A Closer Look At DI Baseball Stats Leaders

April 28, 2011
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A Thought That Makes You Go Hmmmm….

We recently received this comment after posting our weekly look at the Division One college baseball stats leaders:

“I would like to see the stat leaders from the top 7 conferences and how they stack up. The offensive stats leaders are mostly mid-majors with weak pitching. The pitching leaders re from the power conferences. There is a correlation. Put those offensive stat leaders in the SEC, ACC, Big 12, PAC 10, Big West and C-USA and none would be hitting over .400 with double digit HR’s.”

There is some validity to the comments, but there are problems with it as well. First, “the top 7 conferences” are referenced, but only six conferences are specified. Second, a look at last year’s conference RPI (per Warrennolan.com) has the Big West ranked as the eighth-best conference, with the Big East and Sun Belt ranked sixth and seventh, respectively.

And finally, trying to determine how a player would fare if he played in a “tougher” conference can be an apples to oranges argument. For instance, Siena’s Dan Paolini currently ranks 8th in the nation with 14 home runs after hitting 26 last year. If Paolini were in the ACC or SEC  he may or may not have as much success against higher caliber pitching, but he would also have more consistently warmer weather (helping the carry of the ball) and typically smaller ballpark dimensions in which to hit compared to much colder weather (not conducive to aluminum bat hitting) and bigger yards up north.

The original comment is worth taking a look at though, specifically the six conferences that were mentioned. Those conferences do tend to consistently have more multiple NCAA bids and teams that end-up at the College World Series. The fact that there are 23 pitchers from those six conference among the nation’s top 50 ERA leaders also adds validity to the claim (see below).

So, after scanning the top 50 in select statistical categories, here’s a look at who the leaders from the “power conferences” would be as of April 24 (actual national NCAA ranks in parenthesis) in batting average, home runs, RBIs, and ERA:

Chad Zurcher

BATTING AVERAGE

1. Chad Zurcher – Memphis – CUSA – .462 (2)

2. Brad Miller – Clemson – ACC – .413 (18)

3. Jarrod Parks – Mississippi St. – SEC – .409 (21)

4. Joey Rickard – Arizona – Pac-10 – .404 (25)

5. Garrett Buechele – Oklahoma – Big 12 – .401 (28)

6. Tyler Naquin – Texas A&M – Big 12 – .396 (37)

7. Cole Frenzel – Arizona – Pac-10 – .395 (39)

8. David Coleman – Virginia – ACC – .394 (41)

9. Tyler Koelling – Southern Miss. – CUSA .390 (49)

Andrew Rash

HOME RUNS

1. Andrew Rash – Virginia Tech – ACC – 16 (3)

2. Jonathon Griffin – Central Florida – CUSA – 11 (19)

3. Cody Asche – Nebraska – Big 12 – 10 (27)

3. D.J. Hicks – Central Florida – CUSA – 10 (27)

3. Mikie Mahtook – LSU – SEC – 10 (27)

3. B.A. Vollmuth – Southern Miss. – CUSA – 10 (27)

Freshman Michael Moran

RBIs

1. Colin Moran – North Carolina – ACC – 54 (8)

2. Garrett Buechele – Oklahoma – Big 12 – 50 (12)

3. Ronnie Shaban – Virginia Tech – ACC – 48 (15)

4. Cody Asche – Nebraska – Big 12 – 45 (28)

5. James Ramsey – Florida St. – ACC – 45 (28)

6. Steven Proscia – Virginia – ACC – 44 – (34)

6. Andrew Rash – Virginia Tech – ACC – 44 (34)

6. T.J. Rich – Memphis – CUSA – 44 (34)

9. Jace Boyd – Florida St. – ACC – 43 (43)

Brad Mincey

ERA

1. Brad Mincey – East Carolina – CUSA – 0.84 (1)

2. John Taylor – South Carolina – SEC – 0.88 (3)

3. Taylor Jungmann – Texas – Big 12 – 1.00 (6)

4. Mark Pope – Georgia Tech – ACC – 1.01 (7)

5. John Stilson – Texas A&M – Big 12 – 1.12 (10)

6. Michael Rocha – Oklahoma – Big 12 – 1.20 (12)

7. Michael Roth – South Carolina – SEC – 1.26 (13)

8. Danny Hultzen – Virginia – ACC – 1.31 (15)

9. Sean Gilmartin – Florida St. – ACC – 1.38 (20)

9. Kevin Miller – California – Pac-10 – 1.38 (20)

11. Trevor Bauer – UCLA – Pac-10 – 1.41 (23)

12. Casey Hauptman – Nebraska – Big 12 – 1.49 (26)

13. Hudson Randall – Florida – SEC – 1.53 (27)

14. D.J. Baxendale – Arkansas – SEC – 1.54 (28)

14. Evan Marshall – Kansas St. – Big 12 – 1.54 (28)

16. Will Roberts – Virginia – ACC – 1.62 (32)

17. Michael Wacha – Texas A&M – Big 12 – 1.64 (34)

18. Sam Gaviglio – Oregon St. – Pac-10 – 1.68 (37)

19. Adam Plutko – UCLA – Pac-10 – 1.69 (38)

20. Tyler Anderson – Oregon – Pac-10 – 1.78 (45)

21. Austin Kubitza – Rice – CUSA – 1.79 (46)

22. Sam Stafford – Texas – Big 12 – 1.85 (47)

23. Dillon Overton – Oklahoma – Big 12 – 1.88 (49)

 

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