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Texas A&M Baseball

By the Numbers: Consistent offense lifts A&M to 3-1 outing in week eight

April 12, 2022
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SEC series wins — as you can see pretty much across the board from any team not named Tennessee — are really hard to come by.

That’s always the case but is especially true this season.

Just ask defending champion Mississippi State, which is 4-8 and was swept at home by LSU. Or Ole Miss, which sat at No. 1 nationally just a couple of weeks ago but is also 4-8 and tied with their in-state rivals at the bottom of the SEC West standings after an 0-3 showing at home against Alabama.

Heck, even whistlin’ Vanderbilt  —  as great of a program as it gets these days in college baseball — is just 5-7 in the league, as is Florida.

The Aggies, coming off of a much-needed and hard-earned series win over Kentucky on a sun-splashed and jam-packed weekend in Aggieland, now find themselves just a game out of second in the West and two games out of first at 6-6 in league play as we head to the midway point of the conference season.

We’re 40 percent done, and despite being bitten as badly as anyone by the injury bug and being filled with quick-fix transfer players in year one under new head coach Jim Schlossnagle, Texas A&M finds itself in the thick of things and suddenly looking at a great shot to sneak into the NCAA Tournament if they remain on their current trajectory.

As you’ll read below with this week’s By The Numbers report, the offense is really coming on and has made huge strides over the last month under the direction of new hitting coach Michael Earley.

Brooke Homfeld, TexAgs
Saturday’s 17-run performance by the Aggies was the most in an SEC game by the team since 2019. 

And don’t look now, but Nate Yeskie has the bullpen looking up, as that group is coming off of far and away its best week all season.

A lot to like about where this team is headed right now, and Trevor Werner is set for a possible return as early as this weekend at Georgia. That would be huge for the infield defense and an ever-improving offense to get arguably its most talented hitter back in the fold.

Here’s a statistical look, By The Numbers, at A&M’s 3-1 week and series win over Kentucky...

.069 - Batting average of A&M’s eight and nine spots in the lineup in four games last week. The combination of Jordan Thompson, Taylor Smith and Austin Stracener combined to hit .143 (2-for-14) last week, mostly from the nine-hole. Meanwhile, center fielder Logan Britt continued his recent downturn at the plate, hitting .000 (0-for-15) one week after managing a paltry .133 average (2-for-15). That’s a combined 2-for-30 (.067) the last two weeks for the sophomore who still has not managed to put it all together in his third season in college baseball.

Quite frankly, I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Britt leave the lineup when Trevor Werner comes back. We could see Dylan Rock move to center field and Ryan Targac to left to keep his hot bat and run production ability in the lineup.

Or someone like Thompson could get a long look if Werner mans the DH spot upon his initial return. Or you just ride it out with such a talented player by plugging him into the nine-hole and taking advantage of the speed and defensive ability that Britt gives you even when he’s not hitting the baseball.

1st - A&M’s SEC ranking in hits in conference games through four weeks of league play. The Aggies have belted 129 hits in league games, leading Auburn by three and UGA by four. A&M is also tied for the league lead in triples (4) in SEC action.

2 - The number of cycles A&M’s offense has produced in the last two weeks. Jack Moss hit for the cycle in that wild win over Texas two weeks ago in Austin, and on Saturday, Ryan Targac had a huge moment in the sun (literally).

The sophomore went 4-for-5 and hit for the cycle, driving in five and scoring three runs. According to @AggieAnalytics on Twitter, the towering shot traveled 475 feet (over the railroad tracks in right-center) at a speed off the bat of 111 mph, a 33-degree launch angle, and an apex of 122 feet. The ball hung in the air 6.0 seconds before landing way over the heads of the sunburnt fans in Section 12.

The guy has so much power from the left side, and Targac put it on display once again with a big day at the plate on Saturday. He’s now one behind Dylan Rock and Brett Minnich for the team lead in RBIs with 25.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Ryan Targac’s cycle and career-best five RBIs paved the way for A&M’s dominant offense in Saturday’s rubber match.

2nd - A&M’s SEC ranking in batting average in league games only. The Aggies are hitting .291 in SEC play, trailing only Georgia (.293) in conference games. A&M faces UGA on the road this weekend. The Ags are also secnd or tied for secnd in conference play in total bases (206) and sacrifice flies (9).

#3 - Ryan Targac’s SEC ranking in RBIs in league games (16). That leads white-hot teammate Dylan Rock by two and trails Ole Miss senior Tim Elko by just three RBIs. Targac also sits in a tie for first in triples (2), seventh in total bases (32), eighth in slugging percentage (.727) and is actually also tied at the top of the league with four steals in conference play (all in one game at LSU, interestingly).

And finally, on the more dubious end of things, Targac is also the strikeout leader in the league with 21 (one ahead of Elko).

5 - As in the five factors, a stat that we’ve tracked for years in the old “Diamond Notes” feature and are continuing here. The five factors to success offensively and defensively/on the mound, hitting with two outs, with runners on, with runners in scoring position, getting the leadoff man on base and two-out RBIs.

Here’s how A&M did last week on both sides of the baseball last week in 4 games...

