Billy Wagner

The all-time leaders in strikeouts per nine innings for pitchers under six feet tall:

  • Billy Wagner (11.92)
  • Pedro Martinez (10.04)
  • Antonio Osuna (9.23)
  • Rudy Seanez (9.13)
  • Doug Creek (9.08)
  • Scott Strickland (9.04)
  • Byung-Hyun Kim (8.63)
  • Jason Frasor (8.36)
  • Mike Holtz (8.36)
  • Juan Rincon (8.33)

All of those pitchers debuted after 1988. A look at the best strikeout pitchers under six foot tall prior to the 1980s shows that about half were relievers and half were starting pitchers. Seems if you’re short and can throw hard, teams are less likely to trust you in their rotation today than they ever have been in baseball history.