Will Atlanta Braves Set MLB All-Time Strikeout Record in 2022?

Guillermo Heredia of the Atlanta Braves plays with a toy sword. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)
Guillermo Heredia of the Atlanta Braves plays with a toy sword. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Braves Dansby Swanson
Dansby Swanson (Photo by Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Braves Fifth-Worst Strikeout Offender – Dansby Swanson

Dansby Swanson has struck out in 30.9% of his PAs this season. How does that compare to his track record?

Through the 2019 season, Swanson had never exceeded a 23% strikeout percentage. Since the beginning of the 2020 season, Dansby has carried a 26.8% strikeout percentage. In addition to the increased K-rate, he brought along an increase in power. Over that same time, his slugging percentage is considerably higher.

A Tale of Two Dansbys

2016-2019: .245/.318/.385, 84 OPS+, 22.5 K%, PA/HR Ratio: 44.35
2020-2022: .258/.324/.452, 102 OPS+, 26.8%, PA/HR Ratio: 25.53

As you can see, there is a conspicuous difference in the power numbers. As the K-rate has risen, so has his production at the plate. If Dansby can maintain his increased power and overall production at the plate, a 26.8% strikeout rate is digestible. Let’s hope his power numbers hold up by the end of the season.

It doesn’t seem very likely that his current strikeout numbers will carry through the season. He is a streaky hitter. He has hot streaks and cold streaks. In the month of May, Dansby is slashing .315/.374/.528 with a strikeout percentage (26.3%) more in line with what he’s done since 2020. 

Over his last 10 games, Swanson has posted a 1.068 OPS and struck out just five times in 42 plate appearances. He’s bringing that strikeout percentage down on the daily. Dansby will do his part to prevent the Braves from reaching this undesirable milestone.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the next player.