I think we have a truly special baseball team this year; our most special team ever. And I think the stats back that up. The end result may or may not tend to prove this thought but as we all pretty much know -- the best team doesn't always win. But this appears to be our best team.
You college baseball fans who have watched the sport closely please correct me where necessary but that's what I see with my naked eye. I've casually watched college baseball for years once regionals come around. This team looks really different; this team seems to have some swag I've not seen before. However, I know there have been some changes in recent years that have to be considered. These are the two college-specific changes I'm aware of:
2011: the less-potent BBCOR bats were instituted
2015: switch from the raised-seam baseball to a flat-seam baseball, giving a little more pop in the batted ball
Some of y'all have set the 2010 and 2011 teams as the gold standard for Gator baseball. I did a bit of a stat focus on the 2011 team that made it to the championship series (a bit; nothing elaborate). I used these links to do the review:
The 2010 team appears to have total home runs in the low 80s. The 2011 team, somewhere around 70 which fits with the change of bat. However the 2011 team still had around 140 doubles and 2010 only around 110. The 2012 team had significantly fewer hits and doubles than the 2011 team but, with the less-potent bat, hit more home runs. I'm sure a star player or two accounts for that surge in home runs.
What's really striking about 2015, though, is the fact that they have (with the College World Series yet to play)significantly better numbers in four categories:  significantly more triples and  significantly more stolen bases. Most impressive, however, is the truly signficant difference in  fielding percentage and  errors.
(these non-2015 numbers all reflect the stats going into our last game of the year; the 2015 numbers are accurate going into the Super Regionals against FSU)
2010: Gator team had a .978 fielding percentage (53 errors) and the FSU team that put us out of the College World Series was at .971 (73 errors)
2011: Gator team had a .975 fielding percentage and the Carolina team that beat us for the title at the College World Series was at .974
2012: Gator team had a .978 fielding percentage and the Kent State team that put us out of the College World Series was at .974
So, clearly, elite college baseball teams making it to the College World Series hover around a fielding percentage .971 on the low end to .978 on the high end.
This 2015 Gator baseball team, however, has an astonishing fielding percentage of .985 ( just 35 errors) -- a HUGE percentage gap over the average elite team making the College World Series. FSU, by contrast, this year had 87 errors and a .964 fielding percentage coming into the super regionals.
We've had good pitchers, we've had good hitters. The numbers, however, say we've never had the combination of good extra base hitters, aggressive base runners, and premier fielders. And it is that fielding percentage that truly sets this team apart from any we've had before.
Hopefully, *this* group will be the collection of baseball Gators who bring home that elusive national championship.