BA Newsletter: Get Analysis, Rankings Delivered To Your Inbox!

2022 College Top 25 Preview: No. 7 Stanford

Last season: 39-17 (17-10 in Pac-12); reached College World Series
Final Ranking: No. 7
Coach (record at school): Dave Esquer (135-54, four years)

The good news: Stanford has one of the most dynamic position players in college baseball returning in third-year sophomore center fielder Brock Jones. He will be the centerpiece of the offense and will play a solid center field, but he’ll also have plenty of help in what should be a formidable Cardinal lineup. Also returning are sophomore third baseman Drew Bowser, third-year sophomore shortstop Adam Crampton, third-year sophomore catcher Kody Huff and sophomore second baseman Tommy Troy. Fourth-year junior DH Vincent Martinez also has the raw power to be a major run producer, as he hit .312 with seven home runs last season, but he’ll have to be more consistent than he was down the stretch in 2021.

The bad news: Stanford’s pitching staff felt a few arms short when it finished the season in Omaha, and after the departure of ace Brendan Beck and key reliever Zach Grech, it needs a staff that was otherwise quite young in 2021 to take a step forward this season just like its young lineup did last season. Fourth-year junior righthander Alex Williams will bring a veteran presence to the rotation, and his stuff is good enough to be a quality Friday starter. But behind him, the Cardinal will be leaning on veterans who will have to show improvement, like third-year sophomore lefthander Quinn Mathews, and relatively unproven pitchers like sophomore lefthander Drew Dowd and freshman righthander Ty Uber. Sophomore righthanders Tommy O’Rourke and Joey Dixon both performed admirably as freshmen last season in the bullpen, but they will be asked to take on bigger roles this time around. How well the pitching staff comes along will have a lot to say about how close Stanford comes to reaching its ceiling.

Player to know: Tommy Troy, 2B

Brock Jones is a known commodity at this point as a Team USA alum and a top prospect for the 2022 draft. Drew Bowser is also well known given the way he played as a freshman. By comparison, Tommy Troy is lesser known, but he’s going to have a pivotal role to play for the Cardinal in 2022 and he’s an exciting prospect for the 2023 draft alongside Bowser in his own right. A good athlete and versatile defender, Troy could begin the season playing either second base or left field, and he could play other positions if pressed into duty. With 10 home runs last season, he already shows impressive pop in his bat, and with more experience under his belt, he’ll look to improve upon his .247 average and .345 on-base percentage. Added together, it’s a skill package not unlike recently departed Stanford utility player Tim Tawa, who played all over the field on The Farm and became a more polished and patient hitter as time went on in his career. If Troy can be that kind of player in 2022, Stanford would have to be pleased.

Dub Gleed Bymattbrown Ucirvineathletics

Ranking College Baseball's Top 50 Names In 2022

The four-time winner of the award for the top name in college baseball, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Itchy Burts, graduated at the end of last season, leaving a void at the top of this list.

Path to Omaha: Stanford has a lot going for it. The lineup should put up plenty of runs and play quality defense once again. It has a lot of players in prominent roles who went to Omaha last season and therefore know what it takes. It really comes down to how much progress the pitching staff makes. If Williams steps into Beck’s spot at the front of the rotation, pitchers like Mathews and Dowd make moderate improvement and Uber and other freshmen step up right away, the Cardinal can win the Pac-12 and threaten to go to the CWS. But if they see transformative improvement from their pitchers in the same way that they saw transformative improvement from position players last season, there will be very little keeping this team from competing for a national title.

2022 Lineup

CKody HuffR-So..263.336.399213537
1BCarter GrahamSo..091.091.0911100
2BTommy TroySo..247.345.4871501028
3BDrew BowserSo..302.361.487199741
SSAdam CramptonR-So..287.348.362188218
LFOwen CobbR-So..100.217.1002000
CFBrock JonesR-So..311.453.6462061862
RFEddie ParkSo..270.377.2708907
DHVincent MartinezR-Jr..312.387.500154722
RHPAlex WilliamsR-Jr.523.4255540
LHPQuinn MathewsR-So.526.0767600
LHPDrew DowdSo.216.9937370
RPJoey DixonSo.213.2836162
RPTommy O’RourkeSo.104.0724250

Are you a member?

In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account. 

Login or sign up  

Additionally, you can subscribe to Baseball America's newsletter and receive all of our rankings, analysis, prospect insight & more delivered to your inbox every day. Click here to get started. 

of Free Stories Remaining