Kevin Biondic signs contract with Red Sox

Former utility player Kevin Biondic signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox, Maryland baseball announced Friday afternoon on Twitter. Biondic is the third Terp this year to sign a professional contract, joining fifth-round draft selection Nick Dunn (St. Louis) and 22nd-rounder Marty Costes (Houston).

The Illinois native earned Big Ten second team honors this season as a utility player after transforming into a two-way player in the offseason. Biondic hit six homers with 24 RBIs as a first baseman, but also had a 2.59 ERA in 24.1 innings on the mound.

He made the first relief appearance before any other pitcher on the roster in 2018, pitching a scoreless eighth inning in Maryland’s season-opening win on the road against Tennessee. He went on to pitch in the third-most games out of the bullpen, as he held hitters to a slim .198 batting average.

Along with his solid ERA, Biondic struck out more than one batter per inning and allowed just 6.3 hits per nine innings. He also finished second on the team this season with two saves, trailing only John Murphy who had four.

Biondic missed a Friday night game this season against Nebraska — the only game he didn’t play in all season — to take the Chicago Police Academy entrance exam. Becoming a police officer over has been a career goal, but now he’ll have the opportunity to extend his athletic career in Boston’s minor league system first.

Feature photo courtesy of UM Terps.

Two current Terps, two signees selected in 2018 MLB Draft

Juniors Nick Dunn and Marty Costes were the only two current Maryland players selected in the 2018 MLB Draft this week, the fewest since 2011 when left-hander Adam Kolarek — now with the Tampa Bay Rays — was the lone Terp taken.

Two Maryland commits — Nick Decker and Jack Herman — were also selected, and will now have until July 6 to decide whether or not to sign with their respective teams. If they choose to come to College Park, they won’t be eligible for the draft again until after their junior year or until they turn 21 years old.

Decker was taken in the 2nd round, 64th overall by the Boston Red Sox, making him the highest Maryland commit selected since Troy Strokes was drafted in the 4th round in 2014. After his selection, Strokes elected to go immediately into the Milwaukee Brewers’ system. Decker would have a large signing bonus if he chooses to go that route, with his pick being valued at over $1 million.  The outfielder from Seneca High School (NJ) helped comprise Maryland’s 23rd-ranked recruiting class in the country. The last eight Maryland commits drafted since Strokes came to College Park, but the highest selection among those was current left-hander Tyler Blohm’s 17th-round pick in 2016.

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Nick Dunn was drafted in the 5th round by the St. Louis Cardinals. (Hannah Evans/Maryland Baseball Network)

Dunn, the 16th All-American in program history, was taken in the 5th round, 153rd overall by the St. Louis Cardinals. The infielder earned All-Big Ten first team honors this season, hitting a team-high .330 with 10 homers, 39 RBIs, 32 walks and just 19 strikeouts. A native of Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Dunn is the 10th Maryland player selected within the first 10 rounds in the last six years. He’s also the first drafted by St. Louis since left-hander Jimmy Reed’s 6th-round selection in 2013.

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For the second straight year, Marty Costes is drafted by the Houston Astros. (Hannah Evans/Maryland Baseball Network)

Costes became the sixth Terrapin since 2000 to be picked in consecutive MLB drafts. The Houston Astros selected Costes for the second straight year, this time three rounds earlier. After a 25th-round selection in 2017, Costes was nabbed in the 22nd round, 672nd overall. The junior had a poor season compared to his first two, but Houston showed loyalty to their former selection. Currently, Costes has the seventh-most walks in program history with 96, and his 28 homers are tied for eighth.

Herman, an outfielder from Eastern High School (NJ), was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 30th round, 894th overall. He was committed to Maryland before he even played a game in high school, where he hit a career .473 with 16 home runs and 105 RBIs. He hit .556 in his senior season with five homers and 41 RBIs. He, too, will soon have to decide where his future lies.

Marty Costes drafted by Houston Astros in 22nd round

The Houston Astros selected outfielder Marty Costes in the 22nd round (672nd overall) of the 2018 MLB Draft Wednesday afternoonmaking him the first Maryland player chosen in consecutive drafts since 2013-14. He was selected by the Astros in the 25th round last year.

