Ole Miss Rebel Baseball Sabermetrics: SEC Season Preview

As you may know, I attempted to look at our team and our weekend match-ups through a sabermetric eye last year. I thought I would attempt to do the same again this year, once we got into SEC play*, but wanted to see how seasoned our team was and how that stacked up with the rest of the SEC going into the season.

(*April is going to be rough for me so it may not be as complete as last year)

I listed the top 100 players from college baseball daily, rankings from baseball news and baseball america for both preseason rankings and recruiting classes. I am not going to get into the specifics of how I ranked each team for now... but I tried to include quality as well as quantity returning. The average wOBA is trending towards .350 for the SEC as well (only 1 year of data with the new bats) since I've listed that for position players. But I am not attempting to predict the finish from this, just an exercise to see if there is any viability to it for now...

I hope to make improvements upon this for next year. I ranked the SEC as a whole, without regard to division. I did not include any recruiting or non-qualifying players. I have included the total number of "starters"; South Carolina returns the fewest with 7, but those 7 provide quite a bit of value. We are tied with several with 8 returning. Some teams will have more players listed than I've included as returning, as some made the SEC list without qualifying; I did not include them in my analysis, but I did want to list them here.

Just to be clear: I am not predicting we will be last in the SEC.

Without further adieu...

(1) Florida (#1/#1 preseason baseball news/baseball america) - 8th ranked recruiting class baseball news, 15th ranked recruiting class baseball america. Return 10:

  • C Mike Zunino, top 5 college baseball daily, 1st team All-SEC Preseason/player of the year, 1st team Preseason All-American, .472 wOBA
  • OF Preston Tucker, 1st team SEC, 2nd team DH All-American, 399 wOBA
  • UT Brian Johnson, top 15 CBD, 1st team UTIL SEC, 1st team UT All-American, .374 wOBA, 8-3, 3.62 ERA
  • IF Nolan Fontana, top 100 CBD, 1st team IF All-SEC, .389 wOBA,
  • UT Austin Maddox, top 25 CBD, All-SEC 2nd team UT, 2nd team RP All-American, .389 wOBA
  • RHP Karsten Whitson, top 100 CBD, 2nd team P All-SEC, 3rd team SP All-American, 8-1, 2.40 ERA
  • RHP Hudson Randall, top 10 CBD, 11-3, 2.17 ERA,
  • (All seven could be drafted in the top 3 rounds of the 2012 MLB Draft.)
  • OF Daniel Pigott, .373 wOBA
  • RHP Greg Larson, 1-1, 3.62 ERA
  • LHP Steven Rodriguez, 4-2, 1.91ERA
  • IF Zack Powers, 2nd team SEC

(2) Arkansas (#8/#4) - 19th/22nd recruiting. Return 12:

  • IF Dominic Ficociello, top 100 CBD.367 wOBA,
  • RHP DJ Baxendale, top 100 CBD, SEC 2nd team, Preseason AA 2nd team SP, 10-2, 1.58 ERA
  • RHP Ryne Stanek, top 100 CBD, 4-2, 3.94 ERA
  • IF Bo Bigham, .328 wOBA, 17 sb
  • IF Matt Reynolds, .332 wOBA, 16 sb
  • IF Tim Carver, .273 wOBA, 24 sb
  • RHP Nolan Sanburn, 2-4, 3.62 ERA, 8 saves
  • RHP Brandon Moore, 4-1, 3.45 ERA
  • LHP Randall Fant, 3-5, 3.89 ERA
  • LHP Cade Lynch, 4-4, 3.11 ERA
  • RHP Barrett Astin, 5-2, 2.72 ERA
  • LHP Trent Daniel, 2-0, 2.91 ERA

(3) LSU (#12/#8) - 7th/NR recruiting. Return 11:

  • P Kevin Gausman, top 100 CBD, 5-6, 3.51 ERA
  • OF Mason Katz, 1st team SEC, .391 wOBA
  • IF JaCoby Jones, 2nd team SEC, .383 wOBA
  • C Ty Ross, 2nd team SEC, .269 wOBA
  • OF Raph Rhymes, .406 wOBA
  • IF Austin Nola, .362 wOBA
  • OF Alex Edward, .347 wOBA
  • IF Tyler Hanover, .353 wOBA
  • P Kurt McCune, 7-3, 3.31 ERA
  • P Ryan Eades, 4-1, 4.81 ERA
  • P Kevin Berry, 3-1, 3.14 ERA

(T-4) Vandy (#23/#10) - 2nd/1st ranked recruiting class (P Tyler Beede 2nd SEC, preseason frosh of the year), Return 9:

  • OF Connor Harrell, top 100 CBD, .371 wOBA
  • OF Tony Kemp, top 100 CBD, 1st team SEC, .391 wOBA, 17 sb
  • IF Anthony Gomez, top 100 CBD, 2nd team SEC, .335 OBA
  • IF Conrad Gregor, 1st team SEC, .419 wOBA
  • OF Mike Yastrzemski, .377 wOBA, 23 sb
  • IF Riley Reynolds, .345 wOBA
  • LHP Kevin Ziomek, 3-0, 1.59 ERA
  • RHP T.J. Pecoraro, 7-0, 1.59 ERA
  • RHP Will Clindard, 2-2, 2.75 ERA

(T-4) South Carolina (#2/#3) - 1st/6th rated recruiting class.(Their 2012 roster is still not available so it could be changed compared to what I've gathered here as well.) Return 7:

