Pro Terps: Lowe named finalist for AL Rookie of the Year

Lowe

Former Maryland infielder and current Tampa Bay second baseman Brandon Lowe was named one of three finalists in the American League Rookie of the Year race by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Monday.

Lowe was named to the AL All-Star team earlier in the season, after being first recalled toward the end of the 2018 campaign.

Though he missed the All Star Game due to injury, which kept him sidelined from early July until late September, the rookie put up some stellar numbers for the Rays.

Over his 82 games and almost 300 at-bats, Lowe batted .270 and slugged .514 with 17 long balls and 17 doubled. He also notched 51 RBIs.

Lowe was drafted out of the University of Maryland by Tampa Bay in the third round of the 2015 MLB Draft. He received numerous honors in his years as a Terp, including being named Baseball America and Perfect Game Freshman All-American and earning Second Team All-American and First Team All-Big Ten honors.

The winners of all BBWAA awards will be announced on November 11.

Team Papio comes out on top in Fall World Series Game 1

Team Papio pulled out all the stops in Game 1 of the Fall World Series, utilizing all aspects of their game for the 5-1 win over Team Swope on Friday in College Park.

A combination of small ball and big hits put Team Papio on the board first, with a four-run fourth inning. A walk and stolen base from Austin Chavis, followed by a single from Tucker Flint put runners on the corners as James Heffley stepped to the plate.

Heffley hadn’t started the game, but after junior catcher Justin Vought was hit in the left wrist by a pitch while at bat in the second inning the freshman got the nod.

In his first plate appearance, he proved he could compete and laid down a squeeze bunt that drove home Chavis and left Flint at second. Then, after Team Swope reliever Ryan Ramsey walked one batter and hit another, freshman Matt Orlando roped a bases-clearing double to the wall in left field for the 4-0 lead.

“I just jumped on the first fastball I got and put a pretty good swing on it,” Orlando said. “We’ve been preparing since last night…we had a game plan. We had a lot of quality at-bats.”

The following inning it was Chris Alleyne who went deep, his long shot carrying over the left field wall to put Team Papio up 5-0 heading into the sixth inning.

“You have to have multiple ways to score,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “Ideally, for our offense to run right, you’ve got to lengthen and shorten the field… Heffley comes in, executes a safety and, worse case, you leave that inning you’re up 1-0 and with your pitchers throwing the ball pretty good. But instead, [Orlando] comes up and gets that big hit.”

Freshman starter Sam Bello and redshirt-freshman Sean Burke combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings and seven strikeouts, before junior Sean Fisher entered in the top of the sixth after Burke gave up a run to Team Swope.

Fisher threw three consecutive strikes for the final punch-out of the inning, minimizing the damage and coming back out to secure the Team Papio victory in the seventh.

“Sam Bello got the nod today not because he has the best stuff,” Vaughn said, “though [Bello] is 90-92 [mph] with a breaking ball, but [because] his mentality is through the roof. That guy’s a competitor, he’s a winner.”

The same could be said for the other young pitchers on the mound Friday. Vaughn was happy with what he saw from the freshman pitchers; though they lack consistency, there’s big potential amongst the new faces in Maryland’s pitching staff. And, amongst the returning arms, some have newfound strength on the mound.

“Fisher does what Fisher does,” Vaughn said. “[He] had a tremendous summer up in the Cape…. [and] he’s been flat-dominant since he’s been back.”

Across the diamond, Team Swope’s battery of Nicholas Dean, Ramsey and David Falco threw four scoreless innings and four strikeouts, including two three-up, three-down innings from Dean.

“That’s prime-time, Friday night, legit stuff,” Vaughn said of Dean’s pitching arsenal.

“I saw a lot of focus,” Dean said of his fellow pitchers. “Guys need to be more confident working through the zone…just go right at hitters.”

Game 2 of the Fall World Series is set for 3:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Summer Ball: Final 2019 update

As the Terps gear up for the start of Fall Ball, here’s a look at how Maryland players fared this summer, including a few championships and one league MVP.


CAPE COD BASEBALL LEAGUE

A favorite of Maryland, the Brewster Whitecaps hosted two Terps over the summer. Both southpaw Sean Fisher and catcher Justin Vought took advantage of their time on the Cape, even though Brewster didn’t make the playoffs.

Fisher fared better than his counterpart and earned the Whitecaps’ Reliever of the Year award with a 2.84 ERA in 12 appearances, and only 22 hits allowed in 25 1/3 innings, including 15 strikeouts.

Vought struggled some, but still finished the summer with two homers in only 18 games.

Right-hander Mark DiLuia also spent some time in the Cape this summer, where he tallied three strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings pitched for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.


NEW ENGLAND COLLEGIATE BASEBALL LEAGUE

Six Terps spent their summer in the NECBL, spread over three teams. With the NECBL 2019 Champions, the Keene Swamp Bats, outfielder Randy Bednar racked up an impressive .337 average with nine home runs and 15 doubles, enough for the junior to be selected to the first team all-league.

Also with Keene, Sean Heine tossed 21 1/3 innings and tallied 16 strikeouts.

