Preseason Countdown No. 3: Top 5 Series for 2020

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As they have the past few years, Maryland baseball faces national blue-blood programs on the road early in the season and will have to get past some of the Big Ten’s elite in order to reach the conference tournament.

Here are the Terps’ top five series of the 2020 season. 


@ Coastal Carolina, February 28-March 1

After opening the season in South Carolina on February 14, the Terps head back to the Palmetto State at the end of the month to face off with the Chanticleers. It’s the third straight year Maryland will face Coastal, losing 7-2 in one game last year, and beating the Chants 7-6 in 2018.

Coastal’s offense, which finished last season fifth in the country with 525 runs,  will be led by outfielder Parker Chavers. Baseball America named the junior a second-team preseason All-American coming off last season, when he batted .316 with 15 home runs.

Control will be key for the Terps’ pitching staff, as Coastal finished 11th in the nation last season with 350 walks, drawing eight in their matchup with Maryland. Coastal can also make free bases hurt, as they stole 79 bases on 93 attempts in 2019 (opponents were 78-95 against the Terps last season). The Chanticleers serve as a useful early-season measuring stick, as the first of five NCAA tournament teams the Terps will face this year. 

@ TCU, March 13-15

The Terps play five straight home games after their trip to Conway, South Carolina, before they head to Fort Worth, Texas to take on the new-look Horned Frogs. Coming off an NCAA tournament berth, the Horned Frogs lost their ace, Nick Lodolo, and their top three hitters to the MLB draft last year.

Despite the roster turnover TCU has plenty of talent, with top-15 recruiting classes in three of the last four seasons. Pitcher Charles King will be looking to step into the ace role left behind by Lodolo, coming off a junior season where he had a 3.36 ERA in 21 appearances, including eight starts. The Horned Frogs’ bullpen should be anchored by junior Augie Mihlbauer, who led the team with a 2.35 ERA in 28 relief appearances last season.

On offense, TCU returns only four players who appeared in more than 40 games, though those four players include reigning RBI leader, infielder Austin Henry, who hit .288 with 43 RBI and started all 62 games last season. Like the Terps, TCU will lean heavily on a young, yet talented roster, with impending learning curves making it difficult to project where the two teams will be when they meet.

@ Iowa, April 17-19

Entering the last series of 2019, Maryland needed to sweep Iowa to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament. The Terps secured that sweep, battering the Hawkeyes’ pitching staff to the tune of 26 runs in three games in College Park.

This year Iowa’s pitching staff, led by senior Grant Judkins, will look to quiet Maryland’s offense in Iowa City. Judkins was the team’s most reliable starter last season, with a 2.72 ERA in 15 starts, punching out 65 hitters while allowing just 70 hits in 82 2/3 innings.

The pitching staff will also be bolstered by the return of redshirt sophomore Jack Dreyer, who missed most of last season with a shoulder injury. When healthy, Dreyer looked sharp, striking out 11 and allowing just 2 runs in 7 1/3 innings over two starts.

The Iowa offense maintains most of its biggest weapons, with the team’s three batting leaders, Izaya Fullard, Zeb Adreon, and Austin Martin, all returning. Outfielder Ben Norman, the only player to start all 55 of Iowa’s games, also returns, coming off a season where he led the team with 12 doubles and 34 RBI along with six home runs, the second-most on the team.

Picked by Baseball America to finish fifth and sixth respectively in the Big Ten, both Iowa and Maryland should be looking to this series as a key time to pick up quality conference wins. 

@ Ohio State, May 8-10

This season the Terps drew a favorable conference schedule, avoiding the defending regular-season champion Indiana and national runner-up Michigan. Maryland will, however, have to face the defending Big Ten Tournament champs when they travel to Columbus.

The Buckeyes lost their tournament hero and closer Andrew Magno to the draft, but did retain their entire weekend rotation of Seth Lonsway, Garrett Burhenn and Griffan Smith. Lonsway was the Buckeyes’ most dominant pitcher the Buckeyes, punching out 126 batters in 92 1/3 innings and recording a 3.70 ERA.

On offense, the two biggest losses for the Buckeyes were Dominic Canzone and Brady Cherry, who had 16 homers apiece last year. The lineup still returns three 30-RBI players in Conner Pohl, Brent Todys and Zach Dezenzo, but the thump-and-fear factor provided by Canzone and Cherry will be difficult to replace.

Ohio State is also perhaps the most vulnerable of the Big Ten’s elite. While they found their stride in the postseason, the Buckeyes also were swept at home by Northwestern (by a combined score of 30-11), and went only 12-12 in conference play. 

vs. Minnesota, May 14-16

For the second year in a row, the Terps finish the regular season at home, this time with a three-game set against the Golden Gophers. Minnesota finished tied for third in the Big Ten last season, with a 15-9 conference record, and took two-of-three from Maryland in Minneapolis last year.

