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PowerOfDixieland

Baseball Rankings - 3/19/18 Update

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March 19, 2018

RPI sitting steady this week at #1.  Strength of schedule heading toward the top, now at #16..

Baseball America - #6

D1 Baseball - #9

Perfect Game - #9

Collegiate Baseball News - #3

Win three out of four this week at Georgia Tech  and at Kentucky and the Tigers will be in everybody's top five.  Good week to make a statement.

Edited by PowerOfDixieland
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Still don't know what to make of this team.  The best win is obviously at South Alabama, but with everything else being at home against mediocre competition, it's tough to say what we've got on our hands.  The tools shown by some of the freshman are very encouraging, especially at the plate, but I worry about how they adjust against SEC pitching in a few weeks.

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3 minutes ago, Brad_ATX said:

Still don't know what to make of this team.  The best win is obviously at South Alabama, but with everything else being at home against mediocre competition, it's tough to say what we've got on our hands.  The tools shown by some of the freshman are very encouraging, especially at the plate, but I worry about how they adjust against SEC pitching in a few weeks.

Venters and Wright are nice JUCO additions.   Just looking at the stats....the team BA is not bad ....but considering the competition,  as you noted, we will see what it looks like in the SEC. 

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Have y’all watched ‘em?  They compete for every at bat, really seem to enjoy being at the park, push hard for playing time and have an excellent coaching staff. Undefefeated against competition better than you obviously think. SOS better than all but two other conference teams (USC and Vandy). 

Get on board, the golden age of Auburn baseball is here. 

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25 minutes ago, PowerOfDixieland said:

Have y’all watched ‘em?  They compete for every at bat, really seem to enjoy being at the park, push hard for playing time and have an excellent coaching staff. Undefefeated against competition better than you obviously think. SOS better than all but two other conference teams (USC and Vandy). 

Get on board, the golden age of Auburn baseball is here. 

I watch nearly every game.  More than that, I used to get paid to travel with and do play-by-play in the Minor Leagues.  I've seen a LOT of baseball and talked the game with more scouts than I can count, along with members of the Hall of Fame who happened to be coaching or acting as a roving instructor.  Basically, I'm not some random Joe talking baseball here.

My point stands.  SEC pitching is far, far different than anything they've seen to this point.  USA (our best win) is a good ball club, but that's also an offensive club first and foremost.  Same for everyone else we've played.  Now, I do think Burns should be our Saturday starter and the bullpen looks to be much improved.  And as you noted, our approach at the plate is better, but I still see some issues.  We tend to have a breakout game each weekend, but also have a game or two where we struggle to hit.  I'd like to see more consistency.

I'm also with you regarding the coaching staff.  To me, it may be the single best staff at AU in any sport right now.  But these freshmen and JUCO guys haven't been tested yet in an unfriendly environment or even against a decent P4 team (because who cares about Big 10 baseball).  I'm hopeful, but there's a lot to be seen, especially with our brutal conference schedule.

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And just to add that the USA game was a mid week game for both teams.....which usually means that we are not seeing a weekend pitchers from either side.  It was a great win for the RPI....but I'm not sure what it tells us.  JMO

We will know more this weekend....

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4 hours ago, Brad_ATX said:

...but I still see some issues.

I'd be curious to know specifically what/who you see as issues. 

P4 is a bit of a misnomer....there are about 20 teams outside of the big conferences that would give all those guys fits on a regular basis and another 20 that would be better than 50/50 in a one game match-up.  You know that...you'd be the first to mention Coastal Carolina '16.  SHSU last year.  Dallas Baptist, Southern Miss, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, Rice, Louisiana Lafayette, Southeastern Louisiana, Missouri State.  Hell, College of Charleston just swept Georgia this past weekend.  There is way more talent than just what's in the Big 12, Pac 12, ACC and SEC.

 

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10 minutes ago, PowerOfDixieland said:

I'd be curious to know specifically what/who you see as issues. 

