Last week was the first of the new academic year for South Hills (Covina, Calif.) infielder/pitcher Brandon Dieter. The reason the 2018 Stanford baseball commit missed the first couple weeks of school is he was busy winning a gold medal with the U18 team.
The U.S. finished the tournament with a 8-0 win over Korea on Sept. 10 in Thunder Bay, Canada.
“It was a little awkward jumping into school three weeks in because I have to catch up on a lot of work,” he laughed. “It was totally worth it for the experience I got to have.”
Dieter took part in the highly competitive one-week tryout in August that featured 40 of the best young baseball players in the country aiming to make a 20-player roster.
“Just the talent side, of course, everyone is there because they’re talented,” he said. “But I think character is a big part of it, too. Just the coaching experience that we got … there was so much baseball experience. I gained so much knowledge just from that one week. Being able to compete with those guys really shows what you can do and if you can stack up with the best that’s make you one of the best. That pushed my competitive edge.”
Dieter made the roster because of his ability in the batter’s box and putting pitches past hitters.
The 6-feet tall pitcher doesn’t have a 96 mph fastball -and “we had those guys on the team”, he added -- but he finds ways to be effective regardless of what the measurables might suggest about his ability.
“I’m not 6-5 or 6-6 like a lot of guys who were on the team,” he said. “I don’t weigh 210 pounds or whatever it is, but if there is one thing I can say it is definitely the hard work. The amount of practice I’ve put in, research to take care of my arm, how to create more velocity without much size -- I’ve pitched more with command of pitches. I read hitters and try to think like one when I’m pitching.”
Dieter mixes up a changeup and curveball with a fastball that can hit 91 on the radar gun, according to Perfect Game and Baseball America public scouting reports.
— Coach Chatter (@coachchatter19) August 31, 2017
The pitching highlight for Dieter in the international tournament was when the U.S. played Australia after already clinching a spot in the final. The coaches wanted Dieter to go as long as he could in the game to save pitching for the gold medal game. Dieter responded with eight shutout innings and needed 92 pitches to do it.
“They had a Baseball America podcast and they said I was the 10th man in the pitching rotation and the 10th man in the field,” Dieter said. “I was there for my versatility and to be the ‘team guy’. I was totally fine with that and embraced my role. I was just happy to be part of the 20-man team. That was a great honor.”
Dieter will take a couple months off from baseball except for some light hitting sessions before working with his high school team in the winter. Next summer he will be getting ready to be a Stanford student-athlete, something he has been committed to being for several years.
Within a week of earning an offer after a private workout the summer after his sophomore year, he visited Stanford and committed. It has “always been a dream to go to Stanford," said the 4.0 GPA student is a valedictorian candidate at his high school.
“It’s one of those things in life when that’s in front of you and you can’t turn it down,” he said. “There are no negatives about going to Stanford. That was the right fit for me and things worked out for the best.”
Stanford is recruiting Dieter as a two-way player with the plan being to start him out as a shortstop.
His skill set and background brings to mind how Will Matthiessen arrived as a freshman last season expecting to be a third baseman who might pitch. He became one of the most important relief pitchers on the team. There’s no way to know how it will work out until Dieter is on The Farm.
And while Dieter prefers the idea of playing every day as an infielder, Dieter wants to help the team win. He enjoyed hopping the fence and rushing the field after winning the gold medal and hopes to have opportunities to dog pile in celebration while wearing a Stanford jersey.