Preseason Countdown No. 8: Maxwell Costes named Preseason All-American

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After a breakout freshman campaign, Maryland power-hitter Maxwell Costes was named one of Collegiate Baseball’s Preseason third team Diamond Sports All-Americans.

In 2019 Costes put up impressive numbers, batting .266 including a team-high 15 home runs and .547 slugging percentage. He also tallied up 19 hit-by-pitches, the most in the Big Ten last season.

Of his freshman cohort, Costes led the Big Ten freshmen in home runs (15, 11 in Big Ten play), doubles (15), slugging, RBI (49) and total bases (117).

At the end of last season, Costes was awarded the title of Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He also received three Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors over the course of 2019.

Costes became the first freshman in Maryland history to be awarded first-team All-Big Ten honors. He followed that with a dominant summer in  the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, where he led the Amsterdam Mohawks to the league championship and was awarded 2019 PGCBL Player of the Year honors and a spot on the Mohawks’ All-Decade Team.

Preseason Countdown No. 9: Pro Terp Update

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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.

Preseason Countdown No. 11: Meet the newcomers — Freshmen

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As a whole, Maryland’s class of recruits this year ranked the highest in team history in December, when D1Baseball.com ranked the Terps No. 7.

While Maryland may only welcome two new transfers to its squad in 2020, there are a whopping 13 freshmen joining the team.

Here’s a breakdown of the first years:


RHP Sam Bello — West Nyack, NY (Iona Prep High School)

Bello is one of six new arms joining the Terps’ squad this season. Out of high school Bello was the fourth-ranked right-handed pitcher in New York and was named CHSAA Player of the Year. Bello posted a 0.82 ERA over his junior and senior seasons, with a combined 106 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings.

Bello tossed three innings during the Fall World Series with three strikeouts, allowing only one hit and two walks. Against Army, Bello went two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

RHP Chris Chaney — Falling Waters, WV (Saint James School)

Chaney was the No. 1 ranked right-hander out of West Virginia. As a senior at the Saint James School he recorded a 6-2 record with 48 strikeouts and helped lead the Saints to their first Mid-Atlantic Conference title in school history.

Chaney went one inning during the Fall World Series with one strikeout, while allowing seven walks and four runs.

RHP Connor Staine — Clinton, NJ (West Morris Central High School)

Staine finished high school with a combined 19-6 record and 1.70 ERA. He was named First Team All-NJACC, All-State, and was the 2018-19 MVP. As a senior, Staine recorded 72 strikeouts in 65 innings pitched.

RHP David Falco — Center Moriches, NY (Center Moriches High School)

As the No. 3 ranked right-hander in New York, Falco helped lead Center Moriches to back-to-back state championships and an undefeated 26-0 season in 2019.

During the Fall World Series Falco tossed one scoreless inning, before throwing 1 2/3 innings against Army, where he struck out one batter and allowed three hits and three runs.

LHP Ryan Ramsey — Montvale, NJ (Pascack Hills High School)

Ramsey was the 2019 New Jersey pitcher of the year, after he led Pascack Hills with a combined 19-2 record in 142 innings pitched with 255 strikeouts. He was named All-State in both his junior and senior years, when he led the school to back-to-back state championships. He also tallied 107 strikeouts in 63 1/3 innings pitched as a senior, allowing only six earned runs. Ramsey was drafted in the 36th round by the Cleveland Indians in the 2019 MLB Draft, but elected to continue his education and to further develop at Maryland.

Ramsey tossed two innings during the Fall World Series, striking out one and allowing five runs on three hits and two walks. Against Army Ramsey went 1 1/3 innings and allowed six runs on four hits and one walk.

RHP Nick Dean — Bensalem, Penn. (Bensalem High School)

As the third-ranked right-hander out of Pennsylvania, Dean helped Bensalem to a 23-4 finish and a district championship victory his junior year, when he tossed a 1.16 ERA in 48 1/3 innings pitched. He was also named First Team A–Suburban. While he missed his senior season due to injury, he has showed potential so far.

Dean went three innings during the Fall World Series, tallying three strikeouts with one walk and one hit-by-pitch. Against Army, Dean tossed two innings, striking out one while allowing two runs on one hit and two walks.

OF Troy Schreffler Jr. — Harrisburg, Penn. (Central Dauphin High School)

Schreffler Jr. was a two-time All-PIAA Conference honoree with Central Dauphin and an eight-time First Team All-Tournament honoree in club baseball. Primarily an outfielder, Schreffler also has experience as a pitcher.

Out of high school Schreffler was the fourth-ranked outfielder in Pennsylvania and the 11th-ranked player overall in the state. He tallied two singles during the Fall World Series with three more singles and an RBI against Army.

