• The No. 2-ranked Cardinal (35-22) opens up the regular season with No. 10-ranked Vanderbilt (54-12) in a home schedule that features top-15 Vandy this weekend as well as No. 5 Texas, and No. 6 Rice. Four Pac-12 teams are also ranked in the national top-25 giving the Cardinal the nation’s toughest schedule. Stanford is coming off an NCAA Super Regional appearance and returns seven starters and 10 pitchers with Division-I experience. Mark Marquess enters his 36th year at the helm.
Stanford in the Rankings • Stanford is ranked No. 2 in the preseason by Baseball America and No. 3 in the USA Today/Coaches and Collegiate Baseball national polls. Boydsworld.com rates the Cardinal schedule the toughest in the nation. It is the highest preseason rating since 2003. This is the eighth time since 1988 Stanford has been a preseason No. 1 or No. 2. Stanford was a preseason No. 1 in 2002, 2000, 1998, 1997, and 1995 and a preseason No. 2 in 1996 and 1988. Five of those years Stanford reached the CWS.
About the Commodores • Coming off a College World Series appearance (one of three on the Cardinal schedule with Cal and Texas), Vandy finished off the season at 54-12. Tim Corbin, now in his tenth season, has sent the team to six-straight NCAA Regionals. Six starters return including Freshman All-American and speedy outfielder Tony Kemp (.331, 17 steals) and fellow speed demon Mike Yastrzemski (.292, 23 steals). Following the loss of two All-American arms, sophomore LHP Kevin Ziomek is slated to be the top starter after going 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA as a midweek starter last year. Vandy is picked to finish third in the East Division of the SEC, one of five teams ranked in the top-10 by Baseball America.
Preseason Hype • Stanford has three preseason All-Americans by various publications, RHP Mark Appel, SS Kenny Diekroeger and 3B Stephen Piscotty. Appel and Piscotty were both first team selections, while Diekroeger was a second pick of Collegiate Baseball and third teamer for Perfect Game. Appel has also been projected as the national pitcher of the year.
Youngesters Too • As if the June draft isn’t far enough off for the junior class, how about the sophomores? Four second-year players are rated by Baseball America amongst the nation’s top sophomores: OF Austin Wilson (No. 16), RBI leader 1B Brian Ragira (No. 18), 2B Lonnie Kauppila (No. 28), RHP AJ Vanegas (No. 36).
Streaks • Junior outfielder Tyler Gaffney, a backup running back with eight TDs last year for the BCS Cardinal, enters the 2012 season on a 22-game hit streak. The usual slow starter does not swing a bat during the fall, but still carries a .327 career average.
No Name Tags This Year • Stanford returns seven starters to the field, only losing four-year starter and catcher Zach Jones from last year. The outfield of Tyler Gaffney and Jake Stewart have played together for three years, while sophomore Austin Wilson was a starter as a freshman. On the infield, sophomores Lonnie Kauppila and his .992 fielding percentage at second and Brian Ragira at first (.993 fielding), return to the right side, while juniors Stephen Piscotty (3B) and Kenny Diekroeger (SS) are on the left side. Both Piscotty and Diekroeger are two years starters. Ragira led the team in RBIs (46) while Piscotty was the leading hitter during the season (.364) and in the Cape (.349).
Top of the Rotation Set • RHP Mark Appel was thrust into the Friday night role a year early after LHP Brett Mooneyham was lost for the season with a finger injury. Appel went 6-7 with a 3.02 ERA against arguably the nation’s toughest schedule prior to pitching for Team USA and the Cape this summer. Mooneyham, who is 9-10 with a 4.67 ERA in two years as a weekend starter, will be the Saturday starter. The Sunday slot will either be sophomore RHP AJ Vanegas (1-0, 3.35) or RHP Dean McArdle (12-4, 4.68 ERA). LHP John Hochstatter, LHP Spenser Linney and RHP David Schmidt are the team’s top three freshmen arms. New Backstop • With four-year starter Zach Jones departing for professional baseball, a new catcher will come from freshman Wayne Taylor, a star quarterback and catcher out of Houston, Christian Griffiths, who missed last year with a shoulder injury, converted infielder Eric Smith or backup catcher Trevor Penny.
Opening Weekends • Since 2000, Stanford has won 11 of 12 opening weekend series, including series at No. 17 Rice in 2011 and home versus No. 5 Rice in 2010. Stanford beat Vandy in the opening series in 2009.
Notable Streak • Tyler Gaffney enters the 2012 season on a 22-game hit streak, the fifth longest streak for the Cardinal since 1988. Gaffney was hitting .245 at the beginning of the streak in 2011.
Hit Streaks (since 1988*) 37, Jeffrey Hammonds, 1990 28, Troy Paulsen, 1988 26, Carlos Quentin, 2003 23, DIEKROEGER, 2010 22, GAFFNEY, 2011-Current 21, Brian Hall, 2004 20, Ryan Garko, 2001 (*-partial records from 1988 to 1994)
Breaking Down the Rankings • A number of Stanford players have received recognition in the preseason, here is why. Perfect Game ranks the top players by position each week, with Mark Appel coming in as the No. 1 pitcher and Stephen Piscotty as the No. 1 third baseman. Kenny Diekroeger is the No. 3 middle infielder. For Baseball America, Tyler Gaffney is rated as the Pac-12 player with the best strike zone discipline (29 walks last year) and the nation’s best athlete. Brian Ragira (1B) and Stephen Piscotty (3B) are rated as the best defensive players at their positions in the Pac-12. Austin Wilson has the Pac-12’s strongest outfield arm, while Appel has the nation’s best fastball and Pac-12’s best breaking ball.
