Monday, May 21, 2007

Baseball: How Bad Was It?

Pittman said the team couldn’t hit. That does not begin to describe it. Let’s take a stroll through the numbers to find out exactly how terrible LSU’s offense was, because it really is kind of impressive. The levels of incompetence the Tiger offense achieved will not be matched any time in the near future.

The average SEC team posted an AVG/OBP/SLG of 299/385/450. That’s a good baseline for what an average SEC player should be able to produce. LSU, as a team, hit 256/331/379. That’s right, kids. LSU’s slugging percentage was lower than the average SEC team’s ON BASE PERCENTAGE. That’s not just terrible, that’s cover-your-eyes awful. But it gets worse.

LSU’s best hitter was Blake Dean, who hit 316/366/505. So he posted a slightly above average batting average, slightly below average OBP, and a pretty good slugging. If that’s your best player, you have problems. Once he got to SEC play, those numbers collapsed and he hit 270/323/417. That .417 SLG still lead the team in conference play. Dean beat up on crappy teams and got housed once he faced quality teams in the SEC. And this is the best we had.

No other player posted a conference average AVG, OBP, or SLG in a minimum of 100 at bats, except Sean Ochinko’s .371 OBP. Ochinko displayed almost no power in SEC play, but at least he got on base at a good clip. Other than that, every single player posted a below average rate stat. That’s so bad you almost have to be trying to suck that hard.

Check out LSU’s ranks in offensive categories in conference play (the raw figure is in parentheses, divide by 30 games for the per game rate, next to is the league leader’s number for some perspective):

AVG – 12th (254/311)
OBP – 12th (327/394)
SLG – 12th (360/512)
Runs – 12th (127/235)
Hits – 12th (254/337)
RBI – 12th (118/221)
HR – 11th (17/57)
TB – 12th (360/560)
PA – 12th (1131/1313)
BB – 10th (87/146)
SO – 4th (229/242)
SB – 4th (29/55)
CS – 1st (19/19)
GIDP – 1st (24/24)

I mean, wow. At least all of the small ball people should be happy because LSU is finally stealing bases. Of course, it is at the expense of any semblance of an effective offense. And how the hell can LSU lead the league in double plays given its paucity of baserunners?

I don’t even know how it is possible to lead the league in double plays while also finish dead last in baserunners by a wide margin. Especially considering one of the best ways to avoid a double play is to either hit a home run or to strike out. And LSU managed to strike out more than most of the teams, despite finishing dead last in plate appearances.

These numbers are nightmarish in their sheer ineptitude. Most of them fly in the face of logic. Bad offensive teams tend to not hit in many double plays because they don’t have a lot baserunners to double up. Teams that don’t get on base and strike out a ton, like LSU, usually have low GIDP totals due to their own offensive incompetence. But not our Tigers! They manage to actually excel at sucking.

There simply is no encouraging sign anywhere in those numbers. The team couldn’t get base hits. They couldn’t draw walks. They struck out a ton. They couldn’t run the bases well. When they did make contact, it was with little power. And they grounded into a ton of double plays.

There’s no nice way to say it: we suck.


Richard Pittman said...

That's pretty harsh dude. Any chance that the problem can be corrected with player development and one solid recruiting class?

Poseur said...

OK, here's the good news...

Maybe there is no good news, but there is some neutral news. I give a coach a free pass in their first season. No one on the roster is Manieri recruit, and its hard to get someone else's guys to buy into your system when they know they are going to get replaced. Supposedly, there is a big class coming in. If the returns are as brutal in Year Two, then we can complain.