Going to MLB.com and checking out their stats leaders is easy. It’s a click away. With that being said I won’t waste your time with league leaders in categories such as batting average, OPS, ERA, etc.
Instead I’m going to mention the league leaders in categories such as strikeout rate and miss % for batters and swinging strike percentage for pitchers.
It’s early into the 2014 season. Only four teams have crossed into the double-digit game category and current standings aren’t a realistic representation of October. These stats, though premature, are good indicators of often unnoticed capabilities.
It’s common knowledge across the league that Bryce Harper is struggling this year. Despite an impressive outing last night, Harper is tied for a league-worst 13 strikeouts. That’s 13 strikeouts more than both Andrelton Simmons and Dioner Navarro have recorded in 2014. In qualifying batters, both Simmons and Dioner Navarro hold the league best strikeout rate in 2014 as neither have succumb to the K.
|1. Andrelton Simmons (ATL)||31||0.0%||0||.321|
|2. Dioner Navarro (TOR)||33||0.0%||0||.281|
|3. Charlie Blackmon (COL)||36||2.8%||1||.471|
|4. Victor Martinez (DET)||30||3.3%||1||.321|
|5. Alexei Ramirez (CWS)||37||5.4%||2||.412|
Whiffing at pitches is never a good look for the batter. Here are the top five players with the lowest miss rate in the majors.
|1. Dee Gordon (LAD)||37||4.7%||.394|
|2. Charlie Blackmon (COL)||36||4.9%||.471|
|3. Steve Lombardozzi (BAL)||28||5.7%||.321|
|4. Billy Butler (KC)||33||6.5%||.214|
|5. Nick Markakis (BAL)||41||7.0%||.256|
Creating contact doesn’t always result in a hit. Billy Butler supports this notion with his 6.5% miss rate, .214 batting average. Butler is carrying a 65.4% groundball rate into today (11th highest in the majors). But don’t let that take that the spotlight off Gordon, Blackmon and Lombardozzi.
Swinging Strike Percentage
Nothing like a light breeze ensued by a swing and a miss. An almost constant highlight reel nominee for the man on the mound. The swinging strike percentage shows who can whiff bats with their sweet stuff.
|1. Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)||198||56||17.7%||32.1%||3.21|
|2. Roberto Hernandez (PHI)||177||45||16.9%||31.1%||4.35|
|3. Felix Hernandez (SEA)||204||57||16.7%||33.3%||1.88|
|4. Juan Nicasio (COL)||183||50||16.4%||24.0%||3.75|
|5. Francisco Liriano (PIT)||209||51||16.3%||27.5%||3.00|
Failing to go 2-0 or not, Tanaka has the arsenal of a premier big-league threat.