Regarded as one of the best pitching coaches in the nation, assistant coach Rusty Filter is now in his fourth season on The Farm.
In 2012, Filter tutored Mark Appel, who was a finalist for national pitcher of the year and went on become the No. 8 overall pick in the MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Filter also converted infielder Stephen Piscotty into a successful weekend starter for the final month of the season as the Cardinal produced a 3.66 team ERA.
During his first season at Stanford, Filter was charged with working with a roster featuring a dozen underclassmen and helped lower the Cardinal's ERA nearly a half a point to 4.88. Stanford also reached an NCAA Regionals and the team took another step in 2011, lowering its ERA to 3.45 with a trip to the NCAA Super Regionals.
Closer Chris Reed (16th overall selection in 2011) joined San Diego State's Stephen Strasburg and Addison Reed as top round picks under Filter.
Filter came to Stanford after spending a combined 21 years on the San Diego State campus as both an assistant and a student-athlete. The Aztecs had 58 pitchers drafted and signed to professional contracts under head coaches Jim Dietz and Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn in the final 16 years of Filter's stint with San Diego State, and all said and done, 93 players were drafted over his Aztec coaching tenure.
Strasburg dominated hitters en route to the No. 1 overall selection and Reed, a closer was a third-round draft choice and tabbed the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association's Stopper of the Year. Strasburg led the nation in strikeouts and ERA and earned every major player of the year award in 2008, including the Golden Spikes and Dick Howser Awards. Strasburg, also a member of Team USA at the 2008 Olympics, was among the top-five nationally in ERA and strikeouts in 2007 and 2008.
Under Filter's guidance, San Diego State led the Mountain West Conference in ERA in six of the league's first 10 seasons, ranking in the top-three in each of those years. Throughout his tenure, San Diego State went 522-442-3 (.541), winning at least 30 games 11 times, winning 41 games in 1997 and 2009.
Individually, four players were named the MWC's Pitcher of the Year, including Strasburg (2008 and 2009), Bruce Billings (2005) and Scott Shoemaker (2004). From 2001 to 2009, 21 pitchers were named all-conference. In 2009, four of Filter's hurlers - Cincinnati's Aaron Harang, St. Louis' Royce Ring, Boston's Jason Masterson and San Francisco's Alex Hinshaw - pitched in the majors.
In 1993 and 1994, Filter was the pitching coach for the Fairbanks Goldpanners of the Alaska Summer League. The Goldpanners went 35-19 in 1994 and 36-23 in 1996.
A converted catcher, Filter left among the Aztec's top-10 in relief appearances (80) and saves (6). His 37 appearances as a senior in 1990 were the second-most by any reliever in San Diego State history. Filter totaled 10 saves and posted a 3.74 ERA to go along with an 8-4 career record. He went on to get drafted by Toronto in 1990.
Filter began his coaching career in 1991 as an assistant and junior varsity coach for San Diego State. Filter also coached at Mission Bay High School (Calif.) from 1992-93, claiming the CIF title in 1992.
Filter graduated from San Diego State in 1990 with a degree in physical education.
Filter and his wife, Gina, are the parents of daughters Reilly Nicole and Emily Claire and son, Russell Dean II.