Colorado Rockies: We Examine 5 Key Numbers From 2016
Number of strikeouts by Colorado hitters
Colorado set a new single-season franchise record for strikeouts for the third consecutive year in 2016. Free agent acquisition Ryan Raburn managed to strikeout 80 times in just 223 at-bats (the exact same number of strikeouts as DJ LeMahieu in 329 fewer ABs). Five different Rockies (Trevor Story, Mark Reynolds, Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon) whiffed over 100 times on the season.
This isn’t ideal, but it also isn’t as prohibitive to good offense as some may think. There are absolutely situations in a baseball game where contact is vital, but there are more situations where a strikeout doesn’t hurt an offense any more than any other type of out.
If there are two outs and no one on base, it doesn’t make a difference if Arenado flies out to the warning track or swings and misses at strike three. After all, the end result is the same. When your team is full of power threats like Colorado is, strikeouts become even less damaging. Failing to move a runner up 90 feet doesn’t make much difference if the next guy hits one 450 feet.
Despite setting a team record once again, Colorado didn’t have some crazy number of strikeouts in comparison to the rest of the league. After all, 10 different teams had more. The World Series champion Chicago Cubs (still weird to type) struck out a ton and still had the best offense in baseball.
The plan isn’t flawless. Chicago’s offense, awesome most of the time, is non-existent at times when the home runs aren’t flying. But even if the Rockies strike out even more in 2017, that won’t necessarily prohibit them from being a better team.