MBN Podcast: Episode 41 (Anthony Papio)

On this edition of the MBN Podcast, Justin Gallanty is joined by Chris Rogers to break down how the Terps faired in summer ball. Plus, a conversation with Volunteer Assistant Coach Anthony Papio (20:28) about his transition from the playing field to the coaching staff. Finally, Connor Newcomb joins the podcast with an update on how former Terps are performing in the professional ranks.

Pro Terps Update 9/12/17: Minor League Wrap-Up

Adam Kolarek made his major league debut back in June with the Tampa Rays, but was then sent down after a few weeks with the big club. However, thanks to September roster expansion, Kolarek earned a trip back to the bigs — doubling the MLB Maryland representation. That and more in this edition of the Pro Terps Update.

LHP Brett Cecil, St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)

Brett Cecil has been the only staple in the big leagues for the Terps for several years now, and his first season with the Cardinals has been a rollercoaster. After a dominant June and a solid July, Cecil was ineffective in August. In 13 innings last month, the lefty allowed 10 earned runs and a .321 batting average against him.

However, Cecil’s 19 strikeouts and two walks in August was by far his best monthly ratio of the season. His 6.92 ERA in the month could be explained by his incredibly unlucky .472 BABIP. Cecil is sporting a 4.15 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with 54 strikeouts over 56.1 innings this season and will still be an important piece for the Cardinals down the stretch in their push for an NL Wild Card spot.

LHP Adam Kolarek, Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays, AAA)

After making his major league debut June 29, Adam Kolarek was sent back to the minors in late July after making 11 appearances with the Rays. Back in Triple-A, the former Terps allowed only three earned runs and struck out 17 over 10.2 innings with the Durham Bulls, which earned him a September call-up with the Rays.

Kolarek appeared in only one game after being recalled — he allowed one run on two hits and walked one while recording two outs against the White Sox September 3. The 28-year-old lefty has been dominant in Triple-A (1.65 ERA, 9.48 K/9), but his major league stats haven’t been great this season (6.48 ERA, 4.32 K/9). Because of that, Tampa Bay outrighted Kolarek back to Durham on September 4.

OF LaMonte Wade, Chattanooga Lookouts (Minnesota Twins, AA)

LaMonte Wade put together an all-star campaign for the Lookouts this season, who were co-Southern League Champions after Hurricane Irma prevented them from playing their championship series against the Pensecola Blue Wahoos. He finished the season hitting .292 with seven home runs and 67 RBI and ended up with more walks (76) than strikeouts (71). Wade’s .397 on-base percentage was good for third-best in the Southern League, and he was a key park of Chattanooga’s semifinal series victory.

The 23-year-old outfielder hit .278 in the five-game series, with his most important knock coming in the ninth inning of game five. With the Lookouts trailing the Montgomery Biscuits 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Wade led off the frame with a single and came around to score when Jonathan Rodriguez ended the game with a walk-off two-run dinger.

Wade, who is the Twins No. 17 overall prospect, will now head to the Arizona Fall League to play with the Surprise Saguaros so the Twins can get another look at him before Spring Training. And he already has something in common with one of his coaches.

2B Brandon Lowe, Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays, AA)

It was an all-Terps matchup in the Southern League semifinals, but Wade’s team got the better of Brandon Lowe’s. However, Lowe still had an incredible season. After hitting .311 with a .927 OPS in High-A, Lowe was promoted to Double-A. He hit only .253 in 24 games with Montgomery, but his performance in High-A earned him Florida State League Player of the Year honors.

Lowe went 0-for-7 in the playoffs with the Biscuits, but he should be on track to start at second base for Tampa Bay’s Double-A affiliate next season. He will also have a ranking bump from MLB.com going into 2018.

