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.
- Roundup: Rules Against Shifts Could Hurt the D-backs
- Arbitration Strategy: D-backs Should Settle with Trumbo, Must Take Reed to Trial
- Projection Peek: D-backs Pitchers in 2015
- Payroll Puzzle Complicated by Yoan Lopez Signing: Are the D-backs Done?
- Projection Peek: D-backs Position Players in 2015
- The Pool Shot, Episode 12: Podcasting the Yoan Lopez Signing and the D-backs’ Status as a True Baseball Team
- An Early Look at the Fifth Starter Competition
Powered by: Web Designers
- Maybe we should have known this was coming? #Juno #Blizzardof2015 #Snowmageddon2015 http://t.co/foWVGi8aAw, 10 hours ago
- RT @longballgirl: Anyone looking for a house to rent in March?! Weekly or for the month! Fountain Hills, 15 min to SRF, 25 to Cubs/Giants/A's. Please RT! Thx!, 12 hours ago
- Roundup is up: some notes on whether shift rules would hurt the D-backs, links from around the web http://t.co/hK5biCbxBy, 18 hours ago
- Welp http://t.co/ywL9u3A7W4, 20 hours ago
- It was nice knowing everyone. #Blizzardof2015 http://t.co/iEtp8k7Vk7, 20 hours ago
Powered by: Web Designers
- RT @DeannaMariner: This is where I'd rather be.... #rockypoint #takemeback #januaryjam Photo cred: @outfieldgrass24 @… http://t.co/X4I9xh70Ti, 9 hours ago
- I love all of the "If they ban shifts, what's next, banning ______?" tweets., 14 hours ago
- Illegal. RT @BravesChophouse: Baseball card diagram of the "Boudreau Shift" vs Ted Williams. @BaseballFact http://t.co/6IQNlPJZby, 14 hours ago
- RT @OregonStateMBB: Congrats to Gary Payton II for being named Pac-12 Player of the Week! Release: http://t.co/iFuzGv7pOQ #gobeavs http://t.co/KIrcM0i0Vv, 15 hours ago
- #GoBeavs RT @ConnOregonian: Gary Payton II is your Pac-12 Player of the Week after averaging 19.5 ppg over two wins., 15 hours ago