#22 Stanford Baseball 2018 Preview

Stanford Cardinal
Overall Rank: #22
Conference Rank: #3 Pac 12
 Stanford Logo
Stanford is embarking on a new era in Palo Alto as new head coach David Esquer takes over for legendary former head coach Mark Marquess in 2018. Esquer did a good job over at California as he led the Golden Bears to the 2011 College World Series, along with five NCAA Regionals appearances. The Cardinal won 42 games last season and made it to the Fullerton Regional where they went 2-2 as the bats couldn’t get rolling against the Titans pitching staff. There is a good balanced mix of returning position players and pitching that will set Stanford up to be a very tough out all season long.
2017: 42-16, 21-9
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: David Esquer
Key Departed Players:
Quinn Brodey, OF/P, .314 BA, 11 HR, 51 RBI
Matt Winaker, IF/OF, .308 BA, 9 HR, 45 RBI
Jack Klein, OF, .293 BA, 3 HR, 21 RBI
Colton Hock, P, 2.08 ERA, 47.2 IP, 11 BB, 35 SO, 16 SV
Chris Castellanos, P, 3.28 ERA, 98.2 IP, 15 BB, 56 SO
Key Returning Players:
Daniel Bakst, IF, .311 BA, 3 HR, 38 RBI
Nico Hoerner, IF, .307 BA, 1 HR, 33 RBI
Duke Kinamon, IF, .284 BA, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 15 SB
Brandon Wulff, OF, .231 BA, 6 HR, 23 RBI
Maverick Handley, C, .257 BA, 0 HR, 13 RBI
Kris Bubic, P, 2.79 ERA, 90.1 IP, 31 BB, 96 SO
Erik Miller, P, 3.65 ERA, 61.2 IP, 21 BB, 34 SO
Will Matthiessen, P, 2.33 ERA, 38.2 IP, 9 BB, 32 SO
Cal State Fullerton will visit Sunken Diamond to kickoff the 2018 season in what should be one of the best series of the opening weekend of the college baseball season. Taking care of business on the mound and not letting the Titans execute their small ball is going to be a key factor in winning this series. Rice, Michigan, Texas, and San Diego highlight the rest of the non-conference schedule. Kris Bubic and Erik Miller should anchor the weekend rotation and guys like a Will Matthiessen could end up replacing Colton Hock as the closer. Offensively, this Stanford team might have to manufacture more runs with Daniel Bakst, Nico Hoerner, and Duke Kinamon leading the everyday lineup this season.  Brandon Wulff has plenty of power after hitting six homeruns in 2017. The key for Wulff will be improving his batting average form .231 by adding about 20-25 points to that total. If the pitching stays strong and consistent all year long, you can expect the Cardinal to win over 40 games and be in the NCAA Regional host conversation.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament