We all heard a lot about them in 2013 and if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that they have been on the rise for a while now. Throughout the game, more batters are striking out and pitchers are accumulating K’s at a higher rate. The relationship between pitched strikeouts and strikeouts by batters is obvious, but let’s take a look at how the median strikeout rate by major league teams has changed over the last thirty years:
If that’s not a trend, I don’t know what is. Strikeouts are up, noticeably, but why? When we look at power numbers, they are up somewhat, too.
While the trend jumps more sporadically than strikeout rate does (thank you, steroids), power is still up across the time span. Apparently, hitters have traded strikeouts for power. As one can imagine, strikeouts are a lot more tolerable when you’re frequently hitting for extra bases or putting the ball over the fence.
So are the Diamondbacks following this trend?
In two words: not exactly. Arizona ranked 13th in the National League in strikeout rate (18%), with only the Cardinals and Giants striking out less often. On the one hand, this is great because the Diamondbacks are making a ton of contact. They are striking out less often than almost every other team in the league and giving themselves a chance by putting the ball in play.
But not all contact is created equal.
Arizona ranked tenth in the National League in isolated slugging (ISO). They hit for little power on the year, finishing 11th in the NL in home runs and 10th in wRC+. Yes, they made a lot of contact, but they didn’t capitalize on it. There were a lot of hollow singles hit with nothing to back them up as the team was 8th in the NL in hitting with runners in scoring position. Simply put, although they didn’t strike out a lot, that didn’t necessarily mean that they dominated at the plate.
While the rest of baseball has been trading strikeouts for power, the 2013 Diamondbacks clearly didn’t get the memo. They’re going to have to make strides in the power department in 2014 if they want to make a serious run. With that said, at least they have some strikeouts they can sacrifice in the process.
Announcement: Double PlusWe're making a change: instead of roundups, which we used for smaller vignettes and to weigh in on links, we're opting for a more free-form format on Fridays. Expect two pieces shorter than our normal fare, with analysis of all shapes: using links as a jumping off point, extending or following up on research in a previous post, or addressing questions we find interesting even if we haven't narrowed down the answers. It's been 2+ years at this, and we'll both be contributing to these Friday two-packs of bonus content. We call it Double Plus.
Midseason Top 10 Prospects
It's here: the Inside the 'Zona Midseason Top 10 Prospects List, including recent trade additions and 2015 draftees.
- Josh Collmenter’s Fall and Rise
- Can Daniel Hudson Be The 2016 Closer?
- Low and Away Explains Some D-backs’ Seasons at the Plate
- Double Plus: Daniel Hudson and Highest Heat
- Double Plus: The Improving Value of Socrates
- Silvino Bracho Doesn’t Want Your Stinkin’ Ground Balls
- Handicapping the Race for the 2016 Rotation
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- RT @InsidetheZona: New at Inside the 'Zona: Low and Away Explains Some D-backs' Seasons at the Plate http://t.co/HsyVXLnGQv, Oct 05
- RT @BProBoston: Today, @ryanpmorrison totally sells out for page views by writing about Craig Breslow http://t.co/xxB64ZKMir, Oct 05
- RT @youknow_OJ: The Pool Shot Episode 40 @OutfieldGrass24 hits puberty and -with @ryanpmorrison help- tries to hit on his babysitter http://t.co/koa445qAIN, Oct 05
- Brito has so much to teach Chris Carter, Oct 04
- For those new to Dallas Keuchel, the key to his success was growing his beard, which is as long as the difference in his fastballs' movement, Oct 03
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- RT @StelliniTweets: I LIVE. I DIE. I LIVE AGAIN. https://t.co/PWEABUKrmz, 2 hours ago
- RT @WSJbeerbaron: Writer focuses on LA, but these methods to get the good stuff work no matter where you are. https://t.co/eHYQsBkCbe, 20 hours ago
- RT @adamgorney: How are first-year coaches doing? #OregonState coach Gary Andersen just landed two four-stars http://t.co/zCpVdaGUlF http://t.co/GMQH0NVYrC, 18 hours ago
- Lesgo 'Stros, 18 hours ago
- Good job @greghoward88. Really, really fantastic and important piece today., 18 hours ago
FanGraphs Stats Glossary
Nick Piecoro Author Page
Cot's Baseball Contracts
BP Base Running Stats
Previously on The Pool Shot, the guys explained some of their favorite advanced stats. Hitting, including wRC+, HHAV and batted ball; pitching (38:00), including FIP, xFIP and SIERA; and baserunning and defense, including UBR, UZR and DRS (58:00).