White Sox: The team and the player with too many strikeouts
Having a lot of strikeouts can be a good thing, especially if you are a pitcher. But, not if you are a hitter. Unfortunately, the White Sox massive number of strikeouts is in the wrong category – hitting.
When it comes to hitting, the White Sox have more K’s than any other team in the MLB. Not just the AL, but the NL, too.
With stats recorded through Friday night, the Sox had 1570 strikeouts on the season. Compare that to the team in second place, the San Diego Padres, who had 1506 K’s. To make matters worse, the White Sox had almost 400 more strikeouts than the Houston Astros – 1172.
The way that baseball is played today, strikeouts are usually not too big of a problem. Power hitters like Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Votto, and Joey Gallo have more strikeouts than the majority of players in the MLB. But, they balance them out with home runs. They have low batting averages, but their slugging percentages and OPS numbers are respectable.
One of the reasons why the White Sox have so many strikeouts is Yoan Moncada. Along with the team as a whole, he leads the MLB with his personal K’s number: 215. His problem is that he does not have the home run numbers to back up his K’s. His slash is .233/.311/.394 with 17 home runs, 29 doubles, and six triples.
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Fortunately for Moncada, he is not alone at the top. With 211 K’s, Stanton is right behind him. But, his slash is much better – 263/.343/.509 – due to his 38 home runs, 34 doubles, and one triple. Stanton might strike out, but he gets bigger hits than Moncada. Stanton’s RBI numbers have also been much better than Moncada’s. The Yankee slugger has knocked in 100 runs, where Moncada has 61.
Moncada isn’t the only Southsider with a bundle of strikeouts. Matt Davidson is #12 on the list with 162 Ks. Tim Anderson has 149. Both Davidson and Anderson have 20 home runs.
Only three MLB players have more than 200 strikeouts. Gallo is the third. His batting average is a mere .206, but his slugging percentage is .500 due to his 40 home runs. He’s been walked 74 times and has 92 RBI.
Moncada is only 23 years old, but Gallo is just a year older. Gallo’s first full season in the MLB was in 2017, and his stats that year were nearly identical to those in 2018. Moncada played a third of a season in 2017, but he had slightly better slugging numbers. Leading the league in strikeouts is not necessarily something to be proud of, but the 2017 Rookie of the Year – Aaron Judge – did the same thing in 2017 with 208 Ks. He did balance those with 52 home runs. This season, his strikeout number is down, but he also didn’t play in as many games.
As a 23-year-old, Moncada has a lot of baseball games left to play. It is safe to predict that Moncada’s numbers will improve. If you’ve watched Moncada closely, he frequently looks like he his left hamstrings are bugging him still. Having any kind of tightness in the lower body will affect a baseball swing, which could easily explain Moncada’s K rate.