By Ben Harris
By last week’s end, the book was closed on the 2016 Maryland Terrapin draftees, it’s final chapter telling two stories each of looming professional careers and a desire to don the pinstripes in College Park, Maryland.
RHP Mike Shawaryn, the most decorated pitcher to ever stroll the mall at the University of Maryland, agreed to a $637,500 signing bonus with the Boston Red Sox, almost $300,000 more than the slot value of the 148th overall pick. The Unicorn will join the short-season Class A Lowell Spinners some 330 miles northeast of his New Jersey home.
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) July 14, 2016
LHP Rob Galligan is the only other Terp taking their talents to the professional ranks in 2016. Drafted in the 36th round (1079 overall), Galligan has appeared in eight games for the Diamondback’s rookie league Missoula Osprey allowing seven earned over 9.1 innings.
On the flip side, two pitchers announced their intention to play for the Terps in 2017. Rising senior RHP Mike Rescigno turned down an opportunity to join the San Francisco Giants as a 25th round pick (755 overall) in favor of serving as a bridge between the Jim Belanger staffs of the past four years and those of newly appointed pitching coach Ryan Fecteau. LHP Tyler Blohm—a rising freshman and Rescigno’s teammate on the Cal Ripken summer league’s Baltimore Redbirds—declared that he too would forgo his offer, this one from his hometown Baltimore Orioles, and enroll at Maryland this fall.
After breaking his foot as a redshirt sophomore in 2015’s season-ending loss to Virginia, 2B Brandon Lowe has made waves since first lacing up for the Bowling Green Hot Rods in April. On July 17, Lowe broke the Hot Rods’ franchise record with a base knock in 18 consecutive games. In his mid-summer crusade against Midwest League pitching, Lowe slashed .371/.421/.529 across 22 days from June 25 to July 17. Eight of the 18 games were multi-hit affairs. The second baseman ranks 13th in the league with a .372 OBP.
LHP Adam Kolarek’s first two months in triple-A have gone swimmingly. Notching 30 innings thus far, Kolarek has held International league opponents to a .152 batting average while striking out 26 percent of batters faced, the highest mark for any sustained stretch in his seven-year professional career.
Returning for the Class A short-season Auburn Doubledays, a newly-mustachioed RHP Kevin Mooney — inspired by the club’s namesake and Old Abner’s famous lip rug — has settled back into the late-inning role he become so accustomed to at Maryland.
And, as he did in College Park, he is thriving. In an eight outing span between his first and most recent appearances (June 20-July 16), Mooney was nearly as perfect as his 0.00 ERA and 0.48 WHIP would lead one to believe. For the year, he’s posted a 1.46 ERA and 0.81 WHIP over 12.1 innings while striking out 11 and walking three.
LHP Zach Morris was named Lakewood BlueClaws Player of the Week to kick off July. Overall Morris has posted phenomenal numbers in the low ranks of the Phillies’ farm system and 2016 has been no different. In 33 relief appearances, Morris has a 2.62 earned run average, 1.34 WHIP and .244 batting average against. In 44 innings, he’s struck out 38, walked 19 and allowed 41 hits.
Despite a less than stellar 2016 campaign, RHP Jake Stinnett was named a Carolina League All-Star for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. As the sixth youngest player on the roster, he tossed a perfect seventh inning in the All-Star game with three groundouts. His opponents’ batting averages have risen every month this year from .164 to .200 to .304 to .357 in July. In three starts this month, he’s holds a 9.56 ERA.
Following his own well-deserved All-Star appearance, OF LaMonte Wade began his climb up the Minnesota Twins’ minor league ranks. Rewarded with a promotion to the Class A-advanced Florida State League at the beginning of July, Wade picked up where he left off in Cedar Rapids. Through 17 games, he’s hitting .352/.422/.519 for the Fort Myers Miracle. Were he qualified, he’d fall four slugging percentage points short of owning top marks in every triple slash category. His batting average would stand a full 34 points greater than the next highest, and his OBP would lead the league by 19 points. He’s hit safely in 13 of 17 games with five multi-hit games and two homers in his last three games.
A pair of former Terps currently play for Brewers Class A affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. LF Troy Stokes has appeared in 53 of 95 games this year with a .237 average and .359 OBP. Both are slightly shy of his minor league career marks. After being given the month of June off from starting duties, LHP Jake Drossner has returned to that role this month. After a good June in the pen (four appearances, 2.25 ERA), Drossner has made three starts in July to the tune of a 3.77 ERA and 2.09 WHIP.
In nine games for the short-season Tri-City ValleyCats, C Kevin Martir has logged seven base hits in 35 at bats. His best outing came in a 2-for-4 July 1 win, when he tagged a two-bagger and a long ball, knocking in three runs from the eight-hole to beat Hudson Valley 5-3.
In the majors, LHP Brett Cecil has appeared in six games this month for the Blue Jays allowing three runs over 4.1 innings to raise his ERA to 5.17. And after signing with the Red Sox in early April and appearing in 61 games for triple-A Pawtucket, Boston granted OF Justin Maxwell his release so that the 32-year-old Maryland native could sign with the Korean league Lotte Giants.