Dodgers' Jansen sets Strikeout Record

Not long ago the Seattle Mariners spent something like $33 million signing left-hander Aroldis Chapman and his 101 mph fastball. The Cuban defector marketed his arm around the country. The Dodgers front office was more interested in acquiring real estate at the time but they now have a young flame-thrower of their own, Kenley Jansen, who set a new strikeout record of 16.1 K's per nine innings.

Under the guidance of überscout Logan White, the Dodgers have a reputation for success in converting position players into catchers. Russell Martin, Lucas May, Tony Delmonico and the recently departed Carlos Santana to name a few. This time they reversed the trend and converted Jansen, who was a catcher, into a pitcher.

And what a pitcher he is.

The Dodgers' rookie was lights-out down the stretch and finished the season by striking out 34 of the final 56 batters he faced and finished the year as the first pitcher in baseball history with more than 16.0 strikeouts per nine innings.

Here's the new all-time leaderboard (among pitchers with at least 40 innings):

                  YEAR     SO/9
Kenley Jansen     2011     16.1
Carlos Marmol     2010     16.0
Eric Gagné        2003     15.0
Billy Wagner      1999     15.0
Brad Lidge        2004     14.9
Jansen racked up 96 strikeouts in 53.2 innings while posting a 2.85 ERA and .159 opponents' batting average. Not bad for a 23-year-old rookie who was a good-field, no-hit catcher in the minors a few seasons ago.

The young man has been in the organization since his signing as a free agent in November of 2004 out of Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He didn't draw too much attention until he made the Midwest League mid-season all-star team in 2008 but then it was mostly his work behind the plate that sparkled since he finished the season with a .240 average and 72 strikeouts over 247 at-bats.

In 2008, working behind the plate for The Netherlands in the World Games, a dazzling video of him throwing out a base-runner drew hits on the internet for some time. But he finished the regular season with a .227 average at low-A Great Lakes.

Despite a five-year record of .229/.311/.647 in 258 games he was given every chance to excel. He had been sent to the Hawaiian League twice and as late as June, 2009, he was still catching, throwing a thunderbolt to second base like Zeus but hitting like Aphrodite.

As an amateur in Curacao, some international scouts had preferred him as a pitcher because of his arm strength and questioned his hitting ability.

So Logan White took away his catcher's mask and helmet and affixed a toe-plate to his shoe and led him out to the mound. He was only 21, but they had become convinced he would never hit in the major leagues.

Unbothered by the turnaround, he demonstrated a sizzling fastball for Inland Empire over the final weeks of the season, cruising at 94-96 and occasionally lighting up the speed gun with a 97-98 mph rocket.

With the 66ers he he stuck out 19 batters and walked 6 in 11.1 innings over 12 games. Pitching for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, Jansen only appeared in five games but punched out out nine of the 23 batters he faced over 4.2 innings.

In back-to-back appearances Jansen's fastball ranged from 94-96 and he threw his 79-82 mph breaking ball four times for strikes, including two swinging.

"When they told me that he was coming here and he was a converted guy, I was like, ‘Oh, no,' " Saguaros pitching coach Fred Dabney said. "I know he hasn't been pitching very long, but I tell you what, I was very surprised and pleased. He commands the ball a lot better than what I expected. Obviously the tools and the ability is there and he's got to polish some things up—little things—but he's fun to work with. He's a bright spot. I'm glad they put him on the mound."

The performance elevated him from a desperate catching suspect to the Dodgers 40-man roster and the Dodgers have invited him to their mini-camp in late January.

"He's got pretty good feel for his slider," said Dabney, the Brewers' high Class A Brevard County pitching coach. "His changeup's coming around but in time, when he gets to throw more innings, he'll develop those pitches. He's got a good feel for what he's doing—that's the key."

He worked under the watchful eye of Charlie Hough at Inland Empire and late in 2010 he was given a cup of coffee with the big club. He aced that chance and worn a permanent spot with his work in 2011.

As an aside, the kid that couldn't hit and was converted into a world-class pitcher got his first chance to bat in a major league game in 2011 and singled. The baseball gods seem to have a real sense of humor.