25th Anniversary of Back-to-Back Champions • The 2012 season marks the 25th Anniversary of the 1987 and 1988 national champions under Mark Marquess. During the final weekend of the year the teams will be honored. That Cal team is coached by former shortstop David Esquer, who was the starting shortstop in 1987. The pregame ceremony will occur May 26. For more information email the baseball office at email@example.com
Could No. 1 Picks Make History? • Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is the projected No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL draft after leading the Cardinal to back to back BCS Bowl berths. RHP Mark Appel is projected as the No. 1 pick in the June draft. No school has ever had a No. 1 pick in the NFL and MLB in the same year. According to research done by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, here are schools with No. 1 picks in the NFL and MLB:
Oregon: NFL-1955 George Shaw, MLB-1972 Dave Roberts LSU: NFL-1960 BIlly Cannon, 2007 JaMarcus Russell, MLB-1989 Ben McDonald Nebraska: NFL-1937 Sam Francis, 1984 Irving Fryar, MLB-1995 Darin Erstad Rice: NFL-1958 King Hill, MLB-1997 Matt Anderson Miami: NFL-1987 Vinny Testaverde, 1991 Russell Maryland, MLB-1998 Pat Burrell Vanderbilt: NFL-1952 Bill Wade, MLB-2007 David Price UCLA: NFL-1989 Troy Aikman, MLB-2011 Gerrit Cole
The only program with two No. 1 picks from major sports in the same year was Utah with Alex Smith and Andrew Bogut in 2005.
Draft Dodger • In 2011 closer Chris Reed was the 16th overall selection of the Dodgers in the first round of the draft in 2011. He was one of five players to turn pro, which also included junior LHP Scott Snodgress (5th round, White Sox), junior RHP Jordan Pries (30th round, Mariners), senior catcher Zach Jones (34th round, D-Backs) and senior RHP Danny Sandbrink (42nd round, Giants). Reed was the 22nd first round pick for coach Mark Marquess. and 14th since 1997.
Number of Straight Years with an Active Major Leaguer • According to research by Washington State, Stanford has had 53-straight years with at least one Major Leaguer, dating all the way back to 1958 and Doug Essegian (Phillies) and Dave Melton (Kansas City A’s). USC has had a Major Leaguer every year since 1939, a span of 72 years.
Get Your Degree Under Marquess and Make the Majors • Of Stanford’s 56 Major Leaguers under Mark Marquess, 47 have earned their degrees. Four of those players-- Drew Storen, Jason Castro, Michael Taylor and Cord Phelps are current minor leaguers, who take classes in the off season. A 2011 Wall Street Journal report said that only two dozen Major Leaguers had earned their degrees in 2010. Some Cardinal Major Leaguers who have earned their degrees include: Gold Glove catcher Bob Boone, Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell (communications), All Star Mike Mussina (economics), Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., (biology) former manager A.J. Hinch (psychology) and long-time Major Leaguers Mike Aldrete (communications) and Jeffrey Hammonds (history).
Major League Style • Since the turn of the Century, Stanford has had 88 players all-time reach the Majors. Marquess has coached 56 Major Leaguers since 1977 (57 have made the Majors with current White Sox GM Kenny Williams only playing football at Stanford).
Two-Sport Tradition • Cardinal have had a number of great two-sport stars. One of the first was Ernie Nevers, who starred for the Cardinal in the early part of the 20th Centruy. That list has included: NFL Hall of Famer John Elway, current coach Mark Marquess (a punter, wide receiver and QB with Jim Plunkett in the late 1960s), NFL Executive Ray Anderson played both sports. Major League pitcher Joe Borchard (also a QB), NFL and MLB player Chad Hutchinson (RHP and QB), 1940s Major Leaguer and Korea War pilot Lloyd Merriman, Brian Johnson (QB), Toi Cook (NFL veteran and member of the 1987 CWS team) and John Lynch (QB and RHP). Orange Bowl Champion and backup running back Tyler Gaffney is the latest two-sport athlete.
2011 in Review Stanford embarked on the 2011 campaign with the nation’s last two top recruiting classes. The Cardinal featured upwards of seven or eight underclassmen in its everyday lineup, surviving top-15 road trips to No. 17-ranked Rice, No. 3 Vandy and No. 6 Texas to begin the year and a road schedule that featured 28 road games. Following a 15-day layoff for finals and unexpected rain, Stanford won nine of 11 to end March and rose to No. 11 nationally. April featured an unexpected series loss at USC and then three-straight weekends against the top-15 of Oregon State (loss), UCLA (win) and at Arizona State (loss). Stanford won six-straight to begin May and after briefly dropping out of the top-25, finished the year as high as No. 13. The Cardinal fought through a tough Fullerton Regional, beating the host Titans 1-0 on day two, before dropping two-straight at North Carolina in the Super Regional to finish the year at 35-22. Following a preseason loss to weekend starter Brett Mooneyham (finger), the weekend staff was relatively stable in Mark Appel and Jordan Pries, with senior Danny Sandbrink replacing Dean McArdle at midseason. Appel has had maybe the toughest road, pitching against a half dozen starters that are likely on the fast track to the majors in the next two years. First round pick and closer Chris Reed anchored the bullpen.