Bats, BBCOR, Future Faces, and Hall of Famers
I should probably just rename this post: "Math makes my brain hurt". The AU-fficial site released a new video where Coach Pawlowski and Kevin Patterson talk about fall ball. You can watch it here. (Side Note: C"mon Auburn. Let us be able to embed SOME video). Some quick highlites of the video include Paws talking about new faces and mentions (briefly) competition and seeing Mitchell Self and Tony Caldwell take bunting practice.The biggest thing is Paws mentioning the new bats. If this is the first time you've heard about the new bat regulations, you aren't the only one. The NCAA hasn't really done a good job of publicizing the changes. Yet, these changes will dramatically change the 2011 season. Some basic bullet points:
- All Baseball Bats used in the 2011 must be certified by the UMass-Lowell Baseball Research Center (UMLBRC).
- All Bats must follow/adhere to NEW guidelines and no bats can be "grandfathered" in.
- This new guideline is the Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) Protocol and replaces the old guidliens (Ball Exit Speed Ratio, or BESR Protocol)
- All of these new regulations do a number of things such as : Making the bats safer, reducing the "livelihood" of the metal bats, and making the bats more like Wood Bats.
- BBCOR will become the buzzword because effective January 1, 2011 ALL NCAA bats must be BBCOR certified.
- Once bats are BBCOR Certified they will have a sticker placed on them by the manufacturer.
- Bat manufacturers still have to do their best to deliver a "tamper proof" (i.e. no screw off tops) model. So once a bat is approved, someone can't go back and "juice" the bat.
- BBCOR approved bats must have a BBCOR less than or equal to .500.
Still with me? Good. Because now it actually gets complicated because this is how you determine BBCOR:
where vI (sensors 1 to 3 measurement) and vR (sensors 3 to 1 measurement) are the ball inbound and rebound speeds, respectively, r is calculated using Eq. 2, and Cball is the measured correction factor for each baseball given in Eq. 3.
The BBCOR will be the average of six (6) valid hits at the maximum BBCOR location. If at any time during the certification process, the average of six (6) valid hits at an impact location exceeds the limiting BBCOR, then testing is halted and the bat is noncompliant for NCAA competition. Prior to completion, the test sponsor may exercise the option to continue the test.
What is BBCOR?
BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) is a name convoluted enough to make even the geekiest ballplayer gulp. We'll try to explain it to you as best as we can.
Instead of measuring the speed of the ball after it is batted, BBCOR measures the "bounciness" of the ball and bat, or the "trampoline" effect. Whenever a bat hits a ball during a game, the ball actually compresses by nearly a third.
A pitched ball holds a lot of energy that you can see in the spin and speed of the ball. With solid wood bats, much of that energy is lost as the ball compresses at impact. The batted ball speed gets a lot of its energy from the bat. With hollow-core aluminum or composite bats, the thin walls "give" a little, and the ball distorts less and retains its pitched energy and adds to it the power of the bat speed. That's why non-wood bats hit balls faster.
The loss of energy at collision is what BBCOR measures. The less energy lost, the faster the ball speed after it gets launched off the bat.
I'm Still Confused.
A simple way to think of BBCOR is to jump up and down on a hard floor. It takes a lot of energy in your legs to get off the ground. The floor doesn't help at all. Contrast that feeling by jumping on a trampoline. Even with very little energy from your body, you will still get a bounce because that energy isn't being absorbed by the trampoline. Instead, the trampoline is flexing with the impact and then "bouncing" back to its original shape, thus launching you higher into the air.
So what does this mean for Auburn?
- In a backwards way it benefits the Tigers. Power will still be power, but there will be more of an emphasis on small ball. Which is one thing Auburn DIDN'T lose in the draft.
- Manufacturing runs will be the key and that seems to be Auburn's focus. One thing this will do will allow guys like Justin Fradejas to become an extremely valuable resource.
- The SEC essentially goes from AL club to an NL Club. Better pitching will excel and pure brute force just won't cut it at the plate anymore.
Moving on. Auburn picked up a couple of solid in-state commitments over the last month. Including Craig Shirley (above) from Northview High School in Dothan, AL:
His 18 homers tied for the most in the Alabama High School Athletic Association with two others and his 72 runs batted in was fourth best.
He also hit .477, earning 62 hits in 130 at-bats, and had 35 extra-base hits, which represented more than half of his 62 hits. He also scored 48 runs and was walked 27 times, including 12 intentionally.
His efforts helped Northview to a 30-15 and the Class 6A state quarterfinals.
“He had a phenomenal year,” Garrett said. “I have never had anyone hit like he did. He hit 18 homers, drove in 72 and had a slugging percentage of 1.38. That is hard to top.
