Poll

Chapman vs Linfield

Chapman splits 4 games with Linfield
2 (40%)
Linfield sweeps
1 (20%)
Chapman sweeps
0 (0%)
Linfield takes 3 of 4
0 (0%)
Chapman takes 3 of 4
2 (40%)

Total Members Voted: 5

Author Topic: BB: Just Some Guy's West Region Rankings  (Read 110017 times)

Offline Just_Some_Guy

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BB: Just Some Guy's West Region Rankings
« on: February 20, 2007, 11:09:24 pm »
Just_Some_Guy’s West Region Rankings for the week of 2/18/06-2/24/06

This was pretty tough for my first attempt at this, but hopefully some people will read and appreciate the work put into it.  It was more of a time investment than I thought it would be so I if I continue to do it, I doubt it will be this in depth and thorough. It might just consist of the rankings, key games, and a couple of top players. We’ll see.  Feedback and discussions, criticisms, etc are encouraged.


1.   Chapman Indep (8-1) – There’s no way you can justify putting anyone else in this spot yet. They are returning a large part of a team that won the West Regional last year. The team is hitting .377 and the team ERA is 2.47. 2B Kyle Redding is hitting .567, 3B Kurt Yacko, mentioned by some as an early player of the year candidate is hitting .447 with 3 bombs and 15 RBI. Transfer (Trinity, TX) SS Ryan Cavan hitting .429 with 3 SBs. And guess who’s back, Devin Drag. Drag’s ERA is a paltry 0.43 – He’s 3-0 with 3 BB and 23 SO in 21 innings. Opponents are hitting .125 against him. Freshman Matt Luzar (3-0) and Sophomore Wayde Kitches (1-1) compliment Drag well in the rotation with ERAs of  2.75 and 3.57 respectively. And Kurt Yacko is been solid in the pen: 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA and 2 saves. Opponents are hitting 0.71 against him.  Again, the bullpen is probably a little suspect. Again, with starters like these how do you get to the bullpen enough times to not see someone other than Yacko?
Key Games: Swept Cal Lutheran, 2 of 3 from McMurry

2.   George Fox NWC (4-0) – Picked to win their 6th straight Northwest title and who am I to argue? Returning OF Dan Wentzell (.388-5-38) and Third Team All-American SS (now 3B) Bo Thunell (.417-7-48) and a pitching staff their coach claims is the most talented he’s had in terms of depth I see no reason why George Fox won’t return to the west regional where they finished 3rd last season.
Key Games: Beat Cal Lutheran 6-3 and the Redlands 12-2

3.   UT Tyler ASC (4-0) – It’s hard to tell too much about this team because only there 3-1 win over McMurry gives us any indication of how this team will shape up, but after being the team with the 6th highest winning percentage (.811) in DIII baseball and with three guys hitting over .500 including 1B Brett Amyx who has 3 HR and 8 RBI, and pitching staff with a 1.12 ERA there’s no doubt this will be a tough team.  Fortunately for the other teams in these rankings Tyler has one more year before they’re eligible for post season play. Sr. Clay Copeland was picked as the ASC-East Preseason Player of the Year. Copeland hit .422 last year.
Key Games: Defeated McMurry 3-1

4.   Texas Lutheran ASC (7-0) – Here’s a team that usually starts the season nationally ranked based on previous year’s performance and quickly drops out by the first updated poll, then always resurfaces come regional time where they’ve finished 2nd to Chapman the last two years. The Bulldogs return all three rotation starters Enloe (0.75), Besa (1.08), Newman and last years closer turned starter Austin Yager (3-0) in the young season. The Bulldogs haven’t really played anyone yet, and they have to be concerned about the way Sr. Kyle Newman has pitched in his two starts (9.95 ERA). With only three returning position starters and the loss of All-American catcher Aaron Crais, the Bulldogs field a different team this year, but expectations remain the same.  SS Jacob Kaase is off to a hot start at .545 and LF Mat Moore is hitting .389 w/ 10 RBIs in 7 games.
Key Games: Defeated Southwestern 9-3

