A quick buzz over, around, and through college baseball’s Friday night pitching landscape (whatever that means) as I continue to tirelessly input the many weeks worth of statistical data recently lost because somebody has a weird mental block about saving his work…
- At heart, I’m a lowbrow kind of guy. I do my best to hide it around these parts (I’m a professional amateur blogger, after all), but I can’t deny how much I thoroughly enjoyed the home plate umpire’s name in the Friday night Arkansas/Auburn tilt. In a game umpired by a man Kramer would no doubt long to meet, two promising SEC pitchers put up some tremendous lines. Dallas Keuchel of Arkansas (8 IP 9 H 2 ER 0 BB 4 K) and Grant Dayton of Auburn (8 IP 10 H 3 ER 2 BB 10 K) are both 2010’s with enough promise to slip into the upper rounds of their draft year.
- We all knew that one of the finest righthanded pitchers in the country this year would be a young fellow who goes by the name Alex W. Sure, that guy Alex White has been good enough for North Carolina so far, but the best Alex W in the early going of the 2009 season has been Ohio State’s Alex Wimmers. The sophomore threw this line up this past Friday: 9 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 14 K. He did it all 107 pitches and with a groundball/flyball ratio of 8/4. On the season Wimmers has 47 strikeouts in 34 innings and an ERA under 2. Speaking of Alex W’s, the more publicized version (White) got hit around a bit by Duke on Friday. Nothing is really meant of the Alex W comparison so no use getting up in arms about it – I mean, the talent gap between the two gentlemen is still obviously quite wide, but it’s a fun name game comparison to make all the same.
- I can’t believe there is any doubt that Mike Leake has a first round caliber arm. His latest outing was excellent: 9 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 15 K in a win over rival Arizona. His season numbers are pristine (48/7 strikeout to walk numbers in 40 innings of 1.35 ERA pitching) and his scouting reports have been positive all spring long. My only beef with following Leake this season stems from my growing frustration from not being able to find reliable batter-by-batter data. I can’t find anything more detailed than a skeleton-style box score for his latest start (3/20). Annoying.
- Kyle Heckathorn’s latest: 9 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 11 K, all in a mere 98 pitches against Southern Utah. Heckathorn can only pitch against the teams scheduled against him, so dinging him for lack of competition only goes so far. If he can maintain a level of dominance approaching this past start into the future, it doesn’t really matter to me what level of competition he is facing – dominance is dominance.
- Much of the data input I’ve been doing this past week has centered around the simple, yet important groundball/flyball stat. All things being equal, I think it’s fair to say there has been enough research to conclude groundballs > flyballs. However, I also think it’s fair to say that there’s more than one way to get results if you’ve got the talent to get it done. The somewhat ironically named Chance Ruffin is one heck of an extreme flyball pitcher. This past Friday he put up a 1/15 groundball to flyball ratio, numbers consistent with his overall work this season. On the other end of the spectrum there’s Miami’s Chris Hernandez. Hernandez continued his groundballing ways with a groundball-flyball-line out ratio of 8/1/1. Different approaches, similar collegiate success.
- Kyle Gibson continues his rise up draft boards with a super performance against a good Texas A&M lineup. Gibson’s final numbers looked like this: 9 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 16 K. The missing 11 non-strikeout outs came on 9 groundballs, 1 flyball, and 1 sac bunt. 16 K’s and 9 groundballs? Against A&M? Let the Kyle Gibson to Seattle at number two rumors start right here…
- Noe Ramirez, freshman at Cal Fullerton, pitched 2.2 innings out of the pen allowing only 1 H and racking up 4 strikeouts. Much like the Gibson outing, I personally like the fact Ramirez either struck out or induced groundballs out of 7 of the 8 batters he retired.
- Andy Oliver might be wishing he wasn’t declared eligible to pitch for the Cowboys this season after all. Another rocky outing (3.2 IP 9 H 7 ER 3 BB 3 K) has dropped his stock… Daniel Bilbona, UC Irvine, ran through a Nevada lineup with little trouble on Friday: 7 IP 1 H 0 ER 2 BB 11 K. Kansas State’s AJ Morris ,now sporting a perfect 6-0 record, shut down Oklahoma with a 8 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 12 K night.
- Baylor outfielder/lefthanded pitcher Aaron Miller outpitched potential first round teammate Kendal Volz after relieving him on Friday night. Miller was what they call “effectively wild” in putting up the following line: 3.1 IP 0 H 0 ER 4 BB 6 K (3/1 groundball/flyball ratio).
- Because I like to shed a little light on the little guys whenever possible, Chris Heston of ECU beat UCF with the following solid outing: 7 IP 7 H 1 ER 1 BB 5 K.
- Economical pitching performance alert! Nick Hernandez of Tennessee pitched a complete game in a losing effort at Florida (8 IP 7 H 3 ER 0 BB 4 K) in a scant 88 pitches. 11 pitches per inning is an average that would allow Livan Hernandez to pitch the equivalent of a three game series all in one night…
- Austin Stadler, freshman at Wake Forest and 40th round pick of the Giants last season, pitched a fairly nondescript game on Friday night. He went 5 IP 5 H 3 ER 3 BB 3 K – a good game, especially for a freshman, but nothing too spectacular. Ah, but to get the mention here something weird or wonderful must have happened in the start to garner special notice. Whether it’s more weird or wonderful is up to you, but the fact he had a perfect 12 to 0 groundball/flyball ratio is just plain neat to see…especially if you are a Demon Deacon outfielder longing for a day off from catching flies.
- Justin Marks (7 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 11 K) of Louisville and Wes Musick (7 IP 8 H 1 ER 1 BB 11 K) of Houston pitched their teams to victory in respective Friday night starts over Georgetown and UAB. Their lines were kind of similar, right? Ok, I’m running out of steam and stretching here…
- Another economical pitching performance! And this time it actually comes in a victory! Tulane sophomore Conrad Flynn threw a complete game shutout in 104 pitches on Friday night by tossing the following line: 9 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 4 K.
- Kentucky’s Logan Darnell (2.1 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 1 K) came out of the Wildcat bullpen to slow down the Vanderbilt attack and get a 31-pitch save.
- Finally, before I get accused of being too positive by mentioning only good pitching performances, semi-prospect Matt Lujan of San Francisco got shelled on Friday night pitching against New Mexico State. How does a line of 2.2 IP 14 H 12 ER 3 BB 0 K taste? Like (fill in the blank of whatever it is doesn’t taste good to you personally)! That’s how!
Alright, now I’m officially out of steam. I probably should have quit at ASSMAN…