Maryland Draft Preview: C Kevin Martir

by John Vittas and Jon Lewis

Ht: 5’11”      Wt: 215      Year: Jr.     Bats / Throws: R / R

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY (Grand Street Campus)

2015 Stats

AB: 237      Slash Line: .342 / .441 / .502         HR: 7       RBI: 45      K-Rate: 11%

Pros: receiving, hit tool, tons of intangibles

Cons: throwing out runners, body type

17371908825_d327182115_kVittas: You throw out the tools with Martir – the guy is a winner. He steals signs from opponents regularly and knows how to get the best out of his teammates. The Maryland coaching staff has entrusted him to call pitches fairly often, which is a rarity in college baseball. Martir has been the vocal leader of back-to-back Regional Championship teams and reached base in all eight plate appearances when his team was facing elimination this year. Aside from the winning mentality and sky-high baseball IQ, Martir is a superb catcher and polished hitter. He led Maryland in hitting, batting .342 with an OPS of .943. Coaches called him the best receiver they’ve ever seen and he blocks well. So why isn’t he a top-5 rounder? There are two concerns that have made scouts apprehensive. The first is the body type – Martir is 5’11”, 215. The second is the arm. While his mechanics are solid, he has struggled throwing out runners and some scouts question whether he’ll be able to remain at the position at the next level. Personally, I never bet against a guy like Martir. He could be a major steal if he drops out of the top-10 rounds.

MLB Comparison: Welington Castillo

Lewis: Kevin Martir is the consummate field general. He has served as the unquestioned captain of this Terps squad the past two seasons. His innate leadership skills are extremely impressive for a college kid. On the field, Martir has been the epitome of consistent and clutch. Offensively, Martir has a ton of raw power, as seen by his seven home runs, including a moonshot at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Maryland. Depite his power display, he manages to to keep his swing short and squares up a ton of baseballs. He has the ability to go the opposite way fairly naturally which has been a big reason for his impressive average. Martir has great hands behind the dish, receives the ball well and does a great job framing pitches. He also is extremely effective at blocking balls in the dirt. While his arm has worn down this season, he has good footwork and better lateral quickness than you would think. A team that values leadership and an offensive-minded catcher could pick up Martir in the first 15 rounds.

20/80 Scale (50 Is Big League Average)

Hit: 50      Power: 50       Run: 40       Field: 50        Arm: 40         Overall: 45

Range: Rounds 8-20

Learn more about Martir’s Brooklyn background, and how he and childhood friend Jose Cuas overcame the streets one of New York City’s toughest neighborhood: VIDEO

* John Vittas has been the play-by-play voice of the Maryland Terrapins and has called close to 100 games over the past four seasons. 

* Jon Lewis is a former college baseball player and provided live analysis on Vittas’ broadcasts. He is pursuing a career in professional scouting.

To view all the Terps’ Draft Previews, click here.

Maryland Draft Preview: RHP Jared Price

by John Vittas and Jon Lewis

Ht: 6’2″         Wt: 190 lbs.             Year: Jr.            Hometown: Mohnton, PA (Twin Valley HS)

*drafted by the New York Mets out of high school

2015 Stats

G: 11      IP: 8.1       ERA: 6.48        K/9: 10.8         BB/9: 8.6         H/9: 8.6

Arsenal: fastball (90-94mph), curveball

17104940665_85e6497626_zPros: live arm, projectable, plus breaking ball

Cons: inconsistent, struggles to throw strikes

Vittas: For Price, it’s all about consistency. He has dominant college stuff, he just hasn’t been able to consistently throw strikes. When he’s on, he strikes out everyone and makes hitters look silly. The problem is that that has occurred about once every three outings. Price is still working to get his velocity back after arm surgery in the fall, but his last couple outings as a Terp were promising. He’ll be late round, high ceiling project for whoever takes him.

Lewis: Price is a big, strong, projectable RHP who has one of the best two-pitch mixes on the Maryland squad. Armed with a fastball that hit 96mph his freshman year, Price works more comfortably in the low-90s. His 12-6 downer curve has a ton of late life and bite. The question remains: Can Price put it all together over a full season? If he can do that and get his fastball back up to the mid-90s, he could develop into a solid pro reliever.

20/80 Scale (50 is Big League average)

Fastball: 50        Curveball: 55          Command: 30           Overall: 40

Range: late rounds

* John Vittas has been the play-by-play voice of the Maryland Terrapins and has called close to 100 games over the past four seasons. 

* Jon Lewis is a former college baseball player and provided live analysis on Vittas’ broadcasts. He is pursuing a career in professional scouting.

To view all the Terps’ Draft Previews, click here.

