Monday, May 31, 2010

2010 BC baseball stat review: Oh my

Well, no real breaking news here: Boston College was not selected this afternoon to go to the 2010 NCAA Tournament, breaking BC's tournament streak at a whopping 1 year in a row.  As you will see in a few moments, there are some specific reasons for that (coughpitchingcough).  It's disappointing for our seniors and likely draftees and it is quite likely the Eagles will take a hit next year as a result of the losses they will sustain, but we'll talk about that in 2011.

Now that Boston College baseball's season is officially over, it's time to break down their stats.  For purposes of comparison, I will stack them up against 2009 when, of course, they made the NCAA Tournament.  The only response I have to these stats is "Oh my," but not in a good context like George Takei said.

Overall Performance
The 2010 Eagles played in 58 games, going 30-28.  The 2009 Eagles played in 60 games, going 34-26.

Boston College's 2010 offense was similar in production to the 2009 version, despite losing several key bats.  Batting average (8th in the ACC) was lower, as were runs per game, but team OPS was up (though still nowhere near the conference leaders).  In virtually every major statistic, Boston College was about the 8th-best offense in the conference, but we all saw the way in which this team could put up runs most of the time.  That, I believe, is a testament to how good the rest of the ACC is at scoring runs.

Anthony Melchionda led the Eagles in 2010 with a .358 batting average, which was 12th-best in the conference.  The Eagles had five everyday players hitting over .300 this year: Melchionda, Robbie Anston, Brad Zapenas, John Spatola, and Mickey Wiswall.  Wiswall hit 19 home runs, tied for tops in the ACC with 4 other players; Spatola was right behind him with 17.

The offense bailed this team out several times this year; most recently on Thursday against Miami.  There were other games, however, where the Eagles had built up a big cushion only to see the pitching give most of it back.  If it weren't for the bats, Boston College likely would have been a sub-.500 team and almost certainly would not have qualified for the ACC Tournament.

The 2010 Boston College Eagles had a .979 fielding percentage this year, which was the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference (Virginia is in 2nd at .977, so it is possible that they may overtake BC before the conclusion of the NCAA Tournament).  Last year, Boston College fielded .972.

If you still somehow didn't know what the main problem with the 2010 Eagles was, here it is.  You can see it for yourself on the stat sheet, or you can watch a repeat of Friday's ACC Tournament game: Boston College's pitching declined significantly from last season to this one.  Team ERA was over two runs higher than last year, opposing batting average went up over .300, and opposing OPS went up by over 100 points.  In other words, our guys were basically pitching batting practice this season.

Here's some more of the awful truth: BC's team ERA was 11th in the ACC, second only to a particularly bad Maryland club.  Opposing batting average was the same deal, with only the Terps keeping BC out of the basement.  The Eagles were dead last by a good-sized margin in strikeouts, having K'd 340 batters.  The 11th place team, Wake Forest, fanned 378.  For laughs, the top team in the conference, Miami, struck out 507.

Boston College's battery only picked off five runners all year, 11th in the conference.  Eagles pitching allowed 611 hits, only 9 shy of tying Maryland for last place in the ACC.  BC's 410 runs allowed was 10th in the conference.  BC's 254 walks allowed was second-worst.  BC's 64 home runs allowed was third-worst.  The Eagles led the conference with 10 balks and plunked 57 batters.  Any way you slice it, the pitching was terrible this year.  In fact, in all but a few categories, Boston College was in the bottom-third of the ACC in the vast majority of pitching statistics.  Did I mention that BC ace Pat Dean is probably going to be drafted into the pros?  That'll make things look a whole lot better I'm sure (denote extreme sarcasm).

A season-in-review article for BC baseball moving away from some of the statistical particulars will be forthcoming in June.  I plan on doing this in three parts: a football and basketball year in review, hockey year in review (they win the title, they get their own article), and non-revenue year in review, in that order.

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