if they're limited to 1 or 2 big power hitters on your team, and even Adam Dunn can be forgiven as he drives in 100 runs per year, hits his 40 home runs and hits .250-.260. It's a big problem if the majority of team strikes out often and has a poor batting average on top of it, for the reasons big_red points out above.

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: September 25, 2010 3:01 pm

D-backs' Reynolds approaches K history

I think the only thing worse than striking out is fouling out.  Although bunting foul for strike three is pretty freakin' bad too.

But why is striking out so bad?  Because the ball doesn't get put into play.  For example, if you have men on second and third, with one out, and the guy at-bat strikes out, is that worse than hitting a fly ball to center?  Both of those plays create outs.  However, on the fly ball, both runners could possibly move; the runner at third will likely score.  Also, you can never discount the chance of the fielder bobbling, mishandling, or straight up missing the ball (think the HHH Metrodome).  Getting on-base is of utmost importance.  But I would argue that consistently making contact in PA's where a BB or HBP isn't recorded is important as well.  Thus, striking out not only robs the batter of a chance to score, it also robs the team of a chance to score, potentially on multiple fronts.

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