As a draft-eligible sophomore, Costes was the 751st overall pick in 2017, but returned to Maryland for his junior campaign. He is the second current Terp off the board this year, after Nick Dunn was taken in the fifth round on Tuesday.

Costes is now just the sixth Terp since 2000 to be selected in back-to-back drafts. Most recently, former right-hander Jake Stinnett was drafted in the 29th round (869th overall) in 2013 and then again in the second round (45th overall) in 2014. His teammate, outfielder Charlie White, jumped from the 29th round to the 21st round in the same two-year stretch.

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Costes was an infielder out of Arcbishop Curley (MD) when he arrived at Maryland in 2016, but there were no immediate vacancies for him to start at third base. With the team needing his bat in the lineup, he was asked to transition to left field. In doing so, he ended the season tied with among Maryland’s outfield core with the fewest errors (2) and the most assists (4).

The urgency to get Costes’ bat into the lineup as a freshman paid off, as he lead the team with nine home runs, 21 extra-base hits and a .479 slugging percentage. His nine homers also led all Big Ten freshmen, helping earn a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman team and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American nomination.

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Marty Costes bats for Maryland against Army on 2/25/18. Photo by Amanda Broderick/Maryland Baseball Network

Coming off a first season filled with accolades, Costes continued to emerge during his sophomore campaign. He raised his batting average from .263 to .322, which ranked third on the team. One of two players to start in all 61 games, he led the team in hits (77), home runs (13), RBIs (46) and walks (34). His .322/.429/.548 slash line highlighted his selection as a 2017 All-Big Ten first team recipient and an MLB draft pick.

After playing with Dunn for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod Baseball League last summer, Costes struggled a bit in his return to College Park as a junior. He had career-lows in batting average, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI and slugging percentage. However, he swiped double-digit bases for the first time and walked just as often as he struck out. Costes also continued to develop as an outfielder, showing off his strong arm with nine assists.

Despite the drop in numbers, Costes was much more productive during the final month of the season and his potential still warranted a second MLB Draft selection in as many seasons. His 96 career walks are the seventh-most in program history and his 28 homers are tied for eighth.

Nick Dunn drafted by St. Louis Cardinals in 5th round

The St. Louis Cardinals selected infielder Nick Dunn in the 5th round (153rd overall) of the 2018 MLB Draft Tuesday afternoon, making the junior second baseman the first current Terp taken in this year’s draft. Maryland has now had a top-five round pick in each of the last five years.

In just three seasons at Maryland, the Sunbury, Pennsylvania, native started in all 172 games and became the 13th player in program history to reach 200 career hits. Just recently, Dunn was named a Baseball America second team All-American and a first team All-Big Ten recipient.

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Dunn came to College Park in 2016 with an optimistic future for obvious reasons. A Louisville Slugger preseason All-American honorable mention, he finished his senior year of high school with a .477 batting average without a single strikeout. Dunn immediately fit right into the program, hitting .300 during his freshman season. He led the team in hits (68), doubles (16) and on-base percentage (.382). He was later named a freshman All-American.

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Sophomore Nick Dunn throws to first for the out. Hannah Evans/Maryland Baseball Network 5/14/2017

Dunn began to increase his power as a sophomore, jumping his home run total from just one to five the following year. While his batting average decreased, he continued to get on base and put the ball in play. He walked more than he struck out, helping lead Maryland to Big Ten and NCAA Tournament berths in 2017. Dunn was impressive last summer, earning playoff co-MVP honors with the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod Baseball League. He returned to Maryland with a .333 season average, an All-Star selection and a championship in one of the most prestigious collegiate summer leagues in the country.

Success against the nation’s top talent followed Dunn back to College Park, leading the Terps in nearly every statistical offensive category this past season as a junior. He attained career-bests in hits (70), doubles (17), home runs (10) and RBIs (39) with a .330/.419/.561 slash line. He was the most consistent player for Maryland the entire season as the team’s primary two-hitter.

Dunn has become the toughest out in Maryland’s lineup, walking 85 times with just 67 strikeouts in three years. He developed power while increasing his batting average this past season, hitting more than half of his career homers in 2018. Currently holding a .295 career batting average, Dunn is one of 16 Maryland All-Americans and has the ninth-most doubles (46) in program history.

