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Monday June 14, 2010 10:22 pm

Diamondbacks racking up the K’s in a bad way

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Mark ReynoldsCan strikeouts be an indicator of standings? Going into Monday, the Arizona Diamondbacks had struck out 597 times; 90 more than any other team in baseball. They also have a firm hold on last place in the National League West and are the only team in their division with an under-.500 record. Their team batting average was a measly .252, good enough for fourth-worst in the National League, which is definitely not helped by their gargantuan K-total.

The Diamondbacks’ Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds are one-two in the strikeout race with 87 and 86, respectively. Arizona has five players in the top 40. For Reynolds, this is nothing new. He struck out 204 times in 2008 and another 223 in 2009. The Diamondbacks will certainly take a few extra K’s in exchange for 40-home run potential though. Upton is in a new position though. He’s on pace to shatter his career-high total of 137 set last year. At this rate, he’ll crack 200 whiffs by season’s end.

There is definitely some worth in plate discipline. Take San Diego’s David Eckstein or Mark Kotsay of the White Sox. In a 16-year-long career, Kotsay has just 667 strikeouts. In just his fourth year, Reynolds has 642. Their career OBPs are almost identical, but Kotsay’s average is almost 30-points higher. Reynolds is in dangerous territory. If anything happens to his power numbers, he’ll become a serious liability to any team he’s swinging for. Eckstein, on the other hand, has never struck out more than 60 times in a season over his 11-year career. His .347 OBP makes him a very dangerous hitter that can wear out pitchers, despite his lack of power.

Strikeouts are running rampant through the Diamondbacks’ lineup. The team also sits in last place. This is not a coincidence. For a team that has made the postseason as recently as 2007, to fall this far this fast should be unacceptable both to the club and its fans. The D-Back hitters need to show some more patience and take some better swings, or else they may find themselves setting an all-time record for a stat they’ll wish they never had.



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