Preseason Countdown #4: Outfield preview

The 2020 Terrapins outfield was stacked by all accounts, but the COVID-19 pandemic promptly put an end to the start of three young, talented freshmen seasons along with the junior years of a couple of established Terps outfielders. With the 44-game 2021 season ahead, that same crew will be returning in hopes of cashing in on all of the potential they had last season.

As we enter the week of Maryland Opening Day, have a glance at the returning outfield corp:

Randy Bednar (Senior)

Randy Bednar has done nothing but improve, year after year, during his career as a Terp, and he’s entering 2021 coming off his best (partial) season to date. In the 15 games he started last season, slashed .387/.459/.581 while leading Maryland in RBI (16) and doubles (9). Bednar’s career on-base plus slugging percentage stands at .835, and at the rate he’s going at, he’s due for a monster senior season.

Chris Allayne (Senior)

Also entering his final season as a Terp is Chris “Bubba” Allayne, who in the (short) span of 2020 showed a great improvement at the plate while continuing to be a killer on the base paths with his speed. Allayne tied for second in the Big Ten in stolen bases (6) while following closely behind his fellow senior outfielder as second in the Big Ten in doubles (8). After establishing himself as a primary outfielder with his bat in 2019, he turned in last season with a .333/.413/.500 slash line. There might be a huge logjam in the Maryland outfield, but with his improving bat and quick defense in the field, Allayne is sure to start a majority of games.

Troy Schreffler Jr. (Sophomore)

One of the three highly-touted freshmen outfielders to make their collegiate debut last season, Troy Schreffler Jr. showed exactly why he was ranked the fourth-best outfielder recruit out of Pennsylvania in 2019. He slashed .214/.371/.464 in the ten games he played in and picked up one triple along the way.

Tucker Flint (Sophomore)

Tucker Flint came into the 2020 season with a lot of hype around him, being ranked the number-one recruit in Rhode Island in 2019, per Perfect Game. He had become somewhat of the starting left-fielder for the Terps, starting 13 of his 14 games in left field. While he couldn’t quite get going in terms of slugging the ball, he was a pitcher’s worst nightmare, getting on base at a .462 clip. His 22 combined walks and hit-by-pitches nearly doubled his 13 strikeouts, making him a potentially formidable on-base monster for the three seasons to come.

Bobby Zmarzlak (Sophomore)

Flint wasn’t the only Maryland recruit in 2019 to be ranked first in his state, as Perfect Game ranked Bobby Zmarzlak as the best overall recruit out of Connecticut. Zmarzlak didn’t hit too often in 2020 — collecting five hits in 27 at-bats — but when he hit, he hit hard. His .185/.444/.405 slash line speaks for itself, but three of his five hits were of the extra-base variety, including a grand slam as part of a seven-RBI performance versus Bryant on March 6. He may be tagged as a future outfielder for Maryland, but his seven starts in 2020 all came as the designated hitter, giving the impression that the DH will be under his control until the seniors depart.