Stanford Baseball Honors 2008 College World Series Club at Annual Team Banquet
Dec. 9, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford baseball program, which made its 16th trip to the College World Series in 2008, announced its team awards at the club's annual season-ending banquet. Jason Castro, who was the 10th overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft by the Houston Astros, earned the team's Most Valuable Player award and was presented with the Jack Shepard Memorial Award, given annually to the player with the highest batting average. The team's other awards went to Brendan Domaracki and Austin Yount (Most Inspirational Player), Erik Davis and Sean Ratliff (Come Through Award), Cord Phelps (Most Improved Player), Drew Storen (Most Valuable Player) and David Stringer (Bruce Cameron Memorial Award).
Castro emerged as one of the nation's top players during his junior campaign, earning second-team All-America honors by Rivals.com and third-team accolades from ABCA/Rawlings, Baseball America and Ping!Baseball after batting .367 (105-for-279) with 68 runs, 18 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs, 73 RBI, a .429 on-base percentage and a .613 slugging mark. An excellent defensive catcher, he logged a .996 fielding percentage (two errors in 496 total chances) and threw out a stellar 38.3% of would-be base-stealers (30-of-81). A first-team All-Pac-10 selection, he helped guide Stanford pitchers to the conference's third-best ERA (4.45) and was a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award honoring the country's top catcher. An excellent clutch performer, Castro hit at a robust .411 clip (39-for-95) with runners in scoring position.
Befitting the Pac-10's top Major League Baseball draft pick in 2008, Castro raised his game to another level in the NCAA Tournament. He drove in 17 runs in just 11 postseason contests, while batting .413 (19-for-46) with nine runs, five doubles and three home runs. He was also the lone Pac-10 player on the 2008 All-College World Series team after going 6-for-18 (.333) with four runs, one double, one home run and four RBI in Omaha.
Domaracki, a senior outfielder, was named the club's Co-Most Inspirational Player a year after earning the 2007 Come Through Award. He started 41 of the 53 games in which he played, batting .257 (39-for-152) with 28 runs, eight doubles, three triples, one home run and 19 RBI. The economics major also earned second team Pac-10 All-Academic honors.
The other Co-Most Inspirational Player was Yount, who excelled both on the mound and at the plate en route to honorable mention All-Pac-10 accolades. A 12th round draft choice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the right-handed hurler went 6-4 with a 3.48 ERA (26er, 67.1ip) in 17 games (eight starts). At the plate, the left-handed batter went 23-for-69 (.333) with eight doubles, a triple and 15 RBI. He earned both a win and save in the Stanford Regional, while going 2-1 with a 2.41 ERA (5er, 18.2ip) in five postseason appearances overall. Yount was also an honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic selection.
Davis was voted co-winner of the Come Through Award after a stellar senior campaign that also netted him first-team All-Pac-10 accolades. The right-hander went 8-3 with a 4.70 ERA (54er, 103.1ip) in 18 games (16 starts) overall, but really made his mark in conference action. Davis tossed an incredible four consecutive complete games over his first four Pac-10 starts, helping Stanford win conference series vs. Washington State, Arizona State, at Oregon State and at UCLA. He went 5-1 with a 3.90 ERA (26er, 60.0ip) in eight Pac-10 starts overall, tying for the conference lead in wins and ranking first in innings pitched. A 13th round selection by the San Diego Padres, he earned a victory over Miami to keep the Cardinal alive in the College World Series.
Another first-team All-Pac-10 selection and one of only three Stanford players to start all 67 games, Ratliff was the other co-winner of the Come Through Award. The power-hitting outfielder led the team with 22 home runs and tied for the high-water mark with four triples, while batting .294 (73-for-248) with 52 runs, 13 doubles, 71 RBI and eight steals (in 11 attempts). He also made a trio of relief appearances, going 2-0 with early-season wins over national powerhouses Cal State Fullerton and Texas. Evident of the clutch play that earned him the award, he was named Most Outstanding Player of the Stanford Regional after going 3-for-4 with two home runs (including a grand slam) and five RBI in the regional title game victory over Pepperdine. The New York Mets' fourth-round draft choice hammered four home runs in 11 postseason games overall, while batting .342 (13-for-38) with 14 RBI.
Phelps was quite deserving of the Most Improved Player award. After posting a .196 average, no homers and 10 RBI as a freshman, he batted .301 with 23 RBI in 2007. However, as a junior in 2008, the first team All-Pac-10 performer turned in an incredible .351 average (91-for-259) with a club-high 76 runs, 16 doubles, three triples, 13 homers and 58 in 63 games. The switch-hitter batted .352 (31-for-88) off left-handers, .351 (60-for-171) off right-handers and .386 (27-for-70) with runners in scoring position. During the same month in which he was a third-round draft choice of the Cleveland Indians, he drove in five College World Series runs and batted .386 (17-for-44) in 10 playoff games overall.
Storen was among the country's top freshmen in 2008, and was named to freshman All-America teams by Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger (first team), Rivals.com (second team) and Ping!Baseball (third team). The right-hander posted eight saves during a sensational rookie collegiate campaign, tying for the seventh-highest single-season total in Stanford history. He posted a 5-3 record and a 3.51 ERA (22er, 56.1ip) in 31 relief appearances, while compiling 50 strikeouts against just 15 walks. A first team All-Pac-10 selection, he logged three saves and a 2.75 ERA (6er, 19.2ip) in 11 conference outings. Storen concluded the season with a perfect 3-0 mark and two saves in seven postseason contests.
Stringer earned the Bruce Cameron Memorial Award, given annually to the player demonstrating outstanding proficiency in baseball, campus leadership and academic performance. The right-handed pitcher was fifth on the Cardinal staff with 19 appearances (including two starts), while he fashioned a 3-1 record with two saves and a 5.23 ERA (25er, 43.0ip). Off the field, the senior mathematical and computational science major earned first team Pac-10 All-Academic accolades with an outstanding 3.92 GPA.
Stanford will begin its 56-game 2009 regular season schedule with four home games at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond the weekend of February 20-22. The Cardinal will host Southeastern Conference power Vanderbilt (Friday and Saturday), along with UC Riverside (Sunday doubleheader).