Wednesday, June 3, 2009

2010 again

After I posted my analysis of the situation heading into next year, I've gotten all sorts of e-mails, message board comments and read the opinions of some others, which leads me to some further thoughts.

■ Rumor has it that Mr. Intensity, Greg Folgia, has some intense feelings about returning to Mizzou for his senior year. His return - or the the possible return of other Tigers whose draft status has dropped from their preseason expectations - would obviously change the whole equation for 2010.

Garrison McLagan is reportedly getting a lot of consideration for the 1st base job, which makes a lot of sense.

Brian Carr is reportedly transferring to Central Arizona, one of the top JUCO's in the nation (the same JUCO Ian Kinsler attended).

■ Predicting what will happen to a college team from one year to the next is a difficult task. I'll repost here my comments in that regard from Tigerboard, and the post that prompted it:

BruceInLA: Tiger Baseball 2010 - I'm pessimistic. Hope I'm wrong but the way I see it the Tigers will be fighting to stay out of last place in the B12 next year.

Here are some stats: The Tigers hit .272 as a team this year. Subtract the averages for the seniors, Coleman, Senne, and Folgia and the rest of the team hit .232 among them. And dig this, the rest of the team combined to hit THREE home runs. Gulp.

Pitching: The team had a combined ERA of 5.08. Subtract the seniors and Gibson and the rest of the team had a combined ERA 0f 5.91.

I realize there may be some impact jc's and freshmen coming in and perhaps Senne, Folgia, and Coleman all won't leave. Someone please give me a reason not to be so bummed out about our prospects for next year.

My answer:

Someone comes up with that same analysis every year, and every year, amazingly, freshmen become sophomores and sophomores become juniors and the result is they tend to get better.

Look at some real numbers:

After the 2007 season, the Tigers lost some very key players: Evan Frey, Brock Bond, Gary Arndt, John McKee. The 2007 team had a .283 BA. Without those guys, the BA would have been only .274. So, by your logic, 2008 should have seen a big drop in BA. But the 2008 team had a .301 batting average.

How did they do that ???

Well, a bunch of freshmen and sophomores boosted their averages from 07 to 08:

- Senne .289 to .347
- Lollis .294 to .339
- Coleman .282 to .295
- Folgia .111 (18 AB) to .293 (225 AB)
On the other hand . . .

If you look at 2008, and remove the players who left (Priday, Calvert, Pietroburgo, Fischer), the 2008 team average would actually have been .304 instead of the .302 it was. Go figure.

But then, without those 4, the 2009 team BA drops to .272

So you tell me. IF the Tigers lose those guys (which I'm not convinced they'll all be gone), will the ones stepping into their shoes maintain, get worse, or improve on their 2009 numbers?

I would bet money (if I was a betting man), that
Ryan Ampleman, given the chance to start regularly, hits better than .264
and and 1 HR

Conner Mach will likely raise his BA by at least 50 points from this year's .246

Michael Liberto, with a full year at D-1 under his belt, will probably up his average at least somewhat from .243

• And Gebhart, Turner, McLagan and Meyr, given more playing time (which they will get with all the holes in the lineup) will almost certainly improve their numbers.
Or they won't. The point is, you really can't tell anything for sure by that kind of math.


  1. So, without sounding negative, why would the kid you mention get particular attention at 1B over 5-6 other kids?

  2. I don't know the answer to that. I'm not a coach. It's just a rumor. There are 261 days between ow and Game 1 of 2010. That's plenty of time for all the candidates - at all the positions - to do their best to earn starting spots.