Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The first 9 games

Last year after 9 games we were 7-2 and the 2 losses were by one run each. This year we won 2 games by 1 run each. The difference is experience and depth. We have the bullpen to match up in critical situations. And Jonathan Holder was a no name the first few weeks of the season last year.

Difference Makers

Nick Ammiratti, catcher: In baseball you have to have 2 catchers to spell each other and Ammo has come on in his senior year to do this for Mitch Slauter. Ammo can throw out runners better than Slauter and he is a switch hitter. I see Ammo playing a lot especially against Vanderbilt who has a running team. This will free up Slauter to DH which makes that spot stronger. Ammo has made the catching position a strength in 2013.

Alex Detz, infielder: Detz can play all the positions 1B, 2B, SS, 3B which makes him invaluable. On top of that he bats left and has a keen eye at the plate. He has a .500 on base percentage. He walks and doesn't strike out much, he works the count to his favor. I see him playing a lot of DH in the coming weeks also. Detz is big addition to the 2013 club.

There are several other guys that I could mention but these 2 just for the first 9 games, I see have already made a big difference.  We have 11 more non-conference games until SEC play, so it is important that lots of guys play. The team is like a puzzle coming together, I see some very important pieces that needs work but I believe they will. Brett Pirtle is one, he has struggled some but I expect him to really do well once he is comfortable.

The SEC is going to be a war this year. Lots of good teams going at it. I see lots of low scoring games that is why John Cohen didn't like the failed steal of home the other night. Each run is very important in the SEC. Well, I will write again in two weeks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

SEC Coaches Predictions


1) Arkansas (90) 12
2) LSU (75) 1
3) Miss State (59) 1
4) Ole Miss (54)
5) Texas A&M (51)
6) Alabama (26)
7) Auburn (24)


1) Vanderbilt (89) 12
2) Florida (67)
3) S Carolina (59) 1
Tie-Kentucky (59) 1
5) Georgia (41)
6) Tennessee (29)
7) Missouri (23)


1) Arkansas (90) 9
2) Vanderbilt (89) 3
3) LSU (75) 1
4) Florida (67)
5) Miss State (59)
Tie-S Carolina
Tie-Kentucky 1
8) Ole Miss (54)
9) Texas A&M (51)
10) Georgia (41)
11) Tennessee (29)
12) Alabama (26)
13) Auburn (24)
14) Missouri (23)

I am going to keep up w these predictions bc I think since baseball coaches are supposed to be "experts" of baseball, talent, etc., they should have the best idea as to who should be good or bad in baseball. Right?
Well, in 2012 both Miss State and Kentucky were picked to finish 5th in the West and East (out of 6th) but they finished tied for 2nd in each division. Kentucky was a half game out winning the overall SEC title. And the coaches picked Alabama to finish 3rd in the West, they won 9 and finished last.
You can't predict injuries, lack of performance or development of new players (especially). We shall see how they do bc I will keep up with it.
So according to them Arkansas and Vanderbilt should run away w their divisions, 12 out of 14 votes each received.
Someone sure believes in Kentucky. 1 vote to win the East and 1 vote to win the SEC. Miss State got 1 vote to win the West.
Apparently, starting pitching wins out over offense these days. Arkansas and Vanderbilt have strong starting pitching.

Friday, February 1, 2013

John Cohen's Press Conference

This is what I took from what he said:
This team is his fastest team not only at Miss State but all his coaching years. This translates (scrimmages too) into lots of stolen bases for the offense. I think at least 100 this year. That produces runs.  This team has depth and lots of it. We have 6 OF's that are very capable. Bradford and Renfroe are the 2 main starters. Bradford will pitch more (he would have before but injuries sidelined him) especially against lefties late in the game. Don't be surprised to see Renfroe pitch an inning here or there. Cohen is impressed that he is a 5 tool player. He will be a 1st or 2nd rounder by MLB. He expects him to make more contact this year, he has shortened his stroke. Demarcus Henderson is the most improved. I think he starts in LF. Jacob Robson will get his share of PT too. JC player Derrick Armstrong will play in the OF also. He is very fast. OF: Bradford, Renfroe, Henderson, Robson, Fullerton and Armstrong. Cody Brown will redshirt.
1B will mainly be manned by Wes Rea. He expects Rea to really hit and defend well. 2B will likely be Brett Pirtle a JC guy. He did praise Matthew Britton as the best IF defender on the team. To me that means he will be a late inning guy to turn DP's like he did in 2012. Of course, SS is Adam Frazier, a hitting machine, will bat leadoff. 3B looks like Daryl Norris but Norris will pitch also in spots. I think Norris will be spelled by Kyle Hann whenever possible. The freshman is a star of the future. Cohen didn't mention Nick Flair but he has been doing well in the scrimmages. He is a backup at 1B and 3B.
The C position is the one that needed a backup and Nick Ammiratti certainly has improved the last few months. He may even start against running teams. He has the best pop time to 2B. Plus Ammiratti bats left.
The pitching is the strength of the team according to Cohen. The SEC rotation hasn't been completely settled except for the Saturday job, that goes to senior captain Kendall Graveman. Friday and Sunday will be fought over by Evan Mitchell, Trevor Fitts, Brandon Woodruff, Will Cox and Jacob Lindren. He is estactic over the bullpen. Lots of good arms and lots of matchup opportunities. The scrimmages and non-conf games will determine who wins the rotation and where they will relief pitch. Although, Jonathan Holder is the closer.