#5 Stanford Baseball 2019 Preview

Stanford Cardinal
Overall Rank: #5
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
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Stanford went into the 2018 NCAA Tournament with high hopes of getting to the College World Series in Omaha. They were the number two national seed with home field advantage but couldn’t get enough offense going in the Stanford Regional as they were eliminated by Cal State Fullerton. The Cardinal have some key pieces back in the everyday lineup and on the mound that will keep them in position to contend for another Pac-12 Championship and a top eight national seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
2018: 46-12, 22-8
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: David Esquer
Key Departed Players:
Beau Branton, INF, .353 BA, 1 HR, 22 RBI
Nico Hoerner, INF, .345 BA, 2 HR, 40 RBI, 15 SB
Kris Bubic, P, 2.62 ERA, 8-1 W/L, 86.0 IP, 32 BB, 101 SO
Tristan Beck, P, 2.98 ERA, 8-4 W/L, 90.2 IP, 31 BB, 73 SO
Key Returning Players:
Tim Tawa, OF, .296 BA, 7 HR, 41 RBI, 7 SB
Andrew Daschbach, INF/OF, .287 BA, 17 HR, 63 RBI
Kyle Stowers, OF/P, .286 BA, 10 HR, 42 RBI
Alec Wilson, OF, .272 BA, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 8 SB
Maverick Handley, C, .229 BA, 2 HR, 23 RBI
Jack Little, P, 0.60 ERA, 3-0 W/L, 45.1 IP, 8 BB, 58 SO, 16 SV
Jacob Palisch, P, 1.72 ERA, 4-1 W/L, 47.0 IP, 12 BB, 36 SO
Will Matthiessen, P, 2.00 ERA, 18.0 IP, 11 BB, 17 SO
Brendan Beck, P, 2.43 ERA, 8-0 W/L, 66.2 IP, 12 BB, 38 SO
Zach Grech, P, 2.65 ERA, 34.0 IP, 11 BB, 22 SO
Erik Miller, P, 4.07 ERA, 4-4 W/L, 48.2 IP, 23 BB, 52 SO
Jack Little is an elite closer who will return for the 2019 season and that will help head coach David Esquer shorten games this season. Little had a 0.60 earned run average while collecting 16 saves in 2018. Little also struck out 58 batters while only walking eight and that elite level of command of his pitches will make him a headache for other teams to deal with. Brendan Beck will be back in the starting rotation and he will need to pick some of the slack for the losses of Kris Bubic and Tristan Beck. Erik Miller will take up one of the other two weekend slots as Miller has earned some preseason All-American consideration and should quickly improve upon his numbers last season when he was solid. But now he has the ability to quickly improve his numbers in 2019. Kyle Stowers and Andrew Daschbach are the best power threats in 2019 for the Cardinal and those guys will have to be elite with their offensive production for Stanford this season. Tim Tawa and Alec Wilson provide a nice combination experience, speed, and depth in the lineup for the Cardinal that will be very key to their success. Stanford will get their rematch with Cal State Fullerton in early March down at Godwin Field in a series that will be hotly contested. Texas visits Palo Alto on the following weekend. The conference schedule is favorable with most of the tougher series taking place at home, which is why Stanford should be able to grind out a conference title in 2019. They also should be right there in the mix for a top eight national seed with a better opportunity to get to Omaha this time around.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament