Nick Swisher: I once was lost, but now I’m found, hopefully.

SwishheadAnybody seen Nick Swisher? Anybody? Swisher, once a highly coveted player, former first round pick, and on-base machine,  has pulled a disappearing act here in the 2014 season.  As of late, the former Oakland draft pick has been showing signs of life, with 17 hits in July. Nothing spectacular, but a pulse. A large improvement from 6 hits in June. Also in July, Swisher has left the yard 3 times since July 7th, while he only went big fly 5 times between March 31st through July 6th.

But what has happened to the former All-Star? For his career, Swisher holds a .354 OBP which currently ranks 41st of all active MLB players. In 2014, the “On base machine’s” OBP is just .289. Why oh why! Where did you go Swish!?! Swish’s K% is astronomically higher than at any other point in his career at 27%, his next highest K% was his one-year stint in Chicago in 2008, where he sat at 23%. To make matters worse, Swisher has just a 10% BB%, the second-lowest of his career. What’s going on? Is Swish unlucky? Regressing?

Well, could Swisher really regress this quickly? He has posted a career-low wRC of 82 this season, 11 lower than his tough year in 2008. On top of that, Swisher has been worse than a replacement level player with a WAR of -0.9. The lowest WAR Swisher has ever put out was also in ’08, when he posted a +1.2. According to BABIP, which doesn’t predict any future, it does show that Swisher has been slightly unlucky this season, no luck dragons. Swisher’s BABIP is .273. Only in 08′ and 09′ was he worse.

But there is hope! For the love of Swisher there is hope. Nick Swisher’s career shows that he is exponentially better than he has been this season, and shouldn’t regress this quickly at 33 years old. Both ZiPS and Steamer projections show the remainder of the season being a decent turnaround for Swisher, nothing insane, but a lifeline. With Swisher’s last eight games, it seems even more realistic that the turnaround will happen. According to ZiPS, over the last 54 games Swisher’s K% will lower 3.5%, his BB% will increase by 1.6%, and his OPS will be .720, an upgrade from the first 79 games and .641 output.

So while near and far people have been turning over rocks, looking under bridges and putting his face on milk cartons, Nick Swisher may be found! Things were pretty dark there for a while, but there is hope and when Swisher turns things back around, we can all let out a sigh of relief because all will be right in the world again.

The Rise of Rendon


Anthony Rendon, 24, makes 1.8mil/year, and has shot in to a spot that puts him right at the heels of Robinson Cano in terms of production, currently for a much cheaper price, not for long I’m sure. Rendon’s position went from third, to second, and back to third (most of the time) for the Nationals, but the key thing for Matt Williams is just to have the infielder from Houston, TX in the batting order.

If you take a look at third basemen overall this season, Rendon ranks 4th in WAR, behind Josh Donaldson, Todd Frazier, and Kyle Seager. With that, Rendon’s wRC+ is 12 better than Donaldson, and his K% is better than all three of the above third basemen. The Rice alum for the first time is showing his consistent potential with a consistent spot in the lineup. With the consistency, Rendon has shown strides at the plate to take the step to being the corner-infielder with pop that he can be. Rendon has 13 homeruns this season, nothing astronomical, but, his FB% is up to 41% and his HR/FB% is up to 10.6%, from last years 7.2%.

Rendon is giving a huge positive effect to the Nationals this season, and while this isn’t a stat that predicts a players future, Rendon’s +WPA (Win Probability Added), sitting at 7.39. Not a number that ranks at the top of the league, but it’s proving that Rendon is valuable to Washington, and will be landing a large pay increase when his contract rolls around, currently in the last year of his 4-year/7.2mil deal, with a 2015 option. Rendon’s RAR is a large 31.6, good for 17th in the Majors this season, putting his value on the open market at about 18.6$ million.

At just 24, Rendon is just at the beginning of his career and is growing in to a top tier option. Since last season for Washington, Rendon’s WAR has had an increase of +1.9, and his ZIPS project another increase next season, possibly as high as 4.9 WAR. Rendon is hitting his stride, and while he isn’t the headline show in Washington, he is well deserving of some of those giant pictures plastered around the stadium.

