Sluggers With Discriminating Eyes
Players With 25 or More Home Runs In A Season & Fewer Strikeouts Than Home Runs
As baseball commentators rave about all the power hitters with their prodigious home run numbers, few broadcasters and writers will allude to the obscene strikeout totals put up by these same power hitters.
Not that most players are capable of hitting a lot of home runs and avoiding striking out, but the great players of the past could.
This list from baseball-reference.com shows the top 37 players with more home runs than strikeouts in a season.
It’s a rarity today to find players with a great batting eye and good power like, Joey Votto. Now if you’re a .270 hitter or better and you are striking out over 150 times while hitting 25 or more home runs that is considered somewhat commendable and will get raves.
On the other hand it’s practically criminal that in 2017 Joey Gallo (pun intended) struck out 196 times while hitting 41 home runs and batting a near Mendoza-line .209. Along with players like the non-brother combo of Chris and Khris Davis, who each struck out 195 times, and career .237 whiffer Mark Reynolds who added 175 more K’s to his stunning lifetime total of 1806; you have to question whether any of them would have made any major league roster prior to 1970.
Today’s managers, executives and fans have come to tolerate and seemingly embrace one-dimensional strikeout sluggers.
Looking over this list of exceptionally effective power hitting, here are some things to note:
Kluszewski is rarely mentioned as being one of the all-time greats because his most productive seasons came in a short four year burst from 1953-1956. He hit 171 of his career 279 home runs during that time, batting .316, .326, .314 and .302 successively. Had back problems not shortened his productive years, Kluszewski might have put up Hall-of-Fame numbers. Over his 15 year career playing in 1718 games, Big Klu still had excellent numbers batting .298 and striking out just 365 times while drawing 492 walks.
Joe DiMaggio makes this list seven times, Yogi Berra five times, Ted Williams and Johnny Mize three times.
DiMaggio has the best career home run to strike out ratio with a ridiculously low 369 career strikeouts while hitting 361 home runs.
Berra posts the lowest batting average in this list in 1955 when he hit “just” .272 and stroking 27 home runs and striking out all of 20 times.
Tommy Holmes was never considered a slugger. In 1945 when Holmes safely hit in 37 straight games breaking the National League record, he also smacked 28 home runs and struck out just 9 times! That is the best differential in home runs to strike outs ever in a season.
Now there’s a record that will never be broken.