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Archive for the ‘College Baseball’ Category

College Baseball – Finding a champion

Posted by cuorange on February 2, 2010

Since we are a little more than two weeks out from the beginning of college baseball, I thought I would slip in a post on the subject. In previous posts (and years) I have delineated the importance of defense in football and basketball. To recap – 9 of the last 10 BCS Champions in football have had top 10 ranked defenses and top 10 run defenses. In basketball, over the last 6 years the worst defensive efficiency rating of the national champion was 16.

The table below shows that 7 of the last 8 baseball national champions finished in the top 17 in fielding. Five of the 8 finished in the top 8, and 4 of the 8 finished in the top 5.

If you add in the fact that 7 of the last 8 baseball champions also finished in the top 22 in ERA an obvious pattern presents itself, with the exception of 2008 Fresno State of course.

Year Team Batting Slugging Fielding ERA
2002 Texas   99   65  5  2
2003 Rice  41  103  2  2
2004 Cal State – Fullerton   9  56  17  22
2005 Texas  80  74  3  4
2006 Oregon State  85  95  8  14
2007 Oregon State  162  129  2  11
2008 Fresno State  125  102  52  56
2009 LSU  78  34  16  9

Only one team finished in the top 10 in batting and won the championship (Fullerton in 2004). The highest rated slugging team was last years LSU coming in at 34th.

What this tells us is that pitching and defense are much more important than offense in college baseball today.

In many cases highly ranked offensive teams rolled into Omaha and left on the losing end to a better pitching and fielding team. Some examples: In 2002 Texas came in with the lowest batting average and second lowest slugging percentage of the 8 teams in Omaha. Yet, with a fielding percentage that was 5th in the nation and the 2nd ranked ERA they left as champions. In 2006 Oregon State had the lowest batting average and slugging percentage of the 8 teams in the World Series. However, the Beavers also came in with the second highest defensive rating of the 8 teams and an ERA that ranked 14th nationally. It was the first of two consecutive championships for the defensive and pitching minded club.

LSU finished the 2009 season with a 78th ranked batting average, but a 16th ranked fielding average and a 9th ranked ERA. They left as champions.

It’s important to note that the other team in the finals last year also met the criteria based on defense (8th) and ERA (2nd). However, Texas was such an anemic hitting team (206th in batting average) you understand why I predicted LSU to win the title.

So when judging the ability of your team to compete use these markers:
1) Defense = top 17 or better
2) ERA = top 22 or better
3) Batting and Slugging = top 100 or better

The numbers are compelling. Offense sells tickets while defense (and pitching) wins championships.

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Posted in College Baseball | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dan Pepicelli named pitching coach

Posted by cuorange on October 9, 2009

This is a few days old and it’s football season (isn’t it?) but I thought this may be worth a sentence or two.  Kyle Bunn took a patchwork staff without a superstar and turned them into a staff with the number 5 ERA in the country last year.  From all accounts Pepicelli is a good coach and a great guy, but he has his work cut out for him in replacing Bunn.

Posted in Clemson Baseball, College Baseball | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Tiger baseball loses Mounce

Posted by cuorange on September 29, 2009

Man, the Tigers are taking hit after hit. Mounce didn’t do a whole lot last year, but you have to figure he was in the plans for 2010 considering the losses the Tigers have already had this offseason.

Posted in Clemson Baseball, College Baseball | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Pitching coach Kyle Bunn headed to Bama

Posted by cuorange on September 12, 2009

This is a few days old, but it’s a huge loss.  In my opinion, Bunn had a ton to do with the Tigers having a top 5 ERA last year and will be sorely missed.

Add this to the loss of Dwyer, Stoneburner, and signee Madison Younginer and the Tigers have taken serious hits to their staff.

Posted in Clemson Baseball, College Baseball | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Tigers lose Dwyer and Younginer to pros

Posted by cuorange on August 15, 2009

Chris Dwyer

Chris Dwyer

It happens to most good college teams this time of year or earlier.  One or more of their top players sign with a big league club.  But, it doesn’t typically happen to a pitcher who just finished his freshman year.  Such is the case for Chris Dwyer and the Clemson Tigers. 