RHP Jake Stinnett, Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs, AA)

Since coming off the disabled list and being promoted to Double-A on August 5, Jake Stinnett has been almost unhittable out of the Smokies bullpen. He has allowed just one earned run and struck out 14 batters over 14.2 innings. Over his entire 2017 minor league season, Stinnett posted a 1.19 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.

Like Wade, Stinnett will also get his chance to further show off his talents in the Arizona Fall League.

RHP Mike Shawaryn, Salem Red Sox (Boston Red Sox, High-A)

The Unicorn ended the season in strong form and as the Red Sox No. 7 overall prospect. Mike Shawaryn finished his 2017 season between Single-A and High-A with a 3.81 ERA and 11.29 K/9 in 26 total starts. The 22-year-old righty also ended his season with two of the best starts of his career. Shawaryn struck out 18 batters and walked only two while allowing just two earned over his final 14 innings of the year, including a career-high eight innings on August 27.

LHP Alex Robinson, Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota Twins, High-A)

Alex Robinson was finally able to find his control this season, posting a 2.84 ERA and 1.16 in A-Ball, which earned him a call-up to High-A back in July. In 17.1 innings with the Fort Myers Miracle, Robinson posted a 4.67 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. He finished his full minor league season with a 1.28 WHIP and an impressive 12.69 K/9.

INF Jose Cuas, Carolina Mudcats (Milwaukee Brewers, High-A)

It was again a struggle at the plate for Jose Cuas in 2017. The 23-year-old hit just .187 with a .598 OPS and five home runs this season. Cuas moved around the infield defensively and spent a lot of time at first base despite playing third base at Maryland. However, the former Terp did heat up a little at the end of the season, hitting .258 with four RBI over his final eight games.

RHP Brian Shaffer, Hillsboro Hops (Arizona Diamondbacks, Low-A)

Since being promoted to Low-A in July, Brian Shaffer has been dominant. In 21 innings, the tall righty struck out 21 batters and walked just one. In 24 innings overall in his first minor league season, Shaffer pitched to 3.38 ERA and 0.83 WHIP while holding opposing hitters to a .211 batting average.

Shaffer, who is Arizona’s No. 30 overall prospect, was used as a starter, but only for two or three innings at a time. The short outing helped to limit his usage and increase his productivity while getting Shaffer ready to be a full-time starter next season.

SS Kevin Smith, Bluefield Blue Jays (Toronto Blue Jays, Rookie)

Kevin Smith, who is ranked as the Blue Jays No. 25 overall prospect, was Maryland’s highest 2017 draft pick (4th round), and he lived up to the hype in his first season. Smith hit .271 with a .778 OPS in 61 games, leading Bluefield with 25 doubles, eight homers and 43 RBIs. He was able to show off his power on August 31.

However, the plate discipline was still a bit of an issue for the former Terp, who struck out 70 times and drew only 16 walks.

RHP Ryan Selmer, Kingsport Mets (New York Mets, Rookie)

Ryan Selmer finished up his first professional season with some impressive numbers. The 23-year-old righty pitched to a 2.14 ERA over 21 innings and converted both of save opportunities. In classic Ryan Selmer fashion, the reliever threw almost double as many ground balls as fly balls, which helped overcome 1.52 WHIP and .284 batting average against. Over his 14 appearances, Selmer allowed an earned run in only three of them.

RHP Jamal Wade, AZL Mariners (Seattle Mariners, Rookie)

The younger Wade was drafted in the 17th round in June, but performed like an early-round draft pick in his first professional season. Over 19.2 innings, Wade posted a 1.83 ERA and 0.92 WHIP while striking out 27 batters and walking only seven.

 

Summer Ball Update 8/15/17: Dunn named Cape Cod LCS Co-MVP

After helping the Brewster Whitecaps to their first Cape Cod League title in 17 years, Nick Dunn earned CCBL League Championship Series Co-MVP honors. The Maryland second baseman hit .500 (5-for-10) in the three-game championship series, including a 3-for-3, three RBI performance in game two.

