2012 MLB Draft: Mark Appel, Kyle Zimmer Highlight Bay Area Prospects

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2012 MLB Draft: Brett Mooneyham Selected No. 111 Overall By Washington Nationals

As the Stanford Cardinal prepare for their NCAA super regional matchup with No. 3 Florida State this weekend, another Card standout can call himself a big leaguer as left-handed pitcher Brett Mooneyham has been selected by the Washington Nationals No. 111 Overall in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

The 6-foot-5 Mooneyham had an impressive 2012 for Stanford, going 7-5 with a 4.26 ERA in 14 starts (82.1 IP) with a 90/37 K/BB ratio. The son of former major league pitcher Bill Mooneyham, the youngster has a solid 92-93 mph with some tail and sink and an above-average curve and a decent changeup. He also pitched for Team USA in the Summer of 2010.

For more discussion and analysis of the Washington Nationals, make sure to check out Federal Baseball. For more on the California Golden Bears, head over to California Golden Blogs. For more on the MLB Draft in general please check out Baseball Nation.

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2012 MLB Draft: Tony Renda Selected No. 80 Overall By Washington Nationals

The California Golden Bears baseball team have a long history of producing major league talent, and have once again churned out another as junior second basemen Tony Renda has been selected No. 80 overall by the Washington Nationals in the 2012 First-Year MLB Player Draft.

The 2011 Pac-12 Player of the Year batted .342 with 16 doubles, five home runs and 27 RBI during the regular season for Cal this year. He also led the Golden Bears with 16 stolen bases (second in the Pac-12), including stealing third base three times. Renda has shown himself as a multi-tool guy with a lot of upside, bringing his three straight first team All Pac-12 honors along with him. He also was a third-team All American.

For more on Cal Baseball, make sure to check out California Golden Blogs. For more on the Nats check out Federal Baseball . For more on the MLB draft in general, check out Baseball Nation and MLB Daily Dish.

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MLB Draft 2012: Stephen Piscotty Selected By St. Louis Cardinals No. 36 Overall

Stanford Junior Stephen Piscotty has proven that he is a jack of all trades with the Stanford Cardinal as both an outsiding infielder as well as a solid right handed pitcher. Now he will take his talents to the show as the St. Louis Cardinals have selected him No. 36 overall in the compensation round of the 2012 First Year MLB Draft.

Known as an above-average hitter and defender, Piscotty owns a .336 career average in three years at Stanford, starting 170 career games, scoring 123 runs and driving in 131 RBI. As a pitcher Piscotty went 6-2 this season with a 3.05 ERA in 12 appearances (4 starts) with 20 strikeouts and nine walks, though he'll work as an infielder in the big leagues. He was drafted in the 45th round out of high school by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was a first team All-Pac 12 member this year as well.

Piscotty was the compensation pick in the Albert Pujols trade to the Angels this offseason. He could prove to be a solid corner infielder down the line, or even a super utility man the likes of Mark DeRosa or Ty Wiggington.

For more on the Stanford Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree. For more on the Cardinals check out Viva El Birdos. For more on the MLB draft in general, check out Baseball Nation and MLB Daily Dish.

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MLB Draft 2012: Mark Appel Selected No. 8 Overall By Pittsburgh Pirates

Stanford Cardinal right handed pitcher Mark Appel has been blowing batters away and impressing scouts for a while now, but he can finally call himself a major league ball player after the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him No. 8 overall in the 2012 First-Year MLB Draft.

Seen by many as having the 'total-package' for a pticher, Appel was a 2012 All-American and All-Pac 12 first team member. He owns an 18-9 record with a 3.10 career ERA over three seasons with the Card, pitching 267.1 total innings with 239 strikeouts and 74 walks, along wth 250 hits. Opponents are hitting .251 against him over his college career. He and his Cardinal are currently in the Super Regional round of the 2012 college world series.

Appel was drafted in the 15th round by the Detroit Tigers out of high school, but decided to attend Stanford instead. What a difference a few years make, as he is now a first round pick.

For more on the Stanford Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree. For more on the Pirates head over to the Bucs Dugout. For more on the MLB draft in general, check out Baseball Nation and MLB Daily Dish.

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MLB Draft 2012: Kyle Zimmer Selected No. 5 Overall By Kansas City Royals

The University of San Francisco's Kyle Zimmer has been lighting it up for the Dons for a while now, but now has made the big time as the Kansas City Royals have selected the big right handed pitcher No. 5 overall in the 2012 First-Year MLB Draft.

The 6-4 220 pounder out of La Jolla, CA is known to have dominant velocity and a solid three pitch rotation already. He owned a5-3 record this season with a 2.85 ERA, and an incredible 104-to-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio.He led the WCC in shutouts (2), strikeouts (104), strikeouts looking (37), and strikeouts per nine innings (10.6), as well as finishing second in complete games (3), sixth in batting average against (.230), and ninth in ERA (2.85) in conference.

Zimmer joins a Royals squad chocked full of young talent, and hopefully will be a MLB staple sooner than later.

For more on the 2012 MLB Draft, make sure to follow our StoryStream.

