The state of sabermetrics in the college game

From SABR member Eno Sarris at FanGraphs on February 9, 2012:

Wednesday was Media Day at Stanford University. Some of the most successful coaches in the college game were gathered in Palo Alto to introduce their teams and take questions about the upcoming season. While there were little snippets of saber-awareness throughout, the overall feeling was perhaps more old-school than the professional game.

Up first was Mark Marquess, Stanford coach since 1977. Proud of his team, recently named the pre-season number two in the nation, he probably the most sabrermetrically-friendly of the group. First, he reacted to the new ball. After giving the caveat that the new bat was “here to stay,” he pointed out that decreasing offense was risky in terms of attendance and popularity of the game. He then added something that FanGraphs readers might applaud.

Third and fourth hitters in the pros are not bunting. They are in college. Maybe another year of adjustment will change things, but that’s how people reacted to the bat last year and it wasn’t necessarily a good thing. — Mark Marquess

 Marquess’ team averaged a bunt every two games last year. Compared to the MLB average of .34 bunts per team per game, it does put him behind the times a tad, but we have to remember that the run environment in college was lower.


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Originally published: February 9, 2012. Last Updated: February 9, 2012.