<i>Baseball America</i> Names Michael Taylor Third-Team Preseason All-American

Jan. 5, 2006

Durham, N.C. -

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Michael Taylor was named a 2006 Third Team Preseason All-American by Baseball America on Thursday to become Stanford's first player to earn Preseason All-American honors this year. Last month, Taylor had been named to the 2006 Wallace Award Watch List, a group of players selected by the College Baseball Foundation to keep an eye on for the organization's award that annually recognizes the top collegiate player in the country.

Taylor, a sophomore outfielder from Apopka, Florida, had a promising rookie season with the Cardinal in 2005 when he hit .289 with four homers, 28 RBI and nine stolen bases. He also became the first Stanford player since 1998 to hit for the cycle when he accomplished the feat versus San Jose State on April 19.

Taylor showed even more of his potential during the summer of 2005 when he was named Baseball America's top prospect in the Alaska Baseball League after hitting .328 with four homers, 25 RBI and 25 stolen bases to earn First Team All-League honors for the second-place Mat-Su Miners.

Stanford was unranked in the publication's annual preseason poll for the first time ever. The poll has been in existence since 1981. The Cardinal was ranked No. 25 in Collegiate Baseball annual preseason list of the country's Fabulous 40 last month.

Stanford is coming off a 2005 season in which the Cardinal made its 12th straight postseason appearance, reaching the championship game at the NCAA Waco Regional before falling to host and eventual CWS participant Baylor. Stanford finished the 2005 campaign with a 34-25 overall record and a 12-12 mark in the Pac-10 to tie for sixth in the conference. The Cardinal was not ranked by Baseball America at the end of the 2005 campaign.

Stanford's 34-player roster in 2006 includes 19 players from last year's team and 15 newcomers. The returnees include 15 letterwinners. six position player starters and seven of the nine pitchers who saw action on the hill for the Cardinal in 2005.

Stanford has been involved in NCAA postseason play 26 times. The Cardinal has won a pair of College World Series titles (1987, '88) in its 15 CWS appearances and been runners-up on three other occasions (2000, '01, '03), the latter during a recent school record run of five straight trips to Omaha (1999-2003). Stanford has also won five NCAA Super Regional crowns (1999, 2000, '01, '02, '03) and 20 conference championships (1924, '25, '27, '31, '50, '53, '66, '67, '83, '84, '85, '87, '90, '94, '97, '98, '99, 2000, '03, '04), which includes shared and Pac-10 Southern Division titles.

Stanford is scheduled to open its 2006 season by hosting perennial national power and No. 5 ranked Cal State Fullerton in a three-game non-conference series at Sunken Diamond from Friday-Sunday, February 3-5 (5 pm, 1 pm, 1 pm).

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