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MLB Draft 2012: Stanford's RHP Mark Appel Will Be Top Pick, According To Reports

According to a tweet from CBS' Jon Heyman, the early word on the MLB Draft is that the Houston Astros will take Stanford RHP Mark Appel with the no. 1 overall pick and the Minnesota Twins will take Georgia prep star CF Byron Buxton with the second pick. This is just talk at the moment but it seems to be gaining steam as a consensus.

Buxton is listed as the no. 1 overall prospect in the draft by ESPN's Keith Law while Appel is ranked no. 4. Both Law and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo have Appel and Buxton going 1-2 at the top of the draft. Mayo also has the Kansas City Royals taking University of San Francisco RHP Kyle Zimmer with the no. 5 overall pick.

Appel has improved every season with the Cardinal, culminating in a 2.27 ERA with 127 strikeouts and a 10-1 record as a junior.

For more on Appel and his draft prospects, visit Rule of Tree.


MLB Draft 2012: Top 50 Bay Area Prospects

With the start of the 2012 MLB Draft only hours away, here's a quick look at some of the best and brightest talents with Bay Area ties that will be joining the majors over the next few days. Some of these names you likely have heard of, like projected No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel out of Stanford, but there are lots and lots of other talented youngsters you may not be so familiar with yet.

Below is the top 50 Bay Area prospects in this year's MLB draft, compiled by the good folks over at Perfect Game:


  • Mark Appel (RHP) JR R-R 6-5 195 Stanford San Ramon
  • Kyle Zimmer (RHP) JR R-R 6-3 210 USF La Jolla
  • Stephen Piscotty (3B/1B) JR R-R 6-3 215 Stanford Pleasanton
  • Mitch Haniger (OF) JR R-R 6-2 215 Cal Poly Santa Clara
  • Brett Mooneyham (LHP) JR L-L 6-5 235 Stanford Atwater
  • Tony Renda (2B) JR R-R 5-8 175 Cal Hillsborough
  • Martin Agosta (RHP) JR R-R 6-1 180 Saint Mary's El Dorado
  • Patrick Wisdom (3B) JR R-R 6-2 215 Saint Mary's Murrieta
  • Kenny Diekroeger (2B/SS) JR R-R 6-2 200 Stanford Woodside
  • Jacob Stewart (OF) JR R-R 6-2 190 Stanford Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Scott Griggs (RHP) JR R-R 6-4 205 UCLA Alamo
  • Justin Jones (LHP) JR L-L 6-3 190 Cal Riverbank
  • Zack Jones (RHP) JR R-R 6-1 175 SJSU San Jose
  • Patrick Stover (OF) JR R-R 6-5 215 Santa Clara Rocklin
  • Cody Keefer (OF) JR L-R 6-1 190 UCLA Davis
  • Elliott Waterman (LHP) JR L-L 6-5 215 USF Martinez
  • Chadd Krist (C) SR R-R 5-11 200 Cal Petaluma
  • Kyle Barraclough (RHP) SR R-R 6-3 180 Saint Mary's Santa Clara
  • Tyler Gaffney (OF) JR R-R 6-0 210 Stanford San Diego
  • Matt Flemer (RHP) SR R-R 6-3 215 Cal El Cerrito
  • Nick Grim (RHP) JR R-R 6-3 190 Cal Poly Salinas
  • Eric Jaffe (RHP) FR R-R 6-3 235 UCLA Oakland
  • Mike Miller (SS) SR R-R 5-8 170 Cal Poly Concord
  • Justin Maffei (OF) JR R-R 6-0 170 USF Foster City
  • Justin Haley (RHP) JR L-R 6-5 230 CS Fresno Fair Oaks
  • Dayne Quist (LHP) SR L-L 5-10 180 UC Davis Santa Cruz
  • Joe Sever (2B) JR R-R 6-0 205 Pepperdine San Jose
  • Eric Smith (C/3B) JR L-R 6-1 190 Stanford La Canada
  • Martin Viramontes (RHP) SR R-R 6-5 225 USC Fresno
  • Devyn Rodriguez (1B/OF) JR L-R 6-2 210 Cal Newhall
  • Tommy Nance (RHP) JR R-R 6-6 210 Santa Clara Long Beach
  • Jordan Remer (LHP) SR L-L 6-2 215 USF Piedmont
  • Michael Rivera (RHP) JR R-R 6-0 225 Fresno Pacific Berkeley
  • Chris Jenkins (RHP) SO R-R 6-7 220 Stanford Westfield, N.J.
  • Shawn Stuart (RHP) SR R-R 6-3 210 CS Long Beach Turlock
  • Troy Channing (1B) SR R-R 6-0 235 Saint Mary's Pleasanton
  • Derek Campbell (SS) SO R-R 6-0 170 Cal Santa Ana
  • Nick Berhel (RHP) JR R-R 6-1 180 USC Benicia
  • Nik Balog (1B) SR L-L 6-4 220 USF San Jose
  • Cody Kendall (RHP) SR R-R 6-2 210 CS Fresno Yucaipa
  • Derrick Chung (2B) SR R-R 5-10 185 CS Sacramento Cypress
  • David Garcia (2B) JR R-R 5-7 175 CS Monterey Bay San Jose
  • Esteban Guzman (RHP) SR R-R 6-4 230 San Jose State Fairfield
  • Justin Ringo (1B) JR L-L 6-1 195 Stanford Palos Park, Illinois
  • Brock Simon (RHP/3B) JR R-R 6-4 200 Santa Clara El Dorado Hills
  • Darrell Matthews (OF) JR L-R 5-10 165 Cal Concord
  • Tyler Christian (3B/RHP) JR R-R 6-1 175 San Jose State San Jose
  • Trent Garrison (C) SR L-R 6-0 185 Fresno State Murrieta
  • Tom Harlan (LHP) SR L-L 6-5 190 Fresno State San Francisco
  • Brian Busick (RHP) SR R-R 6-3 200 Stanford Poway

For more on Bay Area prospects in the 2012 MLB Draft, make sure to follow out Storystream.

