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.

 

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.