Strikeout Percentage
Stat of the Week
by Peter Liubicich
Strikeout Percentage
This post was written by Peter Liubicich on July 9, 2012
Posted Under: Stat of the Week

We analyzed Strikeouts from the pitcher’s perspective and explained why they are so important for the success of a pitcher, so now we will look at a statistic Strikeout Percentage (K%) and how to properly evaluate hitters with this statistic.

We have talked about how batters with high On-Base Percentages are more favorable to have in a lineup as over the course of a 162 game season, players who get on base often, usually a combination of a high Batting Average and the ability to take pitches and draw walks, give their teams a higher chance of scoring runs throughout the year.  This makes players with high walk rates more favorable than players with low walk rates, however, when it comes to having players with high K%, which is a little more difficult to assess.  According to FanGraphs, players with high Strikeout rates can still be valuable and effective pieces in a lineup as making an out is never considered to be beneficial, if that player is still able to get hits, walk and reach base often then a high strikeout rate is easier to deal with.

FanGraphs measures a batter’s K% as the amount of strikeouts they have per Plate Appearance (K/PA).  When evaluating hitters, it is important to keep in mind what type of batter you are looking at as power hitters tend to swing at more pitches which leads to more swinging strikes and strikeouts but also are more likely to be pitched around which leads to higher walk rates.  Contact hitters are more concerned about putting the ball in play and according to FanGraphs this means that they will have a low strikeout rate but also low walk rates.  A final piece of information to keep in mind with K% is that players that strikeout often will have more difficulty keeping their Batting Average high as they put fewer balls in play.

Thursday we will look at Mark Reynolds who is notorious for his high number of strikeouts in today’s game.

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