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MLB Draft 2012: Stanford's Mark Appel No. 4 Overall Prospect, Projected No. 1 Pick

The Stanford Cardinal's 6-foot-5, 215 pound right handed pitcher, Mark Appel, is ranked as the no. 4 overall prospect heading into the MLB Draft by ESPN's Keith Law but Law has him going no. 1 in the draft to the Houston Astros on Monday night.

Law's analysis of Appel is this:

Appel's stuff has been above-average the entire season, but he's battled his command a bit. He'll sit 94-97, touching 99, and flash a plus change and above-average breaking ball. Due to the inconsistent command and an extremely clean arm action, hitters get a better look at his fastball than they should given his velo. With a few tweaks, he has No. 1 starter upside.

Appel has ranked no. 6 and no. 3 (twice) on Law's list of prospects. Appel went 10-1 with a 2.27 ERA this season for the Cardinal with 127 strikeouts while holding batters to a .210 batting average.

For more on Appel and his draft prospects, visit Rule of Tree.


2012 MLB Mock Draft: Lots Of Bay Area Moves Expected On Monday

The 2012 MLB Draft begins on Monday with the all-important first round. While the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics will both have first round picks, there are plenty of Bay Area amateur athletes who figure to be drafted in marquee positions.

In the latest mock draft at Minor League Ball, John Sickels believes three local athletes will be selected as key early picks.

1) Houston Astros: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford. He's got a great arm, and he made a lot of progress this spring putting to rest concerns about a past lack of statistical dominance.

5) Kansas City Royals: Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Francisco: The general consensus is that the Royals will take the leftover top college pitcher who falls here. Giolito would be an interesting gamble with a potentially huge payoff, but I don't think they take that risk.

7) San Diego Padres: Max Fried, LHP, California HS: He could go as high as 5, but if he's still on the board the Padres are rumored to be strongly interested in this polished lefty. David Dahl has impressed people of late and could also get popped here. A polished "safe" choice could be Andrew Heaney.

Here's his take on the strategy for the A's:

11) Oakland Athletics: "Don't draft for need" the saying goes, but it would be awfully hard to resist an advanced college bat like Richie Schaffer, 3B, Clemson, given the organization's paucity of hitting. Seager and Hawkins would be top high school options with impressive upside but longer paths to the majors, with Heaney or Marcus Stroman available if they want pitching.

And here's what he has to say about the first round for the Giants:

20) San Francisco Giants: A sturdy hard-throwing high school arm like Nick Travieso, RHP, Florida HS seems like a good bet here. Ty Buttrey, Walker Weickel, Zach Eflin, Shane Watson, and Lucas Sims are all logical too. If they want a bat, Gallo or Seager would make sense.

For more on the Giants, visit McCovey Chronicles. A's fans should check out Athletics Nation.


2012 MLB Draft Order: Where The Giants And A's Fit In

The 2012 MLB Draft begins on Monday and runs through Wednesday. The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics front offices have been hard at work constructing their respective game plans for the draft over the past few weeks.

The A's hold the No. 11 overall pick in the first round and will have a terrific chance to pick up a solid prospect in this year's draft. The San Francisco Giants hold the No. 20 overall pick and are not in terrible shape. This year features a very deep talent pool from all over the country so both Bay Area teams should have a good chance to pick up vital pieces toward the future of their respective franchises.

Here's the full draft order for Monday's first round.

1 Houston Astros
2 Minnesota Twins
3 Seattle Mariners
4 Baltimore Orioles
5 Kansas City Royals
6 Chicago Cubs
7 San Diego Padres
8 Pittsburgh Pirates
9 Miami Marlins
10 Colorado Rockies
11 Oakland Athletics
12 New York Mets
13 Chicago White Sox
14 Cincinnati Reds
15 Cleveland Indians
16 Washington Nationals
17 Toronto Blue Jays
18 Los Angeles Dodgers
19 St. Louis Cardinals
20 San Francisco Giants
21 Atlanta Braves
22 Toronto Blue Jays
23 St. Louis Cardinals
24 Boston Red Sox
25 Tampa Bay Rays
26 Arizona Diamondbacks
27 Milwaukee Brewers
28 Milwaukee Brewers
29 Philadelphia Phillies
30 New York Yankees
31 Boston Red Sox

For more on the Giants, visit McCovey Chronicles. A's fans should check out Athletics Nation.