5.   UT Dallas ASC (2-1) – 2nd place in the ASC tournament last year, UTD returns 8 of 9 starters and will fill the missing starting spot with all ASC DH Nick Bird. This team is as offensively potent as they come and it showed this weekend against Trinity. Led by Bird (.308), OF Trent Elizondo (.600, 4 2B) and 2B Brett Rosen (.400). CF Mitch Elliot is hitting .444 with 2 bombs so far as well. The big question is can the pitching withstand the fire? UTD’s starting rotation will probably feature a transfer from Brookhaven CC and two guys who had about 11 appearances out of the bullpen collectively last year.
Key Games: Took 2 of 3 from Trinity

Con't

Offline infielddad

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2007, 11:54:08 pm »
Just,   that is a real nice assessment of each team, their personel, and performance to date.  The fact that Trinity did not use Brian Oates and could have won 2-3 from UT Dallas is pretty impressive.  Brian Oates pitched tonight.  4 innings, no runs or hits and 7 strikeouts.  As good as Drag is, Brian is there with him.  I think Trinity pitching will mature as the season does.  With Oates for a full season, the way they can pitch and hit can move them right up the rankings. With that said, from everything I hear of Chapman, Trinity does not have the kind of depth position wise but maybe are deeper on the mound. Additionally, they play a very rugged schedule.  That will help them a lot in the SCAC but with Rhodes beating Millsaps, and two weeks of tournament play, it is going to be bruising.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 12:14:52 am by infielddad »

Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2007, 12:02:26 am »
Guy, thanks.  +1!

IMHO, Luzar is the #2 pitcher from my seeing him last weekend. Kitchens is #3.  McMurry got to Kitchens again this year.  They could not touch Luzar!

I thought that Trinity's pitching looked good against UT-D on Sunday.  I think that they have the depth to handle the new SCAC format.

Offline Just_Some_Guy

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2007, 07:06:28 am »
6.   Trinity SCAC (1-2) – So they almost got swept by UTD, well they could’ve very easily won the series as well. This team will be there when it’s all said and done thanks to a very deep pitching staff and Sr. Nick Vera (.500 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB). Senior 3B Blake Holman and Senior OF Bobby Zabor will help anchor the middle of the lineup and if Andreas Verrios returns to his sophomore year form, this team could be very dangerous. The question with this team comes can Hoover and Claydon man the middle and provide any offensive punch.  If not can Ramos contribute? He certainly had a good weekend against UTD. With Bignall, Oates, Horn, Bronson, and Hopkins (among others) Trinity has a deep staff, but it did seem vulnerable in the games against UTD as only Bignall got a W, giving up 6 ER in the process. The health of Oates will be key. He didn’t throw this weekend and I guess they’re trying to work him back in slowly.
Key Games: Lost 2 of 3 to UT-Dallas

7.   Linfield NWC (3-1) – Like UTD, Linfield is a team that has plenty of offensive firepower and may struggle to find consistency from an untested pitching staff. Led by catcher and 1st team All NWC Drew Van Cleave (.438), 2nd team All NWC 3B David Bachofner, and Outfielders Kevin Mills (.450) and Stew Davis this team will hit which they proved in Arizona this past weekend with 36 runs in 4 games. Only RHP Brian Clark (7-1 last year) returns as a starter though, and others will be counted on to step into the mix. The starters, including Clark, have been roughed up early this year, but Cameron Larson is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA out of the bullpen.
Key Games: Lost to Cal Lutheran 9-15, defeated Redlands 9-6

