Daily Archives: June 11th, 2014

HR sluggers who didn’t strikeout much

Victor Martinez

(Victor Martinez)

When we think of home run hitters, we usually think of players with great power who also strikeout quite often. It is rare to find that player who hits a lot of home runs but doesn’t strikeout that often. In recent years, Albert Pujols comes to mind as a player with great HR power who also has a great eye at the plate.

This season we have a player who may make a name for himself as a power hitter who doesn’t strikeout that often. Detroit’s Victor Martinez has hit 15 home runs in 60 games with the Tigers but has fanned on only 15 of his 253 plate appearances. He is the only player this year with 10 or more HRs and fewer than 20 strikeouts.

Looking back in MLB history, there have been 45 players with 20 or more home runs who had more home runs than strikeouts. The last player to achieve this feat was in 2004 when Barry Bonds had 45 HRs and only 41 strikeouts thatseason.

Let’s look at a couple of lists that help define a few of these great power hitters with great eyes at the plate. First, here are the players in MLB history who have hit 30 or more home runs with less than 30 strikeouts in a season.

Joe DiMaggio, New York Yankees, 1941 (13 strikeouts, 30 HRs)
Lefty O’Doul, Philadelphia, 1929 (19 strikeouts, 32 HRs)
Joe DiMaggio, New York Yankees, 1939 (20 Strikeouts, 30 HRs)
Joe DiMaggio, New York Yankees, 1938 (21 strikeouts, 32 HRs)
Yogi Berra, New York Yankees, 1952 (24 strikeouts, 30 HRs)
Ted Williams, Boston, 1941 (27 strikeouts, 37 HRs)
Yogi Berra, New York Yankees, 1956 (29 strikeouts, 30 HRs)

Let’s bump up the numbers a bit. Here are the players who hit 45 or more HRs in a season with less than 45 strikeouts.

Lou Gehrig, 1934 (31 strikeouts, 49 HRs)
Ted Kluszewski, 1954 (35 strikeouts, 49 HRs)
Joe DiMaggio, 1937 (37 strikeouts, 46 HRs)
Ted Kluszewski, 1955 (40 Strikeouts, 47 HRs)
Barry Bonds, 2004 (41 strikeouts, 45 HRs)
Johnny Mize, 1947 (42 strikeouts, 51 HRs)

Note: Of the 43 players who hit 50 or more home runs in a season, Mize is the only one who had fewer than 50 strikeouts that season. In fact, 25 of those 43 players had 100 or more strikeouts in that 50-plus HR season.

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