This came up in the comments of my JD Drew post and I thought it would make an interesting post of its own. Manny Ramirez is 15th all-time in strikeouts, tied with Dale Murphy, and should enter the top 10 this year (Jim Thome is #2 on the list, but assuming he’s done as an everyday player, he’s likely to fall short of the 284 Ks he needs to catch Reggie). But Manny is #1 on the career K list of lifetime .300 hitters. Here’s the top 10, or rather top 12 since #10-12 were so close together. I included in the chart BA-K, which is batting average when not striking out; BABIP, which is average on balls in play (i.e., when not striking out or homering); K/plate appearances; and BB/K ratio.
A few interesting notes:
-Manny and Babe Ruth are the only guys on the list to bat .400 career when not striking out. Without checking, they may be the only ones ever; Rogers Hornsby batted .391 when not striking out, Ted Williams .379, Ty Cobb .385 for the years when we have strikeout data (1913-28, during which he hit .367, a point above to his career average), Ichiro .369, Albert Pujols .375.
-Only Jeter and Clemente here top Manny’s .344 average on balls in play. Jeter’s got to be near the top of that list all-time (Cobb’s at .378 for the years we have strikeout data, Hornsby for his career is at .365, Ichiro .359, Pujols .321).
-Manny and A-Rod easily top the chart in stikeout frequency, not just totals, making their career averages that much more impressive.
-Clemente, unsurprisingly, has the worst BB/K ratio on the list, followed by Jeter and A-Rod; Ruth, of course, had the best.