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Kenley Jansen broke the all-time strikeout rate record

Sep 29, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

I wrote last week about how Kenley Jansen had the second-highest strikeout rate in baseball history, but the Dodgers rookie was so dominant down the stretch that he vaulted into the top spot.

Jansen ended up striking out 34 of the final 56 batters he faced this season–which is absolutely ridiculous–and finished the year as the first pitcher in baseball history with more than 16.0 strikeouts per nine innings.

Here’s the new all-time leaderboard (among pitchers with at least 40 innings):

                  YEAR     SO/9
KENLEY JANSEN     2011     16.1
Carlos Marmol     2010     16.0
Eric Gagne        2003     15.0
Billy Wagner      1999     15.0
Brad Lidge        2004     14.9

Jensen racked up 96 strikeouts in 53.2 innings while posting a 2.85 ERA and .159 opponents’ batting average. Not bad for a 23-year-old rookie who was a light-hitting catcher in the minors as recently as two seasons ago.

  1. hackerjay - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Funny thing is that Marmol was also a light hitting catcher in the minors before he took the mound.

  2. thomas2727 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    These type of arbitrary records are a waste of time.

    And Marmol holds the record for 75 or more innings pitched at 16.0 blah blah blah

  3. lanflfan - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    All stats are arbitrary, they only show what you shape them to show.

    • madhatternalice - Sep 29, 2011 at 5:11 PM

      So, home runs are arbitrary? Home runs are a baseball stat: say what you mean.

      K/9 is a pretty universal stat. It’s used to evaluate pitchers all the time, and it’s pretty telling. You could make an argument, I suppose, for stats like WAR, or ERA+. I mean, how else would you evaluate a pitcher’s strikeout rate with any sort of consistency?

    • sneschalmers - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:03 PM

      Okay lanfifan, I’ll accept your argument at face value. But in return, I was wondering if you could give me a clear cut example though where you (or someone else) has manipulated a statistic to say two separate things.

  4. PastyRasta - Oct 4, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    Yet Jansen wont get ANY consideration for rookie of the year. I’m not saying he should be but he should be in the top 3.

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