Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tulane Has Some Work to Do

I follow the Philadelphia Phillies closely, but I don’t know much about college baseball. But I kinda keep in touch with the Wave- and I have watched a lot of the CWS this year- including all of the entertaining, albeit not exactly crisp, LSU-Texas game last night (Phillies were off).

But a little distance might actually help here. Two observations:

First: This idea that Tulane is level with these power programs, but for the absence of a couple of players who went to A-Ball over the Green Wave, is wholly erroneous. This is particularly evident among position players. Like Florida State hammering Tulane in last year’s tournament, these guys hit from one-to-nine: line-ups littered with straight power and gap power. They can go for ten runs even against good college pitching- not just Northern Colorado and Wright State. Of the five tools, these programs seemingly have a dozen hitters who can bring either the “hitting for power” or “hit for average” tool (or both)- at least at the college level. How many does Tulane have?

It seems that one Shooter Hunt can make you a tough out in a tournament setting- but you need hitters in bunches to make you truly dangerous. The relationship between pitching depth versus hitting depth is skewed from MLB. To survive in the major leagues, you need a trio of power bats and eight-nine serviceable arms- in college it seems almost flipped.

Second: This college game is never going to be television friendly if they don’t address the pacing issue. It is so languid at times. You can play a ton of games where a fair over/under is fifteen runs and have the playing time associated with that. But these ridiculous pitch counts, pitchers afraid to challenge the eight hole hitter because even they can go deep or into the gaps, the resultant endless three ball counts and walks....

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