Thursday, March 12, 2009

Auburn By the Numbers

Baseball, as a sport, is obsessed with numbers. Thanks to fantasy baseball, Moneyball, and other various reasons, baseball has become the one sport that boil down almost every aspect of a player’s on field performance into mathematical minutiae. College baseball is no different and thanks to wonderful sites like Boyd’s World; discovering, analyzing, and breaking down teams is easier than ever.

Rankings

Not to anyone’s surprise, Auburn isn’t ranked by almost any publication that puts out a College Baseball poll (and there are a ton). Not even recieving votes in the polls the NCAA looks at which are: Collegiate Baseball; Rivals; USA Today/ESPN; Baseball America; and the NCBWA Poll.

But that’s not to say Auburn isn’t getting any love from the press. There is another baseball poll, though not officially recognized by the NCAA, that has had Auburn ranked since the pre-season: PING! America. They have Auburn listed as 24th in their Top 30 (which also includes Wednesday’s Opponent, WKU in at 30; Alabama at 27.

But those polls are really just opinion polls and vary wildly from Poll to Poll. Take Georgia and Virginia for example. Both are undefeated on the season (12-0 at press time) and in Power Conferences. UGA got a lot of preseason love, while UVA did not. Going in the poll order from above, here are where the schools rank:

UGA: 1, 2, 2, 8, 1

UVA: 18, 28, 23, UnRanked, 26.

The polls also have 3 different number ones amongst them (UGA, Texas, North Carolina).

So what about rankings based on numbers alone and not writers? That’s where Boyd’s World comes in and where Auburn does actually get some recognition.

Using Boyd’s Pseudo-RPI Auburn is ranked 12th and using the ISR (more on this later) Auburn is 31st. Both respectable numbers.

Stats:

The NCAA hasn’t listed full stats yet so we can only see how Auburn is doing against the other SEC schools (not good). They make it even more evident that we can hit, but we can also GET hit just as well and that hitting is usually just power hitting.

Offensively , Auburn leads the league in HRs (33), and RBI (124), Plate Appearances (630), At Bats (519), and is in the top 3 in Runs (134), Doubles (36), Triples (6), Total Bases (305), and Slugging % (.588).

On the downside, we also lead in Strikeouts (111) and are dead last in Stolen bases (8) and towards the bottom in Team Average and OBS (9th in both categories)

Defensively, the outlook is bleak. Auburn has pitched the most innings (135.1) and has given up the most runs (95), Most Hits (166), Doubles (40), Given up the most Errors (22), have the worst Opponent BA (.306) rank next to last in Walks Allowed (54), and staff ERA (5.45).

Yikes. Hopefully things can turn around soon once we start conference play on Friday.

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