Patience leads to production
It’s always interesting to see which hitters around the country are A) the most patient and B) potentially the most feared.
For instance, Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto walks 1.24 times per game, while Florida State outfielder DJ Stewart walks 1.21 times per game. Also interesting, though FSU’s Justin Gonzalez isn’t hitting for a high batting average, he is somewhat productive with an average of 1.21 walks per game.
Another notable is Wichita State All-American first baseman Casey Gillaspie, who walks on average one time a game.
In terms of players who have played more than 10 games, Virginia Tech’s Saige Jenco leads the way with 1.38 walks per game.
Hitting for a high average
The Kentucky Wildcats didn’t meet expectations last season, and a big reason for that is the offense struggled a bit, especially sophomore outfielder Austin Cousino, who was coming off a monster freshman season. Well, Cousino is red-hot again this season with a .443 batting average thus far. Cousino is joined on the national batting average list by hard-hitting two-way star A.J. Reed, who’s hitting .436 and leads the nation in homers.
San Diego’s duo of Andrew Daniel (.453) and Louie Lechich (.443) each rank top 30 nationally in batting average, while a couple of surprises include Oklahoma’s Mac James (.517) and LSU’s Kade Scivicque (.455).
As we mentioned above, Gillaspie is not only a patient and feared hitter, but he’s also been consistent at the plate with a .438 average thus far. UC Santa Barbara is off to a great start this season, and the rise of electric outfielder Joey Epperson is a big reason why, as he’s hitting .490 and ranks fourth nationally in batting average.
Major power surge
Kentucky two-way star A.J. Reed leads the nation in the home run department with eight thus far, but he’s not alone, as UC Riverside’s Nick Vilter also has eight.
Here are some other interesting power figures:
Nathan Becker, Davidson (6)
Sasha LaGarde, Mercer (6)
Ty McFarland, James Madison (6)
Aaron Mizell, Georgia Southern (6)
Stryker Brown, Georgia Southern (5)
Aramis Garcia, Florida International (5)
Michael Katz, William & Mary (5)
Zach Stephens, Tennessee Tech (5)
Brandon Thomasson, Tennessee Tech (5)
Some additional interesting notes include UCSB first baseman Tyler Kuresa joining Epperson as one of the national elite, ranking No. 14 in homers with four, while both Georgia Southern and Tennessee Tech have two players in the top 15. Interestingly, GSU is off to a terrific 14-2 start, while TTU is 13-3.
In terms of the nation’s most powerful teams, here’s how that category stacks up:
Georgia Southern (23)
Tennessee Tech (17)
Georgia State (14)
Dallas Baptist (12)
San Diego (12)
Swiping some bases
If you’re looking for someone to keep off the base paths at all costs, Bradley’s Chris Godinez is your guy. The national leader in stolen bases, Godinez has stolen 12 bases in 13 games. Meanwhile, TCU’s Cody Jones and Georgia Southern’s Ben Morgan each have 12 stolen bases, with plenty of other notables out there, too.
Hunter Burton, Furman (11)
Mason Davis, The Citadel (11)
Austin Miller, Loyola Marymount (11)
Jake Noll, FGCU (11)
Sean Beesley, Illinois State (10)
Andrew Daniel, San Diego (10)
Tyler Grogg, Toledo (10)
Andrew Guillotte, McNeese State (10)
Tyler Hibbert, FIU (10)
Scott Kingery, Arizona (10)
Kevin Newman, Arizona (10)
Jake Yacinich, Iowa (10)
And the most aggressive teams in college baseball are …
How about the Wofford Terriers? It’s been a last 24 hours to remember for the Terriers. In addition to making the NCAA basketball tournament, they have one of the most impressive teams in the country in baseball in terms of stealing bases. Wofford leads the nation in the category with 54, 13 ahead of the Bradley Braves.
Some other notables include Georgia Southern (38), Arizona (38), Kentucky (36), Auburn (36), UC Santa Barbara (34), Southeastern Louisiana (34), Mississippi State (34).
Pitching prowess on the national stage
Several pitchers around the country have gotten off to great starts this season, but perhaps no one has been as big of a surprise as Ole Miss right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis. Ellis, who we detailed in our “What we learned: Week 4” feature, has yet to allow an earned run this season and has an unblemished earned-run average in 27 2/3 innings.
UC Irvine right-handed pitcher Andrew Morales is having a great season, and too, has an unblemished ERA in 30 innings, while LSU right-handed pitcher Aaron Nola, who toes the rubber against Vanderbilt righty Tyler Beede this weekend, has yet to allow a run in 27 innings. Nola was up to 95 this past weekend against Purdue.
Also worth noting, Hartford left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb has yet to allow a run in 17 2/3 innings, as we detailed in this Newcomb scouting report, and Houston righty Aaron Garza is having a great year thus far with an 0.30 ERA in 30 innings.
Notable from the freshman class is Auburn super-talented righty Keegan Thompson, who has a 0.30 ERA in 30 innings.
And in terms of strikeouts …
Brandon Finnegan, TCU (45)
Matt Imhof, Cal Poly (41)
Matt Krook, Oregon (37)
Chase Mallard, UAB (37)
Aaron Nola, LSU (36)
Andro Cutura, Southeastern Louisiana (35)
Daniel Mengden, Texas A&M (35)
James Kaprielian, UCLA (34)
Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt (33)
Taylor Byrd, Nicholls State (33)
Matt Fraudin, Gardner-Webb (33)
Shane McCain, Troy (33)
Harrison Musgrave, West Virginia (33)
Sam Street, Texas-Pan American (33)
And team ERA?
South Carolina (1.20)
UC Irvine (1.49)