Cardinal Freshmen Rated No. 2 Nationally by Baseball America
Oct. 20, 2009
The publication noted that 'Stanford's class is rich with players who have the potential to be major league stars if everything breaks right; the key for the Cardinal will be developing those talents on an accelerated timetable.'
The top two incoming players are infielder Kenny Diekroeger, out of Woodside, Calif., and outfielder Jake Stewart, out of Ft. Collins, Colo.
Diekroeger is the highest-drafted position player to attend a four-year college, and according to collegiate writer Aaron Fitt, the 6-2, 200-pound freshman has a 'chance to be a star down the road' and one of college's 'good young shortstops.' Diekroeger hit .586 with a 1.069 slugging percentage last year at the Menlo School before injuring his knee late in the season.
Stewart was noted as 'the greatest athlete to ever come from Colorado's high school ranks and has legitimate five-tool potential, but remains raw in all phases, especially offensively.' Stewart hit .544 as a senior last year and according to Fitt has 'a feeling that Stewart could blossom at Stanford and leave there as a high first-round pick.'
According to BA, 'Piscotty and Ringo give the Cardinal a pair of physical power hitters with a good feel for hitting.' Third baseman Stephen Piscotty was the league MVP across the Bay at Pleasanton's Amador Valley High hitting .450, while Justin Ringo had a .461 career average with 128 RBIs.
As for the incoming pitching staff, the magazine notes 'the pitchers in this class are big and projectable, led by (6-5) Mark Appel, who can reach 94 with a sinking fastball and has a promising power breaking ball. (6-7) Chris Jenkins has massive size and arm strength but is extremely raw, while (6-8) Garrett Hughes has some feel for a mid-80s fastball and a good curve but has yet to see his velocity jump. (5-10) Dean McArdle is undersized but electric, with a 90-92 mph fastball and good feel for a sharp curve.'
Righthanded reliever Mark Appel (San Ramon, Calif.) was rated as the No. 123 prospect out of 200 in this year's draft after an All-American career, while New Jersey righthander Chris Jenkins had an 0.71 ERA over 49.1 innings. The southpaw, Hughes, was an All-CIF pick, while McArdle was 38-8 out of Sioux City, Iowa.
TOP RECRUITING CLASSES - BASEBALL AMERICA
3. Arizona State
4. Texas Christian
5. CS Fullerton
7. North Carolina
8. Mississippi State
10. Central Florida