Sports

Daschbach to compete for a starting spot on Stanford baseball

 

Not many have worn as many youth baseball uniforms as Andrew Daschbach, a recent graduate of Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton.

The definition of homespun, Daschbach donned a Draegers Market jersey as a Menlo-Atherton Little Leaguer and toiled for Alhouse Deaton of the Palo Alto Babe Ruth League.

The list runs too long to name every local team for which he played. Skip to Daschbach's latest baseball uniform: the Pacific Union Financial Capitalists, where he tore it up this summer like a John Deere tractor.

In 38 games, Daschbach, a first baseman, batted .379 with nine homers and 42 RBI, and a slugging percentage of .621. The PUF Caps were comprised of players fresh out of high school, many coming from all parts of the U.S.

“There were a lot of different options for me this summer, but I'm glad I chose this one," the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Daschbach said. “I played with guys my age against competition older than us. We faced better pitching than we've seen before and played nearly every day. It gave us a taste of what it will be like at the next level."

Daschbach credited manager Mike Zirelli, a St. Francis High alum, and two Palo Alto High grads who served as assistants in longtime Palo Alto American Legion Post 375 manager Tony Brewer and Pete Fukuhara, who heads the Paly baseball program.

“Coach Zirelli helped me a lot," Daschbach said. “Pete Fukuhara and coach Brewer helped my hitting and helped progress my game."

Daschbach's next diamond destination is Stanford's Sunken Diamond. A handful of Caps players, including hard-throwing southpaw Erik Miller, will join Daschbach as one of the best freshman classes in the country. The class is ranked No. 12 by Perfect Game USA.

Daschbach reports to school for an orientation on Sept. 22, with fall ball commencing a week later.

“I don't know if I'll have a baseball roommate," Daschbach said. “They randomly assign roommates your freshman year."

Stanford coach Mark Marquess will serve his 41st, and final, season in the spring. The school announced the decision at the end of the 2016 campaign.

Daschbach is expected to be working at the corner positions.

“I'll be a utility guy hoping to find a spot on the field," Daschbach said. “I'll try to see some pitches, get some at-bats and try to compete for a starting spot."

Daschbach was tabbed MVP of the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division last spring. Yet, baseball may not even be his best sport.

Daschbach, a tight end on the gridiron, was an all-state football player last fall as the Gators reached the Division III-A state title game against Rancho Bernardo of San Diego.

Daschbach caught a 76-yard touchdown pass, where he caught the ball in the left flat and then outraced the secondary.

SHP, which blew out McClymonds of Oakland 56-20 in the regional bowl game, lost to Rancho Bernardo of San Diego 35-14.

When Daschbach was a sophomore, SHP dropped a 27-15 decision to Corona del Mar-Newport Beach in the Division III state football championship.

Daschbach's junior year was a perfect 13-0, capped off by a 14-0 victory over Bellarmine Prep in the Central Coast Section Open Division title game.

Daschbach, who had his share of major college football offers, pondered walking-on for Stanford's highly rated football team, but opted to focus on baseball.

“I thought about it," said Daschbach, who also played basketball and some lacrosse at SHP. “Having played multiple sports my whole life, I decided to focus on one and see where it takes me. If I wasn't going to be able to compete for a starting spot, then that much time and effort wouldn't have been worth it."

Daschbach was selected in the 40th round by Tampa Bay in the recent MLB First-Year Player Draft. Sporting a 3.9 GPA, Daschbach let scouts know early he was Stanford-bound with an interest in studying business.

“I made it known all along Stanford was what I wanted to do," Daschbach said. “There were some who projected me anywhere from the second round to the fifth round. Unless I got an offer of life-changing money, I wasn't going to play pro. It made more sense to sign out of college. I'll try to graduate in three years."

Daschbach hopes to find the same type of success at Stanford he had at SHP, on and off the diamond.

“I miss Sacred Heart Prep already," Daschbach said. “I miss the coaches and people and that kind of camaraderie. I'll find similar brotherhood at Stanford."

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