Though the Maryland baseball season is over, the 2019 MLB Draft is right around the corner. Only two Terps were selected in last year’s draft, including Nick Dunn, who was drafted in the 5th round, though three more signed undrafted.
This year, the draft will take place from Monday, June 3 through Wednesday, June 5. Maryland has 10 juniors and seniors currently on the roster who are eligible for selection. Here’s a quick synopsis of each player.
Hunter Parsons – RHP
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 200 Year: Sr. Bats/Throws: R/R
G: 15 (15 GS) IP: 104.1 ERA: 3.45 K/9: 6.7 BB/9: 2.8 H/9: 7.6
After a breakout junior season in 2018, Parsons continued to dominate as Maryland’s ace. Under the guidance of second-year pitching coach Corey Muscara, Parsons thrived on the mound and finished the season with 10 wins, the third-most wins in a single season in school history.
For the second consecutive year, Parsons led the team in innings pitched, providing the Terps with solid Friday starts en route to multiple weekend series victories. Even when Maryland did not come out on top, the righty maintained control on the mound; in an eight-inning outing against Creighton he allowed only three runs, all solo homers, while he struck out a career-high 10 batters and walked none.
Parsons continued to pitch with increased pace in his senior campaign. After his junior season in 2018, which included his first complete game shutout as a Terp, Parsons likely stayed on teams’ radars with his strong showing on the mound in 2019.
AJ Lee – SS
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 180 Year: Sr. Bats/Throws: R/R
G: 51 AB: 189 Slash Line: .317/.443/.497 HR: 7 RBI: 36 K: 48 BB: 29
In his final year at Maryland, Lee came alive at the plate in the second half of the season. After suffering an ankle injury only two weeks into the season, Lee sat out for seven games to recover. Once he returned to the lineup, the senior batted .327, including an 11-game hit streak over the end of April, and a 24-game on-base streak that lasted from the end of March to the middle of May.
Lee went 4-for-5 in his last game as a Terp on May 24, when Michigan eliminated Maryland from the Big Ten tournament. In that last start, Lee went deep in the 9th inning for a solo home run, his seventh of the year. As a junior, though Lee at times struggled to get hits, the infielder walked a team-high 36 times and maintained his high on-base percentage.
In 2016, his first season with the Terps, Lee played in 19 games but struggled at the plate and finished with a sub-.200 average. But the then-third baseman didn’t quit and emerged as an everyday starter in his sophomore season, when he finished the year with batting over .300 with eight home runs. Over his four years at Maryland Lee proved to be an asset on the base paths and on the left side of the infield, and his ability to get big hits in key moments––most notably his two- run walk-off homer against Iowa––helped boost the Terps to their first Big Ten tournament appearance under second-year head coach Rob Vaughn.
John Murphy – RHP
Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 245 Year: Sr. Bats/Throws: R/R
G: 27 (0 GS) IP: 33.1 ERA: 4.32 K/9: 14.7 BB/9: 4.6 H/9: 10.3
Murphy served as the Terps’ closer for a second consecutive season, finishing the year with 11 saves, making him tied with Kevin Mooney for third-most saves in a single season in team history. The senior made the most appearances out of the Maryland bullpen and worked out of multiple jams, boasting the most strikeouts (54) of any reliever.
In his first season with the Terps in 2016, the right hander struggled as many freshman do, throwing only 11 innings and finishing with an ERA just below 10.00. But Murphy bounced back, and in his sophomore year he held hitters to an .183 average while walking only eight batters on the year. That year he also provided Maryland with vital outs in key moments, escaping multiple bases-loaded jams during the Terps’ postseason run.
Murphy did struggle with control toward the end of his junior season, but as a whole the righty proved he’s dominant on the mound when in control. Between his junior and senior seasons, Murphy showed his prowess as a strikeout pitcher, setting down 37 batters in just over 25 innings in his junior campaign. In his final two years at Maryland Murphy also cut his walks-per-nine almost in half, from 7.5 to 4.6, while increasing his strikeouts-per-nine by almost two strikeouts per nine innings, from 13.1 to 14.7.
Taylor Wright – 3B
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 180 Year: Sr. Bats/Throws: L/R
G: 58 AB: 231 Slash Line: .290/.375/.429 HR: 4 RBI: 31 K: 42 BB: 29
In his second season with the Terps, Wright played every game at third base, providing stellar defensive coverage from the left corner of the infield. At the plate, the Canada native’s speed and ability to get multi-base hits was key to Maryland’s success in 2019.
After transferring from Colorado Northwestern Community College for his junior season, Wright played 47 games for the Terps at third base and helped fill the void in the infield. In that first season at Maryland, Wright provided the Terps with one of two walk-off victories, when he drew a game-winning walk in the 10th inning against Northwestern.
Wright improved his average in his final season, hitting in the three-hole and providing the Terps with a consistent bat throughout the season. After batting only .230 his junior year with the Terps, his average increased to .290 while his slugging leapt from .333 to .429. Throughout his senior campaign, Wright battled with sophomore Randy Bednar for the most doubles on the squad and finished with 20 doubles on the season, just one more than Bednar’s 19. Those 20 doubles tied Wright for fourth-most doubles in a single season in team history.
