Preseason Countdown No. 5: Bullpen Preview

If there is one word to describe the Maryland bullpen heading into the 2022 season, it would be young. Of the 13 relief arms on this team, eight will be playing their first year of college baseball.

Especially early on, this will be a season of finding out where every piece fits into the puzzle that is the Terps bullpen, but it will also be a great opportunity to see some exciting young talent that will hopefully be key contributors in College Park for the next few seasons. With that said, here is a look at the 2022 Maryland bullpen.

Senior RHP Sean Heine

Heine was a stalwart of the Maryland bullpen last season, making a team 16 relief appearances in 2021. He was used primarily in a long reliever role, only going less than an inning four times. During these appearances he posted a 6.29 ERA, picking up 15 strikeouts and allowing 11 walks in 24.1 innings pitched.

As the only senior on this pitching staff, Heine aims to bring a level of senior leadership to this Terps squad that is looking to take its game to the next level. As he described at media day, Heine wants to ensure that this team does not make the same mistakes that the 2021 squad did.

Redshirt Junior RHP Will Glock

Glock enters this season possibly as the biggest question mark in the bullpen for coach Rob Vaughn. He has not pitched since his Freshman year in 2019 due to recovery from Tommy John surgery. He put up very impressive numbers in that season, posting a 2.38 ERA, striking out 18 and walking 11 in 11 1/3 innings pitched, but such a long gap in playing time leaves a lot of question marks heading into this season.

Redshirt Sophomore RHP David Falco

After redshirting the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Falco pitched in 14 games for the Terps out of the bullpen in 2021. In 18 innings of work he had 5.50 ERA, getting 20 strikeouts, allowing nine walks and picking up his first collegiate save along the way.

Despite having only played in one season of college baseball, Falco enters this season as one of the longest tenured arms on this team. With so many new faces entering the Maryland bullpen this year, it will be imperative for players like Falco to set a standard of success pitching late in games, especially at the beginning of the season.

Sophomore RHP Nigel Belgrave

Belgrave did not play his Freshman season last year due to an injury, but he has a lot of talent and can be a key contributor to this Maryland talent. In 2020 he was the 11th-ranked RHP in Maine and the 18th-ranked player in the state overall.

Sophomore RHP Gavin Stellpflug

Stellpflug was very limited out of the bullpen in his first season at College Park, not making his first appearance until March 13 of the 2021 season against Rutgers. He made four appearances where he gave up five runs off four hits and five walks in 2 2/3 innings of work.

Over the summer Stellpflug made nine appearances for the Amsterdam Mohawks of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. There he posted a 4.50 ERA, striking out 17 and issuing 5 free passes. Stellpflug will look to build off his improvements this summer as heads into his second season at Maryland.

Sophomore LHP Logan Ott

Ott served as a duel-threat player for Maryland last season, putting up numbers on the mound and at the plate. He made one start and two relief appearances in 2021 where he gave up eight runs, striking out six and walking three in 9 1/3 innings of work.

The Freshmen

Maryland has a lot of talent coming from its young arms heading into this season. Here a few of them that have a chance to contribute early out of the bullpen.

Coming in as the seventh-ranked recruit in Maryland, LHP Andrew Johnson has one of the most successful high school track records of this incoming Freshman class. In his senior season at Glenelg he allowed only nine hits and tallied 67 strikeouts in just 27 1/3 innings pitched on his way to being named Howard County player of the year.

LHP Travis Garnett’s physical stature standing at 6 foot 6 already makes him one of the most intriguing new faces on this Maryland team, but his ability on the mound confirms why he is touted as the fourth best recruit in the Big Ten by Perfect Game. At the 2020 Perfect Game national showcase his fastball topped out at 93 miles per hour. Garnett will look to improve even further in his time with the Terps.

In March 2021 RHP Matt Cunningham would not have even qualified for this bullpen preview as he was a shortstop recruit committed to Mount St. Mary’s. His senior season more than proved his worth as pitcher though, tossing three complete games for Linganore High School including a perfect game where he struck out 14 on just 71 pitches.

RHP Ryan Van Buren is coming off a senior season in which he posted a 3.55 ERA with 29 strikeouts where he held opponents to a .229 batting average. The Abington native was ranked as the number 12 right-hander in Pennsylvania and the 22nd-ranked player overall in the state.

A class of 2020 graduate, RHP Ethan Ledig did not possess a state or national ranking coming out of high school and had his senior season cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He can be utilized as a two-way player, both pitching and playing shortstop at Leonardtown High School.

Another 2020 graduate, RHP Lloyd Richards III had limited work in his COVID-shortened senior season, giving up two earned runs in the five innings of his only start.

Michael Walsh was ranked as the ninth best LHP and 65th overall in Virginia after his senior season at Riverside High School. Walsh led his team to a regional finals appearance and was named first team all region in 2021.

Recipient of an all-Anne Arundel county selection by the Capital Gazzette and an all-MIAA conference nod in his 2021 senior season at Archbishop Spalding, Noah Mrotek was ranked as the fourth best RHP recruit in Maryland and 12th overall in the state.