Is Matt Davidson’s High Strikeout Rate a Cause for Concern?

Chicago White Sox slugger Matt Davidson has been impressing both coaches and fans alike with his hitting so far this season.

Davidson is batting .257 on the year with 35 RBI’s and most impressively leads the Sox in home runs with 14.

That’s four more then the next closest player on the roster.

While Davidson is raking at the MLB level, those home runs come at a price. He also leads the team in strikeouts (73) and strikeout percentage (38.8%).

So the question becomes: is such a high strikeout rate something to be concerned about, or is this just part of the growing pains of a young player?

Davidson spent three seasons in AAA ball. In 2014, his strikeout rate was 30.4 percentĀ and then in 2015 it was 31.7 percent. But there was some progress made. In the time he spent in AAA before getting called up this season, Davidson’s strikeout rate was down to just 26.4 percent.

The average strikeout ratio in MLB is around 20percent give or take a few percentage points, but also the type of hitter you are plays a part in how often strikeouts occur.

Players that hit for average or contact rather than power tend to have a lower strikeout rate while power hitters end up having a higher strikeout rate as a price for more home runs.

Giancarlo Stanton for the Miami Marlins had a strikeout rate of 29.9 percent in 2015 and 29.8% in 2016. So if you look at it from a power hitter viewpoint then Davidson isn’t all that far off from where he should be.

His average is .257 which is actually average for a batter. The extra 8 percent on the K-rate or so can just be attributed to a young player still adjusting to major league pitching.

Davidson so continue to develop into a solid offensive presence for the White Sox and the strikeouts unfortunately might always be a bit higher than the league average, that’s the nature of power hitters though.

At the end of the day Davidson is more than welcome in the White Sox lineup.

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