A look at the eight-team field set to play in Rosenblatt Stadium's final CWS.
Over the past few years much discussion centered around the future site of the College World Series, with the tournament outgrowing aging Rosenblatt Stadium. Omaha will continue to host the tournament into the foreseeable future, but it will move out of Rosenblatt next season and to the new, $128 million TD Ameritrade Park. Although neither Texas—winner of the first CWS at Rosenblatt in 1950 (as well as the last held at another site, 1949 at Wichita)—nor its coach Augie Garrido, who has won more CWS games at Rosenblatt than anyone--won’t be present, traditional powers, Florida State, Arizona State, Clemson, and South Carolina will be. TCU, UCLA, Florida, and Oklahoma round out the field.
While 14 of the 16 top seeds made the super-regional round, only three of the top eight national seeds will be making the trip to Omaha. Most notably, two of the nation’s top three teams throughout the regular season—Texas and Virginia—lost their super-regionals to underdogs TCU and Clemson.
Breaking down one half of the field of 64, which was announced Monday.
As discussed last week, the top five national seeds were guaranteed with Florida’s late surge and Coastal Carolina’s domination of their conference, leaving TCU, South Carolina, Louisville, UCLA, Auburn, Cal State Fullerton, and Georgia Tech vying for the final three national seeds. Prior to the conference tournaments, UCLA, Fullerton, and South Carolina seemed to be the front runners, though South Carolina cooled during the final week and seeding both UCLA and Fullerton seemed unlikely. Largely as expected, national seeds went to Arizona State, Texas, Florida, Coastal Carolina, Virginia, UCLA, Louisville, and Georgia Tech.
In the end, the biggest controversy wasn’t Georgia Tech receiving the final national seed over South Carolina, but Virginia being pushed down to fifth behind not only a surging Florida squad but also Coastal Carolina. Moreover, geographic necessities provided Connecticut with a regional as the only team north of the Mason-Dixon line, despite significantly stronger resumes from Florida State (the No. 1 seed in the Norwich regional), Vanderbilt, and Clemson.
A broad scan of the college conferences and all the teams that are in, on the bubble, and vying for an invitation to June Madness.
Don't worry, I'm not going to make an argument that it's as good as March Madness. For fans of college baseball, though, May and June allow for a degree of projection and anticipation similar to what the college basketball tournament offers us every March. With just two weeks of regular season and one week of conference tournament play to go, college baseball's postseason is right around the corner. For some teams, the year is essentially over, and for others, it's time to sleep until the May 29 regionals. For the rest, the next three weeks are of the utmost importance, and during that time, we'll do our best to narrow the field.
This weekend features about as evenly-matched a showdown as you can get.
We're not trained to think that April is a month for marquee matchups, but colleges across the country give us a brand of baseball that challenges that assumption. While Major League Baseball tries to turn Dusty's return to Wrigley as a pivotal baseball story, college baseball has a much more genuinely pivotal regular-season series beginning on Friday: Miami at Florida State.
Bryan handicaps who's got the best chances at making the college playoffs coming out of the best conferences.
Before the season, my initial preview of the college baseball scene was an analysis of the offensive structure of the game. I tried to show that despite the aluminum bats we weren't talking about a 30-run brand of baseball (even though Virginia defied me by dropping 27 on Coppin State in the season's first week). I really hoped to prove that it's a game where Brian Roberts' major league numbers are average, and that it's a brand of baseball where defense is inconsistent. To prove this, I used the averages of the 12 conferences that had at least one at-large bid in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. With a few exceptions, it's those 12 conferences that host the best baseball in the nation. While the midway point of the regular season isn't until next week or so, I decided to abandon our usual six-point structure just for this week to review the state of those 12 conferences. As a point of reference, last year 45 of the 64 NCAA tournament spots went to teams in these conferences.
The Mets have the ability to turn top prospects into starting pitching if they wish. Kevin details a top-heavy farm system with one impact prospect who's not a household name--yet.
1. Fernando Martinez, cf
2. Philip Humber, rhp
3. Mike Pelfrey, rhp Very Good Prospects
4. Carlos Gomez, of Good Prospects
5. Alay Soler, rhp Average Prospects
6. Jon Niese, lhp
7. Kevin Mulvey, rhp
8. Mike Carp, 1b
9. Deolis Guerra, rhp
10. Joe Smith, rhp
Even Alexis Gomez came from somewhere (Kansas City). Kevin tells us how the Tigers and A's acquired the rest of their postseason difference-makers.
\nMathematically, leverage is based on the win expectancy work done by Keith Woolner in BP 2005, and is defined as the change in the probability of winning the game from scoring (or allowing) one additional run in the current game situation divided by the change in probability from scoring\n(or allowing) one run at the start of the game.';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_18 = 'Adjusted Pitcher Wins. Thorn and Palmers method for calculating a starters value in wins. Included for comparison with SNVA. APW values here calculated using runs instead of earned runs.';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_19 = 'Support Neutral Lineup-adjusted Value Added (SNVA adjusted for the MLVr of batters faced) per game pitched.';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_20 = 'The number of double play opportunities (defined as less than two outs with runner(s) on first, first and second, or first second and third).';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_21 = 'The percentage of double play opportunities turned into actual double plays by a pitcher or hitter.';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_22 = 'Winning percentage. For teams, Win% is determined by dividing wins by games played. For pitchers, Win% is determined by dividing wins by total decisions. ';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_23 = 'Expected winning percentage for the pitcher, based on how often\na pitcher with the same innings pitched and runs allowed in each individual\ngame earned a win or loss historically in the modern era (1972-present).';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_24 = 'Attrition Rate is the percent chance that a hitters plate appearances or a pitchers opposing batters faced will decrease by at least 50% relative to his Baseline playing time forecast. Although it is generally a good indicator of the risk of injury, Attrition Rate will also capture seasons in which his playing time decreases due to poor performance or managerial decisions. ';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_25 = 'Batting average (hitters) or batting average allowed (pitchers).';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_26 = 'Average number of pitches per start.';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_27 = 'Average Pitcher Abuse Points per game started.';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_28 = 'Singles or singles allowed.';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_29 = 'Batting average; hits divided by at-bats.';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_30 = 'Percentage of pitches thrown for balls.';
xxxpxxxxx1160846402_31 = 'The Baseline forecast, although it does not appear here, is a crucial intermediate step in creating a players forecast. The Baseline developed based on the players previous three seasons of performance. Both major league and (translated) minor league performances are considered.