It is the second straight summer a Terp garnered CCBL playoff MVP honors; Kevin Smith earned the same award in 2016 after leading the Y-D Red Sox to the Cape Cod championship. Dunn is the second Terp named playoff MVP this summer, as Justin Morris earned Ripken League LCS Most Outstanding Player honors at the end of July.

Dunn’s award caps off a fine summer on the Cape for the rising junior infielder. He finished the regular season third in the league with a .333 average, thanks in large part to a 17-game hit streak he rolled off across late July and early August. He led Brewster in average, hits (41) and doubles (7). His regular season performance carried across into the playoffs, where he hit .306 with seven RBIs and five walks in 11 games, including his .500 mark in the LCS.

Dunn’s Whitecap teammate Marty Costes also played an integral role in the team’s title run, hitting .265 with two homers and a game-saving catch with the championship on the line. The rising junior outfielder hit .293 with five homers, 23 RBIs, and a team-best .938 OPS in the regular season.

Elsewhere on the Cape, right-hander Hunter Parsons finished the regular season with a 6.75 ERA in 14.2 innings for the Y-D Red Sox. In the Northwoods League, first baseman Kevin Biondic led the Thunder Bay Border Cats with five homers, while hitting .254 with 20 runs scored, 26 RBIs and 18 walks in 49 contests. He also saw time on the mound, pitching to a 1.62 ERA in seven appearances, spanning 16.2 innings.

For a full rundown on how other Terps did in their various summer leagues, click here.

Pro Terps Update: 8/9/17

Brandon Lowe’s Maryland baseball career ended with a broken fibula in the 2015 NCAA Super Regionals. Now, just over two years later, Lowe’s injury is in the past, and he is lighting up the minor leagues in the Tampa Bay Rays’ minor league system. Lowe’s promotion to Double-A highlights this edition of the Pro Terps Update.

LHP Brett Cecil, St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)

There were two Terps in the major leagues for a short time this season, but Brett Cecil is now again the only former Maryland player in the big leagues. After a rough start to his first season with the Cardinals, Cecil has settled into the St. Louis bullpen, owning a 3.30 ERA in 53 appearances. The lefty has allowed only one run in his last 7.1 innings, and he put together a pretty impressive performance in his second-to-last appearance.

Cecil’s strikeouts are way down from his usual career numbers, but his stuff has still been effective. Opposing hitters are chasing 36.9 percent of Cecil’s pitches that are outside the strike zone, which is the best mark of his career.

LHP Adam Kolarek, Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays, AAA)

From June 28 to July 29, there were two Terps in the big leagues. One was Brett Cecil and the other was Adam Kolarek. After eight minor league seasons, Kolarek finally got the big league call up, but didn’t have the most success. The first two appearances of his career were scoreless, but the lefty allowed a run in five of his final nine games. With an unattractive 7.84 FIP and 4.70 K/9 in 7.2 innings, Kolarek was sent back to Triple-A after the Rays acquired left-handed reliever Dan Jennings from the White Sox. Kolarek has allowed just one run and struck out four in three appearances since the demotion.

2B Brandon Lowe, Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays, AA)

Ranked as the No. 18 prospect in the Tampa Bay system, Brandon Lowe had been tearing up the Florida State League with the Charlotte Stone Crabs, and promotion seemed inevitable. Then, on August 2, while leading the league in batting average (.311), on-base percentage (.403), OPS (.927) and doubles (34), Lowe finally got the call up to Double-A after setting some Stone Crabs records.

In six games with the Biscuits so far, the former Terp is hitting .208 with a home run and three RBI, and his one long ball came at a pretty important time.

