Stanford's Alberto Rios named 2023 Pac-12 Baseball Player of the Year
Stanford's Alberto Rios has been named the 2023 Pac-12 Baseball Player of the Year. Rios had a breakout year for the 2023 Pac-12 champion Stanford. After appearing in only seven games as a pinch-hitter last spring, the junior started 49 of 50 games primarily in the outfield and became a powerhouse at the plate for the Cardinal. His .400 batting average ranked third in the conference and top-30 in the nation, while he was top-five in the league in slugging percentage (2nd, .742), on-base percentage (3rd, .504), RBI (2nd, 63), hits (4th, 76) and home runs (5th, 16). The Bellflower, California, native collected 21 multi-hit games and 15 multi-RBI games and is riding a 15-game hitting streak heading into postseason play. Twice this year, Rios drove in nine runs or more in a game, with his 11 RBI in Stanford's 24-9 victory over CSU Bakersfield on March 5 setting a new Cardinal record and matched the Pac-12 record that was set by UCLA's Bill Scott vs. Washington in 1999. Rios earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks on May 8 and May 15 and was the only conference player to earn the award more than once in 2023. Rios is just the third Cardinal to earn the Player of the Year award since 1999 and the first since Jed Lowrie picked up the nod in 2004.