The LSU lineup continues to improve its overall statistics from the plate. Due to their offense outburst on Sunday, LSU is now second in the conference in homeruns with 20 and only three behind Florida for the lead.
As a team, the Tigers is third in batting average (.286), fourth in hits (233) and slugging percentage (.409). In most cases, LSU is in the top six in most offense statistics and their numbers look to continue with each week of play.
Unfortunately, they still lead the SEC in GIDP (ground into double plays) with 27 in SEC-only play. I guess the proper spin is that they are consistently hitting the ball instead of striking out.
But enough about the negatives lets take a look at the teams’ stats through the eighth week.
I understand it is a lot of information to drink in, but allow me to point out a few things. First is that Raph Rhymes is batting .511 in SEC play. Most of the nation and Tiger fans are looking at his season average which is around .500, but this is the most impressive number that should not go unnoticed. Wait, I wrote that wrong, his run created (RC) is his most impressive. He improved his number by 3.0 and now is over 30. Remember the point of RC is to show the amount of runs a player could have produces and I would bet there aren’t a lot of college players who have a 2:1 RC to actual run ratio.
Besides Rhymes, Jacoby Jones and Austin Nola had the biggest increase in stats. Both Jones and Nola saw their batting average jump up due to their performances over the weekend. Jones, who was named offense player of the week in the SEC, increased his batting average from .274 to .291 and Nola increases his SEC-only average from .230 to .247.
The spike in their numbers is even more impressive when you consider the shift in the batting lineup for both. For most of the SEC season, Nola has had the luxury of batting behind Mason Katz and Rhymes and saw plenty of good pitches, but last weekend was put in front of them into the two-hole. Jones dropped all the way from the lead-off spot to the nine-hole batter. The pressure or frustration could have folded these two, but they not only managed to hold their own, they persevered.
Now the question for Paul Maineri is what do you do with Jones? Granted two big games should not mask the struggles he has found himself in for most of the conference, but the bottom line is they guy is too good to have buried at the bottom of the lineup. But who do you replace him with?
Arby Fields struggled last weekend and saw his .333 batting average in SEC play dip to .277, but Jones strikes out to much to go back here right? I could see him in the two-hole, but I like the experience of Nola in that position moving forward. No need to even discuss moving Katz or Rhymes. So that leaves open the five through nine spots that has to be filled by Tyler Moore, Ty Ross, Tyler Hanover, the DH and Jones.
Here come an unpopular opinion, but Moore and Jones are swinging a red hot bat. Moore increased his average this past weekend to .275 and doubled his runs created number. So I would bat him fifth. Jones would move into the sixth spot and just look at that line up:
I would put that six up against any lineup in the conference. The bottom of the lineup would consist of Ross batting seventh, the DH eighth and Hanover ninth. Hanover has struggled most of conference play and has the lowest average on any starter.
Hanover at the bottom of the lineup give LSU a lot of different options before the top of the lineup come around. Moving the lineup isn’t necessary a promotion/demotion, but instead would give LSU better balance of speed and power through out the lineup
Tags: Arby Fields Austin Nola Casey Yocum Featued Grant Dozar Jackson Slaid Jacoby Jones Jared Foster Jordy Snikeris LSU Baseball Lsu Batting Stats Mason Katz Paul Maineri Raph Rhymes SEC Stats Ty Ross Tyler Hanover Tyler Moore