MLB Draft 2012: Mark Appel Will Reportedly Be Drafted No. 1 By Astros

There have been rumors for months that Stanford Cardinal ace pitcher Mark Appel would be selected by the Houston Astros with the No. 1 pick at the 2012 MLB Draft. A few whispers in recent days suggested the Astros may be looking elsewhere with their pick, but those reports were nullified on Sunday, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.

According to a tweet from Bowden the Astros have decided to select Appel on Monday with their top pick.

Appel is a right-handed pitcher with excellent stuff on the mound. For an Astros team that has been pretty miserable the last few seasons he is capable of turning the franchise around at the top of their rotation, something their new ownership would love as they make the move to the American League East.

This is still just a report and is yet to be confirmed by Houston, but this seems like a lock at this point.

The 2012 MLB Draft is set to begin on June 4.

For more on Appel and the Stanford Cardinal be sure to check out Rule of Tree. Astros fans should visit Crawfish Boxes for their draft coverage.


MLB Draft 2012: Mock Draft Has Oakland A's Selecting Michael Wacha, RHP

A Baseball Prospectus mock draft has the Oakland Athletics selecting Michael Wacha, a right handed pitcher from Texas A&M, with their first selection in the 2012 MLB Draft.


MLB Mock Draft 2012: Giants Select Nick Travieso, A's Pick Lance McCullers

Who might the A's and Giants pick in June's draft?


MLB Mock Draft 2012: Mark Appel Goes No. 1 Overall To Astros

The 2012 MLB Draft is right around the corner and most feel that Stanford Cardinal pitcher Mark Appel will be the first player selected. The Houston Astros have the No. 1 overall pick in the first round and desperately need pitching help, and it appears to be nearing a consensus that Appel will be that player for them.

Here is a scouting report from Hardball Times on Appel and what he throws on the mound.

Stanford right-handed pitcher Mark Appel is one of the candidates to go first overall to the Houston Astros in the 2012 draft. With a four-seam fastball that touches 100 mph and sits 94-96, a two-seam fastball around 92-94 with a ton of arm-side run, a sharp slider from 82-84, and a changeup from 81-83 with plenty of depth, he has the tools to perform well in the big leagues. But there have been some serious concerns with his stats this year that are making a lot of people pause.

The two main concerns are Appel's lack of strikeouts this season and the number of innings he is throwing. While his strikeout numbers are still good (9.44 K/9), they aren't quite the elite number you look for out of the first pitcher picked in the draft. He has also thrown upwards of 100 innings and still has some season left to play.

Neither of these are huge red flags, but Appel will come with a few minimal concerns should the Astros indeed select him No. 1 overall.

For more on Appel and the Stanford Cardinal, check out Rule of Tree.


College Baseball Rankings: Stanford Rises To No. 11 In USA Today/ESPN Pol

The Stanford Cardinals baseball team rose to number 11 in the USA Today/ESPN NCAA Baseball Coaches' Poll released on Monday. Stanford, with a 36-14 overall record, went 4-0 over the previous week, good enough to move them up the rankings. They swept a series against Utah on the road and moved into third place in the Pac-12. Only two games separate the top five teams in the Pac-12, so with a little help the Cardinals could see a great end to their season.

Other Pac-12 teams in the rankings are Oregon (No. 8), UCLA (No. 10), Arizona (No. 13), and Oregon State (No. 20).

Stanford's rankings in the other polls:

Rule Of Tree is yourgo-to source for all your Stanford Cardinal news and quality analysis.

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NCAA Baseball Rankings: Stanford No. 12 In Latest Poll

The Stanford Cardinal retained their No. 12 spot in USA Today's/ESPN coaches' poll on Monday. Stanford (32-14, 14-10 Pac-12) swept Washington State (24-23, 9-14) in three games this past weekend.

On Tuesday, the Cardinal hosts San Francisco for a non-conference game and then heads to Utah (13-35, 7-20) for a three-game weekend series. Stanford is tied with Arizona State (32-17, 14-10) in the Pac-12 standings and is only two games behind second place No. 17 Arizona (33-15, 16-8). Stanford has an opportunity to move up the standings this weekend if they take care of business against last place Utah.

Other Pac-12 teams ranked in the coaches' poll include No. 17 Arizona, No. 10 Oregon (37-14, 18-8), No. 11 UCLA (35-13, 15-9) and No. 20 Oregon State (32-17, 13-11).

Stanford's rankings in other poll

For more on Stanford baseball, check out SB Nation's Rule of Tree.

College Baseball Rankings: Stanford Drops 5 Spots To No. 12 In Latest Polls

The Stanford Cardinal are coming off a week where they went 1-3 where Stanford lost two of three against Oregon State and the other loss came against San Jose State.

With those loses it drops Stanford from No. 7 to No. 12 in the latest USA Today/ESPN college baseball rankings. The loss also drops Stanford from being the highest ranked Pac-12 team, and that honor now goes to Oregon who is ranked No. 10. In the Pac-12 there are five total teams ranked with the other three being UCLA who is No. 11, Arizona is No. 15 and Oregon State comes in at No. 23.

Here are the latest college baseball rankings:

Last week
Florida State (31)
Baylor (1)
South Carolina
North Carolina
Texas A&M
Cal State-Fullerton
Central Florida
North Carolina State
Oregon State
San Diego
Miami (Fla.)