2014 MLB Draft – Low Risk, High Reward

The names at the top of the draft get all the hype, and when you miss, people notice. Today, we take a look at some later picks that have big potential upside, low risk, high reward.

Detroit Tigers – C – Grayson Greiner – South Carolina 99th Overall (Rd 3)GreidnerheadHe’s big, he really big. Yes, 6-5″ , sometimes listed at 6-6″, is pretty big to be working behind the dish, but Greiner makes it look much much easier. The South Carolina star was nabbed up by the Tigers in the 3rd round, 99th overall, a much different turn from where he found himself after high school, undrafted.

Greiner is known more for his work behind the dish, he is much quicker than his size would give, but the untapped potential is with the bat. The South Carolina product has shown the ability to call a good game behind the dish and manage the run game, but his stick is what will eventually push him over the top. Greiner improved each off his three seasons at South Carolina in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging. Not too bad.

Since being drafted? Greiner has seen 18 games at Class-A West Michigan, Greiner is making the Tigers look pretty sharp. The backstop’s bat has been strong, 22 hits, 11 rbi, and a .893 OPS, higher than any season at South Carolina. Stats say yes he will dip down, but the continued improvement is there and very clear. James McCann is the roadblock ahead of him behind the dish, but if Greiner can continue to improve with his bat, he may pass McCann up in due time.

Oakland A’s – SS/2B – Branden Cogswell – Virginia 222nd Overall (Rd 7)

CogsheadThis pick just screams A’s to me, come on man! Before we get started, check out a little background on Cogswell, crazy story, makes you pull for the kid that much more.

But back to why we are here, this kid’s upside is tremendous, and at 222nd overall? I just love that the A’s get this kid. I think he projects better at 2B, but he has a sick knack for fielding that will carry over to the bigs. His fielding% at Virginia went up every year, and finished at .991%, just 3 erros in 331 chances. His glove is solid.

At the plate, he has definite improvement to be made and this is possibly why he slips so low. What the A’s understand here, is that Cogswell is PRODUCTIVE. He isn’t going to provide power, he isn’t going to blaze with speed, but what he will do is get on base and be a productive player. Over three years at Virginia, Cogswell batted .309 for his career with a sick OBP of .425. His lowest OBP season was .399.

The bottom line with this kid is that the A’s can be patient with Cogswell and move him along as needed. He won’t jump off the page, but he will consistently get the job done. He can bat at the top or bottom of the lineup and produce. Don’t forget his CWS performance that saw his Cavaliers just fall short to Vanderbilt, Cogswell led the Cavs batting .326 and scoring 9-times in the tournament. The A’s take a true low-risk high-reward guy here.

Los Angeles Angels – OF – Bo Way – Kennesaw State U – 209th Overall (Rd 7)

BoWayHeadStanding at 5-11″, 175lb, Bo Way isn’t going to strike anyone as the next physical specimen out there in the outfield, but he has sneaky pop and can get the job done in the batters box, and in the outfield. The bottom line? Bo Way just does everything well. Way snuck to the 7th round following a 85-hit season in just 60 games played, a .353 batting average, plus a .465 slugging percentage.

Way can hold his own in the outfield and while not owning blazing speed, he can really move out there. He can more that hold his own in the batters box with the trademark smooth swing from the left side than has serious pop for his size. Immediately when watching his recent swings in Orem for the Owlz, Way’s swing made me think Andre Ethier. He pulls the ball extremely well, but can spray the field well if he needs to. The Angels pick is enjoying success earlier on in Orem, in his first 20 games played, he has put out 26 hits and 21 RBI’s, making the Angeles look pretty smart.

The Angels have a bright future in the outfield and if Way can make his way up to the bigs in the next few years, they will have quite the steal. If the lefty can continue his production, like a .381 BABIP in Orem with two long balls and an OPS of .919, he might force the Angels hand to bring him up the ranks.

On the Radar – Oakland Athletics

OakA'sHeaderOn the Radar – Oakland Athletics

I’m like a kid in a candy store watching this team, just sayin. Pair the actual team, with the guys at , and all I can say is this team is flippin’ awesome.

