|2016-2017 PAC 12 Baseball Standings|
|Team||Conference Record||Overall Record|
Player of the Year – Nick Madrigal, OSU, 2B
Oregon State star Nick Madrigal had another fantastic year for the Beavs in his sophomore campaign. The second baseman hit .377 with 4 home runs and 31 RBI. He also owned a .444 OBP to go along with 15 stolen bases. Nick Madrigal is the complete package, and will be a star in the MLB one day.
Pitcher of the Year – Luke Heimlich, OSU, LHP
In the closest race of them all, Oregon State’s Luck Heimlich squeaked out Oregon’s David Peterson and UCLA’s Griffin Canning to win the PAC 12 Pitcher of the Year. The junior had an absolutely dominating year, compiling a 10-1 record with a 1.81 ERA. He also struck out 120 batters in 111 and ⅓ innings. Most of Oregon State’s success can be linked back to Luck Heimlich, and his dominance.
Freshman of the Year – Andrew Vaughn, Cal, 1B
Standout freshman Andrew Vaughn turned heads with his All-Pac 12 performance this year. Vaughn hit 12 home runs for the Bears, good for the top spot in the conference. He also hit .349 while driving in 50 runs. The freshman did all this while maintaining consistent play at first base. Vaughn will be one of the leading candidates for PAC 12 POY next year as well as the star player for the Cal Bears.
Arizona – (37-19, 16-14 PAC 12) RPI: 23 SOS: 47
2017 Recap: An up and down season for Arizona left the Wildcats hovering around the Top 15 all year. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, a series loss to Cal sent them down to a two seed in the NCAA tournament. Yet Arizona still had a successful regular season. The Wildcats ranked in the top 20 of the RPI for most of the season, and racked up 39 wins against a top 50 SOS. However, Arizona was 1-7 against the RPI Top 25, and 23 of their wins came against teams with an RPI of 100 or lower. Despite the occasional mediocrity, the Wildcats are a very good team when they are hot. If Arizona manages to get hot during the tournament, they could possibly repeat their postseason success of 2016 and continue their celebrated dynasty.
2018 Outlook: The dynasty that Arizona is, the Wildcats are always a contender in the PAC 12. If the Wildcats bring in a quality recruiting class, Arizona may enjoy another year in the Top 15.
Arizona State – (23-32, 8-22 PAC 12) RPI: 105 SOS: 18
2017 Recap: Arizona’s State miraculous 31 year streak of .500 baseball finally ended this year after a 23-32 season. This year also marks the first time ASU had not won 30 games since 1962. The Sun Devils started off the year red hot, including a win over TCU and a series sweep of top 10 Long Beach State. Yet the wheels soon fell off, and ASU ended up only winning one conference series and tying for last place in the PAC 12. The Devils also ended the year on a bad mark, losing their last six games. This inconsistent play was expected out of the Devils, as they ranked as one of the youngest teams in the nation.
2018 Outlook: The Sun Devils will be one of the top contenders in the PAC 12 next year, and by 2019, may be one of the top teams in the country. ASU boasted the number one recruiting class of 2017 and some say the class of 2018 is even better. The future is very bright for the Sun Devils.
California – (25-29, 15-15 PAC 12) RPI: 62 SOS: 2
2017 Recap: Cal finished the year with the second hardest strength of schedule in the country, and this competition proved to be too much for the young Bears to handle. Head coach Dave Esquer prides himself in scheduling a tough non-conference schedule, yet for the young and inexperienced Cal team, the tough schedule may have been more of a blessing than a curse, as it had been in years past. The Bears went 4-15 Against the RPI Top 25, a mark that would leave any team out of the tournament. Cal did show flashes of greatness, including series sweeps against Washington State, USC, and Arizona State. They even managed to finish 5th in the PAC 12, a good mark despite the lack of depth in the conference this year. The main objective of this year was to build confidence and become more experienced. The strength of schedule did help them in that regard, as trips to Oregon State, Texas Tech, and Arizona provided them with a platform to grow from.
