Stanford Spotlight: Scott Dragicevich
May 11, 2001
When Scott Dragicevich wakes up on the morning of a game, he can't wait to get to the ballpark.
'I'm definitely excited on gamedays,' he affirms, 'I'm excited to get through the day and get to the game so I can do what I most enjoy doing, and that's to play baseball.'
After spending his first two years at Stanford as a reserve player, his work ethic and readiness to play earned him a starting spot at shortstop for the 2001 season.
'It's nice to be able to play every day and feel like you contribute to the team, because every player's goal coming in is to try to help the team win,' says Dragicevich.
Another special part of this season for Dragicevich is to look around the field and see a lot of his friends and roommates. With the majority of the starters leaving for professional baseball after last season's trip to the College World Series, he and other returning juniors have gotten the opportunity to step up into more of a leadership role. Scott and one of his roommates, junior second baseman Chris O'Riordan, are the only two players to have started all 50 games this season, but he emphasizes that it has been more important to this year's team to work together rather than look to one person for leadership.
'I don't think there's one defined leader,' says Dragicevich. 'I think that we all pull for each other and that makes it really fun for me, to look out on the field and see all my good friends.'
Dragicevich earned his spot this year by setting goals and preparing himself to be able to play consistently on both offense and defense.
'My goals are not really the end result but taking care of the process' he says. 'That's something I know that I can control, making sure that I'm ready to go for every game.' He's been very ready this year and has shown it by hitting safely in 41 of 50 games. He currently has a batting average of .333 and has had four hitting streaks of six or more games. Dragicevich ranks second on the team with 64 hits this season. He has tried to be prepared for any situation by concentrating on the task at hand. When he's up to bat the most important thing is, 'really just focusing on the particular time and not worrying about what happened last at bat, or last week and not worrying about what's going to happen in the future.'
While making a huge impact on the Cardinal offense this year, Dragicevich is also concerned with being an all-around player, evidenced by his 144 assists, 63 putouts and only 10 errors at shortstop for a .954 fielding percentage.
'Defense has always been my favorite part of the game,' emphasizes Dragicevich. 'Ever since Little League I've loved to take ground balls.'
His favorite part of practice is the 'live-infield' drill where the batters hit only ground balls to try and prepare the infielders for game situations.
'That's what I really enjoy doing - taking ground balls - especially with Chris playing second base. He's such a good defensive player, too, and then Andy [Topham] at third, having my friends out there makes infield really fun.'
From offense to defense, Dragicevich has worked hard the last three years to help make the Cardinal one of the nation's top teams. His role as shortstop has helped him become one of the leaders on the infield and keep focused on his dedication to the team and putting team goals above personal ones. He describes the best part of his game as his work ethic and looking at the examples he's set for the team this season. There's no doubt that's true.
'For me, it has always been real important to do whatever it takes to get prepared - that I do the extra practicing and working out so that when it does come to gametime, I don't have to worry about whether I'm ready or not,' concludes Dragicevich. 'Because I know I will be.'
by Erin Walker
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