Pro Terps Update: 5/23/18

The Maryland baseball team’s season may be over, but its mark on the sport won’t go away anytime soon. Professional baseball is a quarter of the way through, as both the MLB and MiLB start to hit their respective strides. Let’s take a look at how the former Terps are playing thus far.

LHP Brett Cecil, St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)

Cecil is still the only mainstay in the big leagues among former Maryland stars. His career as a relief pitcher has been a very solid one to this point, and the 31-year-old has a lot of baseball still in the tank as he continues adding to his resume. Originally a starter, Cecil shifted to the bullpen in 2012 and his career has been better for it.

Due to a lingering shoulder injury this season, Cecil hasn’t gotten a lot of run out of the pen yet thus far. In just 3.1 innings pitched, he has a 2.70 ERA with an impressive 62.5 percent ground ball rate.

LHP Adam Kolarek, Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays, AAA)

Kolarek made his MLB debut last season, but it wasn’t as successful as many would’ve hoped. In 8.1 innings pitched, he had a 6.48 ERA and struck out just over four batters per nine. Despite that, he got an invite to major league spring training only to be assigned to Durham once again.

But just as he did in 2017, Kolarek is dominating at the Triple-A level. In 24.1 innings across 14 games, he’s pitched to a miniscule 1.11 ERA with a 10.36 K/9. The Rays are struggling mightily so far this season, so a recalling of Kolarek is not only possible, but probable.

OF Lamonte Wade, Chattanooga Lookouts (Minnesota Twins, AA)

After impressing many in his first three seasons of professional baseball, Wade is listed as the No. 13 prospect in the Twins organization. One of his best qualities thus far has been his plate discipline, which has been on full display to start this season.

Wade’s 2018 campaign has been a special one thus far, lighting the Southern League on fire for the Lookouts. In 155 plate appearances, Wade has six home runs and 19 RBI to go along with a .305 batting average and a .406 OBP. If he keeps up this level of play, Wade could be in store for a promotion.

2B Brandon Lowe, Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays, AA)

Like Kolarek, Lowe has found a home in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. After being promoted to Double-A in the middle of last season, Lowe struggled to get the bat going against a higher level of competition. But fortunately for him and the organization, Lowe is on a hot streak at the plate.

The Rays No. 14 prospect has had a terrific start to the 2018 campaign, cutting down the strikeouts and increasing his walk rate substantially. With a .288 batting average and a .514 slugging percentage, Lowe is not only getting base hits, but he often goes for extra bases. He has six home runs and 31 RBI so far, and if he continues to impress, a trip to Durham might be coming.

RHP Jake Stinnett, Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs, AA)

Stinnett dominated last season across three different levels, posting a 1.19 ERA in 22.2 innings from rookie ball to Double-A. His time with the Smokies was particularly eye-opening, pitching to a 0.61 ERA in 14.2 innings. But 2018 hasn’t been as kind to Stinnett thus far, and the righty has struggled to find a consistent level of play in the early goings. He’s pitched just 12.1 innings thus far, but his 5.11 ERA and 7.30 BB/9 isn’t what the 26-year-old was hoping for.

RHP Mike Shawaryn, Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox, AA)

Despite having never pitched in Double-A before this season, Shawaryn has made the most of his opportunity so far in 2018. In eight starts (45.1 IP), the No. 9 prospect in the Red Sox organization has a 3.77 ERA, but a deeper look at the numbers shows that he’s pitching better than that mark would indicate. With a 3.21 FIP and a 0.60 HR/9, Shawaryn has done a good job at limiting hard contact and making quick work of opposing hitters.

LHP Alex Robinson, Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota Twins, High-A)

Due to injury, Robinson has barely played in 2018 thus far. He’s pitched three innings, allowing zero runs while striking out five in early April. But Robinson was activated from the disabled list on Monday, so he could be pitching again very soon. In 17.1 innings for Fort Myers in 2017, Robinson had a 4.67 ERA with a 14.02 K/9.