While the Gophers look to be near the top of the Big Ten again, they have a lineup that can be pitched around; the most dangerous hitter in the lineup, infielder Jordan Kozicky, had 11 home runs and 49 RBI last season but hit only .237 and struck out 62 times. Kozicky was the only player with more than 30 RBI and no qualified player hit over .300.

On the mound Minnesota will be led by ace Max Meyer. The now-junior led all Big Ten starters with a 2.11 ERA, had an 87-20 K/BB ratio and held opponents to a .202 batting average in 76 2/3 innings last season. Junior Joshua Culliver also figures to be a key part of the Minnesota pitching staff. Culliver led the team with 13 starts last season, and his ability to bring his ERA down from last season’s mark of 4.64 will be a key factor in Minnesota’s success.

After last year’s dramatic end to the season, the Terps know their series against the Golden Gophers could be the key to their postseason hopes and the deciding fate in their season. 

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.

 

 

Preseason Countdown No. 6: Bullpen Preview

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With less than a week until Maryland’s first game of the 2020 season, players’ roles for the season are starting to materialize and head coach Rob Vaughn finalizes his roster and takes inventory of the Terps’ squad.

We’ve already given you the starting pitchers preview; now, we head out to the bullpen with an overview of Maryland’s relievers.


Senior RHP Elliot Zoellner Zoellner090518_01

Consistently one of the Terps’ stronger relievers, this season is about determining where Zoellner best fits out of the bullpen. Last season the right-hander often made late-inning appearances ahead of then-closer John Murphy. With Murphy gone this season, Zoellner has a chance to step into that closer position.

Zoellner made 18 appearances out of the bullpen in 2019 for a 7.40 ERA over 20 2/3 innings, plus 31 strikeouts. The right-hander also held opponents to a .156 batting average when he took the mound. For Zoellner to succeed this season he must stay healthy; a bought with pneumonia and a hurt thumb sidelined the righty for part of last season.


Junior RHP Mark DiLuia mark diluia

As a freshman it seemed DiLuia had a shot at being a starter, but in 2019 he became one of the Terps’ most-consistent bullpen arms. DiLuia made 24 relief appearances and one start last season, tossing a 5.45 ERA in 38 innings with 38 strikeouts. This came

After getting surgery this fall to remove some bone spurs in his elbow, DiLuia is one of the relievers Vaughn has been most excited to see throwing heading into the regular season. According to Vaughn, when the game matters DiLuia is someone whose hands Vaughn wants the ball in.


Junior LHP Sean FisherFisher090518_06

While Vaughn is eyeing Fisher for a starting role this season, Fisher’s experience out of the bullpen could prove vital as the season progresses and pitchers’ roles become cemented. Last season Fisher tossed a 6.90 ERA in 25 relief appearances, including 20 strikeouts over 30 innings.

Fisher enters the 2020 season coming off a hot summer in Cape Cod, where he tossed a 2.84 ERA over 25 1/3 innings for the Brewster Whitecaps.


Redshirt-Junior RHP Mike Vasturia Vasturia090518_01

Heading into his third season on the mound for the Terps, Vaughn is likely to deploy Vasturia in a middle-inning relief situation, though anything is possible.

Last season Vasturia made eight relief appearances for Maryland, compiling six strikeouts in six innings pitched.


Redshirt-Junior LHP Billy Phillips Phillips090518_05

This year, in his third season on the mound for the Terps since beating leukemia, Phillips will likely have a role similar to that of Vasturia.

In eight relief appearances over eight innings last season, Phillips recorded 10 strikeouts and walked only four batters.


Sophomore RHP Sean Heine Heine082818_01

Heine impressed Vaughn during fall ball, and is likely to have a consistent role out of the bullpen during his second season with Maryland.

In his first season with the Terps, Heine tossed 17 1/3 innings for a 10.38 ERA. While that number isn’t spectacular, Heine has shown some improvement on the mound and has the potential to become a middle-innings reliever for the Terps heading into 2020.


Sophomore RHP Daniel O’Connor OConnor090518_04

This season, it’s likely that O’Connor returns to his role as a middle-inning reliever, helping to provide some needed depth to the Terps’ bullpen.

As a freshman last season, O’Connor made 12 relief appearances for an 8.79 ERA in 14 1/3 innings, including 10 strikeouts.


Sophomore RHP Ryan Buck Buck_2020

Maryland fans may remember Buck from the Terps’ fall ball roster in 2018, when the then-freshman was listed as an outfielder. Buck is back again this season, but at his natural position on the mound instead.

Buck recording a 14-9 record in his senior season at Conestoga High School in Pennsylvania, and was named first team All-Central Athletic Conference in his final two years at Conestoga.


