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.

 

Two seniors, three signees selected in 2019 MLB Draft

Hunter Parsons and A.J. Lee were the only Terps selected in the 2019 MLB Draft earlier this week, marking the second consecutive year where only two Maryland players have been drafted.

In addition to the two seniors, three signees––Tucker Flint, Ryan Ramsey and Bobby Zmarzlak––were drafted. If they choose to attend Maryland, they won’t be eligible for the draft again until after their junior year or after they turn 21 years old.

The New York Mets drafted Parsons in the 19th round on Wednesday, the first Terp drafted this year. In his four seasons at Maryland Parsons punched out 192 batters in 251 innings while making team history his senior year after a breakout junior campaign. As a senior Parsons earned 10 wins, the third-most in a single season by a Maryland pitcher, joining former Terp Mike Shawaryn as one of only two Terps to achieve double-digit wins in a single season.

In the 34th round Houston drafted Lee, the second Terp the Astros have drafted in as many years after they selected Marty Costes in the 22nd round in 2018. Lee put up a stellar second half of his senior season, finishing the year leading Maryland in batting average (.317), his highest of his four years as a Terp. In his final regular season series at Maryland, Lee launched a two-run walk-off homer to left field to help propel the Terps to their first Big Ten Tournament under second-year head coach Rob Vaughn.

The three signees––outfielders Flint and Zmarzlak and right-hander Ramsey––were drafted in the final five rounds of the draft. Flint and Ramsey were both drafted in the 36th round, by the New York Mets and the Cleveland Indians, respectively, while the Orioles selected Zmarzlak in the 40th round.

Both Parsons and Lee are likely to sign with the teams that drafted them, while Flint, Ramsey and Zmarzlak have until mid-July to decide whether to sign or to attend Maryland.

AJ Lee drafted by Astros in 34th round

OSU7.jpgThe Houston Astros drafted Maryland shortstop A.J. Lee in the 34th round on Wednesday. Lee is the second player drafted in the 2019 MLB Draft, after the Mets took Hunter Parsons in the 19th round.

A three-year starting infielder for the Terps, Lee’s final season at Maryland marked a comeback after a lackluster junior campaign. The Millersville, Maryland, native joined the Terps after receiving numerous accolades for his performance at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C., including being named the Washington D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year both his junior and senior seasons

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File photo by Paige Leckie

Though Lee played shortstop in high school, both positions on the left side of the Terps’ infield were filled by older, more experienced players during Lee’s freshman season. Lee only got 29 at-bats that year, as the infielder bided his time waiting for a spot to open.

After Lee’s freshman season, a spot opened up at third base and he made the transition to the hot corner, as former Terps Kevin Smith still occupied shortstop. As a sophomore Lee slashed .307/.389/.474 and found unexpected power, finishing with eight home runs, the third most on the team.  In addition to his strength in the box, Lee provided the Terps with speed on the base paths and stole 15 bases in his 59 games played.

When the Toronto Blue Jays drafted Smith in 2017, it enabled Lee to finish his tenure at Maryland back in his high school position. Though Lee hit a slump after his breakout sophomore campaign and struggled at the plate during his junior season, the shortstop stayed consistent with his ability to get on  base, working a .375 OBP and stealing 12 bases. As a junior Lee batted only .232 with one home run, but notched 47 hits in his 54 starts.

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File photo by Paige Leckie

Lee proved his junior year slump was a fluke with what became an outstanding senior campaign. Though the shortstop struggled at the start of the 2019 season, batting only .148 in eight games before an ankle injury benched Lee for seven games, the senior bounced back and finished the season with a team-high .317 batting average and .443 OBP.

Lee capped his final regular season as a Terp with Maryland’s first walk-off win of the year, when the senior sent a two-run bomb to left field for the Terps’ 8-6 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes on May 16. His walk-off homer set the tone for the rest of the series, Maryland’s first sweep against a Big Ten opponent on the year, and helped propel the Terps to their No. 6 seeding in the conference tournament.

