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The (NOT SO) Great Twitter Debate with @WillJames35

Is Ross Mitchell lucky? Will James thinks so.

"Rubber Arm" Ross... The man who Will James believes is more lucky than good.
"Rubber Arm" Ross... The man who Will James believes is more lucky than good.

Meet Will. Will is an age that no one knows because his twitter avi is Dudy Noble Field. We don't know what he does we just know that he's a "Mississippi State baseball junkie" and "in the end, we know he's right". Will is "that guy". The guy that trys to apply sabermetrics to everything in baseball. Sabermetrics, ironically, was a concept brought upon by another Will James and was used most noticeably by GM Billy Beane in developing the Oakland Athletics ball club using advanced statistics.

It has been in interesting concept over the years but in the end, it doesn't work out exactly how one imagines it to. All-in-all, baseball is a game that can't be overly predicted. It can't be over-thought. @WillJames35 says this is non-sense.

Let's begin on the argument... Yesterday while compiling the SEC statistics for my weekly roundup of MSU baseball, I mentioned that Ross Mitchell was in a pretty elite group. I don't put incredibly large stock in wins and losses often but I thought this was worth noting. Ross is tied for fourth in the league with nine wins. Normally when a reliever is garnering wins it's probably because they come in at the right time with the offense doing the work. Ross has shown he can shut down an opposing lineup, this is non-debatable. The company Ross is in with wins are, in order: Tyler Beede, Aaron Nola, Kevin Ziomek and Bobby Wahl. Those are four of the best pitchers in the conference and the country. That's a notable stat. But Will's response, "Wins are a terrible stat to judge a pitcher on."

This started a 20-hour, pointless debate that Will completely missed the mark on. Through Will's strategy, he believes that Ross gives MSU the worst chance to win ball games.... In Ross' first two seasons he's thrown over 100 innings out of the bullpen with only 15 earned runs. No one here is expecting Ross to be a first round pick. Will's stance is that he doesn't project well as a future pro.

Will believes that a pitcher's Earned Run Average is "out-dated" and doesn't show how good or bad said pitcher is. That is debatable and I can actually agree with some of those points... Unless a pitcher has thrown 50+ innings. Ross leads the SEC with a 1.28 ERA in over 60 innings. There's the stat, to me, that shows that Ross is most effective. "But he gives up a lot of balls in play, ROBBIE!!! He's terrible!" He's given up nine earned runs in 63 innings. I don't care.

"His batting average against is one of the worst on the team." Ross leads the team and is eighth in the SEC in BAA at .217. Next...

"I predicted Ross' struggles recently. I PREDICTED IT!!!" Ross gave up a three-run home run against Alabama, in his worst inning of the year, yes. He also came in with the bases loaded the inning prior and promptly got a 1-2-3 double play. HE'S EFFECTIVE.

Will tells me that Ross had nothing to do with MSU's wins. Our offense scoring did. By that logic, you can say that for every single pitcher that's ever won a game. How many pitchers have won a game without their offense scoring?

Once all of these points are proven against his argument, Will compares Ross' SIERA (whatever that is) to that of players in the pro game. RED FLAG.. Thinking that the pro game and college game are the same tells me you know little about the sport. "But they both throw pitches and swing bats, they're the same". No... Just no... Coaching is different, bats are different, players are different, pace is different. While it's the same game, you can't judge a college team's game with the Red Sox, Astros, Blue Jays and A's (teams he referenced used his stats).

Bottom line, Mr. James, Ross Mitchell comes into a ball game and nine times out of ten gets MSU out of an inning. Frankly, I could care less how large his BAA, FERPA, SIERA, BBs and whatever else you may find is. He gets wins, he gets outs and he's effective. When MSU wins a ball game I'm happy. I'm sorry you can't sit back and enjoy a game as I do, but maybe that's just what you need. I'm rooting for Ross. He's unlike any player I've ever seen. A rubber arm with an 82 mph fastball is the most Mississippi State thing ever. I love the high draft picks but I'm perfectly fine with players that can go out there and defeat the odds like Ross and Luis Pollorena.

Not everything is measurable by data. Not everything can be explained. That's why, Will, you're wrong.

Hail State