Meanwhile, Trevor LaBonte and Mike Vasturia bolstered the Sanford Mainers’ pitching staff. LaBonte started five games for the Mainers and worked a 5.31 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings. Vasturia struggled in his two relief appearances.

For the Mystic Schooners, Billy Phillips and Josh Maguire both continued to develop. Phillips made one start and 15 relief appearances, striking out 16 in 17 innings. Maguire struggled offensively, but worked 15 walks and two doubles.


PERFECT GAME COLLEGIATE BASEBALL LEAGUE

Without a doubt the best performance by a Terp this summer, Maxwell Costes stole the show in the PGCBL with the Amsterdam Mohawks.

Costes was named PGCBL Player of the Year, as well as being awarded PGCBL First-Team honors with his .374 average, 36 RBIs and record-breaking 12 home runs. He was also named the MVP of the PGCBL championship series.

Oh, and did we mention that he got to throw out the first pitch at a Baltimore Orioles game?

Also with Amsterdam, Drew Wilden notched 23 strikeouts in 16.1 innings, but struggled to minimize opposing offenses, working a 6.06 ERA.


FUTURES COLLEGIATE BASEBALL LEAGUE

Over in the Futures league, Benjamin Cowles and Ben Irvine put up solid numbers at the plate, while Daniel O’Connor continued to develop on the mound. The trio played for the Nashua Silver Knights.

Irvine batted .287 over his 129 plate appearances, including 16 RBIs and 20 walks, while Cowles racked up 10 stolen bases in 29 games and O’Connor punched out 28 batters in 23 innings of work.


PROSPECT COLLEGIATE BASEBALL LEAGUE

Down in West Virginia, Caleb Walls and Michael Pineiro continued their spring success with the Miners.

Pineiro went yard three times while batting .333, while Walls tore up the bases with 18 stolen bases and a solid  .264 average in 50 games.


CAL RIPKEN COLLEGIATE BASEBALL LEAGUE

Back in Maryland, senior Elliot Zoellner threw a solid summer session, working a 1.20 ERA in 11 relief appearances and helping carry the Bethesda Big Train to their fourth consecutive championship (their second with Zoellner in the bullpen), and was named to the All-CRCBL First Team.

 

Pro Terps Update: Twins reportedly recall LaMonte Wade Jr.

The Minnesota Twins have reportedly recalled former Terp LaMonte Wade Jr. from Triple-A Rochester on Thursday, after injuries depleted the Twins’ outfield depth. The move was first reported by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Minnesota drafted Wade in the ninth round of the 2015 MLB Draft after his three years with Maryland. In those three seasons Wade consistently notched just over 50 hits a season, while he finished his junior year slashing .335/.453/.468.

Wade began his climb through the Twins’ minor league system, starting 2015 with the Rookie Elizabethton Twins before moving up to Single-A Cedar Rapids.

In 2016 Wade made the jump to the High-A Fort Myers Miracle, after batting .280 in 56 games in Cedar Rapids.

Wade spent all of 2017 and part of 2018 in Double-A with the Chattanooga Lookouts, before he was promoted to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.

In Rochester, Wade cemented himself as a key component of the Red Wings defense and offense, as he made diving grabs in the outfield while also slashing .238/.366/.351 with nine homers and 11 stolen bases in 590 plate appearances since his 2018 Triple-A debut.

Wade’s recall comes after the Twins’ left fielder Eddie Rosario sprained his ankle Wednesday, the fourth Minnesota outfielder to be sidelined due to injury (outfielders Byron Buxton, Martin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza all landed on the injured list in the past month).

It is uncertain when Wade will make his MLB debut, but it is possible he plays any time over the next few days.

Summer Ball Update 6/19/19

Almost 20 Terps are spread up the East Coast playing in various summer ball leagues. Below we’ll give a brief overview of where members of the Maryland baseball are playing this summer and how they’re doing after the first few weeks of the summer ball season.


CAPE COD BASEBALL LEAGUE

Starting in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, three Terps are on the Brewster Whitecaps of the CCBL: Sean Fisher, Justin Vought and Zach Thompson. After a pedestrian sophomore campaign, Fisher has put up dominant numbers in his three relief appearances so far while throwing a 1.68 ERA in 5.1 innings, including two strikeouts.

Vought, the Terps’ most consistent catcher, put up a solo home run in his fourth game this summer, and though the junior is hitting .222 in his nine at-bats his potential is evident. After a season as Maryland’s Saturday starter, Thompson hasn’t started a game yet for Brewster, but it’s only the second week of the CCBL season.


NEW ENGLAND COLLEGIATE BASEBALL LEAGUE

Five Terps, including three Maryland pitchers, are taking New England by storm, in a sense.

On the Keene Swamp Bats, Randy Bednar and Sean Heine have put up stellar numbers in the first few weeks of the season. Bednar is batting .360 with nine hits and four stolen bases, while Heine is throwing a 3.60 ERA in 5.0 innings, including seven strikeouts.