After that weekend, the Big Ten named Lee Player of the Week, his first time receiving the honor.

With his comeback senior year, Lee showed the TEAM that he has the power at the plate, speed on the base paths and agility on defense to make a worthwhile draft pick.

Hunter Parsons drafted by New York Mets in 19th round

The New York Mets selected Maryland starting right-hander Hunter Parsons in the 19th round (568th overall) of the MLB Draft on Wednesday. The junior is the first Terrapin taken in this year’s draft..

Parsons, who threw a pair of no-hitters before his Maryland career, was drafted in the 40th round by the Cleveland Indians out of Parkside High School (MD) in 2015. Four years later, the Fruitland native was worthy of a second selection after starting in 37 career games in college.

The right-hander showed signs of a bright future during his freshman campaign, holding hitters to a .201 batting average in 36 innings. He made 15 appearances, five of which were starts, and earned one Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors after a seven-inning, two-hit midweek start. He threw on big stages early in his career, pitching against the SEC’s Alabama and against Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal.

Parsons pitched for the Baltimore Redbirds the following summer in the Cal Ripken Baseball League, creating even more excitement for his development. He was named the league’s pitcher of the year, leading all pitchers in wins (6) and strikeouts (44). He finished the summer with a slim 1.40 ERA in 38.1 innings.

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Pitcher Hunter Parsons on the mound. Photo by Amanda Broderick/Maryland Baseball Network

As a sophomore, though, Parsons’ trajectory took a negative turn, setting up what would eventually be an incredible comeback story. He stumbled throughout the year, yielding a 12.05 ERA in 21.2 innings while letting up 29 earned runs 41hits. Parsons was expected to be the primary midweek starter, but struggled with confidence.

After allowing eight runs in his first start of 2018 against Tennessee, Parsons was the most confident and consistent starting pitcher for the remainder of the season. He began the year as the Sunday stater, but eventually took advantage of opportunities to end the season pitching on Fridays. The righty threw two complete games, including a two-hit shutout against Stetson, which helped earn Big Ten co-Pitcher of the Week honors.

All it took was a new grip on his two-seam fastball and confidence for Parsons to turn into a pitcher that led all of Maryland’s primary starters in wins (5), innings (89), strikeouts (62) and batting average against (.225). The junior thrived under first-year Maryland pitching coach Corey Muscara, getting better as the season progressed.

Parsons continued his dominance on the mound his senior season as he became the Terps’ ace and threw a team-high 104.1 innings. The right-hander continued to lead Maryland’s main starters in wins (10), strikeouts (78) and batting average against (.232). Parsons’ 10 wins are the third most in team history, just behind former Terp Mike Shawaryn, who holds the second (11) and third (13) most wins for Maryland.

 

MLB Draft Preview: 2019

Though the Maryland baseball season is over, the 2019 MLB Draft is right around the corner. Only two Terps were selected in last year’s draft, including Nick Dunn, who was drafted in the 5th round, though three more signed undrafted.

This year, the draft will take place from Monday, June 3 through Wednesday, June 5. Maryland has 10 juniors and seniors currently on the roster who are eligible for selection. Here’s a quick synopsis of each player.


Hunter Parsons – RHP

Ht: 6’3″        Wt: 200        Year: Sr.         Bats/Throws: R/R

2019 Stats: 

G: 15 (15 GS)  IP: 104.1    ERA: 3.45     K/9: 6.7       BB/9: 2.8     H/9: 7.6

After a breakout junior season in 2018, Parsons continued to dominate as Maryland’s ace. Under the guidance of second-year pitching coach Corey Muscara, Parsons thrived on the mound and finished the season with 10 wins, the third-most wins in a single season in school history.