More all things Stanford go visit Rule of Tree.


College Baseball Rankings: Stanford Rises In Polls After ASU Sweep

The Stanford Cardinal swept the Arizona State Sun Devils this past weekend in three games to rise in the national polls and the Pac-12 standings.

Stanford (25-10, 8-7 Pac-12) rose six spots to No. 13 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll. Stanford Third baseman Alex Blandino drove in a team-high eleven runs, batted .563 and hit four home runs in the team's three victories over the Sun Devils (24-16, 9-9) and one win against San Jose State last week.

The Cardinal are currently tied for third place in the Pac-12 with No. 28 Oregon State (26-12, 8-7).

Other Pac-12 teams ranked in the poll include No. 6 Arizona (26-13, 12-6), No. 9 Oregon (27-12, 11-7) and No. 10 UCLA (26-10, 11-7).

Stanford heads south to face UCLA for a three-game weekend series that will have serious Pac-12 standings implications.

Stanford's rankings in other polls:

For more news and notes on the Cardinal, head over to Rule Of Tree.

NCAA Baseball Rankings: Stanford Drops To No. 19 In Latest Poll

Stanford fell to No. 19 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll on Monday. The Cardinal dropped two of three games to the Oregon Ducks this past weekend, but beat California and Pacific earlier to compile a 3-2 record from last week.

Despite the team's impressive overall record of 22-9, the Cardinal are currently seventh in the Pac-12 standings with a 5-7 conference record. Oregon's series win against Stanford placed the team first place in the Pac-12 tied with UCLA (24-8, 10-5 Pac-12) and Arizona (24-11, 10-5).

Oregon, UCLA and Arizona are ranked No. 6, No. 7 and No. 8 respectively in the same poll. Other Pac-12 schools ranked in the poll include No. 21 Arizona State (23-13, 9-6) and No. 30 Oregon St. (23-11, 6-6).

Stanford hosts San Jose State on Tuesday for a non-conference matchup and then resumes their Pac-12 schedule against Arizona St. for a three-game weekend series.

Stanford's rankings in other polls:

For more news and notes on the Cardinal, head over to Rule Of Tree.

NCAA Baseball Rankings: Stanford Stays At No. 16 In Latest Poll

The Stanford Cardinal took two of three games in a road series against the Washington Huskies this past weekend and beat the California Golden Bears in a non-conference road game on Monday to move their record to 20-7.

Stanford (20-7, 4-5 Pac-12) remained ranked No. 16 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll.

The team has outscored its opponents 45-28 in its past five games, including a 19-6 romping over California (2-7, 7-13) on Monday night. Stanford is currently tied for fifth with Washington (17-11, 4-5) in the Pac-12 standings.

Other Pac-12 schools ranked in the poll include No. 9 Arizona (23-9, 9-3), No. 10 Oregon (20-9, 8-4), No. 11 UCLA (21-7, 8-4) and No. 24 Arizona State (19-12, 6-6).

Stanford hosts Pacific (10-12) for a non conference game on Tuesday and then will host Oregon for a three-game weekend series starting on Friday.

Stanford's rankings in other polls:

For more news and notes on the Cardinal, head over to Rule Of Tree.

NCAA Baseball Rankings: Stanford Drops In National Rankings

The Stanford Cardinal (16-6, 2-4 Pac-12) dropped from No. 2 to No. 16 in the latest update of Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Poll.

No. 5 Arizona (21-7, 7-2) swept Stanford in a three-game series this past weekend. After opening the season 15-2, the Cardinal have lost four of its past five games. Despite being ranked in the top 25 of all the major polls, the Cardinal are ninth in the Pac-12 standings after starting their conference season with a 2-4 record.

After a Monday night game against Saint Mary's (14-12), Stanford heads north for a weekend series against Washington (16-9, 3-3).

Other Pac-12 schools ranked in this poll include UCLA (20-5, 7-2), No. 14 Oregon (18-8, 6-3) and No. 23 Oregon State (17-8, 6-3).

Stanford's ranking in other polls:

For more news and notes on the Cardinal, head over to Rule Of Tree.


Mark Appel Scouting Report: Keith Law Gives Latest On Stanford's Star Pitcher

Many scouts around the nation believe that Stanford Cardinal starting pitcher Mark Appel will be the No. 1 overall pick at the 2012 MLB Draft. Typically it a high school player going at the top-spot in the draft given their upside and potential, but Appel is the real deal. He features ace-like stuff on the mound, has the frame to hold up over the course of a long season and knows how to pitch on the mound.

Appel and the No. 2 ranked Stanford Cardinal recently took on the No. 8 ranked Arizona Wildcats in Tucson. ESPN scouting guru Keith Law made the trip and watched the righty. Here is a snippet from his latest update:

Appel was 95-97 early in his outing and pitched at 94-95 even later in the game, at times showing a plus changeup and an above-average slider. But his location was inconsistent on all three pitches, and his tendency to leave the two offspeed offerings up in the zone was behind most of the 12 hits Appel gave up in 8-plus innings of work. (He never should have gone out for the ninth, but eight innings is only a half-day's work in the minds of Stanford's coaching staff.) He did throw several changeups in the 80-82 range with good tumble, but when he doesn't finish the pitch and get it down in the zone, it's like a BP fastball, and Arizona hitters had no trouble turning on it.