Rewind to 2011, the Oakland Athletics finished 22.5 games back of the AL West winning Texas Rangers. That season, the A’s finished the season with a 74-88 record. Coco Crisp led that team with a 2.7 WAR, followed by Josh Willingham at 2.4. The team finished the year with a run differential of -34. Not a good formula for wins. Things are now very different.

Skip ahead to the present. The A’s took the AL west in 2012 and 2013, and improved the run differential in both years. From -34 and 74 wins, the A’s jumped to +99 and 94 wins in ’12, and +142 and 96 wins in ’13. You get runs, you get wins, and the A’s turned things around and have racked up the W’s. This year? Things are looking even better, and six A’s are headed to Minnesota for the All-Star Game.

Billy Beane and Bob Melvin seem to be flowing smoothly, and everything Beane has put in place seems to be clicking. This year’s A’s have put up 443 runs to date, and allowed just 306, for a +135 run differential just 88 games in to the season. Those totals equal a +1.5 run differential/game, the next best is the Angles at 0.8. If you took the 2nd best Angels, and added theirs to the next best, Dodgers 0.7, you would only equal what the A’s are doing per game. It would take two teams, with bats like Pujols, Trout, Hamilton, Puig, Han-Ramirez, Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, and pitching like Kershaw, Grienke, Ryu, C.J. Wilson, and Weaver, to JUST EQUAL what the A’s are doing. The +135 coming in to today, almost double the Angels +71. Come on now.

Also, per usual, their payroll is the lowest in the American League (We don’t really count that $44-million dollor Astros team yet, right?). Just to make sure we are clear, these A’s aren’t getting lucky game in and game out. With the runs for and against this year, the A’s Pythagorean Win-Loss record has the A’s at 58-30, 3 games better than where they stand now. So not only are they kicking ass all over the place, they are doing it more on the other side of luck. If you take a team like the Brewers, who have the next highest win total this season, they are doing things on the positive side of luck, by 4 games. The formula hasn’t changed much, the A’s still lead the bigs in walks with 346, 34 more than the next team in that category. They also don’t steal bases, with the third lowest stolen base attempts. They just play smart.

The bottom line, is this team is just filthy, and the best thing we can all do, is put our feet up and watch. Sign me up for this organization please. Oh and as this was written, Jeff Samardzija just kicked some ass, he’ll fit in nicely.

On the Radar – Mookie Betts


Mookie Betts – 2B – Pawtucket Red Sox – Boston Organization

Ranked the 6th-best prospect in the Sox arsenal, Tennessee native Mookie Betts is looking like the next Dustin Pedroia for the Red Sox, or quite possibly a very useful trading chip for Boston. At the point the Red Sox are at in their tough season, it may just be time to Betts to break in to the lineup. They need any kind of spark, Mookie is a big spark in a small body. Hey Boston, MAKE THE CALL.

Now, one of the most popular Red Sox around today? Dustin Pedroia. The 5’9″ 180lb second baseman has been the heartbeat of the Red Sox for almost the past decade. He major league career batting average, an even .300. In the minors, Pedroia batted .307 in his three years. His MLB on base percentage is a shiny .367, and was even better in the minors at .392.

Yes, this isn’t a post about Dustin Pedroia. It’s about a player that may just have the tools to be better. While Pedroia owns second base in Boston, the Sox have been trying to make Mookie Betts more versatile, now splitting his time between 2nd base and centerfield. Betts has drawn the praises of many scouts, and is tabbed as impressive all-around athlete. He can spray from gap to gap and has the speed to extend his hits.

Betts stands similar to Pedroia stature, at 5’9″ – 156lb , Betts is more slender than Pedroia but in the minors but he is developing more power at the plate each year. Now 19-games in to his AAA career, Betts has left he yard twice, and holds an OPS percentage of .845. Not bad for a kid who weighs 156. Betts has shown a knack in his minor league career to get on base, and holds plus speed to make things more interesting. In 73 games (54 at AA, 19 at AAA Pawtuckes), Betts has swiped 27 bases and been caught 5 times.