For the second consecutive year, Parsons led the team in innings pitched, providing the Terps with solid Friday starts en route to multiple weekend series victories. Even when Maryland did not come out on top, the righty maintained control on the mound; in an eight-inning outing against Creighton he allowed only three runs, all solo homers, while he struck out a career-high 10 batters and walked none.

Parsons continued to pitch with increased pace in his senior campaign. After his junior season in 2018, which included his first complete game shutout as a Terp, Parsons likely stayed on teams’ radars with his strong showing on the mound in 2019.


AJ Lee – SS

Ht: 6’0″       Wt: 180        Year: Sr.         Bats/Throws: R/R

2019 Stats: 

G: 51     AB: 189    Slash Line: .317/.443/.497     HR7       RBI36     K: 48      BB: 29

In his final year at Maryland, Lee came alive at the plate in the second half of the season. After suffering an ankle injury only two weeks into the season, Lee sat out for seven games to recover. Once he returned to the lineup, the senior batted .327, including an 11-game hit streak over the end of April, and a 24-game on-base streak that lasted from the end of March to the middle of May.

Lee went 4-for-5 in his last game as a Terp on May 24, when Michigan eliminated Maryland from the Big Ten tournament. In that last start, Lee went deep in the 9th inning for a solo home run, his seventh of the year. As a junior, though Lee at times struggled to get hits, the infielder walked a team-high 36 times and maintained his high on-base percentage.

In 2016, his first season with the Terps, Lee played in 19 games but struggled at the plate and finished with a sub-.200 average. But the then-third baseman didn’t quit and emerged as an everyday starter in his sophomore season, when he finished the year with  batting over .300 with eight home runs. Over his four years at Maryland Lee proved to be an asset on the base paths and on the left side of the infield, and his ability to get big hits in key moments––most notably his two- run walk-off homer against Iowa––helped boost the Terps to their first Big Ten tournament appearance under second-year head coach Rob Vaughn.


John Murphy – RHP

Ht: 6’4″        Wt: 245        Year: Sr.         Bats/Throws: R/R

2019 Stats: 

G: 27 (0 GS)  IP: 33.1    ERA: 4.32     K/9: 14.7       BB/9: 4.6     H/9: 10.3

Murphy served as the Terps’ closer for a second consecutive season, finishing the year with 11 saves, making him tied with Kevin Mooney for third-most saves in a single season in team history. The senior made the most appearances out of the Maryland bullpen and worked out of multiple jams, boasting the most strikeouts (54) of any reliever.

In his first season with the Terps in 2016, the right hander struggled as many freshman do, throwing only 11 innings and finishing with an ERA just below 10.00. But Murphy bounced back, and in his sophomore year he held hitters to an .183 average while walking only eight batters on the year. That year he also provided Maryland with vital outs in key moments, escaping multiple bases-loaded jams during the Terps’ postseason run.

Murphy did struggle with control toward the end of his junior season, but as a whole the righty proved he’s dominant on the mound when in control. Between his junior and senior seasons, Murphy showed his prowess as a strikeout pitcher, setting down 37 batters in just over 25 innings in his junior campaign. In his final two years at Maryland Murphy also cut his walks-per-nine almost in half, from 7.5 to 4.6, while increasing his strikeouts-per-nine by almost two strikeouts per nine innings, from 13.1 to 14.7.


Taylor Wright – 3B

Ht: 6’3″        Wt: 180       Year: Sr.         Bats/Throws: L/R

2019 Stats: 

G: 58     AB: 231    Slash Line: .290/.375/.429     HR: 4       RBI31    K:  42     BB: 29

In his second season with the Terps, Wright played every game at third base, providing stellar defensive coverage from the left corner of the infield. At the plate, the Canada native’s speed and ability to get multi-base hits was key to Maryland’s success in 2019.

After transferring from Colorado Northwestern Community College for his junior season, Wright played 47 games for the Terps at third base and helped fill the void in the infield. In that first season at Maryland, Wright provided the Terps with one of two walk-off victories, when he drew a game-winning walk in the 10th inning against Northwestern.