KENLEY CORRALES JANSEN
6-2 220 bb tr
Born- September 30, 1987 in Curacao

year  team    ave   obp   ops  gm   ab   r  h   2b 3b hr  bi sb
2005	GCLg   .304  .339  .781  34  102  16  31   9  1  1  18  1
	Ogden  .182  .250  .563   3   11   2   2   1  0  0   1  0  
2006	GCLg   .248  .362  .670  35  117  14  29   2  1  1  10  1   
2007	Ogden  .240  .345  .657  53  183  26  44   5  1  2  22  0
	GLks   .102  .169  .384  20   59   5   6   1  0  1   6  0
2008    GLks   .227  .298  .695  79  277  32  56  15  0  9  27  3
2009    IEmp   .262  .268  .571  26   89   7  18   6  0  1  11  0
	Alb    .185  .214  .399   8   27   1   5   0  0  0   2  0
------------------------------------------------------------------
 totals	      .229  .311  .647  258 835  102 1914 39  3  15  97  5

 Pitching
year	team   w-l  era  gm   gs  sv   in   h  bb  so   
2009    InE    0-0 4.63  12   0  0  11.2  14   6  11  
2010    InE    1-1  1.50  11  0  0  18.0  15   6  28
	Chat   4-0  1.67  22  0  8  27.0  14  17  50  
	L,A.   1-0  0.67  25  0  4  27.0  12  15  41
2011	Chat   1-0  4.50  56  0  0   6.0   2   3   9
	RCuc   0-0  0.00   2  2  0   2.0   0   0   4
	L.A.   2-1  2.85  51  0  5  53.2  30  26  96 

Minors		5-2  2.37  52  0  8  64.2  45  37  110
Dodgers		3-1  2.12  76  0  9  80.2  42  41  137
Jansen ranks on all-time list

In addition to his record strikeout rate, Jansen also earned the third spot in opponents batting average (.159) and fifth in hits per nine innings (5.04).

The complete list of Los Angeles and Brooklyn (Brk) relief records as well as the 2011 staff leaders:

 Relief records
(50+ innings minimum)

Wins--       
16-3 Ron Perranoski 1963
15-14 Mike Marshall 1974
14-1 Phil Regan 1966
14-3 Joe Black 1952
13-6 Clyde King 1951
13-8 Larry Sherry 1960

12-8 Charlie Hough 1976
11-0 Matt Herges 2000
11-4 Hugh Casey 1946
10-2 John Morrison 1929
10-2 Clem Labine 1955
10-2 Ed Roebuck 1962
10-3 Pedro Martinez 1993
10-4 Hugh Casey 1947
10-4 Clem Labine 1953

  2011 wins
4-3 Matt Guerrier
3-1 Matt McDonald
 Three tied with 2

  Saves--
55 Eric Gagné 2003  
52 Eric Gagné 2002  
45 Eric Gagné 2004  
44 Todd Worrell 1996  
43 Jeff Shaw 2001  

39 Takashi Saito 2007 
36 Jonathan Broxton 2009
35 Todd Worrell 1997  
34 Jeff Shaw 1999   
32 Todd Worrell 1995 
28 Jay Howell 1989  

27 Jeff Shaw 2000 
25 Jim Gott 1993  
25 Jeff Shaw 1998  
24 Jim Hughes 1954 (Brk)  
24 Takashi Saito 2006 

 2011 saves
21 Javy Guerra
 8 Jon Broxton 
 6 Kenley Jansen

  Opponents batting average--
.133 Eric Gagné 2003
.151 Takashi Saito 2008
.159 Kenley Jansen 2011
.165 Jonathan Broxton 2009
.167 Hong-Chih Kuo 2010

.177 Takashi Saito 2006
.181 Eric Gagné 2004
.188 Jay Howell 1988
.189 Eric Gagné 2002
.198 Tom Martin 2003

.196 Cory Wade 2008
.194 Hong-Chih Kuo 2008
.201 Ronald Belisario 2009  
.202 Guillermo Mota 2002
.202 Darren Dreifort 1997

.205 Mike Fetters 2000
.206 Guillermo Mota 2003
.207 Duaner Sanchez 2003
.209 Pedro Borbon 1999          
.209 Antonio Osuna 1997

  2011 OBA
.159 Kenley Jansen
.225 Blake Hawksworth 
.233 Matt Guerrier

  Earned Run Average--       
1.20 Eric Gagné 2003 (1.203)
1.20 Hong-Chih Kuo 2010 (1.199)
1.27 Jim Brewer 1972
1.40 Takashi Saito 2007
1.44 Steve Howe 1983

1.54 Jay Howell 1992
1.58 Jay Howell 1989
1.62 Phil Regan 1966
1.67 Ron Perranoski 1963
1.69 Hong-Chih Kuo 2008

1.70 Brian Holton 1988
1.75 Paul Quantrill 2003
1.80 Jim Grant 1968
1.88 Hugh Casey [Brk] 
1.89 Jim Brewer 1971

1.90 Tom Niedenfuer '83
1.91 Alejandro Peña 1988
1.94 Terry Forster 1978
1.95 Joe Beckwith 1980
1.97 Elias Sosa 1977
1.97 Eric Gagné 2002
1.97 Guillermo Mota 2003

  2011 ERA  
2.05 Mike MacDougal
2.85 Kenley Jansen
4.07 Matt Guerrier

  Games--     
106 Mike Marshall 1974
 89 Paul Quantrill 2003
 83 Joe Beimel 2007
 83 Jonathan Broxton 2007
 80 Tom Martin 2003

