As for the K vs. other outs, I'm sticking to my position for now. I will be checking out that study in greater detail but my first impression is the plot graph thing is a "bad study" - far too many variables.
So you're saying that because the graph notes no correlation between Strikeouts and Runs scored, it's because other variables actually drive Run Scoring from an offensive perspective?
Well, darn. You're right. Strikeouts don't drive offensive Run Scoring. Non-Out events do.
What that author is telling you is that from an offensive perspective, K's do not matter. From a pitching perspective K's do matter because high K-rate pitchers tend to allow fewer non-Out events and thus are impacted less by them.
That's not at all counter-intuitive. Make few Outs and acquire many Bases and you're a good hitter regardless of how many times you Strike Out. Aquire many Outs and allow few Bases and you're a good pitcher regardless of how many Hitters you Strike Out.
It just so happens that Strikeouts are NOT indicative of negative Hitter performance. We can see that in the real-world examples of high-K hitters and teams who do a very good job of avoiding Outs and acquiring Bases.
If your contention was correct (ie. that Strikeouts are a negative offensive performance driver) we'd see very convincing evidence in that graph (ie. the RS plotting would very closely follow the line that charts K rate). But we don't. In fact, some of the top offensive MLB seasons are those in which the highest K rates occur.
But Strikeouts ARE indicative of positive Pitcher performance- but not because of the effect of Strikeouts on performance, but because high K pitchers tend to do a better job of acquiring Outs and preventing Bases.
That's not at all counter-intuitive, nor does Wilkins' study contradict itself in any way, shape or form. In fact, Wilkins' has used proper scientific method, has included over 50 years of real life performance data. He hasn't made up any wild scenarios or attempted to position a conclusion as his hypothesis.
But because his finding's don't match your belief system, it's a "bad study".