Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.
Chris Carter’s Record Strikeout Rate in Context
Of late, the author has encountered more than one concerned internet citizen making a comment to the effect that Houston corner-type Chris Carter has recorded, thus far, the highest strikeout rate of any qualified batter in major-league history. Indeed, as the table below indicates — of the ten highest single-season strikeout rates since 1913 (i.e. the year since which we have contiguous strikeout data) — these concerned citizens are also generally honest ones.
|3||Adam Dunn||White Sox||2012||649||34.2%|
|4||Dave Nicholson||White Sox||1963||520||33.7%|
|10||Mike Napoli||Red Sox||2013||534||32.6%|
What one finds here is a collection of power hitters from the past 25 years, basically, who compensated for a lack of contact with power and/or patience. What one also finds is Dave Nicholson, who seems to have produced a 1.6 WAR in 1963 as a left fielder for the Chicago White Sox — and ultimately a career WAR of 1.7 in 1661 plate appearances.
If one’s ambition, however, is to determine the place of Chris Carter’s 2013 season in all of baseball of all time, one must consider his numbers relative to the context in which they’ve been recorded. For, as a brief inspection of the leaderboards at this site reveals, the 2013 season has produced the second-highest league-wide strikeout rate of the last 101 years.
With a view to examining which players have produced the most prolific strikeout rates relative to their peers, the author has first identified the league-average strikeout rate (strikeouts per plate appearance, that is) for every season since 1913. The author has then divided every qualified player’s seasonal strikeout rate (since 1913, as well) by the relevant league-average rate for that year. The result is an index stat, K-, which measures strikeout rate relative to league average, where a higher figure represents more striking out.
Here are the results of those calculations:
|4||Gary Alexander||– – –||1978||564||29.4%||12.6%||233|
|7||Dave Nicholson||White Sox||1963||520||33.7%||15.3%||220|
• Old brother both to Dom and Joe, center-fielder Vince DiMaggio is responsible for the most prolific strikeout rate of the last 100 years — not only recording the highest rate relative to league, but also having produced three of the ten-highest adjusted strikeout rates over that interval. While DiMaggio’s career rate of 19.7% is precisely average in 2013, it’s more than double the overall rate of 9.1% registered league-wide between 1937 and -46.
• By this methodology, Carter’s 2013 season is only the 66th-worst so far as strikeout rate relative to league is concerned. His index figure: a 187 K-.
• It’s very possible that a more responsible way of conducting a study such as this one would be to find the z-score for every player’s strikeout rate for every season since 1913. In addition to being the more responsible method, however, this would also be the considerably more time-consuming one.
Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Cleveland at Chicago AL | 14:10 ET
Danny Salazar (37.0 IP, 71 xFIP-, 0.6 WAR) faces Hector Santiago (138.2 IP, 113 xFIP-, 1.5 WAR). Of some relevance to this matchup is the following table, which features the top-five starters by strikeout rate over the last month (minimum three starts):
Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Cleveland Radio.
Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire.
Note that these NERD scores are calculated using the methodology introduced recently and designed to account for the influence of playoff odds on the watchability of games. ***Unlike in recent iterations of this table, the author has adjusted the day’s NERD Game Scores such that, combined, they average 5.0.*** This allows said table to resemble more closely the Game Scores that have appeared here over the preceding four months.
|Danny Salazar||CLE||10||3||6||0||3||CHA||Hector Santiago||14:10|
|Jake Arrieta||CHN||1||0||9||10||6||PIT||Charlie Morton||19:05|
|Kyle Kendrick||PHI||3||0||4||0||10||WAS||St. Strasburg||19:05|
|Jason Hammel||BAL||2||1||2||0||5||TOR||Todd Redmond||19:07|
|Bruce Chen||KC||2||1||3||0||6||DET||Justin Verlander||19:08|
|Brad Hand*||MIA||5||0||3||0||5||NYN||Jon Niese||19:10|
|Hiroki Kuroda||NYA||5||4||6||0||7||BOS||John Lackey||19:10|
|Ian Kennedy||SD||4||0||3||0||7||ATL||David Hale*||19:30|
|Dan Straily||OAK||5||5||10||5||7||TEX||Derek Holland||20:05|
|Jason Vargas||LAA||3||0||2||0||6||HOU||Dallas Keuchel||20:10|
|Mat Latos||CIN||8||1||4||0||4||MIL||Kyle Lohse||20:10|
|Chris Archer||TB||5||7||7||0||2||MIN||Kevin Correia||20:10|
|Hisashi Iwakuma||SEA||7||0||10||9||9||STL||Adam Wainwright||20:15|
|Tyler Chatwood||COL||6||0||3||0||5||AZ||Brandon McCarthy||21:40|
|Madis. Bumgarner||SF||8||0||5||0||10||LAN||Clayton Kershaw||22:10|
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