In watching the Bruins play last weekend, the lack of offense in the three games against USF was very noticeable. However, since three games is a very small sample space I wanted to look at a much larger database. In looking at the top 20 teams in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Poll so far this year, according to my calculations they have a total of 51 home runs this year in 82 games. This is an average of .621 home runs per game. No team in the top 20 has more than 7 home runs except for Oklahoma who had 11 in beating up on William & Mary and Arkansas Pine Bluff. If you remove Oklahoma from the equation the other top 19 teams had 40 home runs in 76 games or .526 home runs per game. Last year teams had an average of .94 home runs per game so this is a substantial drop off, especially when you consider the comparison is between a top 20 team for 2011 vs. just the average Division I team for 2010.
Batting average has also been negatively impacted in 2011, although not as much as the home run totals. The average top 20 team is hitting .314 in 2011. If you again remove the Sooners from the equation the other 19 of the top 20 teams are hitting an aggregate of .306. Last year an average NCAA Division I team hit .305. In essence with the new bats a top 20 team in 2011 is hitting the same as a mediocre team did in 2010.
Perhaps some of the lower offensive statistics can be explained by the weather. Presumably as the weather heats up so will the offenses to some degree. However, it appears that after trying for years to return offensive statistics in college baseball to those of the days of wood bats in the 1960's, the NCAA may have finally succeeded in 2011. It will be interesting to see how the reduced offensive numbers affects the games popularity among its fanbase.