RHP Brian Shaffer, Kane County Cougars (Arizona Diamondbacks, A)

After pitching in rookie ball and Low-A in 2017, Shaffer has found a home and a lot of success with the Kane County Cougars. In 42.2 innings across eight starts, Shaffer has allowed just 12 earned runs (2.53 ERA) and has struck out 48 batters (10.13 strikeouts per nine innings). Still just 21-years-old, Shaffer could find himself moving up the ranks if he keeps up this level of production.

SS Kevin Smith, Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays, A)

What a start to 2018 it’s been for Smith. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 Draft, he struggled to find consistent success at the plate But 2018 has been a different story altogether as Smith has found his stroke in Lansing. In 178 plate appearances thus far, he has a slash line of .362/.421/.652, making him a dangerous threat in the heart of the order for the Lugnuts. He has seven home runs, 41 RBI, 31 runs and 10 stolen bases, making a promotion extremely likely in the coming months.

RHP Ryan Selmer, New York Mets organization

Drafted in the 31st round last June, Selmer impressed at the rookie level for the Kingsport Mets. In his 21 professional innings thus far, he was able to post a 2.14 ERA, albeit with a lofty 1.52 WHIP. He walked 11 batters and hit three more, but thanks to a 57.6 ground ball rate he stranded over 80 percent of baserunners. The Mets have yet to release where the right-hander will be this season, but all signs point to him joining the Short-Season A Brooklyn Cyclones.

RHP Jamal Wade, Seattle Mariners organization

Wade came out firing in his first pro season, posting a 1.83 ERA in 19.2 innings in the Arizona League. With a 12.36 K/9 rate and a 3.20 BB/9, he showcased his skill for the Mariners front office to see. Like Selmer, Wade did a fantastic job of stranding baserunners, as evidenced by his 79.0 left on base percentage. This summer, the right-hander is likely headed to the Everett AquaSox, the Mariners’ Short-Season A affiliate.

RHP Jose Cuas and LHP Jake Drossner, Milwaukee Brewers organization

After struggling at the plate in his three years of pro ball, Cuas’s career is taking a sharp turn. The former corner infielder hit just .187 across two levels of A-Ball last year, and in the offseason it was announced that Cuas is transitioning to the mound. His destination is yet to be released. Drossner is also in the Brewers’ system but will be sidelined this year due to injury.

Pro Terps Update: 4/5/18

While Maryland baseball’s season is in full swing, pro baseball is just getting started. Major League Baseball season is a week old, and the Minor League season begins Thursday afternoon. Let’s take a look at where the former Terrapins stand as baseball season fully gets underway.

LHP Brett Cecil, St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)

In the past few years, Cecil has been the only former Terp to be a mainstay in the majors. After spending the first eight years of his career in the American League East with the Toronto Blue Jays, he is now in his second season with the St. Louis Cardinals. Cecil has made only one appearance so far in 2018, facing two batters and allowing one hit. He was put on the 10-day DL with a shoulder strain shortly thereafter.

Cecil’s 2017 campaign was filled with ups and downs, but his end of the year stats were solid. He finished with a 3.88 ERA in 67.1 innings over 73 appearances. And while his earned run average may appear high, his FIP of 3.26 suggests he pitched better than the numbers indicate.

LHP Adam Kolarek, Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays, AAA)

Originally drafted by the New York Mets, Kolarek spent six years in their farm system before spending the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays system. He spent the majority of that time with the Bulls, but 2017 saw Kolarek make his major league debut over the summer. He was invited to MLB spring training, but was assigned to the minor league camp in mid-March.

Kolarek was lethal in AAA last season. In 43.2 innings, he pitched to an astounding 1.65 ERA and a 9.48 K/9 ratio. And while that success allowed him to be brought up in June, it didn’t translate well. In 12 appearances (8.1 IP) with the Rays, Kolarek got knocked around a little bit and ending up with a 6.48 ERA. He was then designated for assignment by the Rays, but ultimately came back to the organization for the 2018 season.

Not only did the left-hander strike out more than a batter per inning last season, but he was an absolute ground ball machine.

