#21 Stanford Baseball 2015 Preview

Stanford Cardinal

Overall Rank: #21
Conference Rank: #3 Pac-12
#21 Stanford Baseball 2015 Preview
Stanford Team Page


Stanford struggled early in 2014, but finished the season with a bang. The Cardinal won 12 of their last 16 games to close out the regular season to solidify their spot in the NCAA Tournament and then came out of the loser’s bracket to upset nationally ranked Indiana in the Bloomington Regional. The run nearly went to the College World Series, as Stanford pushed eventual national champion Vanderbilt to three games in the super regional. Gone from that team are a significant number of key players, including eight players who were drafted in June, but enough returns for Stanford to be successful once again.

2014: 35-26, 16-14
2014 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mark Marquess

Field Players:
Just three regulars return form last year’s team and all three will be counted on heavily in 2015. Junior outfielder Zach Hoffpauir burst onto the scene in 2014 and finished second on the team in batting average, .324, and home runs, 7. Also a starting safety on Stanford’s football team, Hoffpauir should be a fixture in the middle of the lineup this year. Joining Hoffpauir is the middle infield duo of Drew Jackson and Tommy Edman. Jackson was the team’s starting shortstop to open the season, but a finger injury limited his season to just 39 games. Jackson will need to produce better at the plate in 2015, as he hit just .167 last season. Edman was the hero for Stanford last year. The switch-hitting sophomore was named the Bloomington Regional MVP after hitting .417 over the course of the regional, which was capped off by his walk-off home run that sent the Cardinal to the Super Regionals. Edman hit .256 on the year, splitting time between second base and then shortstop following Jackson’s injury. Stanford will need Jackson and Edman to anchor the infield as they try to find new players to fill the empty spots.

Stanford does have a pair of returning players, Alex Dunlap and Jack Klein, who should have bigger roles as sophomores. Both outfielders, neither player saw consistent time last year, but both will be in the mix for regular roles this year. Dunlap started 20 of his 37 appearances and hit .237 with 14 RBI’s, while Klein hit .256 in 27 appearances. Freshman Bryce Carter leads a talented freshman class that could end up putting multiple players in the lineup. Named an All-American by multiple media outlets, Carter is a favorite to step into the starting role behind the plate as a freshman.

The pitching staff returns largely intact and will lead the way for this Stanford team. The Cardinal return six pitchers that accounted for all 61 of the team’s starts last season as well as two key relievers. Cal Quantrill returns as the team’s ace after an impressive freshman season. Named the Coastal Plains League’s top prospect over the summer, Quantrill went 7-5 with a 2.68 ERA while starting 17 of his 18 appearances. Brett Hanewich, another sophomore, is a solid number two to go alongside Quantrill. Hanewich went 4-4 with a 3.17 ERA last year and should take a step forward in his second year. Who completes the rotation is the real question. John Hochstatter and Logan James both split time as starters last season and could move into full-time roles in 2015. Hochstatter put up great numbers last year, going 10-3 with a 3.36 ERA. The senior started nine of his 16 appearances and held batters to a .214 average on the season. James saw more of his action in relief, going 3-4 with a 5.31 ERA in 24 appearances, eight of which were starts. A third candidate for the role could be freshman Keith Weisenberg. One of the top freshmen in the country, Weisenberg was a Perfect Game All-American and a 38th round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays following a dominant prep career. Weisenberg could be the kind of difference maker that Quantrill and Hanewich were for Stanford last season. Relievers Markus Brakeman, 1-3 with a 3.80 ERA, and Chris Castellanos, 0-1 with a 4.12 ERA, will add depth to the bullpen and midweek starters Chris Viall and Tyler Thorne are back and give the Cardinal a very deep staff.

Who to Watch:
What does Tommy Edman have in store for round two in Palo Alto? The pitching staff is clearly the strength of this team and the Cardinal need some players to step up offensively. Edman could be one of those guys. The San Diego native turned it on at the end of last year and put up very impressive numbers. Edman hit over .400 in April and followed that up with his MVP performance in the Bloomington Regional. In the summer, Edman played for the Newport Gulls in the New England Collegiate Baseball League where he hit .309 with 15 doubles, four home runs, 20 RBI’s and 14 stolen bases. Edman’s play earned him First Teal All-NECBL honors as well as the defensive player of the year award. If Edman can carry that form over, he will bring a much-needed boost to this lineup.

Final Projection:
Last year’s team was one win away from the College World Series. There is no reason to think that this team couldn’t end up in the same situation. A deep pitching staff can carry a team in postseason play and the Cardinal have just that with an ace leading the way. With the lone exception being UCLA, the team’s at the top of the Pac-12 lose a lot from last season and that could lead to the Pac-12 being wide open for a team to win. Stanford has a great shot at doing that as long as they can establish some consistency offensively. Series with Indiana, Cal State Fullerton, Rice and Texas to open the season will be tough, but Stanford has the potential to do well in those series and in the Pac-12.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Zach Hoffpauir, OF, 219
Hits: Zach Hoffpauir, OF, 71
Home Runs: Zach Hoffpauir, OF, 7
RBIs: Zach Hoffpauir, OF, 35
Runs: Zach Hoffpauir, OF, 36
Stolen Bases: Zach Hoffpauir, OF, 3; Tommy Edman, IF, 3

Wins: John Hochstatter, P, 10
Innings Pitched: Cal Quantrill, P, 110.2
Strikeouts: Cal Quantrill, P, 98
Saves: Chris Castellanos, P, 3

Madness 2015 MLB Draft Rankings:
#51 Mark Brakeman

Madness 2015 Baseball Recruit Rankings:
#2 Keith Weisenberg
#24 Bryce Carter


See All Baseball Top 44 Previews