PALO ALTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Sacramento native Malcolm Moore has made a name for himself at Stanford University. The McClatchy alum isn’t your casual freshman baseball player.

“He looked like a player who was going to come in and immediately have an impact,” said Stanford’s Head Baseball Coach David Esquer.

“He’s just a superior talent offensively and we thought we could help a little bit with his catching and I’ll be honest, if he was catching like how he is now, we probably wouldn’t have seen him. He would have gone high in the Major League Draft.”

In his first season on the Farm, Moore was named the 2023 Pac 12 Freshman of the Year, starting in all 51 games and becoming one of the top offensive threats in the league.

The freshman holds the no. 5 spot in the Cardinal lineup, batting 300, and he was a top freshman in the Pac 12 with home runs (12) and RBIs (12).

“Being freshman of the year is a great honor,” Moore said. “But I wasn’t really focused on that throughout the year, I was just trying to win games and just making memories with the guys. That’s probably the number one reason why I came out here and why I wanted to come to Stanford, just making those memories with the guys.”  

Esquer added, “It’s probably one of the hardest things to do is to be a good quality freshman baseball player in our league. To be at the top and perform as he did and to be recognized by all the other coaches as the top freshman baseball player that’s a great honor. I think it’s just a testament to where he is now. And the best part is he’ll get even better.”

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If you ask Moore’s teammates to best describe Malcolm, they’d say he’s quiet, focused and driven, and while he’s making an impact on the field, he makes sure to have fun in the process.

While the Sacramento native is dedicated to getting better on the field, he also enjoys his time off of it.

“I like to laugh a lot,” Moore said. “And have fun with the guys. But I’m not usually the one making the jokes. I’m the one usualy just laughing at them.”

With how much success Moore’s had on the field, coach Esquer knows his time with the Cardinal will be short, as the catcher is eligible to enter the MLB draft following the conclusion of next season.

“Just some great growth period here at Stanford,” Esquer said. “Just maturing as a person. He’ll be ready to go out and perform as a Major League baseball player soon enough. It’s good to see him growing so much as a person and a player.   And then he’ll be ready to go out into the Major League baseball word when it’s time and make a great run at being a Big Leaguer.”

Stanford’s postseason run will begin on Friday. The Cardinal was selected as the No. 8 overall seed and will host a regional for the sixth consecutive tournament. Stanford welcomes Texas A&M, Cal State Fullerton and San Jose State to Sunken Diamond this week.

Stanford has won two national championships, the last one coming in 1988. The Cardinal has advanced to back-to-back College World Series in 2021 and 2022 after most recently defeating Connecticut in a super regional last year.

First on deck for the Cardinal will be San Jose State with the first pitch scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m.