8.   Cal Lutheran SCIAC  (5-4) – 1-4 against teams I have ranked higher than them, I’m starting to second-guess my placement; perhaps they should at least be behind Redlands. I don’t know. The Kingsmen will be led by returners P  Gabe Ward (8-1, 2.80 ERA last year) and C Brett Urie (.329). CF Lee Ellis (7 HRs) and 3B Justin Bogoyevac (.316) will also help man the offense. Only 5 of their 9 games have been posted in their stats, but thus far Sr. Josh Gagne is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 9.2 innings pitched. I wish these SCIAC would keep up with their stats better.
Key Games: Swept by Chapman, defeated Linfield 15-9, lost to George Fox 3-6, defeated Pacific Lutheran 7-1

9.   Hardin Simmons ASC (3-2) – Hardin Simmons is a team that could make a deep run this year if they start firing on all cylinders. HSU returns all nine starters including Preseason ASC West Hitter of the year 3B Brad Coleman (.409) and Preseason ASC West pitcher of the year, LHP Dalton Rucker (1-1). With the addition of 2 Division 1 transfers to an already relatively deep bullpen that includes Josh Alcorn (2.13 ERA, 7 saves a year ago), they become on of the deepest pitching staffs in the West Region. With a high caliber and offensively talented outfield – Stepp (.522 2 HR), Simpson (.471 2 HR) and Gibbs (.513 9 RBI) you certainly can’t over look the Cowboys this year.
Key Games: None really indicative of what to expect

10.   Redlands SCIAC (2-2) – After winning the SCIAC last year, and being the number one seed last year, the Redlands went 2 and Q, but they’re still one of the strongest teams in the SCIAC and probably one of the favorites to repeat. It certainly doesn’t hurt to return SCIAC ’06 player of the year P/OF Kyle Gardner who hit .380 and pitched well for the Bulldogs. The team also returns Brian Schumaker who was injured for most of the ’06 campaign. Not only that, the Bulldogs return their same starting rotation as last year, including Rob Walker (8-3, 2.66 ERA last year). Couldn’t find stats for this year yet.
Key Games: defeated Pacific Lutheran 7-2, lost to George Fox 2-12, lost to Linfield 6-9 in extra innings


I had a really tough time with the SCIAC. Redlands played Linfield a good extra inning game, but got beat by George Fox pretty handily. Cal Lutheran got swept by Chapman, but beat Linfield and played George Fox more respectably. Claremont Mudd beat Cal State East Bay twice, but then dropped 2 of 3 to Pacific (Ore.). After watching the Redlands win the SCIAC last year and go two and Q in the West Region tournament last year it’s tough to justify a team from that conference very high in these rankings, especially with the parity I’m seeing early on. Inevitably I think it’ll come down to Cal Lutheran or the Redlands and they’re both probably better than Pacific (Ore.) who I originally had ranked but I just can’t imagine them staying in these rankings.






Offline Just_Some_Guy

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2007, 08:28:22 am »
Well I finally got it all up.  I had the list done around 5:30 last night and couldn't get it to post. I don't know if it was too much text or what.  When I tried breaking it up it still took 15 minutes to post on a DSL connection.  I don't know if the board server was slow or if my computer was acting up, but anyhow, it's all there. Any glaring omissions? Someone I should've left off?

Offline BigPoppa

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2007, 11:41:34 am »
I think you are very close. I had it like this:

1. Chapman
2. TX
3. TX
4. TX
5. George Fox
6. TX
7. Redlands
8. Cal Lutheran

I'll leave my Texas schools for Ralph to decide, but I think the rest is quite close. everyone tells me that I am nuts, but I think the SCIAC is over rated. Redlands and Cal Lu are average teams is a below average conference. When was the last time that Cal Tech even won a SCIAC game? Pomona-Pitzer fell apart with the departure of their coach to nearby NAIA Azusa-Pacific three years ago and the rest of the conference just cannot compete with the top teams in the West Region. They may steal a game or two somewhere, but over the long haul of the season, they will falter.
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Offline Browneagle64

