Eye of the Hurricane

March 3, 2008

Tekotte a Latter-Day John Jay, Sobolewski Not

Filed under: Uncategorized — hcumphrey @ 2:18 pm

At 5-1 after an impressive weekend series victory over U.F., the baseball team is cruising. Junior centerfielder Blake Tekotte has been impressive, batting .421 with eight runs scored already. His .556 on-base percentage and .570 slugging percentage add up to a phenomenal O.P.S. of 1.135. He batted .365 to lead the team in Atlantic Coast Conference games last season and is proving himself capable of igniting Miami’s offense. Tekotte’s presence on the basepaths helps Jemile Weeks and Yonder Alonso, and he has been so much more productive than them that he now needs some help from them. If they can improve their sub-.300 batting averages, then this is certainly a fearsome offense worthy of a College World Series berth. In perusing the team’s statistics, the only other detail that stands out is the error situation. Miami has only committed four errors thus far, but sophomore third baseman Mark Sobolewski is responsible for three of them. Obviously, an error at third base every other game could submarine the team’s chances. Sobolewski is not making amends at the plate, either, having reached base only nine times in 27 plate appearances. He is a highly regarded prospect capable of legitimate production, but Miami’s third base situation will remain dicey until he translates his potential to the games. Unfortunately for Sobolewski, there is even another criticism to be made about his 2008 performance:  he is tied for the team lead with six strikeouts. Maybe the extreme performances of Tekotte and Sobolewski can be balanced, but Tekotte’s inevitable swoon (he likely cannot maintain a Bondsian O.P.S.) will require Sobolewski to recover from this slump, which is affecting his play both at the plate and in the field.

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