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"There's people who don't want to move a runner over and call it a productive out, but there are productive outs," says former big leaguer Bill Ripken, an analyst with MLB Network. "I Converse All Star Womens Size 8
But this is a trend that has not escaped any team. Consider:
Showcase events: Young players trying to impress at one of the elite tournaments for high school aged prospects know they can draw more attention from hitting a mammoth shot than drawing a couple of walks.
season and went into the week leading the major leagues with 47 strikeouts this year.(Photo: Daniel Shirey, USA TODAY Sports)
"If you struck out 100 times a year back (in the 1980s, when he played), you wouldn't be around long," says Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who lasted eight seasons in the big leagues because of his ability to play small ball. "Arbitration doesn't care about it."
His Mets are not one of them, though. Alderson brought in a couple of high strikeout outfielders, Curtis Granderson and Chris Young, last winter, but the Mets sit in the bottom third of runs scored while in the top third in strikeouts.
For the last two years, for the first time, all 30 clubs exceeded 1,000 strikeouts. As recently as 2005, barely half 17 finished in four figures. Six teams struck out that many times in 1993, which many regard as the last season before the the so called "Steroids Era."More than 100 players K'd at least 100 times in each of the last two seasons. The Atlanta Braves' Justin Upton, Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte and Minnesota Twins' Converse All Star All Black Uk Jason Kubel all began the week on pace for 200 this season.
Counters New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, "Having a high number of strikeouts doesn't preclude a team from being pretty good offensively. Some of the teams with the highest strikeout totals over the last couple of years also were among the league leaders in runs scored."
The 2013 Boston Red Sox, however, support Alderson's thinking. The World Series champions led the majors in runs scored while finishing with the eighth most strikeouts. But the next four top run producing clubs the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles finished in the bottom third in strikeouts. When you consider some of the reasons behind the rise, the trend is not likely to diminish anytime soon:Because home runs speak louder in contract talks than on base percentage, players spend their offseasons building strength to hit the ball farther. As offense has decreased since the introduction of drug testing, home runs have become even more valuable.
Meanwhile, this is the seventh consecutive season strikeouts have risen to a record rate. The Chicago Cubs have struck out in nearly 25% of their plate appearances, a pace that still falls short of the 2013 Houston Astros, the all time strikeout kings. The Astros averaged a whiff every 3.92 plate appearances, the only team to strike out more than 25% of the time.
Approach: Because the chances of hitting a home run are greater when swinging from the heels all of the time, the days of hitters shortening their swings when they get two strikes and focusing on just putting the ball in play are almost extinct.
Generation K in full swing and miss
How much this surplus of strikeouts bothers teams is as arguable as the debate between the old school eyeball and the new wave egghead talent evaluators, often with similar lines drawn. Old school purists tend to think that all outs are not created equal, that making contact can have value.
The concept of grinding out at bats is a contributing factor. Over the seven year increase in strikeouts, players have swung less often at the first pitch than at any other time in history. They're willing to start in a 0 1 hole to see more pitches.
important as clubs consider hitting a grounder to the right side to move over a runner from second or laying down a sacrifice bunt, you don't need to watch many games to see how the game is lacking in hitting fundamentals.
don't think a strikeout ever is. Maybe if you hit into an inning ending double play with the bases loaded, you could say you should have struck out and given the next guy a chance. But that's kind of a backward way to look at it."
The way strikeouts are piling up in the major leagues, position players might want to consider another piece of equipment: a chair to take to the field when they're on defense.
"If I wasn't a good bunter, I wouldn't have stuck in the big leagues," Roenicke says. "But in today's game, it's not an important factor."
Braves outfielder Justin Upton struck out a career high 161 times last Converse All Star Hi Sneaker High White
Yes, that's an exaggeration, slightly. This season, strikeouts had accounted for 29% of all outs, a nearly 5.5% increase since 2003.
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