OF Lamonte Wade, Chattanooga Lookouts (Minnesota Twins, AA)

Lamonte Wade started the season absolutely red-hot for the Lookouts, but he has cooled off a little bit since then. Wade has gone just 5-for-34 (.147) at the plate in his last seven games, and was placed on the 7-day DL Sunday with a thumb injury. However, even with the slump, Wade is still hitting .277 and his impressive .393 on-base percentage is good for sixth-best in the Southern League. He has 10 more walks than strikeouts, and the 65 free passes is the second-best total in the league. Wade also set a new career high for single-game RBI earlier this month.

RHP Jake Stinnett, Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs, AA)

In a 2017 season mostly tarnished by injury, Jake Stinnett finally got some good news this week. After throwing 4.2 scoreless innings on rehab with the AZL Cubs and then making two appearances with the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Stinnett was reassigned to Double-A with the Smokies where he was supposed to start the season. He made his first career Double-A appearance Sunday, working two scoreless innings out of the bullpen and allowing just one baserunner.

RHP Mike Shawaryn, Salem Red Sox (Boston Red Sox, High-A)

Mike Shawaryn is universally ranked the best Maryland prospect in the minor leagues, currently ranked ninth in the Red Sox system, but his numbers haven’t completely translated since being promoted to High-A in June. In 53.1 innings with Single-A Greenville this season, Shawaryn struck out 78 batters and walked just 13. In 52.2 innings since his promotion, the righty has struck out 59 and walked 25, with a 4.27 ERA.

The Unicorn has hit a bit of a rough patch, allowing nine earned runs over his last two starts, and the Red Sox have given him nine days in between starts this week to try to regroup.

INF Jose Cuas, Carolina Mudcats (Milwaukee Brewers, High-A)

A mainstay at the hot corner in his time with the Terps, Jose Cuas has been playing first base lately for the Mudcats. He has flashed the glove on the opposite corner as well, but it’s been difficult for him to stay in the lineup. Since being promoted to High-A on June 22, Cuas has only 12 hits in 80 at-bats (.150) and has struck out 24 times compared to just four walks.

LHP Alex Robinson, Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota Twins, High-A)

Alex Robinson may have the most electric stuff among the Terps in the pros, and he has finally been able to showcase it this season. After really struggling with walks in his first two minor league seasons, Robinson found the control in 2017, and walked only 15 batters while striking out 51 in 38 innings in Single-A earlier in the year.

Those numbers earned Robinson “Twins Minor League Player of the Week” honors in early July. But more importantly, the numbers earned him a promotion to High-A Fort Myers on July 9. Since he was moved up, the lefty has been just as impressive, using his upper-90s fastball to strike out 18 batters in 9.1 innings so far with the Miracle.

RHP Brian Shaffer, Hillsboro Hops (Arizona Diamondbacks, Short-Season A)

Brian Shaffer is the only 2017 Maryland draft pick to have already advanced past rookie ball, and he did so fairly quickly. After allowing just one hit and striking out five over three innings in rookie ball, Shaffer was promoted to Hillsboro on July 20. Since the promotion, Shaffer has struck out 12 batters in nine innings.

The Hops have the tall righty starting, but going no more than two innings to keep his workload down. However, Shaffer was almost part of something special in his last start. After Shaffer tossed two hitless innings Saturday, the Hops bullpen came just three outs away from completing a combined no-hitter. The reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Year already ranks in the Diamondbacks’ top 30 prospects.

SS Kevin Smith, Bluefield Blue Jays (Toronto Blue Jays, Rookie)

Kevin Smith was Maryland’s highest draft pick in 2017, and he has started his pro career as the everyday shortstop for Toronto’s rookie league team. In 41 games, Smith has slashed .234/.280/.404 with five home runs and 20 RBI. Smith has come up with some big hits, but the strikeouts have been an issue, just as they were during his junior season at Maryland. The fourth-round pick has struck out 47 times while drawing only 11 walks, and is hitting just .162 in his last ten contests for Bluefield.