OF Lamonte Wade, Chattanooga Lookouts (Minnesota Twins, AA)

Listed as the No. 13 prospect in the Twins organization by MLB.com, Wade has been very impressive in his time in the minor leagues. A ninth-round draft pick out of Maryland in 2015, it seems as though Minnesota may have gotten a steal with the outfielder. He spent 2015 and 2016 in varying classes of A-ball, and was promoted to Double-A for 2017 and saw great success there. That’s where he’ll be to start this season, although if he continues his level of production another promotion could be in store.

The biggest skill Wade has demonstrated so far in his pro career has been his plate discipline. In almost three years with the organization, he’s walked more often than striking out, while posting a career OBP over .400. Last year, in 519 plate appearances, Wade hit for a .292 average and maintained a very high .397 OBP. And despite a total of just seven homers, he managed to knock in 67 runs and score 74.

2B Brandon Lowe, Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays, AA)

Like Kolarek, Lowe has found a home in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Drafted in the third round of the 2015 draft, Lowe was promoted to Double-A midway through the 2017 season after dominating High-A ball with the Charlotte Stone Crabs. With Charlotte, Lowe hit .311 with a .927 OPS and 34 doubles en route to Florida State League MVP honors. Lowe’s performance after his promotion was more pedestrian (.253 batting average, .270 OBP, 8 XBH in 24 games), but the infielder still earned playing time in big league camp this spring, where he launched a home run.

Lowe will start 2018 with the Biscuits and look to continue to move on up in the organization. He is currently the Rays’ No. 15 prospect.

RHP Jake Stinnett, Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs, AA)

Now entering his fifth season of professional baseball, Stinnett missed most of the 2017 season, but impressed when he was on the field. In 14.2 innings with the Smokies at the Double-A level Stinnett dominated, pitching to a 0.61 ERA, allowing just 6 hits and striking out 14 batters. In 22.2 total innings across three levels last year, the 25-year-old right-hander posted a 1.19 ERA.

RHP Mike Shawaryn, Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox, AA)

The No. 9 prospect in the Red Sox organization has received an offseason promotion. After throwing 53.1 innings with the Greenville Drive (A) and 81.1 with the Salem Red Sox, Shawaryn will begin the 2018 season as a starter in Portland’s rotation. His ERA was a little lofty last year (3.88 with Greenville, 3.76 in Salem), but he impressed with high strikeout rates, whiffing 169 hitters in 134.2 innings of work. The Terps’ all-time leader in wins and strikeouts has done nothing but shine in a year and a half so far as a pro, and expect Shawaryn to continue his fast rise through the Red Sox system.

LHP Alex Robinson, Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota Twins, High-A)

Robinson possesses the skillset needed to be a high-quality pitcher. The lefty dazzled in 28 appearances last year for the Class-A Cedar Rapids Kernels with a 2.84 ERA and an impressive 12.08 K/9 ratio. His control wasn’t great, as evidenced by his 15 walks in 38.0 innings, but Robinson did a great job of limiting the potential damage extra baserunners could do.

After his promotion to High-A, Robinson struggled with his control, posting a 6.75 BB/9 ratio in his 17.1 innings of work, which led to a higher 4.67 ERA. He still had his electric “stuff” though, whiffing 27 batters for the Miracle, where he will start the 2018 season.

RHP Brian Shaffer, Kane County Cougars (Arizona Diamondbacks, A)

Now the No. 24 prospect in the Diamondbacks organization, Shaffer had a terrific debut season in rookie ball and Low-A. Although he only threw 24 innings between the two levels, he pitched to a 3.38 ERA while averaging over a strikeout an inning. Arizona must have liked what they saw, because Shaffer will open the season with the Kane County Cougars, their Class-A affiliate. 2018 will be his first full season in the pros, after tossing 108 innings for the Terps last spring.

SS Kevin Smith, Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays, A)

After hitting well in rookie ball with a .271 average, 25 doubles and 43 RBI in just 283 plate appearances, Smith will start the 2018 season in A-ball. Last year’s fourth-round pick showed 20-20 potential with his eight homers and nine stolen bases in the short season, and thanks to his power potential and solid defense he enters this season as the Blue Jays’ No. 19 prospect.

