The swing and miss measurement — in many ways — can be looked upon as a good metric to see how good a pitcher’s “stuff” translates out on the mound. Strikeout records are being broken on a regular basis, and much of that can be chalked up to whiff rates. So, which pitchers in MLB had the highest and lowest Whiff% rates in 2022? Let’s take a look.
Highest Whiff% Rates
Here’s a look at the top 10 in Whiff% among qualified pitchers:
- Corbin Burnes (Brewers): 35.2%
- Shane McClanahan (Rays): 34.3%
- Gerrit Cole (Yankees): 33.9%
- Dylan Cease (White Sox): 33.2%
- Shohei Ohtani (Angels): 33%
- Carlos Rodon (Giants): 31.2%
- Robbie Ray (Mariners): 30%
- Shane Bieber (Guardians): 29.7%
- Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays): 29.4%
- Charlie Morton (Braves): 29.2%
2021 NL Cy Young award winner Corbin Burnes continued to carve up opposing hitters in 2022. The Brewers’ ace racked up swings and misses at a rate of 35.2%, best among qualified MLB pitchers and almost a full percent higher than Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan. The budding star, by the way, had a Whiff% rate of 34.3% for Tampa Bay in 2022.
The rest of the pack includes many of the game’s star aces. That includes White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease, who ascended to be a true ace in 2022. Cease finished with the fourth-best Whiff% rate last season, generating whiffs to a 33.2% clip.
Lowest Whiff% Rates
Now, here’s a look at the pitchers with the lowest Whiff% rates:
- Adam Wainwright (Cardinals): 16.9%
- Marco Gonzales (Mariners): 18.3%
- Cal Quantrill (Guardians): 18.5%
- Miles Mikolas (Cardinals): 18.5
- Cole Irvin (Athletics): 20.5%
- Kyle Freeland (Rockies): 20.8%
- Martin Perez (Rangers): 21%
- Jose Berrios (Blue Jays): 21.2%
- Jordan Lyles (Orioles): 21.9%
- Jose Urquidy (Astros): 22.3%
The headliner of this list of Cardinals right-handed pitcher Adam Wainwright. Wainwright sat among the bottom of the league’s pitchers in K%, thus making sense of the righty’s paltry 16.9% Whiff% rate.
Now, we should point out something interesting about the bottom ten pitchers in Whiff%. While one might assume that these low Whiff% rates would correlate with a high ground ball rate, don’t get too comfortable with that idea. Just two pitchers from the bottom 10, Miles Mikolas and Martin Perez, had GB% rates above the MLB average of 44.9%.