Monday, December 31, 2007
Ryan Howard Mastered the Strikeout in 2007
When Ryan Howard stepped to the plate last year, there was a 4.9% chance he'd hit a double, an 8.9% chance he'd hit a home run, a 13% chance he'd hit a single, a 20.2% chance he'd draw a walk, and a 37.8% chance that he'd strike out. Ryan Howard struck out so much last year, that his strikeout percentage was nearly as high as his on base percentage. In fact, Ryan Howard struck out so much in 2007, that he set the all time record for most strikeouts in a season, at 199.
Now Adam Dunn is notorious for striking out. Dunn's lead the majors in strikeouts each year from 2004, up until last year. And previously to 2007, Dunn had the highest and second highest single season strikeout totals of all time. But in 2007, Howard outdid even Dunn.
In fact, Howard had 57 more strikeouts than he did hits. Much was made of Ichiro when he achieved the single season hits record in 2004, getting a hit in 37.2% of his at bats. Even more was made of Bonds, when he set the single season home run record in 2006, getting a home run in 21% of his at bats. So where's the celebration for Howard?
Howard struck out in 37.8% of his 2007 at bats. And after all, which one deserves more celebration? Would the fans of the other 29 teams rather watch players get hits and home runs against their favorite team, or watch a player strike out?