Wright improved his average in his final season, hitting in the three-hole and providing the Terps with a consistent bat throughout the season. After batting only .230 his junior year with the Terps, his average increased to .290 while his slugging leapt from .333 to .429. Throughout his senior campaign, Wright battled with sophomore Randy Bednar for the most doubles on the squad and finished with 20 doubles on the season, just one more than Bednar’s 19. Those 20 doubles tied Wright for fourth-most doubles in a single season in team history.


Tyler Blohm – LHP

Ht: 6’3″        Wt: 205        Year: Jr.         Bats/Throws: L/L

2019 Stats: 

G: 6 (6 GS)  IP: 15.2    ERA: 5.74     K/9: 7.7       BB/9: 6.5     H/9: 7.7

Blohm’s junior campaign started with uncertainty as to whether the southpaw would reach the level at which he started the previous year. After a shoulder injury late in the 2018 season left Blohm with a lowered velocity and limited mobility, the lefty worked to get back to his previous level of play, which saw him awarded Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2017.

But Blohm overcame the hurdles and ended the season seeming to have regained some of his confidence and most of his control. After a rough outing in his first start against VCU in February, Blohm rehabbed his arm until late April, when he worked into the rotation as an opener for two midweek games before making Sunday starts in both of the Terps’ final series of the regular season. Once back on the rubber, Blohm set down 13 batters while holding opponents to a .228 batting average in his 15.2 innings pitched.

As a freshman Blohm earned numerous Big Ten accolades, including being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. In his first season as a Terp, the southpaw had a 3.48 ERA in 75.0 innings. His sophomore year, when Blohm struggled with his shoulder injury, he finished the season with a 4.10 ERA in 59.1 innings, while holding opposing batters to a .248 average.


Elliot Zoellner – RHP

Ht: 6’3″        Wt: 190        Year: Jr.         Bats/Throws: R/R

2019 Stats: 

G: 18 (0 GS)  IP: 20.2    ERA: 7.40     K/9: 13.8       BB/9: 8.5     H/9: 5.4

After a decent sophomore season with the Terps, Zoellner took on a vital role in Maryland’s bullpen during his junior campaign. Throughout the season the Terps relied on Zoellner to eat up innings before bringing in either a setup pitcher or closer John Murphy.

With his 31 strikeouts on the season, Zoellner proved to be an asset to Maryland’s bullpen, holding opponents to a .156 average when he took the mound. While the righty did walk 19 batters on the season, Zoellner’s ability to get outs when they mattered and keep opposing teams off the base paths made him a key component of the Terps’ 2019 squad.


Nick Turnbull – RHP

Ht: 6’5″        Wt: 200        Year: Jr.         Bats/Throws: R/R

2019 Stats: 

G: 19 (1 GS)  IP: 17.2    ERA: 4.08     K/9: 8.9       BB/9: 11.5     H/9: 3.7

At the start of the season, Turnbull seemed to be the Terps’ most promising transfer, when he made the switch to Maryland after two seasons at Hartford Community College, where he solidified himself as a strikeout pitcher. With the Terps, Turnbull came out strong and became one of Maryland’s go-to setup relievers early in the year.

The righty-hander was often called on to help work out of late-inning jams with a key strikeout or set of outs. In his longest appearance, a 3.2-inning relief outing against Villanova, Turnbull struck out a season-high five batters while allowing only one hit and holding the Wildcats scoreless. Though Turnbull struggled to hold runners off the bases due to his high number of walks (22), he held opposing batters to a .130 average and his ability to get an out in vital moments helped power the Terps’ bullpen.


Caleb Walls – OF

Ht: 5’10″        Wt: 190        Year: Jr.         Bats/Throws: L/R

2019 Stats: 

G: 48     AB: 176   Slash Line: .233/.352/.352     HR: 4       RBI: 16     K: 51      BB: 28

One of three position player transfers for the Terps’, Walls was the only transfer in the starting lineup for Maryland’s season opener against Campbell. The left fielder played in almost all of the Terps’ games during the regular season, after transferring from Pasco Hernando State College in Florida.

