Despite the league’s invitation for contact, the main goal for pitchers is still getting a strikeout.
Sure, there are situations in which weak contact is also welcomed, but the most desirable outcome for a hurler is still getting a punchout.
There is no risk of the flyball falling for a hit or a home run, or the groundball getting through the infield.
When it comes to strikeouts, Atlanta Braves starter Spencer Strider is the master of the craft.
He is currently pacing all pitchers in MLB in the stat, with 36.
Here are your MLB strikeout leaders heading into today 👀🔥 pic.twitter.com/OrYa7u3BdC
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 20, 2023
He has three more than breakout star Pablo Lopez, and four more than two of the best pitchers of their generation: Jacob deGrom and Gerrit Cole.
Of course, this is nothing new.
Strider broke through the scene last year and helped the Braves win the NL East title.
In just 131.2 frames in 2022, he managed to strike out an incredible 202 hitters and finish with a strong 2.67 ERA.
He quickly developed in one of the league’s premier power arms.
His four-seam fastball has the so-called “rising” effect and clocks in at 98 mph on average.
That’s not too shabby: hitters have a hard time even making contact against him.
This season, Strider is picking up right where he left off, with a 2.45 ERA in 22 innings.
If the Braves win another NL East title, it will likely be because Strider managed to keep himself healthy and in top form.
He is a joy to watch and is already rivaling some of the league’s strikeout artists.NEXT: Matt Olson Now Compares To A Historic MLB Figure