The bottom line with Mookie Betts is that he knows how to be productive. At AA Portland, Betts held a Runs Created/Game statistic of 10.7 over 54 games. He has felt the adjustment to AAA, with his RC/G sitting at 7.2 over 19 games in Pawtucket. That being said, Pedroia’s minor league average was right there, at 7.3, and his MLB average is at 6.7. Betts is finding a way to be productive.Overall, his all around offensive threat potential is high, Betts posted 15 big flies in 2013, to go along with his 38 stolen bases, caught just four times.

If Betts projects to do well at the next level, he needs to improve his walk to strikeout ratio, which has dipped for the first time in his minor league career to under 1.00, sitting at 0.83. If Betts can continue to bulk up, and continue to improve his knowledge of the strikezone at the plate, he will become a pivotal chip in the Red Sox organization. The upside is huge, even with Dustin Pedroia being the blockage at 2B in the bigs. According to the prospect watch, Mookie Betts is the #1 ranked second-baseman, so if the Sox can’t find a way to get Betts in the MLB lineup over the next year, they may look to dealing him for some solid assets. Keep an eye on Mookie, he is the next sparkplug for whatever team he breaks into the bigs with.

A Thank You, to Tony Gwynn

gwynnheaderI couldn’t count how many baseballs went between the 5-6 hole. It was a beautiful thing.

Tony Gwynn was the hitter that I could stop and watch swing every time he was up at the plate. I never wanted to miss it. Hands were smooth. Bat was quick. 33-30? Swinging a 33-30? He had total control at the plate. It wasn’t just hitting for Gwynn, it was an art form. As a kid, I wanted to do just that. To back that all up, he was a genuinely great person. He was a great person, before a great hitter.

Since his passing, you’ve heard countless stories about Gwynn, on and off the baseball field. Never a controversy, never any question, Tony Gwynn was a genuine baseball player, no baggage needed. Before I get in to all of the absolutely jaw-dropping stats that he produced in his career, I needed to get the point across, that he as a person, was truly a Hall-of-Famer.

As a baseball player? Damn he was good. 19th All-Time in hits, with 3,141, barely scratches the surface.

In the last 30 days, Baltimore’s Chris Davis has struck out 39 times, Philles’ Ryan Howard? 38. Tony Gwynn? Well, yeah he struck out 40 times once…in a season…over his career. In fact, Gwynn has more doubles in his career than strikes, by 107.

He was a hitting machine, every single season. The only year that Gwynn didn’t bat over .300, his rookie season, after that he reeled off 19-straight seasons above the .300 mark. Seven of those? Over .350, only Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Tris Speaker hit above that mark in more seasons.

Fellow Hall-of-Famer Greg Maddux faced Tony Gwynn 107 times. No big deal for Mr. Padre, as Gwynn took that challenge and hit .415 over that span, and never punched out. Never. Maddux on the other hand? He had this to say, courtesy of,

“You just can’t do it,” Maddux said. “Sometimes hitters can pick up differences in spin. They can identify pitchers if there are different release points or if a curveball starts with an upward hump as it leaves the pitcher’s hand. But if a pitcher can change speeds, every hitter is helpless, limited by human vision.”

“Except for that (expletive) Tony Gwynn.”

I can go on and on, stat after stat, quote after quote about one of the greatest players to play the game, but by now you’ve read all of it. You’ve heard every shocking statistic. The bottom line is that we were privileged to witness such a stunning baseball player, and a great man. Tip your caps and take a moment of silence next time you are at the field, Tony Gwynn was all-class.

Thank you #19.



Win This Pitch – On The Radar


UC Irvine 3B – Taylor Sparks

Over the last 14 days of UC Irvine’s regular season, the Anteaters lost eight of their last nine games, over that stretch, they managed to put across more than three runs in just one game, their only win.

Since then, they’ve lost just one game in Regionals to the overall #1 in Oregon State, a team they turned around and beat the next day.

This has been spearheaded by a lineup change, in particular, Taylor Sparks lineup change from the cleanup spot to the leadoff spot. UCI Head Coach Mike Gillespie told the Daily Pilot, “It was really no more complicated than doing something that would maybe take a little pressure off of him.”

The move worked. Coming in to tonight’s game with powerhouse Vanderbilt, it’s Taylor Sparks who has taken his approach at the plate to another level. In the post-season, a span of seven games, Sparks is batting .500, a 14-28 clip. His on-base? No big deal, just .548, 48-points higher than anyone else in tonight’s game.

