The Washington Wild Things — an organization in the Independent Frontier League — announced the signing of former Maryland pitcher Taylor Bloom Saturday afternoon. The right-hander went on to make his first start hours later.
BREAKING: We’ve signed RHP Taylor Bloom (@taylorbloom16) & 1B Conner Simonetti (@csimonetti34), and placed 1B Reydel Medina on the suspended list. Bloom, a @umterps product, will start tonight. Simonetti, a former @LECrushers will play 1B, bat 8th
📖: https://t.co/JD7FHWAm9j pic.twitter.com/FM8sjvawMw
— Washington Wild Things (@WashWildThings) June 30, 2018
The Severna Park native went unselected in the 2018 MLB Draft, but became the fourth Terp this year to sign a professional contract. Nick Dunn and Marty Costes inked deals with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Houston Astros, respectively, before Kevin Biondic signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Bloom made his first start for the Wild Things the same day the team announced his signing. He allowed four runs on six hits in five innings, but didn’t walk a batter and struck out four against the Schaumburg Boomers. The Wild Things are based out of Washington, Pennsylvania and currently sit in first place in the league with a 26-18 record.
“Taylor was another one of our tryout participants that we saw potential in,” Washington assistant general manager of baseball operations Tony Buccili said in a press release. “We look to have our catchers assist with getting Taylor acclimated to our level of professional baseball and aid in the process of replicating his college production.”
Only one player threw more innings in the Maryland uniform than Taylor Bloom. The right-hander became the second Terp to eclipse 300-career innings in his last start of the spring against Indiana, joining Mike Shawaryn as the only other pitcher do to so.
Bloom was an impact player all four seasons he was with the Terps. He appeared in 15 games as a freshman, including a start in the Big Ten championship and a memorable 6.1-inning appearance against UCLA in the 2015 NCAA Regionals. He later became a consistent weekend starter for his remaining time in College Park.
In 102.1 innings as a sophomore, his 2.46 ERA was fourth-best in the Big Ten, and he issued just nine walks the entire year. He went 7-2 with a 3.83 ERA as a junior before having an up-and-down senior campaign. Bloom was never the hardest thrower, but the Wild Things gained a pitcher that showed in his four years with Maryland the ability to throw strikes and keep hitters off-balance with slow off-speed pitches.