RHP Ryan Selmer, Kingsport Mets (New York Mets, Rookie)

As a 31st-round draft pick, Ryan Selmer has a steep hill to climb to make it to the big leagues, but he is off to a good start. In 15 innings over 10 appearances, Selmer has struck out seven batters and posted a 2.40 ERA. He has also impressed at the end of games, converting on both of his save opportunities so far.

RHP Jamal Wade, AZL Mariners (Seattle Mariners, Rookie)

If you look at Jamal Wade pro stats on the mound, you’d have no idea he came to College Park as an outfielder. In 9.2 innings in rookie ball this summer, Wade has been lights out, posting a 1.88 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. The righty has used his put-away stuff to record 16 strikeouts while issuing only five walks and holding opposing hitters to a minuscule .147 batting average. Wade also just keeps getting better, as he struck out five batters in two scoreless innings in his last appearance Monday.

Summer Ball Update 8/1/2017: Morris named Ripken League Playoff MVP, Dunn stays hot

A key player down the stretch for the Cal Ripken League Champion Bethesda Big Train, catcher Justin Morris was named the CRCBL League Championship Series Most Outstanding Player. In four playoff games (three in the championship series) Morris hit .500 (6-for-12), with two doubles, four RBIs, five runs scored and three walks. In the decisive championship game Sunday, his bases-clearing three-run double provided all the offense Big Train would need in a 4-2 victory.

Morris hit .308 with three homers, 12 RBIs and 13 walks in 20 regular season contests for Big Train this summer. He’s coming off a spring season in which he hit .211 with five homers, but came on strong at the end, hitting .267 in the final 14 games, including a .350 mark in the Big Ten Tournament.

“Some things started clicking for me,” he said of his success late in the spring and this summer. “Just seeing consistent pitching every day I felt like I got in the zone at the plate and I carried that over here into the summer.”

The rising senior backstop spent four summers in the Ripken League with Bethesda, winning championships in the last two, and caps off his final summer ball season with his LCS award.

“It was special, man, I’ve looked forward to every year coming back here,” Morris said. “[The coaches here] kept things loose for me and trusted in me and let me be myself out there and it felt good to win the last two.”


Elsewhere in summer ball, second baseman Nick Dunn and outfielder Marty Costes have both heated up recently after slow starts with the Cape Cod League’s Brewster Whitecaps. Dunn is riding a 16-game hitting streak, during which he has raised his average from .237 to .339. The rising junior hit his first homer of the summer in his final at-bat Monday to keep the streak alive, and was named the CCBL Player of the Week as a result.

His Terps and Whitecaps teammate Marty Costes has also come on strong of late, hitting in seven of his last eight contests to raise his average over 100 points, from .197 to .302. His five homers rank and .535 slugging percentage rank second on Brewster, while his 21 RBIs are third.

Left-hander Tyler Blohm had an up-and-down summer on the Cape for the Falmouth Commodores, but finished strong, allowing three earned runs and striking out nine over his final 10.1 innings of work. Across the Cape on the reigning champion Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, right-hander Hunter Parsons has pitched to a 6.39 ERA in 12.2 innings of work.

After winning a championship alongside Morris with the Bethesda Big Train, right-hander John Murphy has signed a contract with the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod League. He has not appeared for the Gatemen yet, but enjoyed a fine summer with Bethesda, pitching to a 3.37 ERA in 24 regular season innings, and earning the win in game one of the LCS. Zach Jancarski also played well for Bethesda, hitting a team high .347 in the regular season with 15 stolen bases, 23 runs scored and 20 walks in 26 games. In the postseason, he went 4-for-16 with three doubles and four runs scored.

The Baltimore Redbirds lost the Ripken League Championship to the Big Train, but outfielder Randy Bednar enjoyed a fine postseason nonetheless. An incoming freshman at Maryland, he hit .412 with three homers in five postseason contests. In the regular season, he hit .327 with a team-high six long balls and 27 RBIs. After a slow start to the summer, infielder AJ Lee came around as well, hitting .264 with six doubles, 18 steals and 30 runs scored between the regular season and playoffs.