Things have fallen in to place at the plate for Sparks, who told the Daily Pilot that he likes to “get something started”. Fast hands, smooth at the dish, he will translate to the next level. At the plate isn’t the only place you need to watch the 6-foot-4 junior, he is highly touted by his coach and scouts for his glove work in the field. According to Baseball America,

“He’s also a standout athlete who starred as a football wide receiver in high school; UCI coach Mike Gillespie calls him “a freak” who has the agility of a gymnast at third base, where the coach insists he has big league gold glove potential. Scouts have no problem projecting him as a 55 or 60 defender at the hot corner, with a 60 arm. He’s even a 55 runner and flashes 60 speed underway. Sparks also tantalizes with easy plus raw power from the right side, though cavernous Anteater Ballpark stifles home run production.”

Sparks appears to be the whole package, and knows what he is doing. In interviews you hear him speak about staying flat through the zone, and working the whole park. Tonight, Sparks was going head-to-head with another Major League talent in Tyler Beede, on the mound for Vanderbilt. Keep an eye out for Taylor Sparks at the next level in the Reds organization, taken in the 2nd round, 58th overall. His size and A+ agility and versatility will keep him moving through the ranks.

Sparks Watch 6/16/14 - 1-4, 2RBI, HBP, 2K -  Beede gets the best of Sparks in the first inning and things look All-Vanderbilt. The bottom of the 2nd, a different story. While the ‘Eaters scratch across two runs on Beede, Sparks comes up again with 2 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd. Sparks fought off an inside pitch and put it up the middle for a 2-run single, putting UCI up 4-2. In the 4th inning, Sparks became Beede’s 3rd HBP victim, square in the left shoulder. Ouch. Bottom 7, Sparks goes down 0-2 quickly against a cruising Walker Buehler, and put together a great battle facing 9 pitches, but eventually chasing a high 94 mph fastball. 9th inning, Sparks rolls over to third to cap his day at 1-4.

How the Red Sox Pulled it Off


How did the Red Sox pull that off?

The Boston Red Sox, those gritty, underdog, Red Sox, beloved by there town.

I’d like to start with a congratulations to the Sox on their 3rd crown in the last 10 years, and to those who really like to make it dramatic, their first home-clinched World Series since 1918?

But just how did they pull it off, especially after batting .211 in the World Series, an on-base percentage of just .291, and a slugging of .330? To put these numbers in perspective a little, Detroit’s Prince Fielder had a better batting average and on-base percentage in this postseason.

For starters, literally, the Red Sox took the approach to make life rough on opposing starting pitching. Coming in to the series, everyone knew, Cardinals starters were pitching lights out and the back end of the pen was torching everyone in the upper 90’s. Just ask the Dodgers. The key ended up being getting in to the belly of the bullpen.

Just like Brad Pitt, er, Billy Beane told us, “take more pitches”. The Red Sox were making Cardinals starters work, hard. Game Six was the only game where a St. Louis starter made it through the 7th inning. St. Louis starters also averaged 17.5 pitchers per inning, logging just 32.2 IP over the six-game series. So while the Red Sox weren’t finding a way on base, at least they were being a pain in the ass about it.


The Red Sox did their job at the plate forcing the Cardinals pitchers to raise pitch counts early, and in games four, five, and six, the Sox scored 7 of their 13 runs in the middle innings of ball games. They capitalized on poor decisions and errors, to overcome their own lack of production at the plate.

Lack of production at the plate for the Red Sox was another story. How do you win a World Series when only one batter in your lineup bats over .250? If you go across the field to the other dugout, the Cardinals had four of their top producers batting .294+ during the series. This is why batting average is deceiving. Matt Holliday was the only Cardinal with multiple extra base hits, and hit the only St. Louis homerun in the series. The Sox on the other hand, with only two players who produced more than one extra base hit, still had 10 different guys with at least one. Holliday had 6-of-10 Cardinal XBH’s.

