Monday, April 14, 2008

Answering My Own Questions

On Sunday, I left you with a couple of questions. Who are in your top five candidates in for Big Ten Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year? So, I suppose I should take a few moments to offer my own response.

My top five for Player of the Year are Michigan's Nate Recknagel and Zach Putnam, Ohio State's J.B. Shuck, Indiana's Josh Phegley and Northwestern's Jake Goebbert.

Putnam and Shuck would both be in my top five candidates for Pitcher of the Year, as well. I've also got Michigan's Chris Fetter, Michigan State's Chris Cullen and Indiana's Matt Bashore.

For those of you who object to my list of candidates, take heart. I don't actually get to vote on these awards. Although, that's clearly just an oversight from the conference office. Or not.

Also, rest assured, I've got a long list of deserving names right on the heels of my five selections. However, my request was for only five names and I'm sticking to my own arbitrary parameters.


kowisja said...

would those pitchers be in any particular order?

Fetters would probably be my #1. While Cullen has a slightly better ERA, Fetter's OBA is a bit lower and strike outs are much higher. Putnam it a little behind in innings, and that seems to be all holding him back from being my #2.

What's your thoughts on O'Neil, the closer for Penn State? He's been very impressive thus far, second in saves and a 0.53 ERA.

kowisja said...

Oh and as for players of the year candidates, Phegley, despite not translating to a winning record in the conference, has the best numbers. Recknagel would be even with him just due to his team's success. Putnam is a step down from there in terms of hitting, but his pitching helps bolster. Same thing with Shuck. I'm split on my #5. I'm thinking either Nohelty at Minnesota (strength is average, RBIs, steals, weakness is walks to strike out ratio) and Black at Purdue (strength is RBIs, team success and perhaps walks to help boost the on base percentage, weakness strike outs and average). Either way those two are well behind the previous four.

rockybuckeye said...

Do those 2 having a lower ERA hold more than Shuck beating them in the other 2 categories you listed?

Cullen 2.30
Fetter 2.64
Shuck 3.12

Shuck .200
Fetter .206
Cullen .219

Shuck 47
Fetter 41
Cullen 25

And just to add on JB's resume for Player of the Year... batting .381 with 11 SB's

rockybuckeye said...

And as to my picks from earlier I had a mental mistake, meant Bashmore not Bischoff, and Black not White from Purude.

kowisja said...

The OBA is close enough between Fetters and Shuck that I don't see it as an overwhelming argument. Walks though however are definitely not in Shuck's favor. Those walks lead to one of the losses for Shuck, and losses being another extra blemish the other two pitchers don't have at this point. Yes, this can be attributed more to the offensive power of Michigan for Fetters, he obviously is getting much better run support than Shuck. With Cullen though, he's not getting the run support and is still racking up the wins, and more importantly, less losses. Shuck is still #3 with me, and its a small gap to #2.

His batting average is impressive, and his total runs is pretty good (high side of average), but his total bases are fairly low as well as RBIs. Putnam has better overall numbers if you combine both pitching and hitting at this point. But with so much of the season left, I'm not sure it's really worth saying the race is over by any stretch.

rockybuckeye said...

I agree with JB having a bit of an issue with walks, however I think it is more impressive and important to him to keep a low BAA with more runners on base for him than with Fetter. JB having 6? pickoffs, with 3 coming Sunday does not hurt him on the mound either. What does is the lack of offense, Bucks get 2 hits Sunday as JB pitched a gem.

I'm not taking issue at all, just having a good conversation. All are worthy, and the only "real" issue, and its nothing too bad is I like Putnam is fresher, or can put more into pitching as he is a DH the rest of the time, unlike Shuck who goes from CF to the mound. 3 games on Friday and Sunday in CF, then pitching Sunday is pretty impressive. This year we have not let him hit on days he has pitched hoping it keeps him more rested and better on the mound, however taking him out of the line-up kinda hurts.

Brian said...

My lists were presented in no particular order.

I'm the chairman of the Drew O'Neil Fan Club. He would be number six on my list, if I chose to extend it. I suspect he will be in the top five before the season closes.

He's unfairly hurt, even by me, by PSU's tough start and lack of opportunity to pile up save numbers.

Wanamaker has the same problem. In the top ten in ERA, Opponents BA, IP and K's, but doesn't have the wins to show for it.

I like Nohelty and Black, too. Both are on the verge of my top five, as well.

I'm not sure I can add anything to the debate. Both sides have made compelling cases for their selections. Thankfully, we have several more weeks to sort this out.

I thank everyone for taking the time to comment on the subject and for displaying courtesy throughout. I'm sure we will revisit this matter again in about a month, if not sooner.

BaseballBucks33 said...

I agree with all the comments above. As a Buckeye fan,watching JB Shuck for 3 yrs. i don't think there are many better 2-way players in the conference.He is so fun to watch in OF,batters box and on the hill. He always play's hard and smart baseball.

What about your top 5 Freshmen this year?

my short list...

Ryan Meade DH Ohio St. .315 18 RBI
Tyler Burgoon RP Michigan 15ip 17K 5 SV
Jerrud Sabourin 1B Indiana .336 24 Rbi
Brandon Wikoff SS Ill .404 31 RBi
Kurtis Muller OF Iowa .313 26 RBi

kowisja said...

Wikoff is a sophomore IIRC. McMurray is batting .309 for them with nothing else very special.

Agreed on Burgoon. I am a little concerned with his WHIP, around 1.50, and ERA, 3.45, as a closer, but he keeps from losing. Plus he's batting 1.000, 1-1 with a RBI single. I'd like to see Wood get more time on the mound for Michigan. In 3 appearances, he's looked pretty good.

Shutz @ Indiana (OF) is a medical redshirt freshman (played six or seven games last year before surgery), but the kids batting .370 so far with 3 HR and 28 RBI. He's got a 1:1 walk to strike out at 15 a piece. So whether or not he counts, I don't know.

Kurt Wunderlich (RHP) @ MSU has a great ERA (1.80) and OBA (.173) over 20 innings in 13 appearances. Unfortunately the 1-2 effort appears to be a bit of a suggestion of MSU's offense or lack thereof. To MSU's credit, freshmen are carrying their offense, but they are by no means doing that well.

AJ Achter (RHP) is doing alright in the rotation as well for MSU. Although he is 0-1, hes been in 6 games, 3 of them starts,19 innings, 2.84 ERA, .225 OBA. Quite a few walks. He's been massacred with unearned runs. 14 total runs, 6 earned. Try telling me that doesn't suck for the poor kid. I really hope that's a typo.

So I'd go with:

1) Burgoon MICH
2) Wunderlich MSU
3) Shutz IND
4) Sabourin IND
5) Muller IOWA

BaseballBucks33 said...

Does not have to be freshman,just wanted to know what you guys think of some new kids in the Conference.

Don't know much about McMurray,has nice numbers.

Acther is a stud,but walks seem to hurt him a lot.I watched him in HS.He will be a leader for MSU in the years to come on the hill.

Forget about Shultz at IU.Started out great last year at IU,before his injury.

There are a lot of JC kids having great yrs too.Just wanted some other ideas on the new guys in the league.