Arizona Diamondbacks All-Time Strikeout Leaders
The Arizona Diamondbacks were an expansion team in 1998, so they have only been around a little over a decade as I write this in 2009. But unlike the Tampa Bay Rays, who took ten seasons to become competitive, the D-Backs made the playoffs in 1999 and have been mostly competitive. One of the big reasons was that they signed The Big Unit, Randy Johnson, among others. Johnson had arguably the four best seasons of his career in Arizona, winning an unprecedented four straight Cy Young Awards and helping lead the D-Backs to a title in 2001. Here is a list of the Top 5 D-Backs’ pitchers in strikeouts:
Randy Johnson (2077)—Randy Johnson has had a brilliant career, with 300 wins and almost 5000 strikeouts. But he’s had his best seasons in Arizona, where he pitched from 1999 to 2004 and again in 2007 and 2008. Johnson’s four-year stretch between 1999 and 2002 was one of the greatest runs in baseball history, as he went 81-27 with a 2.48 ERA and 1417 strikeouts (an AVERAGE of 354 per season). Johnson leads the D-Backs all-time with 2077 strikeouts, and while the Big Unit won four straight Cy Young Awards and his career high of 372 K’s was with the Diamondbacks in 2001, that wasn’t even his best overall season. In 2003, Johnson went an astonishing 24-5 with a 2.32 ERA and 334 strikeouts, leading the league in wins, ERA and K’s. Simply amazing, and clearly Johnson is one of the great pitchers of his generation.
Brandon Webb (1065)—Brandon Webb is no slouch either, and since coming into the league in 2003 (all with Arizona), he’s also won a Cy Young and finished twice in the voting two times. Webb ranks second in franchise history with 1065 strikeouts as I write this, and his career high was 194 K’s in 2007. But Webb’s best season overall was 2008, when he went 22-7 with a 3.30 ERA and 183 strikeouts.
Curt Schilling (875)—It’s hard to believe the D-Backs had a 1-2 punch of Johnson and Curt Schilling, but they did, and it’s a big reason they won a title in 2001. Schilling had some of his best seasons in Arizona, where he pitched from 2000 to 2003. Over that span, Schilling racked up 875 strikeouts, which ranks him third in Diamondbacks’ history. Schilling had one of his best seasons in 2002 in Arizona, when he went 23-7 with a 3.23 ERA and 316 K’s. But he finished second in the Cy Young voting that year to a guy named Johnson.
Miguel Batista (454)—Journeyman Miguel Batista had two stints with Arizona, from 2001 to 2003 and again in 2006. Batista ranks fourth in team history with 454 strikeouts, and he had one of his best seasons for the D-Backs in 2003, when he went 10-9 with a 3.54 earned run average, and career high 142 strikeouts.
Brian Anderson (410)—Brian Anderson wasn’t a strikeout pitcher per se, but he racked up 410 during his time in Arizona, from 1998 to 2002. Anderson had his best season in 2000, when he went 11-7 with a 4.05 ERA and career best 104 K’s.