College | Story | 2/22/2019

Scout Take: Stanford

Vincent Cervino        
Photo: Brendan Beck (Stanford Athletics)

College Notes: Big bats in AZ | Scout Takes: Vanderbilt | Virginia | College Player Database

Stanford Cardinal

What Happened: The Stanford Cardinal entered the season as the No. 7 team in the country, and, despite a close game early on, looked like a top 10 team in the country with a 4-0 start to the season in Arizona. The pitching staff looks like the strength of the squad early on in the year while some of their big bats had a bit of a slow start, but the Cardinal are too talented for that to continue too much longer past the first weekend. 

Carrying Tool: Experienced arms. The Cardinal lost two arms to the top five rounds of the draft a year ago but the arms they return are certainly accomplished. Erik Miller has some of the best stuff in the country while Brendan Beck was a freshman All-American a year ago and Jacob Palisch pitched to a 1.72 ERA in 47 innings. When you factor in some other contributors and Preseason All-American closer Jack Little, who had a 0.60 ERA and 16 saves in 45 1/3 innings last year, Stanford looks to have one of the deepest staffs in the country. 

Concerns: Stars in disarray. Through four games Stanford's trio of juniors at the top of the lineup are not off to a great start. Andrew Daschbach wasn't able to get to his power with only one extra-base hit, Maverick Handley looked out of sorts in the leadoff spot and Kyle Stowers hit below the Mendoza line to open the year. Stanford will have to get these three hitters going and in a hurry given the difficulty of their early-season schedule as they've already won two one-run ballgames and could provide serious firepower when considering how some other players have started. 

Best Player on the Field: Tim Tawa. The sophomore filling in at shortstop is the epitome of what makes a good college baseball player: having advanced instincts and some tools to back it up. While he didn't light the world on fire offensively he showed out in all facets. Tawa isn't a natural fit at shortstop but he made a couple of highlight reel plays including the last out of game one where he ranged up the middle nicely and then on Sunday he made a leaping grab on a line drive. Tawa is going to be the model of consistency for Stanford and is in store for a big year. 

Fearless Forecast: Stanford makes it to the final eight. Coach David Esquer had about as good of a first season you can in filling in the shoes of former skipper Mark Marquess as Stanford won the Pac-12 and made it to a Regional. The Cardinal have the one thing that appears to matter most at the college level which is depth in the pitching staff, and once they get their stars back on their right footing the Cardinal are going to be one of the most formidable teams in the country with a visit back to Omaha for the first time in a decade. 

Player covered: Tim Tawa, Jack Little, Kyle Stowers, Andrew DaschbachMaverick Handley, Brendan Beck, Erik Miller, Will Matthiessen.

Tim Tawa
Stanford's swiss army knife is sophomore Tim Tawa and he really provides an interesting profile with tools and instincts to back up almost every part of his game. Tawa had an excellent true freshman campaign where he hit almost .300 on the season but really took his game to another level last summer in the NECBL. The coaching staff raves about Tawa as athletically he can succeed at almost every position, and though his professional future lies in the outfield, he did the job during opening weekend at shortstop. 

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