“Right now he is one of the top power hitters in the state, but he can also hit for average and play good defense.”
A very solid pickup and the honors are all there for Shirley:
- 2010 All State
- 2010 Max Preps Junior All American
- 2010 Louisville Slugger All American
- 2010 Alabama Baseball Coaches All Star Team
- 2010 Dothan Eagle Player of the Year
- 2010 Team MVP
Another commitment comes from Jordan Ebert (above, in black). from Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette, AL. While Shirley might bring the power, Ebert brings the speed:
As a sophomore last year, Ebert was named to the Class 6A All-State team after hitting over .400 with more than 40 steals. He played his freshman season at powerhouse Fairhope.
Ebert played outfield and second base last year, but he said most scouts project him as a middle infielder in college.
Ebert apparently knew right away the Auburn was for him and can see great things for the program:
“I just knew Auburn was the place for me,” Ebert said. “It just felt like home.”
Ebert was considering Alabama, Ole Miss, Clemson and LSU but settled on Auburn because of the Tigers’ recent successes. Auburn won the SEC West last season and recently signed head head coach John Pawlowski to an extension through the 2015 season.
“I think Auburn’s program is on the rise,” Ebert said. “I love all the coaches. Coach Pawlowski just signed through 2015 so I know he will be there while I am there. The facilities are top notch, and they are building on the stadium.
“I think Auburn is going to be a real contender to get to Omaha in the next few years.”
Ebert hit .409 with nine homeruns, 44 RBIs and 20 stolen bases as a sophomore and BCHS and made the All-State baseball team. As a freshman at Fairhope, he hit .368 with 46 hits, 40 RBIs, five triples and five homers.
Ebert is also a standout football player. Playing QB for BCHS. Making him the 2nd incoming Auburn guy who's also a HS QB (Trey Cochran-Gill plays QB for Tallassee):
Sounds like Pawlowski is doing a great job of keeping good in-state right here at home. Guys like Cullen Wacker (McGill-Toolen), Trey Coachran-Gill (Tallassee), JD Crowe (Oak Mountain) and others seem to making up a nice future signing class. Remember, none of these commitments are official until these guys sign and in most cases these are commitments for the 2011 class and won't actually be in Auburn until 2012.
Other recruit/players news, Dexter Price has left Auburn and will continue his college career at the University of South Carolina- Beaufort:
The Sand Sharks held their first full practice of the fall Tuesday at Hardeeville's Richard Gray Baseball Complex, and their home field was dotted with a mix of familiar faces and new ones, including four transfers from NCAA Division I programs.
Headlining that group is junior right-hander Dexter Price, a transfer from Auburn who went 7-3 in 16 starts over two seasons with the Tigers. Price (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) joins returners Adam Miller, Spencer Cromer, Ryan Philpott and Kyle McCullough, among others, in competition for a spot in the weekend rotation.
"The whole starting rotation is back, so my focus is just to come in and work as hard as I can to try to earn a spot," Price said. "It shouldn't be given to me, because those guys have earned a spot to be where they are. We're all here pushing each other to try to get better."
As a high school senior, the Milwaukee Brewers drafted Price in the 43rd round of the Major League Baseball draft. USCB coach Rick Sofield said the powerful right-hander has a live fastball, a solid changeup and a big overhand curve.
And in Hall of Fame News. Former Auburn star and AUM Coach QV Lowe was honored by the NAIA:
Q.V. Lowe has been involved in collegiate baseball ever since he played at Auburn University Montgomery where he still holds the record for most complete games in a season (10) and the career earned run average (1.33). After playing for AUM, Lowe played eight seasons for the Chicago Cubs. He coached for the Yankees and Expos organizations until he started coaching Auburn University at Montgomery in 1987. In his 24 seasons at AUM he would capture 900 victories, win nine conference or independent region championships, and take four trips to the NAIA
World Series. He built the Senator’s baseball program from the ground up. In 1990, Lowe was awarded the NAIA National Coach of the Year and his team was runner up at the NAIA World Series. Lowe has coached 68 All-Conference Players and 35 NAIA All-Americans. He was inducted into the Auburn University Tiger Walk Hall of Fame
in 1998 and into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2007, he was named the Alabama Baseball Coaches Collegiate Coach of the Year. His players have a reputation for attending class, fulfilling their obligations and graduating. Lowe is a caring person who strives to teach life lessons to his players in addition to teaching them baseball skills; they leave his program young men who are mature and well respected across campus.
And former Auburn player Jay Waggoner was inducted into the inaugural class of the Vestavia Hills Hall of Fame.