Mark Reynolds of the Arizona Diamondbacks struck out for the 200th time in 2008 yesterday, breaking the previous record of 199, set last year by Ryan Howard (of Philly, not Scranton). Luckily for fans of Reynolds', the milestone K wasn't his last at-bat of the game ... because he was able to add another to his total. The record now stands at 201 strikeouts.
To grasp the enormity of the situation when it comes to Reynolds and his strikeout rate, consider that he only has appeared at the plate 601 times this season. He strikes out just over one third of the time he digs in. You can try to console yourself, if a Diamondbacks fan, with the 28 jacks and 96 RBI if you want ... but Reynolds OPS+ is 98, which means he's a below average hitter. He also has committed 33 errors in the field. You guessed it, that leads the majors ... and it ain't close (Edwin Encarnacion is second with 23).
We should point out that Reynolds himself recognizes the problem:
"Think about how much more productive I would be if I could put 20 more balls in play a year and drive in 20 more runs," Reynolds said. "It's my first full season and it's the first time I've played this many games and had this many ABs and a lot of young guys struggle.
"I've been able to be productive and yet struggle. It's tough to hit home runs, drive in runs and not strike out. It's kind of a Catch-22. A lot of players do it, but it's something I have to work on with my approach next year and come in and be ready and don't let it get in my head."
"I can't tell you how many times this year I've got to 3-2 and swung at ball four," he said. "It comes with growing up and being more experienced."
He makes a good point in that it is his first full season in the bigs. He also failed to mention that over the course of the entire season he played nearly every day and never made an adjustment. You'd like to see that adjustment early next season, because putting the ball in play only two-thirds of the time has prevented him from putting that awesome power to overly good use.
The DBacks also, obviously, have to address his defense as well.
The kid has huge power, for sure, but he's hurting the team with his excessive whiffing. Both in the box and at the hot corner.