Kenny Diekroeger signs to play baseball for Stanford
By Colin BechtThis winter, when many high school seniors will be scrambling to finish their college applications, Kenny Diekroeger will be lounging comfortably in his Woodside home, or, more accurately, hitting in the batting cage in his backyard.
Why will the Menlo School senior be so relaxed while so many of his peers finish last-minute essays?
It's not because the 4.0 grade point-average student lacks college aspirations. It's simply because he has already been accepted by Stanford University to play baseball for the Cardinal on a four-year scholarship.
"I've worked really hard to get to this point,and to be rewarded like this is awesome," says Diekroeger.
The shortstop — who hit .464 in his junior year and was named the most valuable player on his team — attributes much of his baseball success to his consistency as a fielder. "Any hitter can have his ups and downs, but I try to keep my fielding at 100 percent at all times," he says. "I think I did pretty well at that."
He didn't do badly at the plate, either, hitting eight doubles, six triples and six home runs in his junior year. He was named to the all-county first team by the San Mateo County Times.
The most-valuable-player recognition at Menlo was particularly remarkable considering the team included seniors Jack Mosbacher, who will play baseball at Stanford in the spring, and Taylor Umphreys, who was named the Peninsula Athletic League's most valuable player.
Despite his success, Diekroeger says he still needs to improve his plate discipline. "Sometimes I waste at-bats by swinging at bad pitches," he says.
With a year to prepare himself for Stanford baseball, Diekroeger says he will be hitting and practicing ground balls several times a week. Also, he says he might play with the Atlanta Braves' scout team in the fall before his senior season at Menlo.
"I know that I will have to be ready to play because it's not going to be easy," Diekroeger says.