College Notebook: Guyer to be Inducted into UVA Baseball Hall of Fame

October 3 - Brandon Guyer is one of seven members that will comprise the second class inducted into the University of Virginia Baseball Hall of Fame in January.

A 2004 graduate of Herndon, where he was an all-state selection in both baseball and football, Guyer played three seasons for the Cavaliers before being selected in the fifth round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft by the Chicago Cubs. He hit .331 with 221 career hits, 19 homers and 139 RBI at the Charlottesville school, and hit a then-record 53 doubles.

Guyer was traded by the Cubs to Tampa Bay in January 2011 and then to the Cleveland at the trade deadline in 2016, when he helped the Indians reach the World Series. Now in his seventh Major League season, the 32-year-old helped Cleveland win the AL Central Division championship this season.

"I believe we've put together a great group of individuals that have embodied what it means to play baseball at the University of Virginia," Cavaliers coach Brian O'Connor said in a release by the school. "These men are great representatives of our university and I'm excited that they will be recognized for their accomplishments."

Guyer and the other six players - Tim Burcham, Phil Gosselin, John Hicks, Casey Lambert, Steven Proscia and Mel Roach - will be honored at the program’s Step Up to the Plate fundraising event on Jan. 26.

NCAA Division I Strikeout Rate Highest in 49 Years, Study Reveals

Hitters at the Division I level struck out at a rate of 7.88 times per nine innings per team during the 2018 season, it was revealed in an NCAA study released last month. The rate is the highest its been in 49 years.

The strikeout ratio has increased in each of the four years since a new ball with lower, flatter seams was introduced for the 2015 season, a response to declining offensive numbers resulting from the less-potent BBCOR being introduced in 2011.

The reason for the rise in K’s? “What the flat-seam ball did was allow the break on balls to be shorter and less recognizable to hitters,” Missouri pitching coach Fred Corral told Collegiate Baseball News. “I believe with more power arms in college baseball now, the break on pitches is not only shorter but later. Hitters are having a difficult time picking up the break of pitches with this late, shorter break.”

The increase in strikeouts has not had any drastic affect on offensive numbers. Nationally, 0.71 home runs per game were hit this year, four years after a record-low 0.39 were hit in 2014. And the national batting average in 2018 was .271 - it’s been between .270 and .282 each year since 2011 - while teams scored 5.64 runs per game, the second-highest total since the BBCOR bats were introduced. At George Mason, the area’s lone Division I program, the strikeout rate was a tick higher, 8.12 per nine innings in the Patriots’ 56 games. Offensive production was lower in George Mason’s games, with the Patriots and opposing teams each averaging 5.09 runs per game and hitting a cumulative .261.

This year’s study was compiled by Jeff Williams, the associate director of media coordination and statistics with the NCAA.

Marymount to Host Fall Prospect Camp on Sunday

Marymount University will be hosting its annual fall prospect camp on Sunday for high school pitchers and position players. Saints head coach Frank Leoni, who has overseen the sixth-year program since its inception, will direct the camp along with members of his coaching staff.

The camp will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for position players, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for pitchers only. Cost is $90 for position players, and $75 for pitchers only. For more information, email or call 703-284-5966, and to register, click here.

Photo of Brandon Guyer courtesy of Virginia Athletics