OF Tucker Flint — East Greenwich, RI (Bishop Hendricken High School)

The 2019 Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year, Flint was the No. 1 overall player in the state of Rhode Island out of high school and was named the Providence Journal Rhode Island Baseball Athlete of the Year 2019.

Flint batted .545 his senior season with a .677 on-base percentage and 1.045 slugging (including seven triples), helping Bishop Hendricken to two state championships, including a 23-0 record in 2019, before he was drafted by the New York Mets in the 36th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. Flint opted to continue his education at Maryland instead.

During the Fall World Series, Flint went 1-for-4 with a single, three walks and one hit-by-pitch. He also DH-ed against Army and went 2-for-5 with a single, a double and one RBI.

OF Bobby Zmarzlak — Stamford, Conn. (Westhill High School)

Out of high school, Zmarzlak was the No. 1 overall ranked player in Connecticut and the 17th-ranked outfielder nationally. Zmarzlak was named First Team All-FCIAC three times, with a .490 average and three homers as a senior, a .380 average and four homers as a junior, and a .430 average and nine homer runs as a sophomore. After his high school career, Zmarzlak was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 40th round of the 2019 MLB Draft.

During the Fall World Series, Zmarzlak went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk while designated hitting. He is the No. 1 prospect in the Big Ten according to Perfect Game.

INF Matt Orlando — Marlton, NJ (Bishop Eustace Prep High School)

Orlando was the fifth-ranked shortstop in New Jersey out of high school and has some experience on the mound.

In his high school career Orlando tallied 12 home runs and was a three-time All-South Jersey honoree. During the Fall World Series, Orlando showed off his strength at the plate with a three-RBI double.

INF Aaron Perez — Bronx, NY (All Hallows High School)

The No. 3 ranked shortstop in New York, Perez was named Perfect Game All-Tournament Team three times. As a senior at All Hallows, Perez slashed .280/.514/.560 in 12 games with seven stolen bases, a pair of triples, a double and one home run.

Perez had one plate appearance during the Fall World Series, when he walked on five pitches.

INF Michael Bouma — Brookeville, MD (Sherwood High School)

The No. 1 first baseman in Maryland, Bouma finished his career at Sherwood with a .433 average and 93 hits, including 11 home runs and 96 RBI. Bouma helped the Warriors to a State Championship runner-up finish in 2019 and was named All-Met/All-State both his junior and senior seasons. In all our years at Sherwood, Bouma’s lowest batting average was .339 his sophomore year.

Bouma went 1-for-5 during the Fall World Series with one walk and a single. He played first base and then spent some time at third against Army.

C James Heffley — Kensington, MD (Albert Einstein High School)

As a senior at Einstein, Heffley batted .510 as a senior and was named First Team All-Division from 2017-2019. He was also named Third Team All-State in 2018.

Heffley went 0-for-1 with an RBI on a sacrifice squeeze bunt during the Fall World Series, which he entered after junior catcher Justin Vought was hit in the wrist.

Preseason Countdown No. 12: Meet the newcomers — Transfers

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As we inch closer to the start of Maryland’s 2020 campaign, it’s time to get to know the new faces on the Terps’ squad; this season the team only picked up two transfers.

Here’s a breakdown of Maryland’s two new transfers.

JR INF/C Brenton Davis — Southeast Community College (JuCo in NE)

Davis comes to Maryland after two years at Southeast CC in Beatrice, Nebraska. The Nebraska native slashed .353/.479/.555 in his first season with the Storm in 2018, finishing with 10 doubles and 17 stolen bases.

Last season Davis split his time between second and third base, with some appearances at shortstop, while batting .299 while leading the team with 43 hits, 32 runs and 28 walks.  During the fall, Davis made the lineup as designated hitter, but with his experience all over the infield the junior could be a solid choice for the Terps to fill in the gaps left after last season.

JR INF Austin Chavis — Potomac State College of WVU (JuCo in WV)

A Bel Air, Maryland, native, Chavis spent two years at Potomac State before transferring to Maryland for this season. Chavis helped lead the Catamounts to a 35-11 record in 2018 and a 32-13 record in 2019.

His sophomore year at Potomac State, Chavis batted .331 in 45 games with 18 doubles, 51 RBI and a team-high seven home runs. He mainly played shortstop, turning 12 double plays last season. Though Chavis played second base during fall ball, the infielder, his experience on the left side of the infield could prove vital for the Terps this season.

Preseason Countdown No. 13: Biggest holes to fill in 2020

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Though the Terps only lost four seniors in 2019, those four were major players in Maryland’s offense and defense and their exits left four major holes to fill.