 

RHP Ryan Selmer, New York Mets organization

Drafted in the 31st round last June, Selmer impressed at the rookie level for the Kingsport Mets. In his 21 professional innings thus far, he was able to post a 2.14 ERA, albeit with a lofty 1.52 WHIP. He walked 11 batters and hit three more, but thanks to a 57.6 ground ball rate he stranded over 80 percent of baserunners. The Mets have yet to release where the right-hander will be this season, but all signs point to him joining the Short-Season A Brooklyn Cyclones.

RHP Jamal Wade, Seattle Mariners organization

Wade came out firing in his first pro season, posting a 1.83 ERA in 19.2 innings in the Arizona League. With a 12.36 K/9 rate and a 3.20 BB/9, he showcased his skill for the Mariners front office to see. Like Selmer, Wade did a fantastic job of stranding baserunners, as evidenced by his 79.0 left on base percentage. This summer, the right-hander is likely headed to the Everett AquaSox, the Mariners’ Short-Season A affiliate.

RHP Jose Cuas and LHP Jake Drossner, Milwaukee Brewers organization

After struggling at the plate in his three years of pro ball, Cuas’s career is taking a sharp turn. The former corner infielder hit just .187 across two levels of A-Ball last year, and in the offseason it was announced that Cuas is transitioning to the mound. His destination is yet to be released. Drossner is also in the Brewers’ system but will be sidelined this year due to injury.

Pro Terps Update 9/12/17: Minor League Wrap-Up

Adam Kolarek made his major league debut back in June with the Tampa Rays, but was then sent down after a few weeks with the big club. However, thanks to September roster expansion, Kolarek earned a trip back to the bigs — doubling the MLB Maryland representation. That and more in this edition of the Pro Terps Update.

LHP Brett Cecil, St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)

Brett Cecil has been the only staple in the big leagues for the Terps for several years now, and his first season with the Cardinals has been a rollercoaster. After a dominant June and a solid July, Cecil was ineffective in August. In 13 innings last month, the lefty allowed 10 earned runs and a .321 batting average against him.

However, Cecil’s 19 strikeouts and two walks in August was by far his best monthly ratio of the season. His 6.92 ERA in the month could be explained by his incredibly unlucky .472 BABIP. Cecil is sporting a 4.15 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with 54 strikeouts over 56.1 innings this season and will still be an important piece for the Cardinals down the stretch in their push for an NL Wild Card spot.

LHP Adam Kolarek, Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays, AAA)

After making his major league debut June 29, Adam Kolarek was sent back to the minors in late July after making 11 appearances with the Rays. Back in Triple-A, the former Terps allowed only three earned runs and struck out 17 over 10.2 innings with the Durham Bulls, which earned him a September call-up with the Rays.

Kolarek appeared in only one game after being recalled — he allowed one run on two hits and walked one while recording two outs against the White Sox September 3. The 28-year-old lefty has been dominant in Triple-A (1.65 ERA, 9.48 K/9), but his major league stats haven’t been great this season (6.48 ERA, 4.32 K/9). Because of that, Tampa Bay outrighted Kolarek back to Durham on September 4.

OF LaMonte Wade, Chattanooga Lookouts (Minnesota Twins, AA)

LaMonte Wade put together an all-star campaign for the Lookouts this season, who were co-Southern League Champions after Hurricane Irma prevented them from playing their championship series against the Pensecola Blue Wahoos. He finished the season hitting .292 with seven home runs and 67 RBI and ended up with more walks (76) than strikeouts (71). Wade’s .397 on-base percentage was good for third-best in the Southern League, and he was a key park of Chattanooga’s semifinal series victory.

The 23-year-old outfielder hit .278 in the five-game series, with his most important knock coming in the ninth inning of game five. With the Lookouts trailing the Montgomery Biscuits 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Wade led off the frame with a single and came around to score when Jonathan Rodriguez ended the game with a walk-off two-run dinger.

Wade, who is the Twins No. 17 overall prospect, will now head to the Arizona Fall League to play with the Surprise Saguaros so the Twins can get another look at him before Spring Training. And he already has something in common with one of his coaches.

