Home run vs Strikeout — Who Wins?

By William Coppola

Home run vs. Strikeout: Which does the fan prefer? Is it the thrill of the bomb clearing the fence? Or is the edge-of-your-seat thrill of the big swing slicing through the air and…hitting nothing but air?

Last year, Milwaukee Brewer’s 30-year-old Chris Carter had, 41 home runs, 94 RBI’s and 204 total bases. Does that interest you? Or does his .222 batting average and 206 strikeouts, push you away? Do you want a guy who has a high batting average or a guy who puts runs on the board?

Looks like the Brewers either don’t think he is worth the 10 to 11 million dollars he could get in arbitration this year, or they can’t afford him as he probably won’t get a tender offer (barring a trade prior to the non-tendered deadline, December 2 at 11:59 PM). Carter made $2.5 million last year.

One of the problems for a small market team, is not being able to keep a player like Carter. He produces runs, and you can’t win games, unless you score runs. Some other team will sign him if he becomes a free agent. Others could jump the gun and trade for him.

If strikeouts bother you, here are some things to consider. Chris Carter was the leader in 2016 with his 206 K’s. But Kris Bryant lead the NL in 2015 with 199 whiffs, when he won Rookie of the Year. And Chris Davis had 208 K’s to take top honors that same year, with 47 home runs and then re-signed with the Orioles for a whopping 7-year $161 million dollars.

Davis will receive $17 million per season over the life of his contract. He will then receive $3.5 million a year from 2023 through 2032, then $1.4 million a year from 2033 through 2037 — when he will be 51-years-old — for a total of $42 million in deferred money.

Did I just say “million” five times in a paragraph? Not bad for the strikeout king, who took top honors again this year with 219 “see you later” at bats.

Mark Reynolds lead the majors in strikeouts three years in a row, from 2008 to 2010 and the AL in 2011, and he was still sought after by clubs. Guess strikeouts are not an issue for some teams, as long as you are hitting the ball into the seats — occupied seats, that is.

Again, it’s about putting runs on the scoreboard and hitting homers. By the way, Dave Kingman, who will always be known as the “King of Strikeouts,” averaged 152 K’s over 16 years in the big leagues, the most being 156 at 33 yrs old when he hit 37 home runs. Today he would of been tied for 15th place with Matt Kemp who had 156 K’s and 35 HR’s.

Strikeout vs Home Run, who wins? The fans win. We get to marvel at the skills of a pitcher, or the power of a home run hitter. That’s what makes this game a win-win, each and every game.

Editor’s Note:  William Coppola just completed his 40th year in the game of baseball. He has been a coach, instructor and advanced scout for numerous teams in Major League Baseball 




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