Preseason Countdown No. 5: Infield Preview

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The Terrapins’ first line of defense will have some major changes this season, as head coach Rob Vaughn is tasked with filling holes left behind from the departure of shortstop A.J. Lee and third baseman Taylor Wright. Vaughn has been tweaking various formations all offseason in order to make the most seamless transition into 2020.

We’ve given you previews of potential starting pitchers and bullpen arms, next up is a preview of the infielders on the Terps’ roster.


Junior catcher Justin Vought Vought090518_01

In his first year as the team’s everyday catcher, Vought started 53 games behind the plate. He put up an average of .222 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI. The Pennsylvania native slashed two hits in the team’s first game of the Big Ten Tournament against Illinois, one of which flew over the outfield wall for a two-run homer.

The then-sophomore was named as a team captain prior to the 2019 season and will continue to provide the Terps with leadership this spring.


Redshirt-junior catcher Tavan Shahidi Shahidi090518_05

Shahidi transferred to Maryland following the 2018 season, where he played for Iowa Lakes Community College.

There, he finished with a line of .336/.445/.611 with 10 home runs and 11 doubles. The catcher redshirted last season due to an injury and the necessary surgery.


Freshman catcher James Heffley Heffley_2020

The Maryland native is part of a stacked freshman class entering College Park this season. As a senior at Albert Einstein High School, Heffley ended with an average over .500 and was named First Team All-Division for the third consecutive year. In his first appearance at Maryland, he put down a sacrifice squeeze bunt to bring in a run during the Fall World Series.


Redshirt-sophomore first baseman Michael Pineiro Piniero090518_03

Pineiro was coach Vaughn’s Swiss army knife in his first season playing for the Terrapins. In 44 appearances and 38 starts, the redshirt-sophomore stretched from left field to right field, designated hitter and first base. He finished with a .252 batting average, earning him a spot on the All-Big Ten Third Team.

Pineiro exploded over the summer, batting .333 in 36 games with the West Virginia Miners of the Prospect League.


Freshman first baseman Michael Bouma Bouma_2020

Bouma is one of Maryland’s highest prospects this season as he finished high school as the No. 1 first baseman in Maryland. He ended with a career average of .433 and 11 home runs at Sherwood High School.

During the Fall World Series, Bouma got a good workload with five at-bats, one of which he earned a single. He played both first and third base during Maryland’s fall scrimmage against Army.


Junior second baseman Tommy Gardiner Gardiner090518_03

Gardiner’s playing time took a hit in his sophomore campaign as he got into the starting lineup 20 times in 2019, with 11 fewer appearances than his freshman season, partially due to a shoulder injury that required surgery at the end of the season.

During his time on the field, the New Jersey native notched a six-game hitting streak and could see his time in the lineup spike with the loss of senior A.J. Lee after the 2019 season, leaving a middle infield spot wide open for the taking.


Sophomore second baseman Josh Maguire Maguire082818_03

Maguire broke into the lineup in the latter part of his freshman campaign, finishing the season with nine straight starts as a designated hitter. In 29 total appearances, Maguire had five doubles, two triples and three homers. After solidifying his role as an offensive threat to end his first season on Vaughn’s roster, the Delaware native could be a key component to the Terps’ roster this season.


Sophomore shortstop Ben Cowles Cowles090518_05

Perhaps one of the most important pieces to Maryland’s lineup this season will be second-year infielder Ben Cowles. A compliment to senior shortstop A.J. Lee last year as the team’s everyday second baseman, Cowles will now likely fill the hole that Lee left as the infield’s new leader. In 50 starts last year, Cowles found hit in five different parts of the lineup, earning 35 hits and 15 RBI in those appearances.

“He’s got a relentless work ethic,” outfielder Randy Bednar said at media day. “If there’s one guy who resembles Maryland baseball, it’s Ben Cowles.”


Junior shortstop Austin Chavis Chavis_2020

Chavis spent two years at Potomac State before transferring to Maryland this season. In his second year at the West Virginia JuCo, Chavis earned a batting average over .330 with 18 doubles, which ranks ninth in Potomac State history. Prior to college the infielder played at Calvert Hall, where he was named a preseason Under Armor All-American.


Sophomore third baseman Maxwell Costes Costes090518_03

The most talked-about returning Terp this season, Costes enters his sophomore campaign after a dominant freshman season, during which he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week three times as well as the Big Ten Player of the Week once. Costes also earned a spot on the All-Big Ten First Team and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

This season, Costes has already found his name on another ballot as he was named one of Collegiate Baseball’s Preseason third team Diamond Sports All-Americans. Maryland’s power-hitter led Big Ten freshman in home runs last season, after he knocked 15 balls out of the park. Costes also dominated in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, where he led the Amsterdam Mohawks to a league championship and was later awarded the PGCBL Player of the Year, along with a spot on the team’s All-Decade Team.


Junior infielder Brenton Davis Davis_2020

Davis joins Maryland as the team’s second transfer this offseason. Out of Southeast Community College in his home state of Nebraska, Davis earned an average of .353 in his first of two seasons with the team. During his time at Southeast, Davis split time between third base, shortstop and second base, making him a viable option all over the diamond for the Terrapins.


Freshman infielder Matt Orlando Orlando_2020

Orlando, the fifth-ranked player out of New Jersey, is another one of Vaughn’s keys to add more depth to a busy infield. The freshman was a three-time All-South Jersey honoree, along with First-Team All-State his sophomore year and Third-Team All-State in his final senior season.

His first contribution in a Maryland uniform came in the Fall World Series when he hit a base clearing three-run double.


Freshman infielder Aaron Perez Perez_2020

The Bronx, New York, native played finished his senior season at All Hallows with an average of .280. He came out of high school as the No. 3 ranked shortstop in New York and landed on the Perfect Game All-Tournament Team three times.