Texas has a history known more for guys who strike out rather than pitchers that have high strikeout seasons. They have a history of producing great offensive players more so than the ability to develop pitching. In the late 80's and early 90's they had players such as Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Ruben Sierra, Sammy Sosa, Dean Palmer, Steve Buchele, and others come through their minor league system. That has continued to the present day with players such as Ian Kinsler, Hank Blalock, Joey Gallo, and Josh Jung having made their way to Arlington.
The history of offensive greatness is there, but this team also has had some very good to great pitchers wear the Texas Rangers red and blue. Here are the top 5 single-season strikeout leaders for the Texas Rangers. These are pitchers who were with the Rangers for entire seasons and accumulated all of their numbers that season for Texas.
#5 Fergie Jenkins 225 Strikeouts in 1974
Fergie Jenkins was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991 and is known mostly for his time spent in Chicago with Ernie Banks. In 1973 Jenkins was traded by the Cubs to the Texas Rangers. He was coming off his first non 20-win season since 1966. He won 14 games and lost 16 in 1973. His ERA jumped to 3.89 from 3.20 and he ONLY had seven complete games. The Cubs knowing he had just turned 30 decided to trade him to Texas.
Jenkins came to Arlington with a point to prove that his career was not over. He put together one of the greatest pitching seasons in Texas Rangers history. He won 25 games, had 29 complete games, lowered his ERA to 2.82, pitched 328 innings, and had 225 strikeouts. He helped turn around a team that had lost 105 games in 1973. In 1974 Texas won 89 and finished second place in the AL West.
Jenkins finished second in the Cy Young voting to the Oakland A's Catfish Hunter who had the same amount of wins and a lower ERA for the Oakland A's. Jenkins would pitch one more season in Texas in 1975 where he won 17 games and his ERA went back up to 3.93. Texas then traded Jenkins to the Boston Red Sox after the season.
Jenkins was traded back to Texas before the 1978 season and pitched four more seasons for the Rangers. None of those seasons measured up to what he did in 1974. Jenkins to this day still has the fifth most single-season strikeouts for the Texas Rangers for what he did in 1974, nearly 50 years later.