Toronto Blue Jays’ All-Time Strikeout Leaders
The Blue Jays have been a franchise since 1977, and in that relatively short time, have been a winning franchise, with 2 world championships and 5 playoff appearances. And the Jays have fielded some great hitters as well as pitchers. So speaking of pitchers, here is a list of the team’s all-time Top 10 in strikeouts to date:
Dave Stieb (1658)—Dave Stieb pitched just about his entire career in Toronto, from 1979 to 1992 and again in 1998. He helped the Jays win their first title in 1992, and leads the team all-time in strikeouts with 1658. Stieb had his best overall season in 1984, when he went 16-8 with a 2.83 ERA and career high 198 strikeouts.
Roy Halladay (1385)—Roy Halladay has been one of the game’s best pitchers since coming into the league in 1998, and he’s been with the Jays for his entire career so far. Halladay has one Cy Young Award and has been in contention for the award just about every year. To date he has gone 141-68 which is incredible. He also ranks second in Jays’ history with 1385 strikeouts and counting. Halladay had a career high 206 strikeouts in 2008, but his best overall season was 2003. That year, Halladay went 22-7 with a 3.25 earned run average and 204 K’s and just 32 walks.
Jim Clancy (1237)—Jim Clancy pitched in Toronto for most of his career, from 1977 to 1988, and ranks third in franchise history with 1237 strikeouts. Clancy’s best season overall was 1987, when he went 15-11 with a 3.54 ERA with a career high 180 strikeouts.
Juan Guzman (1030)—Juan Guzman pitched for the Jays most of his career, from 1991 to 1998, and he ranks fourth in team history with 1030 strikeouts. Guzman had arguably his best overall season in the championship year of 1993, when he went 14-3 with a 3.99 earned run average and career best 194 strikeouts.
Pat Hentgen (1028)—Pat Hentgen pitched in Toronto most of his career, from 1991 to 1999 and again in 2004. He won the AL Cy Young Award in 1996, and ranks fifth in Jays’ history with 1028 strikeouts. 1996 was also Hentgen’s best season, with career best numbers in wins (20-10), ERA (3.22) and strikeouts (177).
Jimmy Key (944)—Jimmy Key pitched for the Jays most of his career, from 1984 to 1992, and was another “key” part of the 1992 championship team. Key may have had some of his best seasons with the Yankees, but he ranks sixth in Jay’s history with 944 strikeouts. His best overall season in a Jay’s uniform was 1987, when Key went 17-8 with a career low 2.76 ERA and 161 K’s.
David Wells (784)—Journeyman David Wells pitched for Toronto from 1987 to 1992, and 1999 and 2000. He ranks seventh in franchise history with 784 strikeouts, and Wells had a career high 169 K’s in 1999. But his best overall season was probably 2000 with Toronto, when Wells went 20-8 with a 4.11 earned run average and 166 strikeouts to just 31 walks in 229 innings of work.
Kelvim Escobar (744)—Kelvim Escobar pitched in Toronto from 1999 until 2003, and he ranks eighth in the team’s history with 744 strikeouts. Escobar has blossomed with the Angels, but his best overall season in Toronto was 2003, when he went 13-9 with a 4.29 ERA and 159 K’s.
Duane Ward (671)—Duane Ward pitched for Toronto most of his career, from 1986 to 1995, and he was mostly a reliever. Ward ranks ninth in Jays’ history with 671 K’s, and while he had a career high 132 strikeouts in 1991, his best overall season was probably 1993, when Ward went 2-3 with a 2.13 earned run average and 97 strikeouts, but also a career high and league-leading 45 saves.
Todd Stottlemyre (662)—Todd Stottlemyre pitched for the Jays most of his career, from 1988 to1994, and ranks tenth in franchise history with 662 strikeouts. Stottleymre became more of a strikeout pitcher later in his career with other teams, but he had his best season for the Jays in 1991, when he went 15-8 with a 3.78 ERA and 116 K’s.