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2007, 02:39:29 pm »
BP,

Even though the SCIAC might be weak, several of these teams, like UOR and Cal Lu play strong non-SCIAC teams. After hearing about the Arizona Classic, it looks like the Kingsmen and Dawgs had a decent day against strong NWC and one texas school. Of course being swept by the #1 team in the west region is bad, but the exposure to such team and the amount of offense that they produced, justifies that these SCIAC teams can hang with the big boys.  It's not not like they got bombed by these school or couldn't produce with their bats.
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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2007, 03:08:34 pm »
Just to weigh in my opinion on this subject, it looks to me like Cal Lu had the most success in AZ.  They were the only team to play George Fox tough and absolutely spanked Linfield.  I am sure Redlands was a little rough around the edges since these were their first games.  Whittier beat an average team and a terrible one and La Verne, well it looks like it might be a long year for them.

Offline infielddad

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2007, 07:37:33 pm »
On these West Region rankings, I think Cal St East Bay might be getting overlooked.  They play a very tough schedule with  nationally ranked DII's and I think a game with a very young and talented DI at St Mary's this season.
Also, while it might be a reach, Chapman might be in for a bit of a battle this weekend with Menlo College.  Menlo beat Div II S. F. State last weekend.  While you cannot tell it from their site, they have loaded up with some juniors from highly ranked JC programs, including College of San Mateo.  In fact, they have a couple of guys playing this year that I could swear I have been reading about for 5 years. These are  very high quality JC guys who have competed at that California State JC championships.  Might make it a weekend that should draw some attention.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 07:43:54 pm by infielddad »

Offline Just_Some_Guy

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2007, 09:14:38 pm »
BP,

Even though the SCIAC might be weak, several of these teams, like UOR and Cal Lu play strong non-SCIAC teams. After hearing about the Arizona Classic, it looks like the Kingsmen and Dawgs had a decent day against strong NWC and one texas school. Of course being swept by the #1 team in the west region is bad, but the exposure to such team and the amount of offense that they produced, justifies that these SCIAC teams can hang with the big boys.  It's not not like they got bombed by these school or couldn't produce with their bats.

The Redlands played Linfield well, but got dominated by George Fox 12-2. This was their second game so they shouldn't have been out of pitching by any means yet. Cal Lutheran played George Fox better and beat Linfield so that justified me ranking them higher in my opinion (for this particular poll).

And you're talking about the amount of offense that Cal Lutheran produced. Against Chapman they scored 10 runs in 3 games (one game was 7 runs in which 25 total runs were scored).  I don't know that that is necessarily "producing offense."  I agree with Big Poppa that the SCIAC is weaker than the other two conferences that make up the West Region. (Granted the ASC could very easily be two conferences).

I just watched how overmatched The Redlands were last year in the regional after coming in as the one seed and so that has made me skeptical as well.  Albiet, it's still VERY early in the season. Let's see how it plays out. I'm definitely enjoying the discussion though - keep'em coming.

Offline Just_Some_Guy

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2007, 09:42:24 pm »
On these West Region rankings, I think Cal St East Bay might be getting overlooked.  They play a very tough schedule with  nationally ranked DII's and I think a game with a very young and talented DI at St Mary's this season.
Also, while it might be a reach, Chapman might be in for a bit of a battle this weekend with Menlo College.  Menlo beat Div II S. F. State last weekend.  While you cannot tell it from their site, they have loaded up with some juniors from highly ranked JC programs, including College of San Mateo.  In fact, they have a couple of guys playing this year that I could swear I have been reading about for 5 years. These are  very high quality JC guys who have competed at that California State JC championships.  Might make it a weekend that should draw some attention.

As for leaving East Bay off, they are 7-2, but the two losses to Claremont Mudd (which is a middle of the road SCIAC team) is what kept me from ranking them in this version of the poll.  Cal State East Bay did sweep Div II San Francisco State (1-7), but you also mentioned Menlo beating S.F. State.  Perhaps S.F. State is just a weaker Div II program.  I definitely appreciate the insight and the depth of this discussion.

