Ole Miss Rebel Baseball: How are the New Bats So Far?

[ED: Frontpag'd. There have been a lot of high quality fan posts this week. Well done y'all.

As we all know, the NCAA has mandated that college baseball utilize newer bats with a reduced power compared to bats of previous years. These bats are said to have an impact on the ball which more closely resembles that of a wooden bat without actually being made of wood. Thile crunched some numbers and found out that, yes, in this young 2011 season, they've already made a difference.]

After playing around a bit the other day with the numbers for Goforth and Tracy, I decided to look at some offensive stats, but wasn't really sure what I wanted to do...  And it would be nice, ya know, if we actually had some offense to look at.  As I went through the SEC stats from 2002 - 2011, I quickly realized that the new bats had shown quite an effect so far.  These SEC stats go through last weekends games, when I pulled them for 2011.


 Batting average hasn't really changed much.  From 2002 - 2010 the average for the SEC was .300. In 2011, it is right at .297.  The SEC hit .296 in 2006 and .305 last year.

On-base percentage hasn't changed much, either.  It is .386 so far this year.  It was .383 from 2002-2011 with a high of .395 in 2010 and a low of .373 in 2003.  

Slugging you say?  Well so far in 2011 it is .424.  The average for 2002 - 2010 was .460.  The previous low was .443 in 2003 and the high was .487 in 2009.  

Isolated power (ISO) shows the power contribution from "raw power" stats as it removes singles from slugging percent.  I used two variations of the formula; but I think that the one that discounts power contributions for triples is more relevant.  So I count triples as doubles with the extra base assumed for the vagaries of speed and defense.  

From 2002 - 2010 the ISO for the SEC was .154.  In 2003, the ISO was .139, and in 2009 the ISO was .179.  For 2011, the ISO is .120 so far!  A loss of 22% of power in the SEC compared to '02 - '10.

I also looked at home runs for the SEC.  From 2002 - 2010, the home run rate was 3.08 %.  The home run rate so far in 2011 is 1.82 %.  Which is a 41 % drop in home run percentage.  

How does that contribute to overall offense?  From 2002 - 2010 the SEC scored 6.88 runs per game. In 2011, the SEC has scored 6.32 runs per game.  Only an 8 % drop from the average.  The high came last year from 7.35 runs per game with the previous low coming in 2003 at 6.47 runs per game.  

The last stat for this portion is another rate stat - At Bats per Home Run (how frequently are home runs hit?).  From 2002 - 2010, the SEC homered once every 32.5 at bats.  In 2003, the home run rate was once per 40.0 at bats.  In 2009, the rate was one home run per 25.3 at bats.  

So far in 2011, the rate has been one home run per 54.9 at bats!  A 69 % increase in the rate.

I expect the hitting stats to lower even more as we start including more and more SEC games.  Conversely, I expect the pitching stats to do the same as the level of competition should raise those in my opinion.

On the pitching side, the ERA for the SEC from 2002 - 2010 was 4.50.  So far in 2011, the ERA is 3.38.  The previous low is  3.96 (2005) and the previous high is  5.13 (2010).

SEC allowed 5.3 runs per game from 2002 - 2010.  So far in 2010, the SEC has allowed 4.0 runs per game.  

The batting average allowed (BAA) was .272 from 2002 - 2010.  So far in 2011, the BAA is .248.  

Home run percent allowed from 2002 - 2010 was 2.40 %.  In 2011, it is 1.14 %.  Less than half!

I haven't looked at any of the other peripherals, but the WHIP for the SEC was 1.52 from 2002 - 2010.  So far in 2011, the WHIP has been 1.36.  That may move into line with historical numbers, at least from the earlier half of the 00's.  The previous low was 1.43 in 2004, with the high coming last year and 2009 at 1.60.

Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) is currently sitting at .311.  Also the lowest number since 2005 when it was .314.  It was highest in 2009 at .337.

I'll probably look at more pitching stats in this regard as we continue on in 2011.  I may focus more on some Ole Miss specific ones as well - at least breaking down our players.  I do have some preliminary stats that I'll put up this afternoon as I take my lunch break.  Some of them I haven't figured out yet, but was curious since the previous post had some good feedback if there is anything anyone else would like to see? 

Also, if I haven't made anything clear or made any mistakes, please let me know!  I haven't performed any kind of standard deviations or such as I felt the numbers were pretty well represented with what I used.  I'll keep tracking this and if this is well received I'll update it periodically throughout the rest of the season.


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