2018 Outlook: Cal will only lose two seniors for the 2018 season, and will return every major starter on their team. With MLB talent such as Jared Horn, Tanner Dodson, and Andrew Vaughn returning, the Bears could be a real contender in the PAC 12 next year.
Oregon – (30-25, 12-18 PAC 12) RPI: 85 SOS: 97
2017 Recap:A disappointing finish to the season found Oregon on the outside of the bubble looking in. Like Arizona State, Oregon had a fantastic start to the year, winning 2 of 3 against Mississippi State, as well as their first two conference series. The Ducks then proceeded to lose 14 of their next 17, which officially put them out of the NCAA tournament. Oregon also struggled against their quality opponents, going 1-9 against the RPI Top 25. Despite the team’s struggles, ace David Peterson had an excellent sophomore campaign. He posted an 11-4 record, along with a 2.51 ERA and a league leading 140 strikeouts. Even with the late-season collapse, the Ducks still managed to accumulate 30 wins, a satisfactory mark for any team.
2018 Outlook: The Oregon Ducks will most likely need to keep David Peterson from the draft in order to have success next year. Yet the Ducks showed flashes of greatness this year, and just need consistent play to become a postseason team in 2018.
Oregon State – (49-4, 27-3 PAC 12) RPI: 1 SOS: 130
2017 Recap: An absolutely dominating year for the Beavs was awarded with the number one overall seed in the NCAA tournament. OSU had an incredible year, posting a 49-4 record while going 26-1 in Corvallis. The Beavs also ranked at the top of every national poll, as well as the RPI. OSU didn’t lose a single series all year, and had two winning streaks of 15 game or more. Their winning ways can be linked to a few great players, but everyone on the roster contributed to their success. Most notably, second baseman Nick Madrigal and pitchers Luke Heimlich and Jake Thompson propelled the Beavers to the top team in the country. All three players led the league in numerous statistical categories and will be in the discussion for PAC POY. OSU will look to continue their dominance into the postseason and take home their first national championship since 2007.
2018 Outlook: After Oregon State’s dominance this year, it would be no surprise if the Beavs were able their repeat their success next year. It would be tough to replicate the magnitude of their success, but another PAC 12 title and national seed is definitely in reach.
Stanford – (40-14, 21-9 PAC 12) RPI: 8 SOS: 57
2017 Recap: In Mark Marquess’ 41st and final year as Stanford’s head coach, the Cardinal were able to use a late-season run to become a national seed. Stanford won 21 of their last 23 games, including an 11 game win streak, the longest of its type since 1999. The winning streak propelled them into the top ten of the RPI and ultimately resulted in the Cardinal receiving the last national seed. Stanford only lost two series all year: one against #1 Oregon State and the other against Cal State Fullerton, who is the two seed in the Stanford Regional. Despite these two series, the Cardinal had a phenomenal year, in which Marquess secured his 1600th win as a head coach. Stanford will look to continue their seven game winning streak into the postseason, as they stay at home and host a regional.
2018 Outlook: Stanford could go one of two ways next year. The loss of Mark Marquess and a few key players to the draft could drag the Cardinal down to the middle of the PAC 12. Stanford could also bounce back from their losses and continue their success as a college baseball dynasty.
UCLA – (30-25, 19-11 PAC 12) RPI: 52 SOS: 28
2017 Recap: UCLA managed to just squeak into the postseason, as they were announced the second to last team to make the tournament. The Bruins were able to turn a disappointing start to the season into a successful 2017 campaign. At one point, UCLA owned a 7-11 record and an RPI in the hundreds. Yet they figured it out, and proceeded to win 7 of their next 10 series. The Bruins raised their RPI to 52, and have wins over Long Beach State, Stanford, and Gonzaga. Some of the success can be attributed to ace Griffin Canning, who had a masterful junior campaign. Unfortunately for UCLA, they pulled Texas in the first game of the Long Beach Regional. The Bruins were swept in three games in Austin when they played Texas earlier this season.
2018 Outlook: The Bruins will be bringing in a talented class for 2018, which should keep them at the top part of the PAC 12. If Griffin Canning decides to stay in Westwood for his senior year, the Bruins could be eying a CWS run.
