- Last Season: 42-16 (21-9)
- Head Coach: Dave Esquer
- Best Returning Batter: Daniel Bakst (.311)
- Best Returning Fielder: Maverick Handley (250 Putouts)
- Best Returning Pitcher: Kris Bubic (2.79 ERA)
Last season, the Cardinal boasted one of the strongest rosters in the entire country. The team came in 2nd in the Pac-12, hosted regionals in the postseason tournament, and finished as the 13th ranked college baseball squad in the nation. Stanford was good enough to win most major conferences in 2017. Stanford has historically been a very competitive squad year in and year out. If recent success is any indication, the Cardinal will again be battling for the Pac-12 title this season.
The Cardinal are traditionally a well-coached teams that don’t beat themselves mentally. This is reflected in the team’s fielding percentage, as no player on the team that gets meaningful play time has a fielding percentage under .970. You have to earn your runs against the Cardinal. What is impressive is that the Cardinal lose all around stud and shutdown defender Matt Winaker, but still return a defense that is one of the best in the Pac-12. Catcher Maverick Handley is another stud and could rival Adley Rutschman for the best defensive catcher in the Pac-12. Another quality defender to watch for is 2nd baseman Duke Kinamon, who also posted 100-plus putouts for the Cardinal.
In addition to quality defense, the Cardinal feature solid pitching that could stifle any lineup. Headed by Junior ace Kris Bubic, the Cardinal feature a rotation that had an ERA of 3.35 and allowed opposing teams a BA of .246 in 2017. Bubic led the team with an ERA of 2.79, and allowed just 28 earned runs on the season. The team will also return Erik Miller, who had 70-plus innings pitched and an ERA of 3.65.
Finally, Stanford will return a quality offense that featured a .281 team batting average last season. Headed by Daniel Bakst and Duke Kinamon, Stanford consistently put the ball in play and got on base. This was reflected in their BA as well as their solid OBP of .357. The team accumulated 327 runs last season, which outpaced their opponent total from 2016 at 223. That’s over a 100 run differential, if you’re counting, which is absolutely bonkers to think about.
The Cardinal were an incredibly strong team last year, and will definitely be one of the best teams in the entire nation this year as well. Their combination of timely batting, quality pitching, and shutdown defense makes them a truly scary opponent that will certainly be in the postseason discussion. The Cardinal gave the Beavs their money’s worth when they played at the Farm last season, and this season should be no different as these are the top 2 dogs in the Pac-12 heading into the season.
Number To Know: 41
It’s been 41 years since the Cardinal have had a new Head Coach. Former player Dave Esquer will replace legendary coach Mark Marquess for the Cardinal this season.
Games Against OSU
May 11th, 12th, & 13th in Corvallis
Pac-12 Baseball Team Previews: