21 May 2012
Justin Upton got off to a slow start in 2012, as discussed here last week. One area that has been particularly frustrating for Upton and for Diamondbacks fans is that he has struck out looking a league leading 20 times through his first 39 Games. Upton's overall strikeout rate in 2012 has increased from 18.7% in 2011 up to 23.8% in 2012, but that is actually the same as his career strikeout rate. The difference in 2012 is that is that for his career, about 30% of Upton's strikeouts have been looking, while this year that rate has shot up to 53%.
Upton is tied for 15th in the National League in total strikeouts, but ranks #1 in the NL in strikeouts looking:
Among those in the Top 25 in strikeouts, Upton also has the highest percentage of strikeouts looking in the NL. He's one of only two players who are over 40% in strikeouts looking, and the only NL player over 50%.
Looking at Upton's previous stats on strikeouts looking, this rate of 53% is way over his previous numbers:
|Year||Strikeout Rate||% Looking||Total K|
Upton has only been swinging at 40.9% of the pitches he has seen this year, down from his career rate of 43.9%, and his high of 46.6% in 2011. He has been unhappy with the umpires' calls of balls and strikes for most of the season, but it is clear that he needs to do a better job of protecting the plate once he gets two strikes.