Sunday, August 26, 2012

SEC Fan's Guide to Mizzou Baseball: The Typical Jamieson Team

Nine random thoughts on the typical Tim Jamieson team:
  1. Mizzou recruits heavily from the state of Missouri and areas not far across the border into Kansas, Iowa and Illinois.  The "close the borders" recruiting approach has become even more pronounced since Assistant Coach Kerrick Jackson took over as recruiting coordinator.

    The Tigers have, though, shown they have contacts and resources in Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, California, Louisiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Chicago area, among other places.  The current freshman class includes a player from Georgia.

  2. If Tim Jamieson believes in a player he has shown he will be very patient with him, even though everyone around him is wondering why he doesn't bench him in favor of someone else.  The same holds true for a strategy or long-term plan.  If he believes in it, he will not easily be turned aside from it.  Patience is key to understanding Tim Jamieson.

  3. Tim Jamieson schools his hitters in being patient at the plate, knowing that the average college pitcher has trouble getting ahead on the count and staying ahead.    Long time Tiger watchers will tell you that sometimes the Tigers can be too patient, watching too many strikes go by.

  4. The flip side of the patient hitting is that Jamieson's pitchers are drilled in the importance of getting ahead in the count and staying ahead.  "Fill the strike zone".

  5. As the season begins to wind down, the bullpen gets smaller.  No, not shorter, smaller. By mid to late April, those pitchers that have not met TJ's expectations of reliability simply disappear.  By the post-season, he has shown time and again that he would rather bring back a weekend starter on short rest to pitch an inning or two of late relief than resort to bringing in one of the relievers sitting at the far end of the bench.

  6. Speaking of getting smaller, in the past, Tim Jamieson's rosters tended toward being somewhat smaller in stature.  Jamieson is himself short-statured, and he quite clearly values the undersized player who is scrappy and productive.  However, after comparing the average height on MU's 2012 roster with that of a handful of other SEC squads, it turns out the Tigers are actually trending toward being taller than their opponents.

  7. In the era of the BBCOR bats, Jamieson and his assistants are focused on teaching batters to hit with the new bats and also on teaching the pitchers to pitch to the new bats.  An increased emphasis on fielding, butting and base running are all aimed at the philosophy of offensively playing to get one run in an inning (and take more if you can), and defensively limiting the other team to that one run (or less if possible).  Many of the struggles of the past two seasons are due to the coaches and players readjusting their approach to the game as defined by the new bats.

  8. Over the past few years, Tim Jamieson's teams have learned the secret to preparing for and being motivated to play in the conference tournament.  They played in the championship game of the Big 12 Tournament in 3 of the past 4 years, finally winning it in 2012.  They made it to the championship game in 2011 in spite of hitting only .249 as a team.  This learning experience could be a major step toward becoming a team that can regularly go deeper into the post-season.

  9. MU baseball coaches urge players to let pitch hit them (Columbia Missourian, April 2009)
It’s a philosophy that permeates through the Missouri baseball team from the coaches to the players, even down through the trainers: Take one for the team— let yourself get hit by a pitch.

“We really preach it. We talk about it all the time, and it’s something that’s important to our offense to be able to get on base,” said Tim Jamieson, coach of the MU baseball team.

Jamieson isn’t talking about taking extra batting practice or being patient at the plate. He’s talking about staying in the batter’s box when an inside fastball is thrown a little too inside, when it’s rocketing straight toward your thigh, or maybe your ribs.

He’s talking about taking one for the team — about letting players get hit by a pitch.

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