#16 Stanford Baseball 2020 Preview

Stanford Cardinal
Overall Rank: #16
Conference Rank: #2 Pac-12
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Stanford has done well under Coach David Esquer. In his debut season in Palo Alto in 2018, the Cardinal won the Pac-12. Last year they improved their conference record and reached the Super Regionals stage. It took five games for Stanford to surpass Fresno State in their home regional and that was problematic during their trip to Starkville. Looking ahead to 2020, Stanford has a lot of rebuilding to do. Most of their offense is gone and it will take some time for Coach Esquer to fill all of those holes.
2019: 45-14, 22-7
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: David Esquer
Key Departed Players:
Will Matthiessen, DH, .310 BA, 12 HR, 52 RBI
Kyle Stowers, OF, .303 BA, 9 HR, 39 RBI, 13 SB
Duke Kinamon, IF, .303 BA, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 12 SB
Maverick Handley, C, .290 BA, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 12 SB
Andrew Daschbach, IF/OF, .289 BA, 17 HR, 46 RBI
Brandon Wulff, OF, .272 BA, 19 HR, 42 RBI
Erik Miller, P, 3.48 ERA, 8-3 W/L, 82.2 IP, 102 SO
Key Returning Players:
Tim Tawa, OF, .253 BA, 8 HR, 37 RBI
Brendan Beck, P, 3.63 ERA, 5-4 W/L, 91.2 IP, 83 SO
Alex Williams, P, 2.56 ERA, 8-1 W/L, 63.1 IP, 43 SO
The pitching staff is in good shape with the return of Brendan Beck, Alex Williams and Jacob Palisch. Those three should comprise a very good weekend rotation. Beck had a bit of a sophomore slump, but after going 8-0 with a 2.43 ERA as a freshman in 2018, it was not a huge surprise that his numbers were a little less impressive last season. Stanford will hope Williams can avoid a sophomore slump after he went 8-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 14 appearances with ten starts in 2019. Tim Tawa and Nick Bellafronto are the most experienced hitters returning. Those two combined for 14 homeruns and 69 RBIs and are a decent duo to build around. A handful of freshmen and unproven returning players will have to step up. There is some talent on this roster, but it is very unproven. If Coach Esquer can put the pieces together, this will be a very dangerous team by the time Pac-12 play rolls around. If not, the pitching will still lead to plenty of victories, but Stanford will struggle to make an NCAA Tournament run.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament