Former Maryland left-hander Adam Kolarek has been called up to the Tampa Bay Rays after spending parts of eight seasons in the minors. Kolarek, 28, pitched for the Terps from 2008 to 2010 before being selected in the 11th round (332nd overall) by the New York Mets in the 2010 MLB Draft. He joins fellow southpaw reliever Brett Cecil as the only Terps currently in the major leagues.
The #Rays have made the following roster moves: pic.twitter.com/sKQlwxGEzB
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 28, 2017
Over his three years at Maryland, Kolarek made 60 appearances (51 in relief) spanning 111 innings. The Catonsville, Maryland, native pitched to a lofty 5.03 ERA but often kept hitters off balance, averaging nearly a strikeout per inning in both his freshman and junior seasons. He was a workhorse for the Terps, ranking in the top three on the team in appearances in his first two years in College Park.
In the Show!
Congrats to Catonsville native Adam Kolarek (2008-10) on his call up to @RaysBaseball! #ProTerpspic.twitter.com/zXYgJRDSsE
— Maryland Baseball (@TerpsBaseball) June 28, 2017
After being drafted, Kolarek spent his first six pro seasons in the Mets organization. He enjoyed great success early in his minor league career, posting a sub-3 ERA in three of his first four campaigns. In 2013, he turned what was at that point his finest performance in the minors. After struggling in a brief stint in Triple-A, he dominated for the Double-A Binghamton Mets, tossing 63 frames with a 1.71 ERA and .204 opponents’ batting average. He couldn’t replicate his success at the same level, however, posting an ERA north of six in 2014 and a 4.43 mark a year later in 2015.
At the end of the 2015 season, the Mets released Kolarek, and he briefly signed on with his hometown Baltimore Orioles, before being claimed off waivers by the Rays.
He began the 2016 season and his Tampa Bay organization career with the Montgomery Biscuits (Double-A), making 13 appearances with a 3.32 ERA before his promotion to Triple-A Durham. In 34 relief appearances with the Bulls, he pitched to a 3.05 ERA and held opponents to a meager .194 mark at the plate while averaging over a strikeout per inning. He continued to dominate this spring with Durham, posting a 1.36 ERA in 33 innings pitched, which earned his call-up to the show.
The promotion is well-timed, as the Rays travel to Baltimore this weekend for a three-game set with the Orioles, so Kolarek may get the opportunity to pitch in front of his hometown crowd.
Big shout out to our own Adam Kolarek getting called up to the big leagues today for the first time after 8 seasons in the minors! #ProTerps
— Matt Swope (@MattSwope19) June 28, 2017
With Kolarek joining Cecil in the big leagues, there are multiple Terps in the majors for the first time since September 1, 2015, when former Maryland outfielder Justin Maxwell was designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants.
Featured image courtesy of Maryland Athletics.