The Terps pitchers on the Redbirds did not fare as well as their hitting counterparts, however. Right-hander Mike Vasturia ended the season with a 5.40 ERA in 18.1 innings, but did toss two scoreless frames in the playoffs. Left-hander Jon Dignazio allowed nine earned runs in 11.1 innings in the regular season (7.14 ERA), and struggled in his only playoff outing, giving up four runs (all earned) on four hits and three walks in an inning of work.

Incoming freshmen Richie Schiekofer and Tommy Gardiner both hit over .300 with the Ripken League’s Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts this summer. Schiekofer hit .306 with five doubles in 20 games for the T-Bolts, while Gardiner hit .308 with 10 runs scored in 24 contests.

In the Northwoods League, Kevin Biondic continues to impress at the plate and on the mound. The Thunder Bay Border Cats first baseman is hitting .243 with a team-high four homers, and owns a 2.13 in 12.2 innings on the mound.

Summer Ball Update 7/20/17: Dunn heating up on Cape, Terps continue to shine in Ripken League

As the end of July draws near, many summer leagues around the country are heading into the homestretch. Let’s check in on how Terps are doing for their various summer teams.

After a slow start, second baseman Nick Dunn is heating up in his second season with the Cape Cod League’s Brewster Whitecaps. A Cape All-Star in 2016, Dunn didn’t receive the same honors this season, but the rising junior is in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak. Over that stretch, he has recorded four multi-hit efforts and six RBIs to raise his season average to .306, the second-best mark on the Whitecaps. His Maryland and Brewster teammate, Marty Costes, has not enjoyed the same summer success, as the outfielder’s average hovers around the Mendoza line, but he does have four homers, including a go-ahead three-run shot Sunday, and ranks second on the team in RBIs (15).

Elsewhere on the Cape, a pair of Terps hurlers have had up-and-down summers so far. Left-hander Tyler Blohm, coming off a Freshman All-American campaign, owns a 5.68 ERA in five outings (four starts) for the Falmouth Commodores. Right-hander Hunter Parsons hasn’t fared much better, with a 7.36 ERA in eight relief appearances, but he does have a respectable 1.23 WHIP and an 11.4 K/9 rate.

Locally in the Cal Ripken League, a pair of Terps continue to rake for the league-leading Bethesda Big Train. Outfielder Zach Jancarski ranks third in the league with a .363 average, and has 14 stolen bases, 21 runs scored and three homers in 24 games played. Catcher Justin Morris has been equally impressive at the plate, hitting .328 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 18 games. On the mound for Bethesda, John Murphy has a 3.68 ERA in six appearances (five starts), with 24 strikeouts in 22 innings of work, while left-hander Zach Guth has given up four earned runs in two innings this season.

The CRCBL North Division-leading Baltimore Redbirds have gotten a huge boost offensively from outfielder Randy Bednar. The incoming freshman ranks in the top ten in the league in average (.337), homers (5), RBIs (24) and OPS (.994), and has hits in five of his last six contests. His Redbird teammate, infielder AJ Lee, has awakened after an early-season slump, collecting five multi-hit games in his last seven contests to raise his batting average to .245. He continues to be a threat on the bases, currently sitting third on the team with 11 steals.

A pair of Terps pitchers on the Redbirds, Mike Vasturia and Jon Dignazio, have also taken steps in the right direction after rough starts to the season. Vasturia has posted back-to-back scoreless outings, lowering his ERA to 5.40, while posting more than one strikeout per inning. Dignazio’s ERA is still a lofty 6.96, and the left-hander has 17 walks in 10.1 innings, but he did record a scoreless inning with two strikeouts in his last appearance.

With the Ripken League’s Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, incoming freshman Tommy Gardiner continues to hit, with a .306 average. Fellow incoming freshman Richie Schiekofer has not enjoyed the same success, as he is mired in a 3-for-20 slump, dipping his average to .216.

