Catching Up with Kenny Diekroeger
April 19, 2010
Kenny Diekroeger has already hit his first homer and is contributing some winning hits to the Cardinal's success this season. Diekroeger is the top incoming player of this year's second ranked recruiting class and is showing why he is such a valuable player.
GoStanford.com: Growing up less than 20 minutes away, what significance has Stanford played in your life as a student and baseball player?
Diekroeger: Both of my parents went to Stanford, so I've been around it all of my life. I used to go to football, basketball, and baseball games. Ever since I was little, I dreamed of playing for this team. I've always been part of the Stanford tradition, of which I've been exposed to all of these years. It's really cool to continue a relationship with Stanford.
GoStanford.com: Did your knee injury late in the season during your senior year affect your transition into the Stanford Baseball rigorous training regime?
Diekroeger: I was at a disadvantage in the sense that I wasn't able to play summer ball like most of my friends, and summer ball is a big part of any baseball player's development. I was out the entire summer, so the first games I played were the fall scrimmages, which were basically designed to figure out who could play. In that sense, I wasn't really playing catch up, but I had to get into the swing of things when other players had already used the summer to get better and stay in the game.
GoStanford.com: With many career achievements already under your belt, what are some of your personal goals this season?
Diekroeger: I want to be part of a team that goes to Omaha and it's really the only personal goal that I have. As for batting average, RBIs, or all that stuff, it really doesn't mean anything, if we don't win games.
GoStanford.com: Tell us about your plans of study at Stanford.
Diekroeger: Well, the way baseball goes is...if you're good enough, you'll get drafted your junior year and you'll sign, so you won't be able to go to school your senior year like most other students. I've had to accelerate my major decision and the classes I take because I'm anticipating this junior year draft. I'm already starting to take classes for Management, Science and Engineering (MS&E) and I'm pretty sure I'm going to take that as my major. It hasn't been overwhelming even though I've been taking sophomore/junior year classes as a freshman. I also came in with a lot of units from APs and from taking classes at a junior college over the summer.
GoStanford.com: How do you relax and unwind during your downtime?
Diekroeger: Right now, it's mostly baseball and school. If I'm not playing baseball, I'm either studying or sleeping. I try not to do too much because recovery is a big part of my preparation and the way I play. I dedicate a lot of time to getting enough sleep and eating right. Other things I do include going on the computer, watching television or reading a book. What I read varies but as of right now, if someone recommends a book, I'll just read it no matter what it's about.
GoStanford.com: Where do you draw inspiration from and can you share some inspirational advice for future Cardinal players?
Diekroeger: In terms of baseball, I really like to model my play off of guys who play hard and who are really good leaders on the field like Derek Jeter or Chase Utley. They're not necessarily vocal players but they lead by example and by the way they play. In that sense, I try to lead my style of play the same way.
GoStanford.com: Previously you've played with your brother, Danny. Tell us more about the two of you growing up.
Diekroeger: I've been on the same team as him ever since T-ball. From T-ball to all-stars to high school baseball. So to be able to continue that at a really high level will be really exciting!