“The Freshmen”

Falco_2020Likely to be one of Vaughn’s go-to’s out of the bullpen, 6’4″ New York native Dave Falco comes with a powerful arm. A right-hander, Falco hit 95 and 98 mph during the fall and has potential to become an extended-inning closer, according to Vaughn.Chaney_2020

West Virginia native Chris Chaney is also likely to make some bullpen appearances for Vaughn; in high school the right-hander tossed a 6-2 record in his senior campaign, including 48 strikeouts.Staine_2020

The third freshman to wrap up the possible bullpen arms this season is righty Connor Staine, a New Jersey native. Staine was named First Team All-NJACC and 2018-29 MVP as a senior, after he finished his high school career with a compiled 19-6 record and 1.70 ERA.

Preseason Countdown No. 7: Starting pitchers preview

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Heading into the 2020 season, head coach Rob Vaughn will have plenty of options as he tries to mold his starting rotation, but it won’t be an easy decision. After losing ace Hunter Parsons to the 2019 MLB Draft, the pitching staff will attempt to find its next anchor with much of its bulk returning.

With names like Zach Thompson, Trevor LaBonte, Sean Fisher, Drew Wilden and Tyler Blohm headlining the returning starters, the staff will also include some new faces with freshmen Sean Burke, Nick Dean, Ryan Ramsey, and Sam Bello.

Here’s a look into how each starting pitcher is expected to be utilized in the 2020 season:


Senior LHP Tyler Blohm Blohm090518_01

Blohm has seen his number of starts dimish over his college career, morphing more into a bullpen arm and midweek although he remains in the mix for a rotation spot as he heads into his final year at Maryland.

He started six times last year, finishing with a 1-2 record and a 5.74 ERA over 15 2/3 innings pitched. While Blohm spent part of 2019 recovering from an injury, the hope is that he can return to what he was prior to last year.


Redshirt-Junior RHP Zach Thompson Thompson082818_02

Thompson spent all of his 2019 season in the weekend rotation, manning the No. 2 spot in the staff. He finished the year with a 5.08 ERA but had shown plenty of glimpses of why he may end up starting on weekends for another season.

In four straight starts in March, Thompson compiled a 2.59 ERA including one eight-inning start versus Eastern Carolina.


Junior LHP Sean Fisher Fisher090518_06

The returning junior pitched most of 2019 out of the bullpen, but heading into 2020 Vaughn is eyeing Fisher for a potential rotation spot.

Fisher spent his summer pitching in the Cape Cod Summer League for the Brewster Whitecaps, and he dominated with a 3-0 record while compiling a 2.84 ERA over 25 1/3 innings pitched.


Redshirt-Sophomore LHP Drew Wilden Wilden090518_01

Wilden had 11 appearances last season, including five starts, and put up a 5.82 ERA in 17 innings pitched.

Although his role could be more heavily-based in the bullpen this season, he could see some early midweek starts as Vaughn works to solidify his starting rotation.


Sophomore RHP Trevor LaBonte Labonte082818_02

LaBonte served as the backend of the Terps’ weekend rotation for the majority of last season, after an initial bullpen role.

Although he finished the season with a 5.98 ERA, he displayed bright spots, including an eight-strikeout, one-run performance versus a powerful Creighton offense, over the course of the season.


Redshirt-Freshman RHP Sean Burke Burke_2020

After being injured for all of 2019, the 6″6′ redshirt freshman will definitely be in the mix for the starting rotation, according to Vaughn.

Vaughn described Burke as having “electric stuff,” and it’s expected that the same pitcher who went 5-0 with a 0.44 ERA in his senior year of high school will be ready to provide a major impact to the Terps’ rotation.


Freshman RHP Nick Dean Dean_2020

Before missing time during his senior year at high school recovering from an injury, Dean had helped his high school win a district championship in his junior year with a 1.16 ERA with 60 strikeouts over 48 1/3 innings pitched.

Dean is “in the mix” for a starting spot this season, according to Vaughn, who has praised the freshman’s talented arm.


Freshman LHP Ryan Ramsey Ramsey_2020

The lefty freshman was named 2019 New Jersey Pitcher of the Year and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 36th round of the MLB Draft, but opted to instead play at Maryland.

Bello led his high-school team with a 19-2 record and a 255/30 strikeout-to-walk ratio; he was named All-state twice during his junior and senior years. Ramsey is also ranked fourth among all New Jersey left-handed pitching prospects, according to Perfect Game.


Freshman RHP Sam Bello Bello_2020

Vaughn described Bello as a tough kid, “cut from the same cloth as [Sean Fisher],” during his media presser on February 29. Bello definitely earned that description after picking up several accolades during his high school career, including 2019 Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) Player of the Year.

According to Perfect Game, Bello is the fourth-best right-handed pitcher out of New York and the tenth-best overall in the state.

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.