On Wednesday the Brewers answered one of the biggest questions of the offseason: Who's on first? The answer to that is, now, Chris Carter. Apparently A's fans took to calling him "Trogdor: The Burninator," as did Astros fans. This has nothing to do with anything, but I find it very amusing. Carter is known for two things: Home runs and strike outs. Yesterday to celebrate the signing I took a look at his 88th career home run. To tie in with our Opening Day countdown I decided to look at the other thing Carter does well. So we're going to look at the game in which he recorded his 87th career strikeout.
It took Chris Carter until his 6th major league season to get his 88th home run--though just his fourth full season. Unsurprisingly it wouldn't take nearly as long to get to the featured strikeout. In fact, he wouldn't even play in a full season until the following year.
It was in his third season with the Athletics that Carter swung and missed for the 87th time. That first season he played in 24 games, went to the plate 78 times, and struck out 21 times. The second season he played in 15 games, got 46 plate appearances, and struck out 20 times. That third season he played in 67 games, made 260 plate appearances, and struck out 83 times.
The game in question was against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 25th, 2012. Jeremy Hellickson started that game. If you're familiar with his career you find it no surprise to learn he allowed 2 home runs in that. Furthermore, as you're now well aware of Chris Carter's prolific power, you'll no doubt find it unsurprising that one of those home runs belonged to him. According to FanGraphs, Carter's home run contributed the highest WPA (Win Probability Added). It was his only hit of the game.
But he also only had the one strike out. That came in the third inning. It was a strike out looking. Even still, his home run made his offensive day a good one and worth 237 wRC+. That's why strike outs don't really phase me all that much. If you can add more good than bad it's okay.
And as a side note, we joke about Carter being power and nothing else, but that's not true. He does have a staggering career .235 ISO, but he also draws a sizable amount of walks. His career walk rate is 11.5%. So he mitigates his K% with a strong walk rate and huge power. I'm very interested to see what he'll bring to the table in 2016.