It is no secret that Kentucky Baseball has one of the best offenses in all of college baseball. The BatCats have a new offensive approach, installed by hitting coach Todd Guilliams and assistant coach Roland Fanning. Thanks to the new look at the plate, UK has seen a complete change from last season. But how good has Kentucky’s offense been? Here’s a look into the numbers of the best offense in the SEC.
- .315 batting average (1st in the SEC, 14th nationally)
- 318 runs scored (1st in the SEC, 14th nationally)
- Keep in mind, UK is facing a future first rounder every Friday night in conference play and also played a combined five games against #2 Louisville and #4 UNC.
In Moneyball, Billy Beane makes it clear that he doesn’t care if a guy reaches base on a walk or a hit. Nick Mingione’s offense thinks the same way. Mingione said that “the definition of a good offense is one that scores runs when they’re not hitting.” That is exactly what UK does at the plate. Take a look at how UK regularly gets on base.
- .421 on-base percentage (1st in the SEC, 4th nationally)
- 198 walks (3rd in the SEC, 23rd nationally)
- 252 strikeouts (12th in the SEC)
- 68 hit by pitches (1st in the SEC, 6th nationally)
- Two players in the top five in the SEC in OBP (Tristan Pompey and Zack Reks)
- The only team with an OBP over .400 in the SEC.
The team has been much more patient than last season when they posted a team OBP of .345. Strikeout numbers are down and walk rates are up. The team is taking more pitchess and is barreling up more balls. With more balls getting squared up, Kentucky is driving the ball to all parts of the field and over the wall.
- The team is only ten bombs away from matching their 2016 total (52). The team is second in the SEC in home runs this season thanks to Riley Mahan, Connor Heady, and Tristan Pompey contributing with a combined 19 homers. The team averaged 0.91 home runs per game last year. That number is up to 1.02 in 2017.
- 101 doubles (1st in the SEC, 3rd nationally)
- 676 total bases (1st in the SEC)
- .490 slugging percentage (1st in the SEC, 10th nationally)
As previously mentioned, UK faces some of the toughest arms in the nation. So how did they shape up against those future big leaguers?
- Brigham Hill (Texas A&M): Five runs, six hits, no walks, three extra-base hits.
- Kyle Wright (Vanderbilt, projected top ten pick): Seven runs, nine hits, four walks, two extra-base hits.
- Alex Lange (LSU, projected first rounder): Three runs, seven hits, eight walks, four extra-base hits.
- Jared Poche (LSU) Five runs, seven hits, two walks in only three innings.
Kentucky’s offense will face the second toughest pitching staff of the season when they visit South Carolina. The BatCats have another opportunity to prove their offense is one of the bests in the nation.