P4 is a bit of a misnomer....there are about 20 teams outside of the big conferences that would give all those guys fits on a regular basis and another 20 that would be better than 50/50 in a one game match-up.  You know that...you'd be the first to mention Coastal Carolina '16.  SHSU last year.  Dallas Baptist, Southern Miss, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, Rice, Louisiana Lafayette, Southeastern Louisiana, Missouri State.  Hell, College of Charleston just swept Georgia this past weekend.  There is way more talent than just what's in the Big 12, Pac 12, ACC and SEC.

 

Oh there's definitely a ton of talent beyond the P4 and I was actually at the CWS in 2016 to see Coastal live and in person.  But we haven't scheduled those teams for weekend play this year.  The teams you listed are legit Super Regional contenders.  You can't say that about anyone on our schedule so far during weekend play.

As for issues, they're more generalized right now because the sample is still small.  Our hitters tend to get fooled by off speed stuff a lot more than they should.  We've been feast or famine so far on offense, which is where the consistency comment comes from.  1/3 of our games so far have seen an output of 4 runs or less, with three of those being against Sunday or mid-week starters from lower competition.  That's a troubling trend early, but I stress early.

Davis Daniel is a Sunday guy at best to me, and I'd actually argue that he's a better fit for the Tuesday role.  With our bullpen depth this year, I'd like to see us throw more guys longer innings on Sunday while using Mitchell as a starter.  It would give a lot of different looks to hitters on the final day of a series after facing two dominant right-handers.

Defense has been very good so far, which is a nice trend under Butch.  Again, I think we look good early.  I'm just not ready to read too much into our start yet.   With 8 games against A&M, UK, and Ga Tech coming up, we'll know a lot more about this team by the 25th of this month.

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1 hour ago, Brad_ATX said:

Davis Daniel is a Sunday guy at best to me, and I'd actually argue that he's a better fit for the Tuesday role.  

He had an MRI about a month ago.    Got hurt pitching over the summer on the Cape, limited through the fall, he hasn't been full speed since the middle of last season. He's got legit SEC stuff. I'd like to see Greenhill as a weekend starter and try Daniel in the closer role, but I'm not sure Butch is ready to throw two Freshman over the weekend.

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2 hours ago, Brad_ATX said:

We've been feast or famine so far on offense, which is where the consistency comment comes from.  1/3 of our games so far have seen an output of 4 runs or less, with three of those being against Sunday or mid-week starters from lower competition.  That's a troubling trend early, but I stress early.

Yeah, if you throw out the 25 run game, and the 21 run game, and the 15 run game, and the 13 run game it's even worse.

But as it stands over all games.....

4th nationally in on base percentage  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/589

Tied for 8th nationally in scoring.    https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/486

19th nationally in batting average.  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/210

14th nationally in hits   https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/484

11th in doubles  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/489

7th nationally in hit by pitch  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/500

7th nationally in base on balls  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/496

1st in W/L percentage  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/319

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7 hours ago, AU64 said:

And just to add that the USA game was a mid week game for both teams.....which usually means that we are not seeing a weekend pitchers from either side.  It was a great win for the RPI....but I'm not sure what it tells us.  JMO

We will know more this weekend....

I talked to one of their managers, and the guy that started is supposed to be their ace. Either way, pitching isn't their strong suit. They rely more on their offense. 

Edited by WarEagle2423

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8 hours ago, WarEagle2423 said:

I talked to one of their managers, and the guy that started is supposed to be their ace. Either way, pitching isn't their strong suit. They rely more on their offense. 

Noted last night that USA in midst of a five game losing streak....which we helped with.

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37 minutes ago, AU64 said:

Noted last night that USA in midst of a five game losing streak....which we helped with.

They've got the kind of (early) out of conference schedule @Brad_ATX is talking about.  Calvi loaded up on LSU, Auburn, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Indiana, Virginia Tech, Southern Miss, Louisiana Lafayette and Southeastern Louisiana.  And as mentioned above the '16 national champions (Coastal Carolina) are in their conference.  Jags just lost FOUR over the weekend in Lubbock to a Red Raiders team that will likely repeat as Big 12 champion.

