In every of the final three years, Stanford baseball has made it to varsity baseball’s largest stage. And for some members of those three groups, they’ll seemingly be making the bounce to the one place the place the lights shine brighter.
With 9 gamers chosen on this 12 months’s MLB Draft, Stanford had the third-most picks amongst all colleges, trailing solely LSU and Wake Forest, who had 13 and 10, respectively.
To kick issues off for Stanford within the 2023 MLB Draft, junior Tommy Troy was drafted twelfth total by the Arizona Diamondbacks within the first spherical on July 9.
Troy marks Stanford’s twenty third participant to go within the first spherical of the MLB Draft — extending the college’s lead for many first-round draft picks of all-time. The infielder is the primary Cardinal to be chosen within the first spherical since Nico Hoerner ‘18 went to the Chicago Cubs with the twenty fourth total choose and the earliest a Stanford participant has been picked since Cal Quantrill ‘16 went eighth total in 2016.
“There’s clearly a wealthy historical past of Stanford gamers going excessive within the draft,” stated Stanford head coach David Esquer. “With Tommy having the 12 months he had, it was fairly evident that he was going to be a primary spherical choose and somebody who’s going to play within the massive leagues. So the Diamondbacks obtained an excellent one.”
The choice follows a exceptional junior 12 months marketing campaign that concluded with the 21-year-old taking part in his finest baseball but. After profitable the 2023 Pac-12 batting title with a .404 batting common through the common season, Troy earned MVP honors within the Stanford Regional, because of a ridiculous .571 common and 11 RBIs through the regional’s five-game stretch. He completed the season with a team-best .394, including a career-best 98 hits, 17 house runs and 58 doubles.
Troy was a contributor within the adorned Stanford program from day one, beginning 39 video games his freshman 12 months. The righty appeared in at the very least 49 contests every of his three seasons as a Cardinal, posting improved batting averages, hits, runs and residential runs every year. The junior will end his school profession with a lot of prestigious accolades below his belt, together with a number of All-American honors.
Studies indicate that the Diamondbacks plan on taking part in Troy at shortstop. The primary-rounder principally assumed third base this previous season at Stanford, however has confirmed his potential to play second and shortstop during times in school and over the summers.
July 10 remained a trigger for celebration for Stanford baseball, as seven Cardinal gamers had been chosen on day two of the MLB Draft.
Pac-12 Participant of the Yr and fellow junior Alberto Rios was the following to go, after being chosen 79th total by the Los Angeles Angels.
“He deserves it and labored laborious for it,” Esquer stated. “However what an ideal 12 months: Participant of the Yr and All-League and All-American and a 3rd spherical draft choose. I imply, I don’t know if it might get any higher than that.”
Rios, who had simply seven plate appearances his first two seasons at Stanford, burst onto the nationwide scene this 12 months. Posting a .384 batting common and team-best 18 house runs and 73 RBIs this previous season, Rios’ slugging potential is the primary attraction of this choose, in response to most scouting studies.
Senior Quinn Matthews and juniors Ryan Bruno and Joey Dixon, all pitchers, had been the following three Stanford picks, going to the St. Louis Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros, respectively. Matthews, who served as Stanford’s ace in 2023, and Bruno each earned All-American honors this season whereas Dixon was acknowledged as an All-Pac-12 honorable point out.
The trio mixed for 242.2 innings pitched, or 42% of Stanford’s complete IP this previous season. With their departure, a giant void presents itself within the Cardinal pitching roster.
“We put together for that,” Esquer stated of the bullpen turnover. “We’ve obtained a robust pitching class coming in … that’s a part of recruiting and it’s simply one of many details of getting a profitable program with good gamers.”
To spherical out the draft, junior Drew Bowser was picked within the twentieth spherical by the Chicago Cubs. Set to affix Park within the Windy Metropolis, Bowser — like most of the Stanford picks that preceded him — was a significant factor for Stanford throughout his three years on the Farm. Beginning in at the very least 50 video games every season, the infielder recorded at the very least 60 hits and 40 RBIs yearly.
All 9 Cardinal had been key elements in this system’s Faculty World Collection look this 12 months, and plenty of of them had been in prior years as properly.
“Fairly thrilling, proper?” Esquer stated. “That’s clearly simply sort of a tribute to the event the fellows have whereas they’re right here.”
Though the departure of such a contingent may appear devastating for Stanford followers, an analogous scenario offered itself final 12 months when six Cardinal gamers had been chosen. Solely Matthews, who was drafted within the nineteenth spherical, returned to the collegiate subject; nonetheless, this system wouldn’t have to attend for an additional journey to Omaha, Neb.
For this upcoming season, the trail to return would require early studying, particularly with the anticipated turnover.
“We’re gonna need to develop up early,” Esquer commented about subsequent 12 months. “We’ve obtained gamers who’ve been ready for a possibility to play, so it’ll be a tall order to get again subsequent 12 months. However I believe we simply need to develop into that kind of staff and the great factor is that the bar has been set so excessive in our program, I believe our guys know what they’re reaching for and what it’s alleged to appear to be. And I believe that’s nothing however constructive.”
Whereas it stays to be seen which gamers will and won’t be signing, it’s inevitable that the younger expertise will likely be requested to step up within the absence of key contributors from 2023. Fortunately for Stanford, there are some rising stars inside the program which might be already being checked out to guide the long run.
“It begins with Malcom Moore and Braden Montgomery,” Esquer stated.
Moore, a catcher, is recent off a first-year marketing campaign that earned him Pac-12 Freshman of the Yr. Montgomery, a former Pac-12 Freshman of the Yr himself, has continued to amaze followers and scouts alike together with his two-way talents after posting a .336 batting common and 17 house runs in 2023. It was introduced July 11, nonetheless, that he entered the switch portal.
“You understand, you count on them to come back again and have massive years,” Esquer stated. “You construct round two gamers like that, and then you definately hopefully get some surprises with some freshmen and a few guys who’ve been ready within the wings.”
With positions to fill and inquiries to reply, Stanford baseball has a protracted street forward of them. Nonetheless, the purpose stays: return to the place they’ve made it the final three years.
“I’m wanting ahead to it as a result of I believe it’s gonna push us to nice heights,” Esquer stated.
“It’ll be thrilling.”