USC – (21-34, 8-22 PAC 12) RPI: 140 SOS: 30
2017 Recap: USC’s worst season in 5 years landed them right at the bottom of the PAC 12. The Trojans’ season started off promising, but quickly came crashing down during a losing streak in which they lost 13 of 14, including 9 in a row. Their RPI plummeted into the 100’s and their postseason hopes had been dashed by mid-April. The main cause of USC’s problems was their pitching. The Trojans’ pitching staff posted a team ERA of 5.56, with their best pitcher (ERA wise) only boasting a 3.97 ERA. Few offenses in the country could overcome the deficits that the Trojans found themselves in. Yet the Trojans did find success during some points of the season. They beat Top 10 Long Beach State in a mid-week game, and handed Oregon State its only loss at home this year.
2018 Predictions: If USC has any hope of making a run next year, they need to figure out their pitching problems. Whether it comes from a veteran in the bullpen or a talented freshman, they need someone to step up. If USC is unable to find someone, they will have another disappointing season.
Utah – (27-24, 15-15 PAC 12) RPI: 67 SOS: 54
2017 Recap: A bubble team for most of the year, Utah was swept by UCLA in a decisive, late-season series. With the sweep, Utah was knocked out of the conversation for an at-large bid, a disappointing finish to the season. Utah finished the year with a RPI of 67, and wins over Oregon, Arizona, and BYU. Yet series losses to Washington State and UC Riverside annulled any quality wins they had, which eventually kept the Utes out of the postseason. At the plate, Dallas Carroll finished up his career at Utah with a fantastic year, hitting .369 with 7 home runs 52 RBIs. Junior Jayson Rose held his own on the bump, posting a 8-3 record with a 3.35 ERA.
2018 Outlook: Despite losing their best hitter for next year, the Utes will return most of their starting lineup and rotation. Yet even with most of their team returning, Utah will have a hard time moving up in the PAC 12 with so many quality teams ahead of them.
Washington – (28-26, 14-16 PAC 12) RPI: 79 SOS: 46
2017 Recap: Another team riding the bubble for a good portion of the season, the Huskies collapsed at the end of the year, sending them home early. Washington was on the inside of the bubble at the beginning of May, but then proceeded to be swept in two must-win series against Arizona and Stanford. Their RPI plummeted into the 70’s and the Huskies were never able to climb out of the hole they dug themselves into. Yet the Huskies were able to win over other quality PAC 12 foes. They boasted series wins over Utah, UCLA, and Cal while also handing Oregon State one of their four losses. A tougher non-conference strength of schedule may have help Washington to boost their RPI and provide them with some quality wins.
2018 Outlook: The Huskies could lose three of their top four hitters, along with their ace Noah Bremer. If this does happen, Washington will need some young players to step up and take over the team.
Washington State – (24-29, 10-20 PAC 12) RPI: 115 SOS: 50
2017 Recap: A late-season run made for an interesting May for Washington State, but it was too little too late, and the Cougars finished the year well outside of the tournament. After a dismal start to the season, it looked as if WSU was destined for another year at the bottom of the PAC 12. Yet the Cougs turned it around, and won four straight series against Washington, Utah, Oregon, and UCLA. The success was short lived though, as Washington State was swept in their next two series against Oregon State and Stanford. Despite the late-season win streak, WSU still finished with an RPI of 115 and a record of 1-9 against the RPI Top 25. However, this season marked improvement as they went from a last place finish in the PAC 12 in 2016 to an 9th place finish in 2017.
2018 Outlook: Washington State showed that they have the capability to win in the PAC 12. For the Cougs to be successful, they have to be consistent. Hopefully, an experienced team next year will be able to bring that consistency.
PAC 12 Teams In The Postseason
#1: Oregon State
#4: Holy Cross
#2: Cal State Fullerton
#4: Sacramento State
Long Beach Regional
#1: Long Beach State
#4: San Diego State
#1: Texas Tech
#3: Sam Houston State