Starting on the mound, Terrapin ace Hunter Parsons finished his career with Maryland as head coach Rob Vaughn’s strongest arm. His 10-win senior campaign marks the third-most wins in a single season in team history, and his 17 career wins the fifth-most.

As a senior, Parsons’ series-opening starts provided much-needed momentum heading into big weekend series: even when the Terps lost the second and third matches, Parsons often secured the series-opener win to avoid a sweep. For instance, when Indiana came to town in late-March, Parsons pitched a shutout and tossed five strikeouts in eight innings, securing a 2-0 Maryland victory.

Parsons finished his time as a Terp with a dominant senior season, recording a 3.45 ERA  and 78 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings. His strength on the mound led to a 19th round selection in the 2019 MLB Draft by the New York Mets.

But Parsons wasn’t the only Terrapin pitcher to leave Maryland. Closer John Murphy’s time as a Terp also came to a close with the endow the 2019 season. As a senior Murphy recorded 11 saves, the third-most in a single season in team history, providing reliable late-inning relief.

Murphy closed out his Terrapin career with a 4.32 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings last season. After leaving Maryland, Murphy played independent ball with the USPBL Westside Wooly Mammoths, racking up 11 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched and one save.

In addition to the missing arms, the Terps also lost the left side of their infield. Both third baseman Taylor Wright and shortstop A.J. Lee finished their careers at Maryland last season after providing key defensive support and offensive production in 2019.

At the hot corner, Wright finished with a .940 fielding percentage after starting in all 58 of the Terps’ 2019 games. Wright’s bat came alive last season, slashing .290/.375/.429 with 32 RBI and a conference-high 20 doubles, more than twice as many as in 2018 (nine doubles) and the fourth-most in a single season in team history.

Shortstop A.J. Lee finished last season leading the Terps in batting average (.317), with 13 doubles, seven home runs, 36 RBI and a .443 on-base percentage. Lee was also the only Maryland batter to his a walk-off home run last season, launching the deciding two-run blast in the Terps’ series opener against the Iowa Hawkeyes for a 8-6 victory.

One of Maryland’s most-productive offensive leaders in 2019, Lee also had the second-most double plays on the team (33), behind only first baseman Maxwell Costes.

The second Terp drafted last year, the Houston Astros selected Lee in the 34th round of the MLB draft.

Both Wright and Lee earned All-Big Ten third team honors at the end of the season, as did Parsons.

Now, the Terps are tasked with filling four holes in their lineups.

Preseason Countdown No. 14: Best summer ball hitters

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Three of the Terps’ most-promising bats heading into this season followed last year’s impressive performances in Big Ten play with standout summers. Randy Bednar, Maxwell Costes, and Michael Pineiro all performed exceptionally well at the plate in summer league play. 

Bednar, who ended his sophomore campaign hitting at a .288 clip with a team- high 70 hits, continued to swing a hot bat with the Keene Swamp Bats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. There, he hit .333 while compiling 44 RBI in just 48 games. Bednar complemented his formidable average with power, hammering nine home runs in his stint with the Swamp Bats. 

Not only was Bednar named one of the NECBL’s All-Stars, but he also received All-NECBL First Team honors.

Bednar’s summer league showing came on the heels of his second-team All-Big Ten sophomore season, giving the Terps a reason to set even higher expectations for their star right fielder. 

Pineiro also had a dominant summer league performance with the West Virginia Miners of the Prospect League. After finishing the 2019 season with a .252 batting average, Pineiro exploded, batting .333 over the summer. In only 36 games he managed to score and drive in 25 runs apiece. 

With the Miners Pineiro showed patience at the plate as well, drawing 23 walks for more than double his base-on-balls output from all of last season, an encouraging sign for the Terps. 

After a breakout freshman season last year, which amounted to 15 home runs and 45 RBI and earned him Big Ten Freshman of the Year and first-team All-Big Ten honors, Maxwell Costes continued to flex his power at the plate over the summer. 

 In summer league play Costes continued to rake with the Amsterdam Mohawks of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. There he exploded for 15 homers and 42 RBI in just 42 total games. Costes also improved on his .266 average in his freshman season, hitting .380 over the summer. 

Costes also shined in the postseason for the Mohawks, tallying three home runs and six RBI while hitting a monstrous .421. His performance over the course of summer play earned him 2019 PGCBL Player of the Year honors and a spot on the Mohawks’ All-Decade team.

One of the most impressive numbers of Costes’ summer was the mere 17 strikeouts, showing an improved plate discipline to build on in his sophomore season at Maryland.

If Bednar, Pineiro, and Costes can keep up their offensive production from summer league, the Terps could prove to be a dangerous lineup to face in the Big Ten.