Stat leaders in quiet categories

masahiro tanaka yankees

Going to 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.

Strikeout Rate

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.

Strikeout Rate Leaders, 2014
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

Miss Percentage

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.

Miss % Leaders, 2014
PA Miss% AVG
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.

Swinging Strike Rate Leaders, 2014
P PA SwStr% K% ERA
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.