2B Brandon Lowe, Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays, AA)

It was an all-Terps matchup in the Southern League semifinals, but Wade’s team got the better of Brandon Lowe’s. However, Lowe still had an incredible season. After hitting .311 with a .927 OPS in High-A, Lowe was promoted to Double-A. He hit only .253 in 24 games with Montgomery, but his performance in High-A earned him Florida State League Player of the Year honors.

Lowe went 0-for-7 in the playoffs with the Biscuits, but he should be on track to start at second base for Tampa Bay’s Double-A affiliate next season. He will also have a ranking bump from MLB.com going into 2018.

RHP Jake Stinnett, Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs, AA)

Since coming off the disabled list and being promoted to Double-A on August 5, Jake Stinnett has been almost unhittable out of the Smokies bullpen. He has allowed just one earned run and struck out 14 batters over 14.2 innings. Over his entire 2017 minor league season, Stinnett posted a 1.19 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.

Like Wade, Stinnett will also get his chance to further show off his talents in the Arizona Fall League.

RHP Mike Shawaryn, Salem Red Sox (Boston Red Sox, High-A)

The Unicorn ended the season in strong form and as the Red Sox No. 7 overall prospect. Mike Shawaryn finished his 2017 season between Single-A and High-A with a 3.81 ERA and 11.29 K/9 in 26 total starts. The 22-year-old righty also ended his season with two of the best starts of his career. Shawaryn struck out 18 batters and walked only two while allowing just two earned over his final 14 innings of the year, including a career-high eight innings on August 27.

LHP Alex Robinson, Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota Twins, High-A)

Alex Robinson was finally able to find his control this season, posting a 2.84 ERA and 1.16 in A-Ball, which earned him a call-up to High-A back in July. In 17.1 innings with the Fort Myers Miracle, Robinson posted a 4.67 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. He finished his full minor league season with a 1.28 WHIP and an impressive 12.69 K/9.

INF Jose Cuas, Carolina Mudcats (Milwaukee Brewers, High-A)

It was again a struggle at the plate for Jose Cuas in 2017. The 23-year-old hit just .187 with a .598 OPS and five home runs this season. Cuas moved around the infield defensively and spent a lot of time at first base despite playing third base at Maryland. However, the former Terp did heat up a little at the end of the season, hitting .258 with four RBI over his final eight games.

RHP Brian Shaffer, Hillsboro Hops (Arizona Diamondbacks, Low-A)

Since being promoted to Low-A in July, Brian Shaffer has been dominant. In 21 innings, the tall righty struck out 21 batters and walked just one. In 24 innings overall in his first minor league season, Shaffer pitched to 3.38 ERA and 0.83 WHIP while holding opposing hitters to a .211 batting average.

Shaffer, who is Arizona’s No. 30 overall prospect, was used as a starter, but only for two or three innings at a time. The short outing helped to limit his usage and increase his productivity while getting Shaffer ready to be a full-time starter next season.

SS Kevin Smith, Bluefield Blue Jays (Toronto Blue Jays, Rookie)

Kevin Smith, who is ranked as the Blue Jays No. 25 overall prospect, was Maryland’s highest 2017 draft pick (4th round), and he lived up to the hype in his first season. Smith hit .271 with a .778 OPS in 61 games, leading Bluefield with 25 doubles, eight homers and 43 RBIs. He was able to show off his power on August 31.

However, the plate discipline was still a bit of an issue for the former Terp, who struck out 70 times and drew only 16 walks.

RHP Ryan Selmer, Kingsport Mets (New York Mets, Rookie)

Ryan Selmer finished up his first professional season with some impressive numbers. The 23-year-old righty pitched to a 2.14 ERA over 21 innings and converted both of save opportunities. In classic Ryan Selmer fashion, the reliever threw almost double as many ground balls as fly balls, which helped overcome 1.52 WHIP and .284 batting average against. Over his 14 appearances, Selmer allowed an earned run in only three of them.

RHP Jamal Wade, AZL Mariners (Seattle Mariners, Rookie)

The younger Wade was drafted in the 17th round in June, but performed like an early-round draft pick in his first professional season. Over 19.2 innings, Wade posted a 1.83 ERA and 0.92 WHIP while striking out 27 batters and walking only seven.