 79 Duaner Sanchez 2005  
 77 Charlie Hough 1976
 77 Jeff Shaw 2001
 77 Eric Gagné 2002
 77 Eric Gagné   2003

 76 Guillermo Mota 2003
 75 Scott Radinsky 1997
 75 Matt Herges 2001
 73 Antonio Osuna  1996 
 73 Rudy Seañez 2007

 74 Yhency Brazoban 2005  
 73 Jonathan Broxton, 2009
 73 Ramon Troncoso, 2009
 72 Bob Miller 1964
 72 Ron Perranoski 1964
 72 Todd Worrell 1996
 72 Giovanni Carrara 2005  
 (60 Jim Hughes Brk 1954)

  2011 games
70 Matt Gurrier
69 Mike MacDougal
51 Kenley Jansen

  Innings--      
208 Mike Marshall 1974
143 Charlie Hough 1976
129 Ron Perranoski 1963
128 Joe Black (Brk) 1952
126 Bob Miller 1964 
126 Dave Walsh 1990

125 Ron Perranoski 1964
125 Erv Palica 1948
122 Charlie Hough 1977
119 Ed Roebuck 1962
119 Larry Sherry 1960

117 Phil Regan 1966
117 Ed Roebuck 1960
117 Joe Shaute 1932
116 Les Webber 1943

  2011 innings
66 Matt Guerrier
57 Matt MacDougal
54 Kenley Jansen  

  Hits per 9 innings
4.04 Eric Gagné 2003
4.35 Hong-Chih Kuo 2010
4.62 Takashi Saito 2007 
4.73 Jim Brewer 1972
4.91 Alejandro Peña 1987

5.04 Kenley Jansen
5.21 Tom Niedenfuer 1983
5.21 Jonathan Broxton 2009
5.33 Takashi Saito, 2006
5.58 Eric Gagné 2004

5.86 Pedro Martinez 1993
5.91 Elia Sosa 1977
6.01 Eric Gagné 2002
6.09 Charlie Hough 1974
6.09 Jay Howell 1988
(6.37 Clem Labine, Brk, 1955)

  2011 H/9 innings
5.04 Kenley Jansen
7.64 Blake Hawksworth  
8.01 Matt Guerrier 

 Total strikeouts     
143 Mike Marshall 1974
137 Eric Gagné 2003
114 Eric Gagné 2002
114 Eric Gagné 2004
113 Pedro Martinez 1993 

107 Takashi Saito, 2006    
104 Ken Howell 1986
102 Tom Niedenfuer 1985
100 Charlie Hough 1976
 99 Guillermo Mota 6.69
 99 Jonathan Broxton 2007
 [80 Joe Black Brk 1952]

  2011 strikeouts 
96 Kenley Jansen  
50 Matt Guerrier 
46 Blake Hawksworth

  Strikeouts per 9 innings
16.10 Kenley Jansen
14.98 Eric Gagné 2003
13.50 Jonathan Broxton 2009
12.50 Eric Gagné 2004
12.46 Eric Gagné 2002

12.33 Takashi Saito 2006 
11.48 Jonathan Broxton 2008
11.48 Takashi Saito 2008
11.47 Jon Broxton 2006  
11.29 Darren Dreifort 2004

11.17 Hong-Chic Kuo 2008
10.95 Hong-Chic Kuo 2010
10.91 Takashi Saito 2007
10.86 Chan Ho Park, 1996
10.86 Jonathan Broxton 2007

10.20 Pedro Martinez 1993
 9.97 Antonio Osuna, 1997
 9.93 Antonio Osuna, 1997
 9.69 Jay Howell, 1988
 9.55 Jay Howell, 1986
 (6.63 Ed Roebuck Brk, 1957)

  2011 So/9 innings
16.10 Kenley Jansen  
 7.30 Matt Guerrier 
 6.79 Blake Hawksworth

  Walks per 9 innings
1.28 Jim Grant, 1968
1.55 Steve Howe, 1982
1.57 Steve Howe, 1983
1.62 Joe Shaute, 1932 [Brk]
1.68 Joe Moeller, 1971

1.69 Elia Sosa, 1977
1.70 Cy Moore, 1931
1.75 Eric Gagné, 2002
1.75 Paul Quantrill 2003
1.77 Cory Wade 2008

1.82 Takashi Saito 2007
1.85 Phil Regan, 1966
1.94 Jay Howell, 1991
1.95 Hong Chic Kuo 2008
1.96 Jim Gott, 1993

  2011 bb/9 innings
2.87 Blake Hawksworth
3.39 Matt Guerrier
4.37 Kenley Jansen   
 

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