Drew Stubbs is one of only two players in major league history to strike out at least 200 times in a season. He accomplished the dubious distinction this past season, when he led the majors with 205 strikeouts.
Stubbs had a terrible offensive season, batting .243/.321/.364. Read that last number again. Stubbs slugged .364. Michael Bourne, a true lead off batter who hit two home runs, slugged .386.
Mark Reynolds set the single season strikeout record when he whiffed 223 times in 2009. Reynolds struck out 211 times in 2010 and finished second to Stubbs with 196 in 2011.
The difference between Stubbs and Reynolds is that the latter hits home runs and is, at least according to modern standards, productive.
The following table presents the 2011 strike out leaders and their home run totals:
PLAYER SO HR SO/HR
D. Stubbs 205 15 13
M. Reynolds 196 37 5
A. Jackson 181 10 18
A. Dunn 177 11 16
R. Howard 172 33 5
PLAYER SO HR SO/HR
C. Granderson 169 41 4
D. Espinsoa 166 21 8
M. Stanton 166 34 5
B.J. Upton 161 23 7
C. Pena 161 28 6
There is a strikeout epidemic occurring in today's game
Players such as Reynolds, Ryan Howard, Curtis Granderson and Mike Stanton hit home runs often enough to thwart those who criticize strikeouts. Drew Stubbs is among those players whose strikeout totals are unacceptable because they don't hit enough home runs.
Stubbs' teammate, Jay Bruce, is an excellent example of a player who strikes out too much but who is productive. Bruce hit 32 home runs and struck out 158 times, but Bruce had 97 RBIs and slugged .474. Not exactly Albert Pujols, but light years better than Stubbs.
Over a 162 game season, Stubbs averages 21 home runs with 195 strikeouts. His lifetime slugging percentage is only .406. The most home runs he hit in the minors was 12 in 2007.
A plus is that Stubbs can steal bases. He had 40 steals and was caught only 10 times in 2011, but his strikeouts decreased his chances of getting on base and stealing more bases. Based on his record in both the minors and the majors, it is unlikely that Stubbs will ever cut down on his strikeouts.
This is not a plea for Stubbs to hit more home runs or to cut down on his strikeouts. It is a recommendation that the Cincinnati Reds find him another home.
Stubbs was paid $450,000 in 2011. The Reds must not allow his low salary to seduce them into believing that he will develop into a productive player. The facts indicate that Stubbs is a poor hitter whose strikeouts hurt the team.
The 2011 Reds had a disappointing season. Although they managed to win 79 games, which in the mediocre National League Central was good enough for third place, the Reds are a team on the decline.
The great Joey Votto, wonderful Brandon Phillips and Bruce are really the only solid Reds' hitters. If Yonder Alonso continues to develop, there is no reason not to try to send Stubbs elsewhere. How about the New York Mets, who could use inexpensive outfield help?