Is 2018 Going to Be ‘The Year of the Strikeout’?
In the new season, hitters in MLB are already striking out 22.3 percent of the time.
This season in Major League Baseball, the strikeout appears to be all the rage.
It’s only April, but hitters are already striking out frequently enough that it appears MLB will set a record for most strikeouts in a season for the 11th straight season this year.
Thanks to a combination of improved pitching and umpire assistance, hitters are striking out 22.3 percent of the time, up from a rate of 21.6 percent last year.
To put that number in context, the strikeout rate in 1916 was 10.5 percent.
Aggressive hitting (launch angle anyone?) is also a big reason the strikeout rate continues to rise.
“Hitters have done their part, becoming more aggressive at the plate, especially on the increased 0-2 counts,” according to The Washington Post. “The strikeout rate in these situations has risen from 40.6 percent in 2006 to 47.7 percent in 2018 with a reciprocal drop in batting average from .180 to .164 in that span. In 2017 the strikeout rate on 0-2 counts was 45.8 percent.”
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