Last month, we circled June 4 on your calendar.
That’s when Stanford junior RB Tyler Gaffney will be selected in the MLB draft. Here’s an update on Gaffney’s season at Sunken Diamond, and on incoming DB recruit Zach Hoffpauir, another football-baseball player.
Gaffney plays outfield and bats leadoff and second for Stanford. While he’s posted only a .242 average so far for the 17th ranked Cardinal, Gaffney leads the team in walks, HBP and steals, and is among the leaders in runs, doubles and OBP.
And, that .242 BA is a bit deceiving. Gaffney has had a higher number of K's this season, with 25. Add to that his team leading 24 walks and 16 HBP, and his BABIP is actually up over .420.
As a freshman in 2010, Gaffney hit .328 with a .454 slugging percentage, and was named honorable mention All-Pac 10.
In 2011, Gaffney virtually replicated his frosh performance, batting .327 with a robust .472 slugging percentage. He again was named honorable mention All-Pac 10.
In football, the 6’1” junior from San Diego has excelled in a backup role to Stepfan Taylor. During the 2011 season, Gaffney averaged 6.1 yards per carry on 74 attempts, with seven touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for another 79 yards and a touchdown.
In various preseason baseball rankings, Gaffney was projected by some as among the top 20 college OFs. He has proven speed,athleticism and skills. Whether his slightly subpar 2012 affects his MLB prospects will be determined on June 4.
Meanwhile, one of Stanford’s highly anticipated incoming freshman football players is DB Zach Hoffpauir. But like Gaffney, Hoffpauir is also a fast outfielder who's had an outstanding season this spring for Centennial HS in Glendale AZ.
He’s put up gaudy numbers, hitting over .450, with an OBP of over .550 and a slugging percentage over .830.
Head football coach David Shaw, himself a former 2-sport athlete at Stanford, has his fingers crossed that Gaffney and Hoffpauir will be wearing shoulder pads rather than batting gloves this fall.