Let's take a look at what to expect this week for the No. 3 Bulldogs.
So as the baseball team continues to roll, we continue our weekly feature on the website assessing where the team is in regards to the national and conference landscape as well as what is on schedule for the coming week. With Mr. Crooms on the shelf with the birth of his beautiful baby girl, we are trying to hold down the fort.
The Dawgs continued their winning ways this past weekend with a four-game sweep of St. Joseph's to move to 15-0 on the young season. The 15-0 start is the best start since 2006 (and will be until the end of the week if the Dawgs do indeed remain unbeaten.)
The pitching and defensive performances are starting to get downright ridiculous, but what some people might not realize is at this point, State is near the top of the league in most statistical categories offensively but we'll get to that in a second. First, let's check in on where the Diamond Dawgs are ranked this week.
It was the biggest move of the year so far for State as they moved in every college baseball poll for this week and are starting to turn a lot of heads that weren't quite giving them the respect that Baseball America did in the preseason at No. 5. Here is the complete list from of this week's rankings, as well as links to each poll:
Mississippi State Baseball
|Baseball America||3 [link]
|USA Today / ESPN Coaches'||6 [link]||13|
|Collegiate Newspaper||5 [link]||9|
|Perfect Game||10 [link]||16|
As you can see, the Bulldogs are now in the top-10 in each of the most respected polls in the country. Quite a testament to how good a lot of writers think MSU can be. They are beginning to catch the eye of most of the country but what says a lot about these rankings is that Baseball America went out on a limb early with the preseason number five ranking. The rest of the publications had the Bulldogs outside of the top 10 or even the top 15 but Baseball America has been high on John Cohen's club for awhile.
It will be very interesting to see what the next month holds for MSU as conference play begins to heat up and the schedule is absolutely brutal with State catching little to no breaks. I believe the pitching staff will be stout enough to keep MSU in the top 10 for the remainder of the season and should have them hosting a regional.
Now let's talk stats. I'm a stats guy and I think that they tell the story in sports, and as far as this season is concerned, the Dawgs have been flat out dominate on the stat sheet. At this time, let's see where they rank individually compared to the rest of the strong SEC.
- Batting Average: 4th-Alex Detz (.447); 8th- Adam Frazier (.424)
- Hits: 1st- Frazier (25); 3rd- C.T. Bradford (22); 12th- Detz (17)
- Slugging %: 12th- Frazier (.576)
- On base %: 2nd- Detz (.577)
- Runs Scored: T-2nd- Frazier (17); 4th- Bradford (16)
- RBI: 4th- Detz (16)
- Doubles: T-6th- Detz (4)
- Triples: 1st- Frazier (4)
- Home Runs: T-7th- Hunter Renfroe (2)
- Total Bases: 2nd- Frazier (34); T-8th- Bradford (27)
- Stolen Bases: T-8th- Adam Frazier (5)
- Plate Appearances: 1st- Bradford (67); 2nd- Frazier (65)
- At Bats:1st- Frazier (59); 2nd- Bradford (57)
Very impressive numbers, most notably, by Frazier. It also gives fans an idea of who might be their most consistent guys in the lineup, and right now it looks to be Frazier, Bradford and Detz. Now here's a look at team rankings in the SEC.
Batting Average: 3rd (.320)
Slugging: 5th (.420)
On base %: 3rd (.420)
Runs: 3rd (108)
Hits: 1st (156)
RBIs: 3rd (96)
Doubles: 5th (20)
Triples: 1st (7)
Home Runs: 8th (5)
Total Bases: 1st (205)
Walks: 2nd (62)
Hit By Pitch: 1st (26)
Stolen Bases: 4th (23)
Looks like a much improved season is on our hands. What does the defense look like? After leading the country in double plays last season with 72, MSU is back out to their old ways. The Bulldogs lead the conference with 19 double plays in 15 ball games. The .980 fielding percentage is good for third best in the conference as they have putout a lead-leading 405 plays in 599 chances.
If you're still reading this long post, prepared to be really impressed. Here is MSU's pitching numbers and rankings through 15 games compared to the rest of the conference.
Earned Run Average: 1st (1.27) Leaders: Will Cox- 5th, 0.60; Jacob Lindgren- 9th, 0.98
Opp. Batting Average: 1st (.177) Leaders: Lindgren- 6th, .155; Cox- 8th, .173
Innings Pitched: 1st (135.0) Leader: Lindgren- T-11th, 18.1
Strikeouts: 1st (147) Leader: Lindgren- T-8, 22
Wins: 1st (15) Leader: Ross Mitchell- 1st, 4
Saves: T-1st (6) Leader: Jonathan Holder- 1st, 5
Hits Allowed: 6th (82) Leaders: Lindgren and Cox- T-4th, 9
Runs Allowed: 1st (24) Leaders: Cox- 1st, 1; Lindgren- T-3rd, 2
Earned Runs: 1st (19)
Doubles: T-1st (8), Leader: Cox- 0
Triples: T-1st (0)
Home Runs: T-2nd (2)
So there you go. I hope I didn't bore you to death with this post and please let me know what you think about it. If it sucks, tell me and I will never write again (probably not just won't do this again).
Anyways we will finish this thing up with this week's schedule. The Bulldogs stay at home for another week starting with the mid-week game against Mississippi Valley State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night. I would expect to see Brandon Woodruff (1-0, 1.80) on the mound trying to push his way into the weekend rotation before long.
Following the mid-week in-state matchup will be a solid Central Arkansas (11-1) team coming to town. This will be the Bulldogs final test before a mid-week game against Southern Miss and a three-game series against the LSU TIgers next weekend. Expect Lindgren, Kendall Graveman, and Evan Mitchell on the mound this weekend. I could be wrong, of course. Thanks for reading, folks.