Offline infielddad

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2007, 11:46:02 pm »
Just, in baseball, scores and boxscores tell you...not much.  But, Chapman beat  Claremont-Mudd 4-3 yesterday and had to bring Drag in to save it. Yacko continues to pound the ball.  So, I don't know if that makes any difference in the Cal St scores, or not.  But, having followed Cal St since the 2004 regional, their coach does a real nice job, they have solid players and play the game well. I will try and play hooky one day and give a game report on them
On the Menlo side, I have seen some of those guys play.  I watched Ryan Cavan for the past 4 years and Trinity for...well, not enough years.  I think I have some idea what it takes to be with the best in the West Region. The players I have seen play on the Menlo College roster like Eddie Browne are players.  Good players. Browne certainly could have started on the 2004 Chapman team. I know Menlo College has some guys who can play at that level. I don't know if they have enough of them, though.
BTW,I think your posts are just terrific.  Wish this site existed long ago. Your posts make it a lot of fun and provide a very good cross section of information over a very large region.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 11:49:50 pm by infielddad »

Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2007, 01:43:53 pm »
I think you are very close. I had it like this:

1. Chapman
2. TX
3. TX
4. TX
5. George Fox
6. TX
7. Redlands
8. Cal Lutheran

I'll leave my Texas schools for Ralph to decide, but I think the rest is quite close. everyone tells me that I am nuts, but I think the SCIAC is over rated. Redlands and Cal Lu are average teams is a below average conference. When was the last time that Cal Tech even won a SCIAC game? Pomona-Pitzer fell apart with the departure of their coach to nearby NAIA Azusa-Pacific three years ago and the rest of the conference just cannot compete with the top teams in the West Region. They may steal a game or two somewhere, but over the long haul of the season, they will falter.

Big Poppa, I agree with the rankings, and I think that the #2 thru #4 are interchagneable, TLU, UT-T and UT-D.  I don't have a good handle on HSU yet.  I also want to see whether CSU-EB will break into the mix this year.  I think that I would put them at #7 right now, if they are up to their usual standards.

Remember that CSU-EB is a Pool B school.

Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2007, 01:46:18 pm »
I also thought that Trinity looked good versus UT-D.  I think that "Texas" is strong this year.


Guy, thanks for getting this going.  :)

Offline utilitycat17

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Re: Just_Some_Guy's West Region Rankings
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2007, 03:25:42 pm »
I'm just a little curious why everyone seems so sold on giving the Texas schools so much credit.  No one from Texas has done anything in the last 10 years.  The one time a team from Texas actually got to the World Series they were 2 and out, and they probably weren't the best from the west that year anyway; Pomona was probably the better team in 2002 and Chapman got screwed from the playoffs all together that year because of Dallas.  My point here is that every year there are numerous schools in Texas that get off to good starts, but it never amounts to anything.  I would be much more inclined to give credit to a school like Cal State East Bay who has a fairly good track record over the last few years.  They always seem to be right in the mix at the end of the year.  I would not discount the teams from the SCIAC so easily.  Although none of them are real national contenders, they all have the ability to win big games against anyone.  If East Bay lost to Claremont its could mean that Claremont is being undervalued.  It shouldn't make us undervalue East Bay.  If you look at the SCIAC over the last 10 or so years the top 5 teams have always been able to beat the best in the country.  Whittier has a pretty good history against Chapman, Eastern Connecticut never fairs well against the SCIAC, and the same could be said for Montclair State and other top eastern powers.   

I would also give more value to some of the NWC teams.  Especially George Fox and Linfield.  Both of those teams are very good every year.  Especially George Fox but not excluding Linfield.  Granted everyone seems to agree that George Fox is one of the top two teams in the region right now, but I would think Linfield deserves more credit in the early going than some of the more unproven teams from Texas.

All I am saying is that especially in D3 baseball history can tell us a lot, sometimes more than the present can.  The top teams in the nation are the same year in and year out.  The same tends to be the case at the regional level as well.  Until we get a little deeper into the season and the teams from Texas prove their worth a little more I'm not sold so many of them deserve such high praise.