According to Law, he still believes Appel will be the No. 1 selection, although he needs to continue working on his command if he hopes to become an ace one day at the Major League level. The Pac-12 conference will provide him with some tough compeition and he will get no breaks from here on out.

For more on the Cardinal, Appel and their baseball program, be sure to check out Rule Of Tree.


College Baseball Rankings 2012: Stanford Remains Ranked No. 2 Nationally

Stanford along with the other top five ranked college baseball teams in the nation retained their rankings from last week. The Cardinal (15-3) began Pac-12 conference play this past weekend with a doubleheader sweep over the USC Trojans. Stanford is looking to get in a groove in this weekend's games after not playing since March 11th prior to its series against USC.

Florida (22-2) remains ranked No. 1 in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll. There are currently four other Pac-12 teams ranked behind Stanford in the poll: No. 9 UCLA (17-4), No. 12 Arizona (18-7), No. 16 Oregon (15-6) and No. 19 Oregon State (15-7). Florida and Stanford were also ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in Baseball America's top 25 rankings update on Monday.

After a Tuesday non-conference game against UC Davis, Stanford travels to Tuscon, Arizona for a three-game series against the No. 12 ranked Wildcats.

For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule Of Tree.


Stanford Vs. St. Mary's: Stephen Piscotty, Cardinal Finish Road Trip Against Gaels

After taking their first loss of the season last Friday night, the Stanford Cardinal baseball team looks to take back their No. 1 ranking, starting with St. Mary’s on Tuesday evening.

The Card (10-1) finish up a four-game road trip at Saint Mary’s (8-4) before hosting its third top-10 team of the season, No. 4-ranked Rice (11-1) for a weekend set at Sunken Diamond.

Despite dropping its first game of the season, the Cardinal still managed 25 runs over the final two games against Fresno with Brian Ragira leading the club with a .396 average while Stephen Piscotty has 21 RBI’s already this season.

RHP Brian Busick (0-0, 9.00) will take the mound for the Card this afternoon, while LHP Ben Griset (1-0, 1.38) will get the ball for the Gaels. St. Mary’s enters Tuesday’s matchup as winners of five of the last eight meetings against Stanford.

First pitch is set for 2 p.m. PT

For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree.


Mark Appel Recap: Stanford Star Strikes Out 11, Gives Up Seven Runs In Loss

There are few collegiate starting pitchers better than Mark Appel this season and the projected first round pick was on the mound once again on Friday night against Fresno State. Appel had a perfect record of 2-0 heading into the matchup, but some timely hitting from FSU and a bit of poor defense worked against the talented righty. The Cardinal took the 7-4 loss.

Appel worked eight innings and struck out 11 batters while only walking three. In a bit of promising news, he allowed just two fly ball outs, meaning he continued to do a great job of keeping the ball on the ground.

The game was not televised, but many heard from reports out of FSU that the Stanford catcher, Eric Smith, missed a crucial tag at the plate that opened the floodgates. Appel was charged with seven runs (all earned), but it did sound like the guys behind him did not play their best game.

For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule Of Tree.


Stanford Vs. Fresno State Preview: Mark Appel, Stephen Piscotty Lead No. 1 Cardinal Into Fresno

The No. 1-ranked Cardinal (8-0) get set for their longest out of conference road trip of the season as they head down to Fresno State (4-5) for a three-game series against the Bulldogs starting this Friday.

Stanford has been nearly unstoppable so far this year, outscoring opponents 77-26 over its first eight games, including six wins over teams currently in the top 10.They're batting .331 as a team, led by Jake Stewart 's .412 clip with a pair of leadoff homers, while Stephen Piscotty already has a team-high 19 RBIs and impressive .270 average.

Stanford will once again send preseason All-American RHP Mark Appel (2-0, 1.29) to the mound on Friday, junior LHP Brett Mooneyham (2-0, 2.57) on Saturday and possibly freshman LHP John Hochstatter (2-0, 0.71) on Sunday, though that is subject to change.

Fresno State (4-5) will counter with LHP Tyler Linehan (1-1, 0.59), RHP Cody Kendall (1-0, 4.50) and LHP Thomas Harlan (1-1, 0.71), coming off a loss to UC Santa Barbara Tuesday and a dropped weekend series to Pepperdine before that.

Friday and Saturday's games are schedule for 6 p.m. while Sunday's matchup will be at 1 p.m.

For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree.


Stanford Vs. UC Davis: Stephen Piscotty Drives In 3 Runs, No. 1 Card Roll 5-1

The Stanford Cardinal men's baseball team was looking to go 8-0 to begin the season Tuesday night against the UC Davis Aggies, and behind another terrific performance from third baseman Stephen Piscotty, the No. 1 ranked Card (8-0) defeated the visiting UC Davis (5-3) by the score of 5-1 at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto.

Jake Stewart's second leadoff homer of the season gave the Cardinal a 1-0 lead, starting the night right for his fellow Cardinal. Stephen Piscotty once again was the star of the show, driving in three runs on the night including a tie-breaking two-run double in the third inning. Brian Ragira followed that up with an RBI double right after as Stanford would control the game early at 4-1. They would never look back as Piscotty added some insurance in fifth with an RBI groundout to make it 5-1.

