With Stanford’s baseball season beginning on Feb. 14, The Daily’s Michael Peterson talked with senior second baseman Danny Diekroeger to discuss the upcoming campaign.
The Stanford Daily (TSD): What’s the atmosphere around the team and in the locker room with the season just around the corner?
Danny Diekroeger (DD): I think it’s really exciting. Everyone’s itching to get going. It’s a fun time of the year because we really have a long road ahead of us but we just want to get started. I’d say it’s exciting.
TSD: Does the atmosphere feel different from previous years?
DD: Yeah, it does feel different from previous years. I think for me, having gone through it and been here a couple of seasons, I know what to expect. Obviously, it’s a slightly different group of guys with some good experience at the top, so a lot of guys sort of know what to expect.
TSD: Has it been any different for you preparing for this season knowing that it’s your last season on the Farm?
DD: Yeah, a little bit. I definitely want to take full advantage of it and leave no regrets or anything and make sure I’m working as hard as I can, because I’m going to miss this place when I’m gone. I know that. I’m really looking forward to enjoying every moment of it.
TSD: What’s it been like to have Ryan Garko on the coaching staff and what kind of an impact has he had so far?
DD: It’s been awesome to have someone coming in with the experience that he has. It’s great knowing that he went through the program and had just about as good of a year as you can have in college baseball. And obviously, he went on to play in the big leagues. He’s really already brought so much to the table for me as a hitter and all the other guys too, just bringing in that experience and having someone to talk to. He knows a ton about hitting. He also brings a good energy. It’s nice to have another young coach on board not too far in age from us. It’s been great.
TSD: How do you go about trying to replace the great talents you lost to the MLB, guys like Mark Appel, Austin Wilson and Brian Ragira?
DD: It’s going to be tough. I don’t think individually we’re going to replace them. But I know we have plenty of guys who can all step up and pull their own weight. Hopefully, this year we will have more of a balanced team with all kinds of guys contributing and picking each other up. In the past, I feel like we sort of relied on one or two guys to carry the weight, and then if they didn’t, it put a lot of pressure on them and we had some failures there. [Now] it’s a really strong group. I’m really looking forward to seeing who steps up and who fills what roles because I really think we have the talent to do that.
TSD: Have any of the freshmen or sophomores stood out to you in practice?
DD: Several of the freshman pitchers have been really good. I look forward to seeing them pitch. Position-wise, we have a few guys: Tommy Edman in the infield; Alex Dunlap playing first base and corner outfield; [outfielder] Jack Klein. Three offensive guys who are all going to play this year at some point. It’s going to be really exciting.
TSD: What are your expectations for the team this season?
DD: I expect that our team is going to have more of a well-defined character. I think we’re going to play better as a team, we’re going to adjust a little bit to the small-ball game, try to be a little more efficient moving guys over on the bases and scoring runs. And I expect some wins.
Contact Michael Peterson at mrpeters ‘at’ stanford.edu.