|This week Around the Nation
looks at candidates for All-Region teams. Cal Lutheran first
baseman Nick Boggan is certainly a candidate. Boggan led Division
III in total bases and runs batted in through May
Cal Lutheran athletics photo by Tracy Maple
Stop! It's tempting to overlook this jibber jabber once you see the glorious chunks of baseball stats below. Pity the fool who does. Before you send missives detailing why so-and-so deserved All-Region recognition from D3baseball.com, these teams are not official. Repeat, not official.
These rankings reflect one person's opinion before the season is over. But it's late enough to stir the pot. And it's never a bad time to nerd out over baseball stats, especially ones that don't lead to many definitive hierarchies or answers.
Stats are through May 5 because of the time it takes to compile and sort the info before reaching decisions. It also takes awhile to go through 370 teams' stats.
Even though this early All-Region pot stirring is based on one opinion, this one opinion also counts when the D3baseball.com All-Region and All-America teams are decided for real. Of the various tasks on this site, debating the postseason awards – alone and with others – ranks right up there on the anticipation list.
One minor qualm is that, for whatever reason, some potentially deserving players did not get nominated for D3baseball.com postseason awards last season. Rest assured that a very, very high percentage of deserving candidates did get nominated for our postseason awards, but here's to hoping we get all of the deserved nominations. That way the debate can be universal and not couched behind, "Sorry, but he wasn't eligible because we didn't get a nomination."
The debate is where you come in. Now that you've read the disclaimer stating that this is just a drill, you may now send your missives. There is usually plenty room for debate when comparing baseball players' stats.
My top 5 games of the week (May 8-12):
All of them. If a team is playing this week, it's a top game.
My 2013 Week 11 ballot (D3baseball.com rank)
Stats, musings and folly valid through May 5
1 (3). UW-Whitewater – Top 5 nationally in AVG, 2B, HR, SLG through April 28; nary a bad loss.
2 (1). Linfield – Seemingly a No. 1 seed lock; NAIA drubbing snapped an 11-game winning streak.
3 (2). St. Thomas – Got shut out by one the Midwest's best pitchers, snapping a 19-game winning streak.
4 (7). Cal Lutheran – Top 5 nationally in RPG, AVG, 2B, 3B, SLG through April 28; 20-1 in last 21.
5 (10). Ithaca – Cruised by Cortland for the second time this year although C-St. threw off in both.
6 (9). Kean – Lost two 1-run games in the NJAC tourney; 3-4 in last 7; still one of the safest Pool C bets.
7 (16). Southern Maine – Top 10 nationally in RPG, AVG, H, 2B, 3B, HR, SLG, and SB through April 28.
8 (4). Cortland State – Only two losses since April 6 are to Ithaca; averaging 11.8 hits per game.
9 (15). Wheaton (Mass.) – Avenged regular season losses to MIT with two wins in the NEWMAC tourney.
10 (5). Salisbury – Will squeeze in a game in preparation for another regional as a high seed.
The rest of my ballot: UW-Stevens Point; Marietta; Keystone; Manchester; Wartburg; Webster; Rowan; Millsaps; Huntingdon; Trinity (Texas); UT-Tyler; Misericordia; Johns Hopkins; Case Western Reserve; Endicott.
Around the Nation confirmed a few things with the NCAA on May
• The national committee definitely has input on this year's regional rankings after not having that authority last season. The statement near the bottom of the NCAA's 2013 weekly rankings releases hasn't made that fact abundantly clear.
• Bid allocations are definitely 38 Pool A, 4 Pool B, 14 Pool C.
• Mileage to off-campus regional venues is found from an outside source such as Google Maps because the NCAA's TES system does not have venues such as USA Stadium in Millington, Tenn., programmed as a searchable option. This applies to all off-campus regional venues.
Next week: This was the last ATN of the regular season, but there will be one more after the 2013 version of The Appleton Experience has concluded. Hope to see you there. If you have an SID position available, I really hope to see you there!