All Time National League Whiff Leaders By Team
When looking at strikeout leaders by team for the National League, I fully expected to see more old-school names I'd never heard of or had never seen play. But this list is full of contemporaries, or at least players many of us have seen on the field over the past 30 years. Hope you enjoy!
Arizona Diamondbacks-Luis Gonzalez
Luis Gonzalez was one of the best hitters the D-backs ever fielded (well, in their decade-long existence anyway). Playing for them from 1999-2006, Gonzalez hit 224 homers and batted .298 over that span. But he also leads the franchise all-time with 580 strikeouts. In 2005, Gonzalez had his highest strikeout total with Arizona, whiffing 90 times in 579 at-bats. Still a good ratio, but his longevity with the team is what likely landed him on this list.
Houston Astros-Craig Biggio
Craig Biggio will always be known as one of the more underrated players in baseball history. Playing ball in Houston for 20 years will do that. That's where Biggio has played his entire career, and 2007 is his final season as he plans to retire. But Biggio is a gritty player with a lifetime .282 average, 3029 hits, 663 doubles and 290 home runs. He also leads the Astros all-time with 1727 strikeouts. In 2003, Biggio had a career high of 116 whiffs, but only had 100 or more in six seasons.
Atlanta Braves-Dale Murphy
Dale Murphy was a Braves legend that played almost his entire career in Atlanta, from 1976-1990. Over that time, Murphy clubbed 371 homers and drove in 1143 runs. But he also struck out a franchise leading 1581 times. Despite winning the NL MVP Award in both 1982 and 1983, Murphy had a penchant for striking out, and in 1978 fanned a career high of 145 times. He also had 10 seasons with 100 or more strikeouts.
Milwaukee Brewers-Robin Yount
Robin Yount was pretty much a contact hitter who didn't strike out a lot. But he played a long time, from 1974-1993, all in a Brewers uniform. So it's no surprise that he leads the franchise all-time in strikeouts at the plate with 1350. Yount had a career batting average of .285 with 251 homers and 3142 hits. In 1987, Yount struck out a career-high of 94 times despite a .312 batting average.
St. Louis Cardinals-Lou Brock
Most people know Lou Brock as a base-stealing machine. But few know that he was a free swinger at the plate, which is what likely landed him on this list with 1469 career strikeouts in a Cardinals uniform, to lead the franchise all-time. Brock had a batting average of .297 with the Cards, with 2713 hits and 888 stolen bases. But he also had seven seasons with 100 or more whiffs, including a career high of 134 in 1966.
Chicago Cubs-Sammy Sosa
If you're a Cubs fan, Sammy Sosa probably still has a special place in your heart despite potential steroid allegations and corked bat incidents. After all, Sosa leads the Cubbies all-time with 545 home runs. But he also swung and missed a lot, and over his career with the team (1992-2004) became the franchise leader by striking out 1815 times. In 1997, Sosa struck out a career high of 174 times, and even while hitting 66 homers and 63 homers, respectively, in 1998 and 1999, Sosa struck out 171 times both seasons. Sosa went on to play for Baltimore and after a year out of baseball in 2006, is currently with the Texas Rangers.
Los Angeles Dodgers-Duke Snider
Duke Snider leads the Dodgers' franchise in lifetime home runs with 389, and also leads the team in strikeouts with 1123. Snider played most of his career with the Dodgers, beginning in Brooklyn in 1947 and running through 1962 in Los Angeles. Snider was a great hitter who never struck out more than 104 times in a season (1957), so the fact that he landed on here is more a product of his longevity with the Dodgers.
San Francisco Giants-Willie Mays
With 646 career home runs and a resume as one of the greatest players who ever lived, there's bound to be at least some blemish on the Hall of Fame career of the great Willie Mays. And that may be that in his tenure with the Giants (1951-1972) he became the franchise leader in strikeouts with 1436. Still, Mays hit .304 as a Giant with 3187 hits, and only struck out more than 100 times once in his illustrious career (123 in 1971).
