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Baseball Prospectus' College World Series Preview

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Charles Dahan of Baseball Prospectus posted a free article previewing the College World Series which is set to get underway on Saturday when TCU takes on Florida State.

He said of TCU:

TCU makes its first trip to Omaha, while Florida State participates for the 19th time. TCU’s pitching shut down Texas in two of their three games, and could very well send Florida State to the losers’ bracket with a similar performance. Standout Matt Purke was named the nation’s Freshman Pitcher of the Year after spurning the Texas Rangers in the first round 2009 draft when he demanded a signing bonus on par with Rick Porcello. Purke has yet to lose in college, boasts a 133:28 (4.75) K:BB ratio, and is still last amongst TCU’s three starters in ERA at 3.23, with Steven Maxwell and Kyle Winkler giving up 2.41 and 2.84 runs per nine innings. In his last four starts, Purke has a 2.42 ERA, throwing 26 innings and allowing seven earned runs, while giving up seven walks against 39 strikeouts for a K:BB ratio of 5.57. Closer Tyler Lockwood and reliever Kaleb Merck have each put up very strong numbers with ERAs of 1.97 and 1.08 and opponents hitting .239 and .203. While the sample size for TCU is tough to analyze, with the Mountain West Conference only fielding seven teams—and the median RPI 90 spots lower than the SEC—recent performances demonstrate the Horned Frogs will need to get at least seven innings from their starters in Omaha and get the ball to Lockwood with a lead. With the exceptions of TCU and New Mexico, the Mountain West fielded a particularly weak field in comparison to the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Pac-10.

The other seven teams in the field are also reviewed in the article.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.