While the bats weren’t exactly lighting it up, you have to look at the front office and realize that these guys just knew what they were doing in Boston. After beer and chicken last season, the Red Sox sat tied at 15th in the majors with a WAR of 18.9. Now I know how Jonny Gomes feels about WAR, but he should slow down. His team went from last seasons 15th, to this seasons top rank, #1 at 36.6 WAR. That was 6.3 better than the next team, Tampa Bay, and 13.0 more than St. Louis on the season. Sorry Jonny, while your 2-17 in the World Series with a very timely long ball was nice, your team still puts quite a bit in to their metrics, and it pays off.

The bottom line, the Sox did enough right to overshadow things that were going wrong, while the Cardinals didn’t. Nice pickoff Koji. That is the only way a move like letting Brandon Workman hit in the 9th inning then yanking him after one single in the bottom of the 9th, with Napoli on the bench, gets completely overlooked. Don’t worry John Farrell, it’s swept under the rug, and you don’t need to worry about that one anymore. So, all in all, congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, and to everyone else? Take some more pitches.

Coming up: We will look at Free Agency, who teams should look in to, and who teams should stay away from.

2013 Draft Grade – Arizona Diamondbacks

dbackheaderWith the 2013 MLB Entry Draft in the books, and the 2nd half of the season revving up, we are going to take a look at the future and each team’s 2013 draft.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are seeing some of their top prospects come to the forefront, and in this year’s draft they made a strong push at keeping the cupboard stocked up. Players like Didi Gregorius are stepping in to everyday roles seamlessly, and the highly touted Adam Eaton is finally off the shelf. The emergence of Gerardo Parra has that outfield looking rather jammed at the moment. On the bump, wow. Players like Tyler Skaggs are the real deal and a hurler like Archie Bradley has top end potential, I think he settles in to a #2 spot with the ability to have a huge season.

Let’s dive in to this year’s picks. Overall Breakdown – 16 P / 7 OF / 15 IF / 3 C

Diamondbacks Best Selection: Braden Shipley- UNR – 1st Rd/15th Overall

Shipley is the real deal, and he delivered consistently in the Mountain West for the past two seasons, a solid Friday night division 1 starter.  This kid has room to grow but he will climb the ranks quickly with his plus fastball and strong change. The K/BB ratio last year was strong, at 3/1 over 100+ innings pitched. This selection is solid at 15th overall for the Diamondbacks, as they continue to load up cannons.

Diamondbacks Standout Picks:

Daniel Palka CI – GT – 3rd Rd/88th Overall - Big fan of Palka and what he was able to do at Georgia Tech. Palka has a ton of pop and I really like his hands at the plate. He needs to cut down on the K’s big time, but team’s seem to be willing to deal with that at the corners if the long ball is there. I believe he has some growing to do, but he has been consistent in the power department in all three years at GT and that will only improve.

Jimmy Sherfy RHP – Oregon – 10th Rd/300th Overall – I love this pick, at 300th overall? Yes please. This is an absolute get for the Diamondbacks. Sherfy was a certified stopper in the Pac-12 and will only improve. His control is steadily improving and will only get better with work. At this spot in the draft, I think the D’Backs are in solid shape, and continue to pad their organization with arms.


Don’t forget about… Jake Mayers 3B – Richmond – 19th RD/ 570 Overal

A deep in the draft high potential guy, Jake Mayers has a lot to offer on both sides of the plate. Mayers is a 4-year player out of Richmond and proceeded to lead the team with his arm, and his bat. Mayers will come in and be a corner infielder, and could be a good fit at third. His hands aren’t spectacular, but with work he will be able to hold his own. Mayers possesses a smooth swing and does not shy away from taking the ball the other way, keeps his hands inside the ball well. Arizona will hope that he develops a little more power out of a corner spot, but the promise is there. In his past two seasons at Richmond, Mayers posted team leading OPS numbers, with .994 and .967. While he isn’t a slam dunk prospect and will go under the radar, Mayers is someone mature enough to climb the ranks.


Overall Grade: B-

The Diamondbacks did a solid job of loading up the organization in this draft, especially early on. The Diamondbacks were able to grab front end arms early, while still managing to pick position players with six of their first ten picks. To me, I think that Arizona did itself justice, especially in the later rounds. Players like Mayers in the 19th, or Jordan Parr in the 15th round, have the ability to jump players in the organization. You also can’t overlook to 34th round selection of Corey Hahn, a former highly touted Arizona prospect out of California, who was paralyzed in 2011 after sliding in to second base. Very classy and respectable move from the organization, who will make Hahn a full-time employee. While it was far from the best set of picks in the draft, the D’Backs held their own.