Offensively:

- Two outs - .319 (15-for-47) ... Down 21 points from last week
- Runners on - .338 (25-for-74) ... Up 38 points from last week
- Runners in scoring position - .234 (11-for-47) ... Down 66 points from last week
- Leadoff OBP - .306 (11-for-36) ... Down 126 points from last week
- Two-out RBIs - 10 ... Down one RBI from last week

Defensively:

- Two outs - .280 (14-for-50) ... Down (A&M improvement) 36 points from last week
- Runners on - .216 (16-for-74) ... Down 93 points from last week
- Runners in scoring position - .238 (10-for-42) ... Down 83 points from last week
- Leadoff OBP - .316 (12-for-38) ... Down 66 points from last week
- Two-out RBIs - nine ... Same as last week

#9 - Troy Claunch’s SEC ranking in batting average in league games (.360). He’s also tied for sixth in the league with 18 hits in conference play.

10 - Major offensive categories in which Dylan Rock currently ranks among the SEC’s top 10 hitters in league games. The UTSA grad transfer is first in runs scored (18) and total bases (43), second in home runs (6), hits (20), slugging percentage (.860) and OPS (1.360), third in batting average (.400) and on-base percentage (.500), seventh in RBIs (14) and ninth in walks (9).

TexAgs
After seven innings of work, Micah Dallas picked up his first career SEC win on Saturday. 

#10 - Micah Dallas’ SEC ranking in strikeouts in league games (25). The Texas Tech grad transfer continues to impress in his final collegiate season. He’s 4-1 with a 3.99 ERA, including just 10 walks and 56 Ks in 49.2 IP. Opponents are hitting .247 against him in 2022.

11:2 - Strikeout-to-walk ratio of A&M’s weekend rotation in the Kentucky series. Nathan Dettmer (1 BB, 5 Ks), Ryan Prager (1 BB, 1 K) and Micah Dallas (0 BB, 5 Ks) did a great job of pumping strikes all series and not giving anything to the ‘Cats. That allowed both Dettmer and Dallas to pitch into the seventh (and Dallas to get through seven frames).

13 - Scoreless innings by A&M pitching — out of 14 total frames —  after the fifth in the Kentucky series. The Aggies allowed a run to cross home plate in just one inning after the fiftha three-run eighth in Friday’s 7-3 Kentucky win. That’s good for a 1.93 ERA over the weekend after the fifth frame.

18 - RBIs last week from hitters 2-5 in the A&M lineup —  Dylan Rock, Jack Moss, Troy Claunch and Brett Minnich. Rock hit .429 (6-for-14) with a double, a triple, a homer, four RBIs and an eye-catching eight runs scored. Moss went 7-for-20 (.350) with two doubles but drove in just two runners in four games. Claunch enjoyed a .400 week at the plate (6-for-15) with a whopping six RBIs and four runs scored. Meanwhile, Minnich continued his impressive season at the plate, going 5-for-14 (.357) with four RBIs and four runs scored.

26:4 - Strikeout-to-walk ratio of the Aggie bullpen in four games last week. The combination of eight different relievers teamed up to fan 26 hitters and walk just four in 18 innings of work.

A far cry from their struggles to command the strike zone throughout most of this season. Just a huge bounce-back week for this talented but mostly youthful stable of relievers.

The Ags are on the road this entire week, starting with a Tuesday date at A&M-Corpus Christi followed by a Thursday-Saturday Easter weekend tilt at No. 13 Georgia.

As Ryan Brauninger said in his Monday Baseball Thoughts column, just keep grinding, and the wins will take care of themselves. The worm is turning for A&M right now, and it’s been great to see.

We’ll catch you around the ballpark soon!

Discussion from...

By the Numbers: Consistent offense lifts A&M to 3-1 outing in week eight

1,888 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by Gabe Bock
MMantle
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AG
Good stuff.

Werner has already played a few games defensively at 3B, he's a plus fielder, why would we DH him?

Didn't realize Britt's (BA) numbers were so bad, I'd hate to lose his defense, has Rock ever played CF?

RR
Tex100
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AG
Great stuff, Gabe.
Gabe Bock
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AG
MMantle said:

Good stuff.

Werner has already played a few games defensively at 3B, he's a plus fielder, why would we DH him?

Didn't realize Britt's (BA) numbers were so bad, I'd hate to lose his defense, has Rock ever played CF?

RR

Just to protect him right off the bat, but to your point, when Werner is fully healthy he needs to be in the hot corner!

Pretty sure Rock played some CF in the fall.
Gabe Bock
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AG
As always…what is the most interesting stat this week. I have two that are obvious and encouraging. Here goes…

Quote:

13 - Scoreless innings by A&M pitching out of 14 total frames after the fifth in the Kentucky series. The Aggies allowed a run to cross home plate in just one inning after the fifth: a three-run eighth in Friday's 7-3 Kentucky win. That's good for a 1.93 ERA over the weekend after the fifth frame.

26:4 - Strikeout-to-walk ratio of the Aggie bullpen in four games last week. The combination of eight different relievers teamed up to fan 26 hitters and walk just four in 18 innings of work. A far cry from their struggles to command the strike zone throughout most of this season. Just a huge bounce-back week for this talented but mostly youthful stable of relievers.
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