MLB: Which Pitchers Had the Highest Strikeout Rates in 2019?

With the 2020 season hopefully coming in the near future, we’re going to continue going over numbers from last year. Today, we are going to look at which starters and relievers had the highest strikeout rates in the game in 2019.

Highest K% From 2019

Before we get into the lists, we’re going to go over how we did the calculation. In order to calculate K%, we simply take the numbers of strikeouts a pitcher recorded, and divide that by the number of batters he faced. Our calculation, though, will look a bit different than other sites, as we took intentional walks out of the equation. This makes the rate a bit more precise since batters don’t face any pitches during an IBB.


In order to qualify for this list, a reliever must have thrown at least 50 innings, while a starter needed to throw at least 100 innings. With that said, let’s get into the lists.


Highest K% – Relievers


# Team Player K% 
1 Brewers Josh Hader 48.1%
2 Marlins/Rays Nick Anderson 42.3%
3 Padres Kirby Yates 41.7%
4 Blue Jays Ken Giles 40.1%
5 Mets Edwin Diaz 39.4%
6 Red Sox Matt Barnes 38.9%
7 Pirates Felipe Vazquez 38.1%
8 Athletics Liam Hendriks 37.9%
9 Giants Will Smith 37.6%
10 Astros Josh James 37.6%


Highest K% – Starters


# Team Player K% 
1 Astros Gerrit Cole 39.9%
2 Red Sox Chris Sale 35.6%
3 Astros Justin Verlander 35.4%
4 Nationals Max Scherzer 35.2%
5 Indians Mike Clevinger 33.9%
6 Rays Blake Snell 33.4%
7 White Sox Lucas Giolito 32.4%
8 Mets Jacob deGrom 31.8%
9 Diamondbacks Robbie Ray 31.7%
10 Cubs Yu Darvish 31.4%
11 Rays Charlie Morton 30.4%
12 Tigers Matthew Boyd 30.2%
13 Indians Shane Bieber 30.2%
14 Cardinals Jack Flaherty 30.0%
15 Nationals Stephen Strasburg 30.0%
16 Yankees James Paxton 29.4%
17 Dodgers Walker Buehler 29.2%
18 Brewers Brandon Woodruff 29.0%
19 Reds Sonny Gray 29.0%
20 Reds Luis Castillo 29.0%



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