P2P CCS Baseball Honors
Archbishop Mitty junior Kris Bubic has already committed to pitch at Stanford. (Archbishop Mitty Baseball)

CCS Junior of the Year

Kris Bubic was just another player when he entered Archbishop Mitty as a freshman.

Bubic (pronounced Bu-bich) made the Monarch ninth-grade team, though, and has been on an upward trajectory ever since, culminated by a fantastic junior season that has earned him the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Junior of the Year award.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound left-hander this past season went 8-2 on the mound with a 0.89 earned run average. No slouch at the plate, Bubic also hit .342 with 15 runs batted in.

"I didn't really stand out my freshman year," Bubic said. "I was like any other normal freshman. But my sophomore year I started to mature and my body started growing and strength and conditioning helped. I got more confident."

Bubic also plays football -- he was a back-up tight end on varsity last season -- and the football weight-lifting regimen helped the lefty. So did soaking up the knowledge of the Mitty coaches and his summer coaches.

The budding star only went 2-2 with a 2.95 earned run average as a sophomore, but he was clearly improving and left-handers are coveted. So Stanford offered the Cupertino resident a scholarship after last season and Bubic accepted.

"His success was not ordained," Mitty coach Bill Hutton said. "He worked for it and has shown tremendous improvement over the last 12 months. His confidence has grown daily. He is just a great guy. The coaching and teaching experience is a lot more fun when you work with great people."

Bubic emerged into a full-fledged star as a junior, helping lead Mitty to a WCAL co-championship with St. Francis.

The rising senior standout clearly enjoys the Monarch program.

"Coach Hutton is a great coach and has been good to me," he said. "Considering how long he's been around, you'd be foolish not to listen to him. He has great things to say about baseball and life itself."

Bubic throws a four-seam fastball, circle change and a curve. His fastball is usually in the mid-to-high 80s, but he has hit 91 mph on the radar gun. That could get him drafted around this time next year.

Certainly he did nothing to hurt his stock at the tryout last weekend in Stockton for the CBCA North vs. South series (this weekend at Santa Clara University's Schott Stadium).

Doug Benton of NorCalPreps.com covered the event and called Bubic the "top pitching prospect at the showcase."

Wrote Benton “He sat at 85-86 mph, but had good life on his fastball to produce numerous swings and misses. He also threw a couple of nice breaking balls to go with a projectable frame."

With a last name of Bubic, his ancestors obviously did not come over on the Mayflower. Bubic's father Mladen is Croatian and emigrated to the U.S. in his 20s. He is visiting relatives in Croatia right now.

Croatia is in Central and Southeast Europe, near Hungary, Bosnia, Montenegro and Slovenia. Catholicism is the main religion; soccer and basketball are the main sports.

"My relatives around here watch me play," Bubic said. "But in Croatia if you said you played baseball, they'd say 'What's that?'"

However, Bubic's dad was athletic back in the day and his mom, Jela, played field hockey, basketball and badminton at the defunct Blackford High of San Jose.

So the athletic genes are there and by 8 or 9 years old young Kris was showing promise as a pitcher in San Jose's Moreland Little League. It was in Little League that Bubic played for Dean Desa and became teammates with Riki Desa, now a star for Prospect High.

The connection has been lasting and beneficial for Bubic.

"I still go back to him now and then," Bubic said of Dean Desa. "He knows me better than anyone. He can tell when there's some small, mechanical problem."

Also considered: Matt Wilcox, Los Gatos; Dalton Craig, Valley Christian; Brendt Citta, Leland; Phil Lewis, Palo Alto; Justin Scanlon, Leigh.

NOTE: We would like to thank our readers for all of the nominations you sent in for the season-ending CCS baseball awards. It is a daunting task to narrow down our selections to just the top few as we recognize there are lots of great players who make contributions on the diamond that are not necessarily well-documented but mean a great deal to the success of their teams. We salute all of the players that have made this a wonderful season of CCS baseball.