Posted: 12/16/2012 10:01 AM
FRGVandy81 wrote: In looking at the pro teams prospects for the future, number guys can look at previous seasons as a rough indicator of future production AKA - like the movie "Money Ball" with more stable lineups and fewer "wildcards" in the form of "breakout" seasons or sensational rookies. In college, it's much more dificult. We have a whole lot more turnover and a much higher percentage of "rookies" who are largely unknown entities. With the turnover, some of the "ace" pitchers exit the stage through the draft and young players who enter the league at 18 or 19 and are overwelmed by seeing 21 year olds throwing big-league heat at them for the first time in their young baseball careers. The young ones start to mature with age, muscle mass, smarts and start getting accustomed to accurate pitchers with mid-90's heat accompanied by a variety of pitches. Evidence of the difficulty in predicting is brought to us by the "professional" scouting organizations such as Baseball America and the others who look closely as possible at the incoming talent, historical records and all other factors and still usually have a big difference between their pre-season picks and the end-of-season final numbers. Last year our team was young and we didn't have great numbers on offense or defense/pitching. A lot of top players graduated or were drafted from our competitors, but still, our team will need to rise to the occasion. The big questions for the upcoming season are: 1) Will the pitchers mature in their strength, stamina and accuracy (we gave up more walks than we got year), 2) Will our "veterens" bounce back and have a solid hitting season like many of them did the previous year (we only hit .268 as a team and our leading hitter -.353 left)3) Will our new pitchers fill in the gaps in our staff, 4) Will previous injuries be overcome completely and 5) Will some of the new field players bring a needed new bat spark? Sometimes you might add questions about fielding, on-field decision making, basepathes, etc, but between the leadership of the Coaching Staff and players like Yaz, who is one of the most baseball-saavy college players I've ever seen, I don't think those will be issues.In several of the last 5 years we've had a freshman who has had a tremendous year and been one of the leading freshmen in the league (Kemp, Gomez, ...wasn't Riley Reynolds a freshman phenom also?)...We really could use a couple of them "hitting their groove" and giving us a spark this year. Will it be Swanson? Turner? Campbell? It would be nice to see a freshman pitcher do well too. Remember when Karston Whitson was a freshman? He was stunning and swept through the league with style and posted great numbers. I hope they get a chance to shine.
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