After his first season at Maryland, Sunday starter Trevor LaBonte is the only Terp on the Stanford Mainers. His success toward the end of his freshman season carried into the summer, with the righty throwing 3.00 in two starts, amounting to 9.0 innings pitched. In those nine innings, LaBonte struck out nine batters.

Josh Maguire and Billy Phillips are both playing for the Mystic Schooners. While neither has put up amazing numbers so far this season, Maguire has three RBIs and one double in 20 at-bats, while Phillips has put up six strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched.


PERFECT GAME COLLEGIATE LEAGUE

The Terps have three representatives in the PGCBL, spread over two teams.

On the Adirondack Trail Blazers, catcher Zach Doss has one hit but has walked four times and worked three hit-by-pitches. After an appearance in the middle of Maryland’s season, Doss struggled toward the end of the year but has the potential to bounce back with the Trail Blazers this summer.

RHP Drew Wilden and phenom Maxwell Costes are both dominating with the Amsterdam Mohawks. Wilden has made two relief appearances, holding the opposition scoreless in his 4.0 innings of work, including four strikeouts. Costes continued his freshman success, batting .448 in 29 at-bats, including a team-high three home runs.


FUTURES COLLEGIATE BASEBALL LEAGUE

For the Nashua Silver Knights, Ben Irvine, Benjamin Cowles and Daniel O’Connor are each working out some of their struggles left from the Terps’ 2019 seasons. Cowles has four doubles in seven hits, after 15 games, while O’Connor has struck out 14 in his three starts, amounting to 11.1 innings pitched. Irvine seems to be starting to find his groove, batting .240 with 11 hits in 40 at-bats, plus 11 walks, while batting leadoff and providing coverage in centerfield.


PROSPECT COLLEGIATE BASEBALL LEAGUE

Outfielders Michael Pineiro and Caleb Walls and reliever Nick Turnbull are spending the summer with the West Virginia Miners. Both Pineiro and Walls are batting over .370, while Turnbull is still working out of his late-season funk, though the reliever has six strikeouts in his 6.0 innings of relief.


CAL RIPKEN COLLEGIATE BASEBALL LEAGUE

Andrew Vail joins Elliot Zoellner as the latter returns the the Bethesda Big Train for his second season. The pair of Terps are amongst a number of Big Train pitchers with 0.00 ERAs. In his first relief appearance of the season, Zoellner threw one inning and struck out two to contribute in the Big Train’s no-hitter.

Vail got his first start of the summer on Sunday, when he threw 3.0 scoreless innings and struck out five.

Pro Terps Update: Shawaryn makes MLB debut

On Friday night, former Terp Mike Shawaryn made his major league debut in relief for the Boston Red Sox against the Tampa Bay Rays after he was recalled at the end of May.

Shawaryn entered in the eighth inning, throwing four strikeouts in two complete innings while allowing only one run, a solo homer, in Boston’s 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay.

The Red Sox drafted Shawaryn in the 5th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, after three stellar seasons at Maryland. As a Terp, Shawaryn won 30 games and punched out 307, while throwing a career 2.61 ERA.

As the right-hander quickly moved through the Red Sox minor league system after the draft, he continued to strike out batters and showcase his talent. After starting with the Short-A Lowell Spinners in 2016, by 2018 Shawaryn was already in double-A with the Portland Sea Dogs.

In Portland, Shawaryn stuck out 99 batters in 112.2 innings, before moving up to the triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox for the end of the 2018 season. There, the righty struck out 33 in 36.2 innings to finish the year.

At the start of 2019, Boston invited Shawaryn to its official spring training as a non-roster invitees sign the right-hander was on the major-league club’s radar. Before his late-May call-up, Shawaryn threw 10 starts for a total 55.2 innings in Pawtucket, setting down 28 while holding opposing batters to a .230 average.

Then, on May 30 after right-hander Hector Velázquez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a low back strain, the Red Sox recalled Shawaryn.

Just over a week later he entered in the eight inning against the Rays and notched three straight outs, including his first major-league strikeout. And, after giving up a solo home run to Kevin Kiermaier to start the ninth, Shawaryn whiffed three straight batters to end the half.

Costes named College Baseball Newspaper Freshman All-American

On Wednesday, the College Baseball Newspaper awarded Maxwell Costes with Freshman All-American honors, adding to the Maryland first baseman’s growing list of accolades after a breakout freshman campaign.

Costes earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors three times during the Terps’ 2019 campaign and Big Ten Player of the Week once, and was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and to both the All-Big Ten first team and to the All-Big Ten Freshman team.

At the plate Costes put up a freshman campaign that rivaled that of his older brother Marty, a former Terp drafted by the Houston Astros in 2018. Costes knocked in 49 runs while hitting a team-high 15 home runs.

After transitioning to first base early in the season, Costes started all 58 games for the Terps. With power in the box, Costes slugged .547, but proved he’ll get on base by whatever means possible, working a team-high 19 hit-by-pitches.

Costes is the first Terp to be given the College Baseball Newspaper Freshman All-American honors since southpaw Tyler Blohm in 2017. The first baseman also joins his brother Marty, who was awarded the honors in 2016.