While the outfielder did struggle at the plate toward the end of the season, Walls provided key outfield coverage while also aiding in the Terps’ offense. Walls hit four home runs, including a two-run inside-the-park home run against Elon, and tallied one triple and seven doubles.


Sebastian Holte-Mancera – OF/C

Ht: 5’8″        Wt: 190        Year: Jr.         Bats/Throws: L/R

2019 Stats: 

G: 19     AB: 44    Slash Line: .250/.370/.409     HR: 1       RBI: 7    K: 14      BB: 8

Holte-Mancera saw more time in the lineup than expected this year at Maryland, after transferring from Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. The junior started the second two games of the season behind the plate while also making appearances as the Terps’ designated hitter and at least one outfield start.

While Holte-Mancera did not make it into Maryland’s lineup often, when he did the righty provided the Terps with 11 hits and nine runs in his 13 starts, including a solo home run to right field against Delaware.


Ben Irvine – OF

Ht: 6’2″        Wt: 175        Year: Jr.         Bats/Throws: L/R

2019 Stats: 

G: 14     AB: 17    Slash Line: .059/.158/.059     HR: 0       RBI: 2    K: 3      BB: 2

In his first season at Maryland, Irvine often pinch-hit or pinch-ran for the Terps. After Irvine transferred to Maryland from Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts, he was one of many outfielders on the Terrapin squad, but found his place in the lineup when the Terps needed a speedy base runner or a fresh bat.

The outfielder started only three games for Maryland but made 14 appearances. In his second start, a midweek matchup against VCU, Irvine notched his first hit as a Terp, a one-out single through the left side. Prior to the move to Maryland, Irvine racked up 40 stolen bases in his sophomore campaign at NECC while holding a .417 OBP.


Bobby Zmarzlak – Class of 2019 Commit 

Maryland’s incoming freshman class is ranked No. 38, according to Perfect Game. Only one player, outfielder Bobby Zmarzlak, may be drafted high enough this year for him to forego his commitment to Maryland. In 2018, a scout at an East Coast Pro/Prospect Development Pipeline event said that the Stamford, Connecticut, native was the “most powerful hitter” of the group of prospects, according to an MLB.com article.


 

Pro Terps Update: Red Sox call up former Terp Mike Shawaryn

The Boston Red Sox called up right-hander Mike Shawaryn on Thursday, according to the team. With the promotion, Shawaryn joins three other former Terps in the majors: Brandon Lowe and Adam Kolarek in Tampa and Brett Cecil in St. Louis.

After three dominant years at Maryland, where Shawaryn won 30 games overall and struck out 307 total batters, the Red Sox drafted Shawaryn in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. Then, the starter quickly rose through Boston’s minor league system. Shawaryn entered the minors with the short A Lowell Spinners in 2016 and spent time in low-A and high-A in 2017, before he started the 2018 season with the AA Portland Sea Dogs.

In Portland, the righty started 19 games, working to a 3.28 ERA in 112.2 innings pitched, while holding opposing batters to a .238 average. Shawaryn struck out 99 batters with the Sea Dogs before he was assigned to the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox, where he finished out the 2018 season. There, Shawaryn went 3-2 in six starts and one relief appearance, struck out 33 in his 36.2 innings of work and threw a 3.93 ERA.

Boston invited Shawaryn to their official spring training at the start of 2019, before the right-hander started the season back in Pawtucket. Before his call-up on Thursday, Shawaryn went 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA in 55.2 innings of work. The right-hander also struck out 28 in those 10 starts, while he held opposing batters to a .230 average.

Shawaryn joins the 29-27 Red Sox as they take on the Yankees in New York for a four-game set that starts Thursday. The date of his debut is TBD.