Florida Marlins-Derrek Lee
While Derrek Lee's career seemed to take off once he left the Marlins, he had a few great seasons there in his tenure (1998-2003), clubbing 129 homers and helping the team to a World Series title in 2003. But Lee also leads the franchise all-time in strikeouts with 734. In 2002, Lee struck out a career-high of 164 times, and had over 100 every season in Florida except for 1999 when he played in only 70 games. Lee is currently with the Chicago Cubs.
New York Mets-Darryl Strawberry
Darryl Strawberry may always be one of those players who could have been one of the greatest ever, but never quite reached his potential because of various off-the-field problems. But between the lines, this guy could mash, and he leads the Mets all-time with 252 homers. But Strawberry also leads the franchise with 960 strikeouts. In 1986, the year the Mets won their last World Championship, Strawberry whiffed a career high of 141 times, and his low season total with the team was 96 in 1985. Strawberry went on to play for the Dodgers, Giants and Yankees before retiring in 1999.
Washington Nationals-Tim Wallach
Tim Wallach is one of those players who was mostly under the radar, because he played north of the border in Montreal for most of his career (1980-1992). Wallach amassed 204 homers and 1694 hits over that time, but also leads this franchise (now the Washington Nationals) all-time with 1009 strikeouts. Wallach was, for the most part, a contact hitter, so it's no surprise that he never had more than 101 whiffs in one season (1984) and only one other season with 100 (1991). He went on to play for the Dodgers and Angels before retiring in 1996.
San Diego Padres-Nate Colbert
Most people know Nate Colbert for his time in San Diego (1969-1974) but he also played for the Astros, Tigers, Expos and Athletics before retiring in 1976. But in his time with the Padres, Colbert clubbed 163 homers with 481 RBI. He also struck out a franchise leading 773 times. His career high with the team was 150 in 1970, and Colbert never had a season in San Diego with less than 108 whiffs.
Philadelphia Phillies-Mike Schmidt
Mike Schmidt is one of the greatest players of all-time, in Philadelphia or otherwise. His 548 career homers ranks him high on the all-time list, and he played his entire career in Philly (1972-1989). Schmidt also had 1595 RBI and 2234 hits, but struck out 1883 times to lead the Phils' franchise career-wise. He also struck out more times earlier in his career, including a career-high of 180 in 1975. Schmidt had 12 seasons of 100 or more whiffs as well.
Pittsburgh Pirates-Willie Stargell
Willie "Pops" Stargell was one of the most beloved Pittsburgh athletes of all-time, and he played his entire career in a Pirates uniform (1962-1982). Stargell hit 475 homers with 1540 RBI and a career batting average of .282. But he also struck out 1936 times, the highest total for any franchise-leader in this category. And though some of that is because of a long career with one team, Stargell did have 13 seasons with 100 or more strikeouts, including a career high of 154 in 1971. Stargell also hit a career high of 48 home runs in 1971. He sadly passed away from a stroke in 2001 at the age of 61.
Cincinnati Reds-Tony Perez
Many people consider Tony Perez overrated, because he played on The Big Red Machine with a stacked lineup alongside guys like Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey and George Foster. But Perez, who played for the Reds for most of his career (1964-1976 and 1984-1986), did hit 287 lifetime home runs in Cincinnati with 1192 RBI. He also struck out a franchise leading 1306 times, including a career high of 134 in 1970. Perez also played for the Red Sox, Expos and Phillies during his career.
Colorado Rockies-Todd Helton
The steady Todd Helton has played his entire career in Colorado, from 1997 through the present, and remains one of the game's most prolific hitters. Helton has a career batting average of .330 with 297 homers, 1062 RBI and 1815 hits. He also unfortunately leads the Rockies all-time with 743 strikeouts. Mostly a contact hitter who is cursed in this regard by his longevity in Denver, Helton's single season high in whiffs was 104 in 2001, the same year he belted a career high of 49 homers.