#2 Yu Darvish 277 Strikeouts in the 2013 Season
Darvish was a Japanese sensation before Ohtani made his name known. He was the pitcher who overshadowed Daisuke Matsuzaka and led Japan to the 2009 World Baseball Classic championship. He was the pitcher who was desired by every organization. He was the pitcher in 2011 that the Rangers were seeking. He was to be the ace of the staff and help prolong this contending window for the Texas Rangers. In 2011 the Rangers won the bidding process for Darvish. He did sign with Texas for six years and made his debut in April 2012.
Darvish's rookie season he exploded on the scene. He had 16 wins, a 3.90 ERA, and 221 strikeouts. He made the all-star team, finished third in rookie of the year voting, and ninth in Cy Young voting. He was outstanding and gave flashes of what his career was going to be like.
He came into 2013 with not only high expectations, but also was carrying the hope of the Texas Rangers franchise in his right arm. He got off to a blazing start as he was one out away from a perfect game in his first start of the season. He struck out 14 in that game and was absolutely dominant against a young Astros squad. In 2013 had 12 double digit strikeout games. He lowered his ERA more than a point to 2.83. He won fewer games, but did surpass 200 innings for the only time in his career to this point. He finished second in Cy Young voting and made his second all-star team.
Darvish had another really good season in 2014, but was shut down in August of that season with elbow inflammation. Then in March of 2015 it was determined he would need Tommy John surgery. . The 277 strikeouts he had in 2013 still stand as a career-high for Darvish and the second-highest single-season strikeout total in Texas Rangers' history.