  • IF Christian Walker, top 100 CBD, 2nd team All American, 1st team SEC, .444 wOBA
  • OF Evan Marzilli, .402 wOBA
  • OF Jake Williams, .345 wOBA
  • LHP Michael Roth, top 5 CBD, 1st team All American, 1st team SEC, 14-3, 1.06 ERA
  • RHP Colby Holmes, 7-3, 3.69 ERA
  • RHP Forrest Koumas, 6-1, 2.96 ERA
  • RHP Matt Price, top 100 CBD, 1st team AA, 1st team SEC, 7-3, 1.83 ERA, 20 saves

(6) Kentucky (NR/NR) - 25th/NR recruiting, Return 10:

  • OF Thomas McCarthy, .444 wOBA
  • C/IF Luke Maile, .385 wOBA
  • OF Brian Adams, .354 wOBA
  • C/IF Michael Williams, .336 wOBA
  • OF J.T. Riddle, .344 wOBA
  • LHP Taylor Rogers, 7-5, 5.14 ERA
  • LHP Corey Littrell, 3-7, 6.95 ERA
  • LHP Alex Phillips, 1-2, 3.16 ERA
  • RHP Walter Wijas, 3-0, 4.58 ERA
  • RHP Trevor Gott, top 100 CBD, 2-4, 3.62 ERA

(7) Auburn (NR/NR) - 23rd/NR recruiting, Return 8:

  • OF Creede Simpson, .320 wOBA
  • RHP Derek Varnadore, 6-3, 3.68 ERA
  • RHP Slade Smith, 2-2, 5.83 ERA
  • RHP Jon Luke Jacobs, 1-5, 4.01 ERA
  • LHP Cory Luckie, 1-2, 5.04 ERA
  • RHP Zach Blatt, 2-3, 7.33 ERA
  • RHP Ethan Wallen, 5-5, 4.83 ERA, 5 saves
  • RHP Dillon Ortman, 2-1, 4.65 ERA

(8) MSU (NR/NR) - 20th/14th ranked recruiting class, Return 8:

  • OF/LHP C.T. Bradford, 2nd team SEC OF, .356 wOBA
  • OF Brent Brownlee, .341 wOBA
  • RHP Chris Stratton, 5-7, 5.21 ERA
  • LHP Caleb Reed, 1st team Preseason All-American, RP, 1st team SEC P, 1-2, 1.55 ERA, 12 saves
  • LHP Luis Pollorena, 7-5, 4.45 ERA
  • RHP Kendall Graveman, 5-0, 3.65 ERA
  • LHP Nick Routt, 3-3, 3.86 ERA
  • RHP Evan Mitchell, 6-2, 4.62 ERA
  • IF Adam Frazier, 2nd team SEC

(T-9) Georgia (#18/#11) - 21st/21st recruiting, Return 11:

  • IF Levi Hyams, .393 wOBA
  • IF Kyle Farmer, .369 wOBA
  • C Brett DeLoach, .330 wOBA
  • IF Curt Powell, .322 wOBA
  • IF Jonathon Hester, .301 wOBA
  • OF Peter Verdin, .301 wOBA
  • OF Conor Welton, .296 wOBA
  • RHP Michael Palazzone, 10-5, 3.14 ERA
  • LHP Alex Wood, 6-7, 4.44 ERA
  • LHP Blake Dietrich, 3-3, 3.67 ERA
  • LHP Chase Hawkins, 4.82 ERA

(T-9) Tennessee (NR/NR) - NR/NR recruiting, Return 10:

  • C Ethan Bennett, .369 wOBA
  • SS Zach Osborne, .359 wOBA
  • 1B Davis Morgan, .325 wOBA
  • OF Chris Fritts, .294 wOBA
  • RHP Nick Blount, 1-5, 6.04 ERA
  • RHP Nick Williams, 2-1, 6.48 ERA
  • RHP Carter Watson, 5-3, 5.29 ERA
  • RHP/OF Drew Steckenrider, 2-0, 6.12 ERA
  • RHP Zack Godley, 1-1, 3.38 ERA
  • LHP T.J. Thornton, 1-1, 3.25 ERA
  • OF Andrew Toles, 2nd team SEC, .293 wOBA, 21 SB

(11) Alabama (NR/NR) - 36th/24th ranked recruiting, Return 9:

  • OF Taylor Dugas, top 25 CBD, 2nd team SEC, .444 wOBA
  • IF Jared Reaves, .402 wOBA
  • IF Austen Smith, .371 wOBA
  • C/IF Brett Booth, .306 wOBA
  • OF Andrew Miller, .303 wOBA
  • LHP Taylor Wolfe, 1-2, 4.15 ERA
  • RHP Tucker Hawley, 6-2, 3.65 ERA
  • RHP Trey Pilkington, 4.57 ERA
  • LHP Adam Windsor, 3-3, 5.73 ERA

(12) Ole Miss (NR/#22) - 3rd/5th recruiting, Return 8:

  • IF/DH Matt Snyder, .419 wOBA
  • IF Alex Yarbrough, 1st team SEC, .413 wOBA
  • OF Tanner Mathis, .350 wOBA
  • IF Blake Newalu, .332 wOBA
  • IF/OF Preston Overbey, .275 wOBA
  • RHP Bobby Wahl, Top 100 CBD, 0-2, 4.80 ERA
  • RHP Mike Mayers, 1-0, 5.10 ERA
  • RHP Brett Huber, 2-1, 3.60 ERA

I was somewhat surprised by this, given our returning offense, in my mind. While we do return two very good bats in Yarbrough and Snyder, Mathis is right around SEC average, and Newalu just shy, while Overbey came up well short in his frosh campaign.

Wahl and Mayers pitched better than their ERA shows, while Huber was right on his, according to fielding independent pitching stats. Huber needs to knock down his walks. Coincidentally, all three each pitched 30 innings a piece.

There was a lot to look through so invariably I've made a mistake or twelve.

This post is a Red Cup Rebellion FanPost. Please don't sue us.

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