Edited by PowerOfDixieland

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11 hours ago, PowerOfDixieland said:

Yeah, if you throw out the 25 run game, and the 21 run game, and the 15 run game, and the 13 run game it's even worse.

But as it stands over all games.....

4th nationally in on base percentage  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/589

Tied for 8th nationally in scoring.    https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/486

19th nationally in batting average.  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/210

14th nationally in hits   https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/484

11th in doubles  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/489

7th nationally in hit by pitch  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/500

7th nationally in base on balls  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/496

1st in W/L percentage  https://www.ncaa.com/stats/baseball/d1/current/team/319

I'm aware that we've had monster games on offense, but those still count for one win.  Consistency is the word that I keep coming back to.  And stats are great, but what do they look like against good pitching?  Being 7th nationally in HBP and BB is actually quite telling to the quality of pitching we've faced so far.  Those two stats alone show that we've faced guys who either can't get the ball across the plate or ahead in the count.

Again, I think we're going to be a very good club by the end of the year.  I'm just not ready to anoint this team as anything more than a regional contender until I see it done offensively against better competition.  And I say offense because I believe 2/3 of our weekend rotation + the top portion of the bullpen are all very, very good.

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2 hours ago, PowerOfDixieland said:

They've got the kind of (early) out of conference schedule @Brad_ATX is talking about.  Calvi loaded up on LSU, Auburn, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Indiana, Virginia Tech, Southern Miss, Louisiana Lafayette and Southeastern Louisiana.  And as mentioned above the '16 national champions (Coastal Carolina) are in their conference.  Jags just lost FOUR over the weekend in Lubbock to a Red Raiders team that will likely repeat as Big 12 champion.

Yeah, that USA schedule is brutal.  The Sun Belt is no joke for baseball either once they get to conference play.  Coastal, Troy, USA, LA Lafayette, and Texas State are all really good clubs.

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RPI sure likes Auburn, checking in at number 3 this morning. Three games this weekend against Northeastern who is currently sitting at #12.

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On 3/7/2018 at 9:26 AM, PowerOfDixieland said:

RPI sure likes Auburn, checking in at number 3 this morning. Three games this weekend against Northeastern who is currently sitting at #12.

Northeastern split a 4 game series with Mizzou. Will probably be our best test for a weekend series so far.  I've liked how the schedule has gotten progressively more difficult as we get closer to conference play.

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SIAP, there is a Glavine connection with Northeastern...Peyton's uncle (Tom's brother) is Mike Glavine, their head coach.

 

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5 minutes ago, ellitor said:

Hey @PowerOfDixieland you forgot to put the most important ranking in the OP. The RPI of which AU is #1 as stated above.

http://warrennolan.com/baseball/2018/rpi-live

Done...thanks for the heads up.

I saw we went to 2 before I passed out last night...yesterday was exhausting.  Pretty low mid-afternoon after what happened in St. Louis, then near ecstasy last night.

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3 other national rankings also for perusing.

National Collegiate Baseball Writers   #17
USA Today Coaches Poll  #15
Reddit: Can't find the actual poll but per infographic from Mr. Everything College Baseball @AUPPL on twitter we are #16. He's a must follow for any AU or SEC Baseball fan BTW.

 

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22 minutes ago, PowerOfDixieland said:

Done...thanks for the heads up.

I saw we went to 2 before I passed out last night...yesterday was exhausting.  Pretty low mid-afternoon after what happened in St. Louis, then near ecstasy last night.

I feel ya brother. I just wanted to get submerged in AU baseball & softball after the mess in St. Louis.

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For the week starting March 12th

RPI - 3

Baseball America - 13

D1 Baseball - 15

Perfect Game - 14

Collegiate Baseball News - 5

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And for all the complaints about how weak the schedule has been, with one OOC game prior to SEC play beginning, our SOS is 17th. Best in the conference. 

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