Ahead of the 2020 season kicking off, 17 former Terps are preparing for their season on a professional diamond. Here’s a look at where these players will be on Opening Day in a few weeks.
2B Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)
In his first full season in the Majors, Lowe ended as one of the best middle infielders in the league. The former Terp logged an average of .270 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI over 82 games. He was named to the American League All-Star team, but never reached the field as he went down with an injury in early July that kept him on the bench until September.
Lowe reached the postseason with the Rays, batting .250 over the team’s six games, in which he started in five. In game three of the Divisional Series against the Houston Astros, the rookie recorded two hits, one being a long ball to left. After the season ended, Lowe was named as a finalist for the AL Rookie of the Year. He finished third in voting, with Houston’s Yordan Alvarez winning unanimously.
LHP Brett Cecil, St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)
Cecil is entering the final season of his four-year, $30.5 million deal with the Cardinals after playing for just one full season over that span. The southpaw began 2019 down 40 lbs., which led to an injury and carpal tunnel surgery in April that quickly ended his 11th season in the majors.
LHP Adam Kolarek, Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
In his second year in the big leagues, Kolarek was traded to Los Angeles at the trade deadline in July from Tampa Bay. Working out of the bullpen, the lefty threw in three of the team’s five playoff games, striking out Nationals’ star Juan Soto twice.
Kolarek has mainly been used as a situational pitcher out of the ‘pen, but with the league’s new three batter minimum rule, his usage in games will be different in 2020.
OF LaMonte Wade Jr., Minnesota Twins (MLB)
An interesting thing about Wade is that his fate for the 2020 season still remains unknown. With the addition of veteran Josh Donaldson to the roster, the Twins have just one spot left. In his first season in Minnesota, Wade hit .196 with two long balls.
RHP Mike Shawaryn, Boston Red Sox (MLB)
The righty got a taste of the majors last season, posting a 9.74 ERA in 14 appearances. Shawaryn ended the year back and forth from Triple-A to the MLB, but will start 2020 in Boston as he was recently named to the team’s 40-man roster.
RHP Jake Stinnett, Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs, AA)
Stinnett is entering his third season in Double-A with the Smokies. Last year the righty ended with a rough record of 1-6 and an earned-run-average over five. His first season with the team ended in a similar way, making this season important in his major league development.
SS Kevin Smith, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays, AA)
As the new everyday shortstop for the Fisher Cats, Smith is looking to build off his heaviest workload of a season yet. New Hampshire’s top prospect had an average of just .209 in 2019 and struck out 151 times in 116 games in his first full season in Double-A.
RHP Brian Shaffer, Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays, AA)
In his third season as a minor league pitcher, Shaffer tossed 102 innings with a sub-2.40 ERA. As a bullpen-first arm for the Biscuits, the righty threw 62 innings in relief last season where he will likely remain for his 2020 campaign.
3B Andrew Bechtold, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (Minnesota Twins, High-A)
After being called up from Low-A in June of 2019, Bechtold produced solid work for the Mighty Mussels in 59 games. He ended with an average of .274 and a .349 OBP. The former Terp’s defense has also kept his name in the mix for his hard work on the hot corner.
2B Nick Dunn, Palm Beach Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals, High-A)
Dunn played his entire season in Palm Beach last season with a team-high .247 average. In the season, he totaled 19 doubles and 38 RBIs.
Ahead of the 2020 season, Dunn was named the No. 45 prospect in the Cardinals’ system.
OF Marty Costes, Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Houston Astros, High-A)
Costes was promoted to High-A in the beginning of the 2019 season, where he played 29 games. The outfielder played in the Carolina League championship with the Woodpeckers, though they lost in the end. He finished the year with five long balls and 32 RBIs.
RHP Kevin Biondic, Greenville Drive (Boston Red Sox, Low-A)
Biondic’s highlight of the season came when he threw a complete game in one of his 14 starts. The righty began the season 4-0 with a 2.91 ERA, and though he took a hit later on, he still finish with a sub-4.70 average in 100 innings pitched.
INF A.J. Lee, Quad-Cities River Bandits (Houston Astros, Low-A)
In his first year out of a Maryland uniform, Lee quickly moved up the ranks in the Astros system. He was promoted from Short-Season A with the Tri-City ValleyCats on August 15th where he finished his rookie season. He was reassigned to the ValleyCats on September 5.
RHP Hunter Parsons, Brooklyn Cyclones (New York Mets, Short-Season A)
After a dominating senior season in College Park, Parsons was drafted by the Mets in the 19th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. In 11 appearances with the Cyclones, Parsons issued 21 strikeouts and ended with an ERA of 2.89.
1B Alfredo Rodriguez, Somerset Patriots (Independent-Atlantic League)
Rodriguez made the Atlantic League All-Star Game roster for the second consecutive season, ending the season with a .267 average and 26 doubles, a career high.
INF Blake Schmit, St. Paul Saints (Independent-American Association)
Schmit got himself a ring in 2019 as he was a part of the Saints’ first American Association championship since 2004. St. Paul is the infielders third team in four years since entering the league.
RHP John Murphy, Westside Woolly Mammoths (Independent-USPBL)
Murphy signed with the Mammoths after graduating from Maryland in the spring of 2019. In his first season, he ended with a 4.91 ERA and a 1-2 record.