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Jun 06, 2013 - Jun 08, 2013   

TBD - ,
Kenny Diekroeger
SS 6-1 175   R/R

Exit Velo
2/13/12: As an unsigned second-round pick in the 2009 draft out of a California high school, Diekroeger arrived at Stanford with more hype than any other player on the current Cardinal roster, which includes numerous potential first-round draft picks. But as Stanford embarks on a promising 2012 season, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Diekroeger may actually be lost in the shuffle on his own team, to a degree—partly of his own doing. While players like righthander Mark Appel and third baseman Stephen Piscotty enhanced their first-round status for this year’s draft with breakout sophomore seasons, Diekroeger’s standing as an elite talent, possibly in the first 5-10 picks, may have taken a hit with a modest showing, both at the plate and in the field. Diekroeger broke in with a bang as a Stanford freshman, becoming the first Cardinal first-year player to lead his team in hitting in 13 years. He also became the first freshman to ever lead the team in RBIs. Overall, he hit a resounding .356-5-41 and also performed admirably in the field at third base. The 2011 season wasn’t so rewarding, however. Despite leading the Cardinal with a .422 average early in April, Diekroeger slumped badly at the plate over the balance of the campaign and finished at .293-2-31—a significant drop in production from his freshman season. Diekroeger appeared to make a seamless transition from third to shortstop initially, committing just two errors in his first 15 games, but that part of his game came unglued, as well, as he finished the season with 18 errors. Suddenly, concerns were raised that Diekroeger was no longer the high-profile talent that he was cracked out to be, that he was no longer a slam-dunk to go early in the first round in the 2012 draft, much less in the first round at all. And Diekroeger did little to change that perception of him as he elected at the last minute not to play summer ball for Yarmouth-Dennis in the Cape Cod League, while Appel and Piscotty only further enhanced their value for this year’s draft with dominating showings for the same team. It goes without saying that Diekroeger will be one of the more-closely scrutinized players in the 2012 college crop. Though he is undoubtedly one of the most physically-talented prospects in Stanford’s outstanding crop of sophomores and juniors, his performance on the field this spring will need to more-closely assimilate his superior tools. A repeat of 2011 may knock him down to the range where he was drafted coming out of high school. Diekroeger has the whole package to justify his lofty draft status. He has quick hands and superior bat speed, along with a polished approach at the plate. He also has smooth, athletic actions in the field, with the range and instincts for shortstop and quickness for third base, along with the arm strength to excel on the left side. He just needs to be more consistent defensively. How Diekroeger’s bat develops as a junior may be the key to where he is drafted in June, and whether he fulfills his considerable promise coming out of high school. For a player with his basic hitting skills and polished approach, he seemed to be impacted more than expected by the new BBCOR bats that infiltrated the college ranks a year ago. If his play in scrimmage games prior to the 2012 season is any indication, though, Diekroeger may be in for a big year. In nine intra-squad games in January and February, he was 17-for-34 with five extra-base hits, and that output was accomplished against a group that included Appel and lefthander Brett Mooneyham, Stanford’s top two starters.