[Bumped to the Front Page.]
With a month and a half in the books, let's take a look at some of the numbers from the baseball team to date. Technically these stats are only through March 30, but I might not be motivated to do this tomorrow, so today's 4-3 win over aTm isn't reflected in what you see below. Overall, Mizzou is 16-10 and 3-2 in the conference, recovering nicely from an early 5 game losing streak(including a sweep at the hands of San Francisco). A win tomorrow to take the series from #7 aTm, in College Station no less, would set them up very nicely to keep themselves in the top half of the conference. On to the individual numbers.....
|Scott Sommerfeld||77||.351||.416||.390||0.806||3/4 SB|
|Ben Turner||75||.320||.453||.400||0.853||16/11 BB/K|
|Brannon Champagne||86||.314||.406||.337||0.743||6/7 SB|
|Dane Opel||81||.309||.398||.593||0.991||5 HR|
|Blake Brown||82||.305||.416||.561||0.977||6 HR, 9/11 SB|
I included only the regulars here for simplicity's sake. Of those not pictured, only Gavin Stark has more than even 30 ABs, and he's been woeful at the plate(.467 OPS!). As is not hard to see, the outfield(Sommerfield, Opel, Brown, Champagne) and catcher Turner are the big drivers for the offense, with Opel and Brown really doing a lot of damage. The Big 12 doesn't show leaders by OPS and doesn't show more than a Top 10 list for other stats, so I'm not exactly sure how Brown and Opel rank in the conference, but I think it's safe to say that they are a worthy 1-2 punch.
The picture here is much less clear. Holovach was recently moved to the rotation with great success(these numbers don't include his fine outing today against aTm), and he makes a capable Friday-Saturday tandem with Zastryzny. Emens and Walsh(8 saves) are nice pair to close games out, while no one has emerged to provide a 3rd SP to finish off a series.
In all, this seems to be a team that will do better than last year's abysmal 11-15, 8th place conference finish. How much better will probably be determined by the pitching. There's no Scherzer, Gibson, or Crow here, but developing a third option on par with the first two could give them the depth to grind out their share of series wins through the Big 12 season. I'll try to do this again at the end of April, and we can see what trends emerge from the bulk of the conference season.