Yesterday the Colonel and I discussed the rise of strikeouts in baseball. We talked about batters taking more pitches which leads to strikeouts. Fangraphs has also discussed that umpires might actually be improving calling balls and strikes. Another factor for the rise of strikeouts is that batters are swinging more outside of the strike zone.
Since 2007, the lowest O-Swing% has gone up 8%. In 2007, Luis Castillo had the lowest O-Swing% at 12.8%. In 2012, Kevin Youkilis had the lowest with 20.6%. In between those years the O-Swing% has steadily gone up. Maybe this is a factor in the rise of strikeouts? More players are swinging outside of the strike zone.
Or maybe I'm just full of crap and this has nothing to do with the rise of strikeouts.