Up north in Ontario, Kevin Biondic has played in 31 games for the Northwoods League’s Thunder Bay Border Cats. A first baseman by trade, he is slashing .242/.384/.364 in 99 at-bats, but has also seen time on the mound, getting a start and tossing four shutout innings with three strikeouts July 11 against Rochester.

Summer Ball Update 7/11/17: Four Terps make Ripken League All-Star squad

As the calendar approaches the middle of July, many Terps are in the midst of fine summer campaigns, including four who earned Cal Ripken League All-Star honors this week. Here’s a rundown of how different Terps are doing around the country.

We’ll start in the Cape Cod League, where left-hander Tyler Blohm has made four appearances, including three starts, for the Falmouth Commodores, pitching to a 4.50 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 16 frames. Fellow Terp pitcher Hunter Parsons has struggled in limited appearances for the Cape’s Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. The rising junior right-hander has made six appearances, all in relief, allowing four earned runs in 5.1 innings, but picking up six strikeouts along the way.

Outfielder Marty Costes and second baseman Nick Dunn have not yet found their rhythms at the plate with the Brewster Whitecaps. Dunn, a 2016 CCBL All-Star for the Whitecaps, is fourth on the team in at-bats (59), but owns a .237 batting average and just three extra-base hits. Costes is hovering around the Mendoza line, hitting just .200, but has still shown strong plate discipline (.373 OBP) and ranks third on the Whitecaps with three homers.

Locally, pitcher John Murphy, catcher Justin Morris, and outfielders Zach Jancarski and Randy Bednar represented Maryland in the Cal Ripken League All-Star Game Monday. Murphy (Bethesda Big Train) pitched a scoreless inning, and owns a 3.31 ERA over five appearances (19 innings) this summer. Morris, who is hitting .347 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 15 contests for the Big Train this summer, walked in his only All-Star Game plate appearance, and threw out two runners from behind the dish. Jancarski leads the Big Train with a .385 average and .512 on-base percentage, and ranks third on the team with 10 stolen bases. Bednar, an incoming freshman, paces the Baltimore Redbirds with three long balls, and his .329 average is the second-best mark on the squad.

Elsewhere in the Ripken League, AJ Lee has heated up after a slow start for the Redbirds. The Maryland third baseman is hitting just .200 on the season, but has three multi-hit contests over his last five games. His Redbird teammates, Mike Vasturia and Jon Dignazio, have not fared as well on the mound. Vasturia has a 7.36 ERA in 11 innings out of the bullpen, but that mark is inflated by a couple rough outings, as the right-hander has given up one run or less in four of his six outings. Dignazio, a southpaw, owns a similar 7.44 ERA in 9.2 innings, and while his 15 walks are worrisome, he has whiffed 12 batters.

A pair of incoming freshmen have impressed with the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts. Infielder Tommy Gardiner‘s .351 batting average is second on the team, and he has been especially hot of late, collecting multiple hits in three of his last four games. His teammate, outfielder Richie Schiekofer, is hitting .242 in 11 games, but has come up big this season, collecting a walk0ff hit against Rockville in late June. Senior outfielder Will Watson has made just one appearance for the T-Bolts, going 0-for-3.

Left-hander Zach Guth has made three appearances for the Big Train, allowing four runs (all earned) over two innings of work.

With the Amsterdam Mohawks of the Perfect Game League, catcher Danny Maynard maintains a .309 average with two homers and 11 RBIs in 18 contests. Right-hander Cameron Enck owns a 2.70 ERA in six contests for the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s Newport Gulls. Enck has struck out 16 and walked just five in 20 innings of work this summer.

North of the border, first baseman Kevin Biondic is hitting .247 in 27 games for the Northwoods League’s Thunder Bay Border Cats. The rising senior has launched three homers and driven in 15, and has more walks (14) than strikeouts (13) this summer.