Dean McArdle (1-0) got the win for his 2.2 innings of scoreless relief tonight, following Brian Busick's perfect inning and Sahil Bloom's solid 2.1 innings of relief. Ben Burke (0-1) gave up the first four runs over 2.2 innings for the Aggies, taking the loss.

Full box score can be found here.

Below you can check out Piscotty's postgame interview as he talks about another one of his big nights:

Stanford Baseball: Stephen Piscotty Post-Game (via stanfordathletics)

For more on the Cardinal, please check out Rule of Tree.


Mark Appel Named Pac-12 Player of the Week

Not only did the Stanford Caridnal baseball team make the jump to No. 1 in the country, they also got some recognition from the Pac-12 as well as junior RHP Mark Appel was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for his performance on the mound for the Card.

Appel struck out a career-best 10 in the team’s win over the No. 7-Texas Longhorns Friday night. Appel dazzled with four no-hit innings along with a shutout into the eighth, finishing the game with one run on three hits. He even retired 10 Longhorns in a row until they got their first hit off of him in the fifth.

Appel is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts, and is scheduled to start the team’s series against Fresno State on Friday.

Appel was a first team preseason All-American, and is currently seen by Baseball America as the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming MLB draft this June.

For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree.


Stanford Vs. Texas, Series Recap: Mark Appel, Stephen Piscotty Lead Cardinal To Series Sweep

Mark Appel and Stephen Piscotty are proving why they're some of the top MLB prospects in the land, each playing an integral part in the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal's early success this season.

Piscotty used two at-bats in the fourth inning to drive in four runs as part of a 13-run inning that powered the No. 2-Stanford Cardinal (7-0) to a 15-1 victory over the No. 7-ranked Texas (2-5), ensuring the series sweep at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto.

It was the first Stanford sweep of Texas ever between these two schools, decimating the Longhorns with 28 runs and a .364 batting average in the three games set, including 17 hits on Sunday.

Freshman John Hochstatter (2-0) pitched six and 1/3 innings, giving up one run on only five hits, four strikeouts and three walks. Not too shabby for his first career collegiate start.

As for ace Mark Appel (2-0), he and third baseman Jake Stewart led the way in the Card's 7-2 victory in the series opener on Friday, striking out 10 while taking a shutout into the eighth inning, while Stewart hit his first home run of the season as part of his three hit day.

Brett Mooneyham (2-0) held his ground on Saturday as well, striking out seven over eight innings of work, while and Kenny Diekroeger and Jake Stewart's three hits apiece paced the Card to a 6-2 series clincher on Saturday.

The Card host UC Davis for a one gamer on Tuesday, then head down to Fresno State to take on the Bulldogs for a weekend set on the road starting Friday.

For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree.


Stanford Vs. Texas Recap: Mark Appel Strikes Out 10 In 7-2 Win

The No. 2 Stanford Cardinal won their series opener against the visiting Texas Longhorns on Friday with another lopsided win and a terrific outing for ace pitcher and top prospect, Mark Appel. The Cardinal improved to 5-0 with the win, while Texas fell to 2-3.

Appel, who is expected to place very high in this summer's MLB Draft, set a career-high with 10 strikeouts and carried a shutout into the eighth inning. He allowed three hits and three walks in the game and at one point retired a stretch of 10 consecutive batters. Texas loaded the bases in the top of the eighth, but Davis Schmidt was able to record the final four outs, for the first save of his career.

On the offensive end for Stanford, Jake Stewart had three hits, including his first home run of the season. Brian Ragira also had three hits, including two doubles and three RBI.

The two teams will face off again on Saturday at Sunken Diamond, beginning at 1:00 p.m. PT.

For all news and information regarding the Stanford Cardinal head over to Rule of Tree.


Stanford Vs. Texas Preview: Mark Appel, No. 2 Cardinal Host No. 7 Longhorns

Following back-to-back come from behind wins, The No. 2-ranked Cardinal (4-0) will play host No. 7-ranked Texas (2-2) starting on Friday night for a three game weekend series at Sunken Diamond.

Stanford will send ace right-hander Mark Appel (1-0, 1.29) to the mound on Friday, and LHP Brett Mooneyham (1-0, 4.50) on Saturday to square off against Texas' Nathan Thornhill (0-0, 0.73) and Hoby Milner (3-3, 2.91) in the first two games of the series respectfully. Sunday's starters are still to be determined.

Friday's game starts at 5:30 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday will 1 p.m. affairs in Palo Alto,

Stanford is off to great start, owning 35-run weekend against No. 10 Vandy that ended in a sweep, while three pitchers went at least six innings during the series. Stanford trailed 4-0 after two innings at Pacific on Wednesday during their one game series there, but eventually won 9-7 on Tuesday in 11 innings.

For more on the Cardinal head over to Rule of Tree.


2012 MLB Draft: Keith Law Top 50 Features Multiple Bay Area Teams

The 2012 MLB Draft is three months away, which gives prospects a full season to prove their value to teams. Keith Law provides an early Top 50 list that features six players from the Bay Area.


