Baseball Ranked No. 1 In Baseball America's 2002 Preseason Rankings
Jan. 3, 2002
Durham, N.C. - Stanford has been ranked No. 1 in the nation by Baseball America in the publication's 2002 Preseason Top 25 College Baseball rankings released Thursday. The Cardinal, which also earned a No. 1 ranking from Collegiate Baseball last month, has finished second at the College World Series each of the last two seasons and returns all of its position starters from last year's CWS title game. Stanford has also earned a spot in the CWS field for each of the last three years and compiled three consecutive 50-win seasons, both for the first time in school history. Last season, Stanford finished 51-17 overall and 17-7 in the Pac-10 Conference. The Cardinal returns 16 of 20 letterwinners from a year ago.
In addition, six Stanford players earned selections to Baseball America's 2002 Preseason All-American baseball teams, also released Thursday. Scouting directors of major league baseball vote on the teams and make selections based on performance, talent and major league potential.The Cardinal had three First Team All-American selections in junior OF Jason Cooper (selected as a DH), junior RHP Jeremy Guthrie and sophomore OF Carlos Quentin. The three selections marked the first time a team has had three First Team selections on Baseball America's Preseason All-American list since Fresno State had the trio of OF Tom Goodwin, OF Steve Hosey and SS Eddie Zosky in 1989.
Cooper earned his second Baseball America Preseason All-American selection after earning Second Team honors prior to his sophomore campaign. Cooper was the highest player selected in the June 1999 Amateur Baseball Draft that did not sign a professional baseball contract as he was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round (63rd overall). Cooper was off to a hot start as a sophomore in 2001 before being slowed by a mid-season knee injury. He finished the season with a .272 batting average, nine homers and 37 RBI.
Guthrie earned Second Team (The Sporting News) and Third Team (Baseball America, NCBWA) All-American honors last year after emerging as the Cardinal's top starter. He led Stanford with 13 victories, ranking tied for seventh on the school's all-time single-season win list, posting a 13-4 record and a 2.82 ERA. He also paced the club in strikeouts (128), innings pitched (134.0) and games started (20), while co-leading the team with three complete games. Guthrie excelled in the post-season with a 3-0 mark. He also had a hot stretch from February 9 - March 30, winning seven consecutive starts and posting a 1.38 ERA.
Quentin emerged as one of the nation's top freshmen in 2001 as he earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Freshman All-American (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, USA Today/Baseball Weekly) and First Team All-Pac-10 honors in his rookie campaign. He ranked second on the club behind O'Riordan with 11 homers and 52 RBI, while hitting at a .345 clip and adding five stolen bases.
O'Riordan was a First Team (ABCA, NCBWA) and Second Team (Baseball America, The Sporting News) All-American and All-Pac-10 choice in 2001 after leading the Cardinal in nearly every offensive category, including hits (101), homers (12), RBI (68) and stolen bases (16). O'Riordan also ranked second on the club with a .359 batting average and started all 68 games at second base. He enters his senior season tied for first on Stanford's all-time batting average list with a .362 career mark.
Cunningham earns his first collegiate All-American honor. Last year, he posted a 5-2 record with a 3.62 ERA as ranked fourth on the club in both innings pitched (74.2) and strikeouts (54). He is expected to be a fixture in the Cardinal rotation this and enters the 2002 campaign ranked seventh on Stanford's all-time won-loss percentage list (11-2, .846).
Fuld was selected as a Third Team All-American by the NCBWA last season and was a Baseball America Second Team Freshman All-American. He also earned All-Pac-10 honors and excelled in the post-season, earning spots on the All-CWS and All-Regional teams during the NCAA Tournament. Fuld finished the season with a .357 batting average, 37 RBI and 11 stolen bases.
The Cardinal will open the 2002 campaign February 1-3 with a three-game series at Sunken Diamond versus No. 15 Cal State Fullerton. Stanford's 2002 schedule includes 21 games against teams ranked in Baseball America's Preseason Top 25. In addition to the Cal State Fullerton series, the Cardinal has three-game home sets slated versus No. 4 USC (April 12-14), No. 9 Texas (March 28-30) and No. 18 Arizona State (May 10-12). Stanford is also scheduled for three-game series on the road at USC (March 23-24), as well as at No. 6 Florida State (February 8-10) and No. 24 Washington (April 19-21).
For the complete Baseball America 2002 Preseason Top 25 College Baseball rankings and All-American baseball teams, go to www.baseballamerica.com . A schedule, roster and quick facts for 2002 Stanford Baseball, as well as much more on Stanford Athletics, is available at www.gostanford.com.