Super Regionals, Road To Omaha P. 1

This is why we love this time of the year. Regional play was far from disappointing, but home team’s prevailed at an astonishing rate. These Regional games were packed with MLB level talent, and it showed. Here at Win This Pitch, we are going to take a look at all the Super Regional matchups and give you our thoughts, our standouts, and ultimately, a winner. Part one we will take a look at what will go down in Baton Rouge, and in the Carolina battle at Chapel Hill.


Baton Rouge Super Regional : #4 LSU v. Oklahoma

Sooner Story- Oklahoma fans should have the feeling that this team can seemingly do just about anything, and beat just about anyone. The 43-win Sooners are fresh off a Regional where they knocked off a heavily-picked Virginia Tech ball club. They’ve got two of the best in college ball to trot out to the mound, and they will rely on Jonathan Gray (big time) and Dillon Overton. They should, those two are flat out dealing. Whiff. Oklahoma is ranked 25th in the nation in WHIP at 1.22, and they will need to do the same to have a positive outcome. If they can hold LSU to 4 and under like they did to teams in their Regional, they have a shot at this thing.

Tigers Geaux- The 55 win season is no joke for the Tigers, and down in Baton Rouge, they like their home cooking. LSU has only dropped one series at home this season. With high talent all over this team, it will be interesting to see what Alex Bregman has in store. The fantastic freshman is a golden-spike kind of player, and it will be interesting to see what is left in his tank. The Tigers can put runs on the board, 15th in runs on the year, but their pitching has the ability to one-up Oklahoma. A sick WHIP of 1.07 on the season has them right there with hurling teams like Oregon State and Cal State Fullerton, third in the nation.

Punch the ticket to Omaha- LSU – The Tigers at home, this is just too much for the Sooners. Oklahoma fans shouldn’t hang their heads, it’s been a great year for the program and they’ll continue to get better. LSU will play better than they did in Regional play, and move on. Look out for Aaron Nola to step up big. Also, if we thought Alex Bregman was good, I have a feeling he is going to take things step further and lead this team on. I expect a battle from the starting pitchers on both sides in this series, but the LSU bats will prevail.


Chapel Hill Super Regional : #1 North Carolina v. South Carolina

South Side- South Carolina is fresh off going 3-0 through their Regional and looked pretty sharp, but before that, they did lose three really tough ones in the SEC tournament. My thoughts on the Gamecocks are so back and forth, I’m getting dizzy. At times this season, this team has looked extremely strong, like taking two of three at LSU. On the other hand, I wasn’t a huge fan of their non-conference schedule and they have gone through hazes, like three different three-game skids. The team has all the ability, but they need to turn it on. This is Pankake’s time to lead, and Webb to shut the door.

Diamond Heels- Well, I think by Friday the craziness of the FAU v NC game will have worn off. Instant classic. This could go two way, either the Heels are mentally worn out (And starters are worn down) from their late season ups and downs and marathon with FAU, or they use this last game to steer the ship and momentum in to the Super Regional to get past SC. From top to bottom, this Tar Heels lineup is is just more lethal than the Gamecocks. Colin Moran has all the hype, and Cody Stubbs has become absolutely deadly at the dish. His team high average of .372 is no joke, as he has grown leaps since the season began. More importantly, the Heels are here without Skye Bolt turning on, and when he does, look out. I think the pitching will have enough time to recuperate, and the bats will stack up just enough.

Punch the Ticket to Omaha- #1 North Carolina- I don’t give the Tar Heels the edge because they are at home, as this one was as close for me as any other. This truly could go either way, and I wouldn’t be surprised. I feel like I’m going out on a limb, but North Carolina is going to count their lucky stars after getting through that Regional, and start to prove why they are the #1 seed. They will need to quiet LB Dantzler, and not be afraid to go to the pen. The team posted a nice 1.17 WHIP on the season, 13th in the nation, they need to use the arms that they have and not overkill starters. Trust what got you here.