Dwyer had an up and down year for the Tigers, but there was never any question about his talent and that was proven true this week as he broke the record for a signing bonus for a 4th round pick.

Clemson signee Madison Younginer signed with the Boston Red Sox for $1 million after being selected in the 7th round and obviously won’t be playing for the Tigers.

Though I was looking forward to both of these guys playing for Clemson next year, when you sign good players these things are going to happen.  They happen all the time at the top schools across the country.  It’s painful in some respects, but a good sign in others.

Posted in Clemson Baseball, College Baseball | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

College Baseball Wrapup

Posted by cuorange on June 28, 2009

Some want to deny it. Others want to pooh-pooh it. But there’s no way around it and no doubt  it exists.  However, you can learn from it.

Once again this year, and for the 7th time in 8 years, the CWS Champ finished in the top 17 in fielding and top 22 in pitching.

Year Team Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
2002 Texas 5 2 99 65
2003 Rice 2 2 41 103
2004 Cal State – Fullerton 17 22 9 56
2005 Texas 3 4 80 74
2006 Oregon State 8 14 85 95
2007 Oregon State 2 11 162 129
2008 Fresno State 52 56 125 102
2009 Louisiana State 16 9 78 34

Texas would have obviously met this criteria if the Horns had won, but it was LSU’s defense in the championship series (only two errors) that vaulted the Tigers into the top 17 and kept the trend in order.

So next year, when your team looks like a champion in March and April, when you think they have what it takes, come back and visit CUOrange and we’ll give you the truth:  Contender or Pretender.

Posted in College Baseball | Leave a Comment »

Coming Soon

Posted by cuorange on June 26, 2009

The College World Series has come to an end and the two month summer dead period for college sports is in its early stages.  Typically that means fewer posts due to a corresponding decrease in activity (games!).
 
So what’s in store for the faithful readers of cuorange?  We’ve got several annual features and some new features in store for the near future.
 
1.      Our annual “Talent Level” survey for all ACC teams and select teams across the country that will give our readers an idea of the talent level of two deep rosters and gives the average fan an opportunity to see how their team and coaches are performing.  This also allows fans to see through the hype of “we have more talent than anyone” fallacy that permeates team specific web sites.
2.      A statistical look across 12 important areas and how certain of these statistics closely relate to winning championships and how others that are typically trumpeted as important are not in actuality.  We’ll track these through the year to give our readers a fact based look at whether their team is a contender or pretender.
3.      Our annual preseason poll (see sidebar to the right) where readers choose their choice for the BCS title.
4.      Final thoughts on college baseball.
5.      Have an idea?  Let me know what you want to see and read – I can’t promise I’ll do it all, but if the subject interest me and I have the time, I’ll do my best.

Posted in College Baseball, College Football, General | Leave a Comment »

CWS Finals

Posted by cuorange on June 22, 2009

Up to this point we’ve picked game by game and gone an amazing 9-3. If Fullerton hadn’t turned into an ACC team in Omaha the record would have been even better than 75%. For the finals we pick the winner of the series only.

College World Series Finals

Team Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging SoS Power Rating
Louisiana State 21 9 78 39 36 712.340
Texas 4 2 208 227 16 703.573

Posted in College Baseball | 1 Comment »

Friday CWS Games

Posted by cuorange on June 19, 2009

The annual ritual continues: The ACC gets multiple teams to Omaha and then they fall all over themselves to get eliminated. That’s one thing I can predict.

Record moves to 7-3.

Friday, June 19
Game 11

Team Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging SoS Power Rating
Louisiana State 21 9 78 39 36 712.340
Arkansas 62 40 264 156 3 640.021

Game 12

Team Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging SoS Rating
Texas 4 2 208 227 16 703.573
Arizona State 63 1 127 51 4 700.759

Posted in College Baseball | Leave a Comment »

Thursday CWS Game

Posted by cuorange on June 18, 2009

Virginia finds out just how contagious dookie britches are and goes home, dropping my record to 6-3.

June 18
Game 10

Team Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging SoS Rating
Arizona State 63 1 127 51 4 700.759
North Carolina 48 5 105 83 47 672.477

Posted in College Baseball | Leave a Comment »