Tyler Blohm – LHP
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 205 Year: Jr. Bats/Throws: L/L
G: 6 (6 GS) IP: 15.2 ERA: 5.74 K/9: 7.7 BB/9: 6.5 H/9: 7.7
Blohm’s junior campaign started with uncertainty as to whether the southpaw would reach the level at which he started the previous year. After a shoulder injury late in the 2018 season left Blohm with a lowered velocity and limited mobility, the lefty worked to get back to his previous level of play, which saw him awarded Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2017.
But Blohm overcame the hurdles and ended the season seeming to have regained some of his confidence and most of his control. After a rough outing in his first start against VCU in February, Blohm rehabbed his arm until late April, when he worked into the rotation as an opener for two midweek games before making Sunday starts in both of the Terps’ final series of the regular season. Once back on the rubber, Blohm set down 13 batters while holding opponents to a .228 batting average in his 15.2 innings pitched.
As a freshman Blohm earned numerous Big Ten accolades, including being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. In his first season as a Terp, the southpaw had a 3.48 ERA in 75.0 innings. His sophomore year, when Blohm struggled with his shoulder injury, he finished the season with a 4.10 ERA in 59.1 innings, while holding opposing batters to a .248 average.
Elliot Zoellner – RHP
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 190 Year: Jr. Bats/Throws: R/R
G: 18 (0 GS) IP: 20.2 ERA: 7.40 K/9: 13.8 BB/9: 8.5 H/9: 5.4
After a decent sophomore season with the Terps, Zoellner took on a vital role in Maryland’s bullpen during his junior campaign. Throughout the season the Terps relied on Zoellner to eat up innings before bringing in either a setup pitcher or closer John Murphy.
With his 31 strikeouts on the season, Zoellner proved to be an asset to Maryland’s bullpen, holding opponents to a .156 average when he took the mound. While the righty did walk 19 batters on the season, Zoellner’s ability to get outs when they mattered and keep opposing teams off the base paths made him a key component of the Terps’ 2019 squad.
Nick Turnbull – RHP
Ht: 6’5″ Wt: 200 Year: Jr. Bats/Throws: R/R
G: 19 (1 GS) IP: 17.2 ERA: 4.08 K/9: 8.9 BB/9: 11.5 H/9: 3.7
At the start of the season, Turnbull seemed to be the Terps’ most promising transfer, when he made the switch to Maryland after two seasons at Hartford Community College, where he solidified himself as a strikeout pitcher. With the Terps, Turnbull came out strong and became one of Maryland’s go-to setup relievers early in the year.
The righty-hander was often called on to help work out of late-inning jams with a key strikeout or set of outs. In his longest appearance, a 3.2-inning relief outing against Villanova, Turnbull struck out a season-high five batters while allowing only one hit and holding the Wildcats scoreless. Though Turnbull struggled to hold runners off the bases due to his high number of walks (22), he held opposing batters to a .130 average and his ability to get an out in vital moments helped power the Terps’ bullpen.
Caleb Walls – OF
Ht: 5’10″ Wt: 190 Year: Jr. Bats/Throws: L/R
G: 48 AB: 176 Slash Line: .233/.352/.352 HR: 4 RBI: 16 K: 51 BB: 28
One of three position player transfers for the Terps’, Walls was the only transfer in the starting lineup for Maryland’s season opener against Campbell. The left fielder played in almost all of the Terps’ games during the regular season, after transferring from Pasco Hernando State College in Florida.
While the outfielder did struggle at the plate toward the end of the season, Walls provided key outfield coverage while also aiding in the Terps’ offense. Walls hit four home runs, including a two-run inside-the-park home run against Elon, and tallied one triple and seven doubles.
Sebastian Holte-Mancera – OF/C
Ht: 5’8″ Wt: 190 Year: Jr. Bats/Throws: L/R
G: 19 AB: 44 Slash Line: .250/.370/.409 HR: 1 RBI: 7 K: 14 BB: 8
Holte-Mancera saw more time in the lineup than expected this year at Maryland, after transferring from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. The junior started the second two games of the season behind the plate while also making appearances as the Terps’ designated hitter and at least one outfield start.
While Holte-Mancera did not make it into Maryland’s lineup often, when he did the righty provided the Terps with 11 hits and nine runs in his 13 starts, including a solo home run to right field against Delaware.
Ben Irvine – OF
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 175 Year: Jr. Bats/Throws: L/R
G: 14 AB: 17 Slash Line: .059/.158/.059 HR: 0 RBI: 2 K: 3 BB: 2
In his first season at Maryland, Irvine often pinch-hit or pinch-ran for the Terps. After Irvine transferred to Maryland from Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts, he was one of many outfielders on the Terrapin squad, but found his place in the lineup when the Terps needed a speedy base runner or a fresh bat.
The outfielder started only three games for Maryland but made 14 appearances. In his second start, a midweek matchup against VCU, Irvine notched his first hit as a Terp, a one-out single through the left side. Prior to the move to Maryland, Irvine racked up 40 stolen bases in his sophomore campaign at NECC while holding a .417 OBP.
Bobby Zmarzlak – Class of 2019 Commit
Maryland’s incoming freshman class is ranked No. 38, according to Perfect Game. Only one player, outfielder Bobby Zmarzlak, may be drafted high enough this year for him to forego his commitment to Maryland. In 2018, a scout at an East Coast Pro/Prospect Development Pipeline event said that the Stamford, Connecticut, native was the “most powerful hitter” of the group of prospects, according to an MLB.com article.