SI Vault
Striking Differences
June 25, 2012
Not everyone is looking to grip and rip at the plate—but there are trade-offs for hitters who buck the current strikeout trend. The players who are the best in the majors at making contact generally hit for decent averages, but draw few walks and hit for minimal power. Here's how the five hitters with the lowest strikeout rates since 2009 (minimum 1,500 plate appearances) have produced.
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June 25, 2012

Striking Differences

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K RATE: 8.5% AVG .286 OBP .320 SLG .418

Where have you gone, Ted Williams? In 1941 the Splinter struck out just 27 times and had an OPS of 1.287, the highest ever by a hitter with fewer than 30 whiffs. These days, elite hitters—with one notable exception on the list below—come with double-digit strikeout rates. Here's how often the top five hitters since 2009 (ranked by OPS, minimum 1,500 plate appearances) have whiffed.

1. Joey Votto Reds

OPS 1.003 HR 103 (T15TH) K'S 412 K RATE: 18.8%

2. Miguel Cabrera Tigers

OPS .992 HR 116 (T6TH) K'S 330 K RATE: 14.3%

3. Albert Pujols Cardinals, Angels

OPS .973 HR 136 (1ST) K'S 232 K RATE: 9.9%

4. Jose Bautista Blue Jays

OPS .946 HR 129 (2ND) K'S 355 K RATE: 17.5%

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