Keith Law Top 50: Mark Appel Ranked No. 3

The start of college and high school baseball means we are officially on the road to the 2012 MLB Rule 4 Draft. ESPN MLB analyst Keith Law put together his first breakdown of the top 50 prospects one week into the season and described this year's class of players as wide open for the top pick. As players step up in the coming weeks, this top 50 list could very well change quite dramatically.

Law currently has high school center fielder Byron Buxton as his number one player and high school right handed pitcher Lucas Giolito at number two. Stanford Cardinal ace Mark Appel is sitting at number three at this point. Law is not yet sold on Appel as the number one overall pick in part because of some inconsistencies in his pitches and missing bats. In describing Appel, Law said:

He's an athletic right-hander who has touched 99 mph with his fastball but sits more low- to mid-90s while flashing an occasionally plus breaking ball; hitters see the ball well out of his hand and he doesn't miss as many bats as you'd like.

Appel has a long season ahead of him to prove his viability as the number one pick. The only people he has to convince are Houston Astros scouts and executives. As they hold the number one pick, their vote is all that matters. He has one win under his belt against Vanderbilt already and gets a second high profile matchup against the Texas Longhorns this weekend.


Stanford Vs. Pacific: Stephen Piscotty's Two-Run Homer In 11th Inning Lifts Card to 9-7 Win

The Pacific Tigers were looking like they might throw an early wrench in the Stanford Cardinal baseball's team great start, but thanks to a Stephen Piscotty wo-run homer in the top of 11th the No. 2-ranked Cardinal (4-0) earned a 9-7 victory over the Tigers (0-4) after trailing by four early and losing their lead in the bottom of the ninth.

John Haberman tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI single after David Schmidt (1-0) blew the save for the Cardinal, despite the bullpen held the Tigers scoreless for four innings following a 4-0 Pacific lead after two.

Schmidt instead got the win with 2.2 innings of relief as Sam Lindquist came on in the bottom of the 11th for his first career save. John Prato Matthews (0-2) took the loss for Pacific, pitching the final 4.0 innings.

Tyler Gaffney reached base safely five times, going 3-for-4 with two hit by pitches along with three runs, while Piscotty drove in three RBI. He broke up the shutout in the third with an RBI single and was also part of a four-run fifth inning to take the lead 5-4 at the time.

The Cardinal play host to the Texas Longhorns this weekend, with the three-game series starting on Friday.

For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree.


Stanford Vs. Vanderbilt Series Recap: Mark Appel, No. 2 Cardinal Sweep No. 10 Commodores in Series Opener

The No. 2 Stanford Cardinal baseball team played host to the No. 10 Vanderbilt Commodores to begin their 2012 campaign. The Cardinal made easy work of them in three straight games, earning themselves a three game sweep led by ace Mark Appel and a well-rounded offensive attack.

Mark Appel led the Cardinal to an 8-3 victory on Friday night behind home runs from Stephen Piscotty, Christian Griffiths and Eric Smith, while Appel pitched 7 full innings, giving up just one run on two hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

The Cardinal continued on Saturday as Brian Ragira had his second-straight three-hit day, while Kenny Diekroegerand Eric Smith had two hits a piece to pace the Card's 9-5 win. Stephen Piscotty drove in seven runs while Christian Griffiths added four RBIs on Sunday as No. 2-ranked Stanford finished out the series with a 18-5 victory, sending the Commodores back to Tennessee with their tail between their legs.

Stanford heads to Pacific on Tuesday for a game in Stockton at 1:30 p.m., before returning home for a three-game series with Texas starting on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree.


Stanford Vs. Vanderbilt: Mark Appel Shuts Down Vanderbilt Offense In Win

Stanford ace Mark Appel opened his 2012 NCAA baseball season with a strong effort as the Stanford Cardinal had little trouble dispatching the Vanderbilt Commodores in their regular season opener Friday evening. Appel threw seven innings of two-hit, one-run ball as Stanford won 8-3. Appel enters the season as arguably the top prospect in the country and will look to build up his stock to secure the number one pick in this summer's MLB Amateur Draft.

Some scouts are questioning Appel's ability to miss bats a bit more frequently as opposed to pitching to contact. He did not strike out a ton of hitters on Friday, but he had little trouble with a Vanderbilt offense that returned solid hitters like Tony Kemp, Riley Reynolds, and Connor Harrel, among others. It is worth noting that Appel hit 93-97 mph in a 1-2-3 first inning.

The Cardinal jumped all over Kevin Ziomek, scoring five runs over 3 1/3 innings. Stephen Piscotty and Christian Griffiths got the scoring going quickly with solo home runs in the first and second inning, respectively. The Cardinal added three runs in the third on a walk, hit batter, single, fielder's choice and a pair of errors mixed together as Vanderbilt struggled to play clean baseball.

At that point the game was well in hand, although Stanford added three more insurance runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings. The Commodores added a pair of runs in the ninth but it was too little, too late. The two schools will return to action Saturday at 1:00pm PT at Sunken Diamond.


Stanford Vs. Vanderbilt: No. 2 Cardinal Open Season Against No. 10 Vandy

The Stanford Cardinal enter their 2012 baseball season ranked No. 2 in the country, eyeing the Pac-12 Championship and a deep playoff run this year.

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