Nolan Ryan is the all-time leader in career strikeouts.
This list is for pitchers. For career strikeouts by batters, see List of Major League Baseball career strikeouts by batters leaders

The following list is of the top 100 pitchers in career strikeouts in Major League Baseball. In baseball, a strikeout occurs when the batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. Strikeouts are associated with dominance on the part of the pitcher and failure on the part of the batter.

Nolan Ryan[1][2][3] has the most career strikeouts in Major League Baseball. During a record 27-year career, he struck out 5,714 batters. The American League record is held by Roger Clemens[4] (4,167 strikeouts),[5] while in the National League, the record is 4,000 by Steve Carlton.[6][7]

The parentheses adjacent to an active player denote the number of strikeouts in the current season. The last change in the cutoff for the top 100 occurred on March 30, 2023, when Gerrit Cole struck out his 1,943rd batter, displacing Danny Darwin.

List

Max Scherzer is the active leader and 11th all-time in career strikeouts.
Denotes elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bold Denotes active player (with 2024 season strikeouts shown).

A player is considered "inactive" if he has not played baseball for one year or has announced his retirement.

Rank Player K
1 Nolan Ryan 5,714
2 Randy Johnson 4,875
3 Roger Clemens 4,672
4 Steve Carlton 4,136
5 Bert Blyleven 3,701
6 Tom Seaver 3,640
7 Don Sutton 3,574
8 Gaylord Perry 3,534
9 Walter Johnson 3,508
10 Greg Maddux 3,371
11 Max Scherzer (0) 3,367
12 Phil Niekro 3,342
Justin Verlander (0) 3,342
14 Ferguson Jenkins 3,192
15 Pedro Martínez 3,154
16 Bob Gibson 3,117
17 Curt Schilling 3,116
18 CC Sabathia 3,093
19 John Smoltz 3,084
20 Zack Greinke (0) 2,979
21 Clayton Kershaw (0) 2,944
22 Jim Bunning 2,855
23 Mickey Lolich 2,832
24 Mike Mussina 2,813
25 Cy Young 2,803
26 Frank Tanana 2,773
27 David Cone 2,668
28 Chuck Finley 2,610
29 Tom Glavine 2,607
30 Warren Spahn 2,583
31 Bob Feller 2,581
32 Tim Keefe 2,564
33 Cole Hamels 2,560
34 Jerry Koosman 2,556
35 Javier Vázquez 2,536
36 Bartolo Colón 2,535
37 Félix Hernández 2,524
38 A. J. Burnett 2,513
39 Christy Mathewson 2,502
40 Jon Lester 2,488
41 Don Drysdale 2,486
42 Jack Morris 2,478
43 Mark Langston 2,464
44 Jim Kaat 2,461
45 Sam McDowell 2,453
46 Andy Pettitte 2,448
47 Jamie Moyer 2,441
48 Luis Tiant 2,416
49 Dennis Eckersley 2,401
50 Kevin Brown 2,397
Rank Player K
51 Sandy Koufax 2,396
52 Charlie Hough 2,362
53 Robin Roberts 2,357
54 Early Wynn 2,334
55 Rube Waddell 2,316
56 Juan Marichal 2,303
57 John Lackey 2,294
58 Dwight Gooden 2,293
59 Lefty Grove 2,266
60 Eddie Plank 2,246
61 Tommy John 2,245
62 James Shields 2,234
63 Jim Palmer 2,212
64 Jake Peavy 2,207
65 Adam Wainwright 2,202
66 David Wells 2,201
67 Grover Cleveland Alexander 2,198
68 Chris Sale (0) 2,189
69 Vida Blue 2,175
70 Camilo Pascual 2,167
71 Tim Wakefield 2,156
72 Gerrit Cole (0) 2,152
73 Dennis Martínez 2,149
74 Roy Halladay 2,117
75 Kevin Millwood 2,083
76 Bobo Newsom 2,082
77 Tim Hudson 2,080
78 David Price 2,076
79 Ryan Dempster 2,075
80 Fernando Valenzuela 2,074
81 Madison Bumgarner (0) 2,070
82 Dazzy Vance 2,045
83 Rick Reuschel 2,015
84 Orel Hershiser 2,014
85 Dan Haren 2,013
86 Catfish Hunter 2,012
87 Andy Benes 2,000
88 Billy Pierce 1,999
89 Kevin Appier 1,994
90 Johan Santana 1,988
91 Red Ruffing 1,987
92 John Clarkson 1,978
Ervin Santana 1,978
94 Liván Hernández 1,976
95 Al Leiter 1,974
96 Bob Welch 1,969
97 Kenny Rogers 1,968
98 Whitey Ford 1,956
99 Bobby Witt 1,955
100 Amos Rusie 1,950


See also

References

  1. ^ "Nolan Ryan Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  2. ^ Boston, Talmadge. "Nolan Ryan Bio". Society For American Baseball Research. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  3. ^ "Nolan Ryan Hall of Fame Profile". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  4. ^ "Roger Clemens Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  5. ^ "Player Pitching Season & Career Finder: Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, In the Regular Season, since 1871, Playing in the AL, requiring Strikeouts >= 3000, sorted by greatest Strikeouts". Stathead. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  6. ^ "Steve Carlton Career Stats". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  7. ^ "Player Pitching Season & Career Finder:Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, In the Regular Season, since 1871, Playing in the NL, requiring Strikeouts >= 3000, sorted by greatest Strikeouts". Stathead. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  8. ^ MLB.com – Career Leaders for Strikeouts