Maryland Draft Preview: 3B Jose Cuas

by John Vittas and Jon Lewis

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

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY (Grand Street Campus HS)

2015 Stats

AB: 260          Slash Line: .242 / .329 / .442          HR: 11       RBI: 53        K-Rate: 19%

Pros: plus arm, natural plus power, projectable, extremely athletic, run producer, durable

Cons: batting average, swing gets long and pull-happy

Cuas

Lewis: Jose Cuas is as talented an athlete who has donned a Terps uniform.  He has a projectable build, great hands, and a strong arm that scouts dream on.  Offensively, Cuas puts on a show in BP and has proven a capable run producer in clutch situations.  Ideally, you would like to see the average closer to .280 and the strikeouts subside. The team that drafts Cuas can dream on his offensive potential coming to fruition. Based on talent alone, Cuas should go in the top 10 rounds, but with his average hovering around .240 to end the year, it’ll be interesting to see if Cuas falls just a tad.

MLB Comparison: Manny Machado

Vittas: Cuas jumps out at you both physically and athletically when you watch a Maryland game, and his baseball talents are top-5 round worthy. However, a career college average below .250 will raise some red flags. Jose has an open stance and a long load, which sometimes disrupts his timing. When his swing gets long and his approach falters, Cuas strikes out a ton. But when he’s going right, it’s beautiful to watch. The arm at third base is ridiculous, and the movements are smooth and efficient. If Cuas drops to Round 8 or 9 like some are predicting, the team that takes him could be getting a steal. If he smooths out the hit tool, Cuas could be a Major League star.

Range: Rounds: 5-12

20-80 Scale (50 is Big League average)

Hit: 45       Power: 60         Field: 50       Throw: 60        Run: 55          Overall: 50

* John Vittas has been the play-by-play voice of the Maryland Terrapins and has called close to 100 games over the past four seasons. 

* Jon Lewis is a former college baseball player and provided live analysis on Vittas’ broadcasts. He is pursuing a career in professional scouting.

To view all the Terps’ Draft Previews, click here.

Maryland Draft Preview: OF LaMonte Wade

by John Vittas and Jon Lewis

Ht: 6’1″         Wt: 190 lbs.            Class: Jr.            Bats / Throws: L / L

Hometown (HS): Owings Mills, MD (St. Paul)

2015 Stats

AB: 158      Slash Line: .335 / ..453 / 468       HR: 4       RBI: 32        SB: 7        K-Rate: 9%

Pros: plus athlete, complete defender, gets on base, good speed, doesn’t strike out, squares everything up

Cons: won’t hit many home runs

17418291149_42e987357e_zVittas: Wade is everything you want in a top of the order hitter. He gets on base in a variety of ways, makes consistent solid contact and is a threat on the bases. He walked 10 more times than he struck out this year (20 K, 30 BB) and drove in a remarkable 32 runs in 42 games as a leadoff hitter. After originally being tagged as second half of the draft guy, Wade’s stock is rising because of his terrific run in the NCAA Tournament. He made three run-saving plays in the Regionals, showing off his remarkable athleticism and cannon for an arm.

MLB Comp: Adam Eaton

Lewis: LaMonte Wade Jr. is an extremely gifted CF with tools galore.  He is a fast-twitched athlete whose tools play up from his move from 1B to CF.  He gets incredible reads on flyballs and makes difficult plays look easy.  He has plus plus range in CF and has a very strong arm to boot.  Wade has hit the national spotlight with his assortment of highlight defensive plays over the last week or so in the Terps postseason run, but don’t underestimate Wade’s ability to square up a baseball. Despite an injury sidelining him for 4 weeks, he has been so consistent all year in squaring up balls and hitting the ball hard on the ground.  Wade is a prospect with a significant amount of helium and could sneak himself into a top-15 round pick.

20/80 Scale (50 is Big League average)

Hit: 45        Power: 30        Run: 50        Field: 50       Throw: 50     Overall: 45

Range: Rounds 8-20

* John Vittas has been the play-by-play voice of the Maryland Terrapins and has called close to 100 games over the past four seasons. 

* Jon Lewis is a former college baseball player and provided live analysis on Vittas’ broadcasts. He is pursuing a career in professional scouting.

To view all the Terps’ Draft Previews, click here.

Maryland Draft Preview: RHP Kevin Mooney

by John Vittas and Jon Lewis

Ht: 6’1″         Wt: 210            Class: Jr.               Hometown (HS): Forest Hill, MD (North Harford)

2015 Stats

G: 23      S: 3      IP: 37.1       ERA: 1.21       K/9: 11.3       BB/9: 5.3        H/9: 4.1

Arsenal: fastball (90-93mph), 12-6 curveball

17005029432_fe8a8b4e70_zPros: two plus pitches, intelligent, good under pressure, accomplished closer

Cons: has only thrived in one role

Vittas: Mooney has established himself as one of the better closers in college baseball over the last few years. He’s closed out big games in hostile environments without fail and isn’t phased by anything. Both his fastball and curveball are true swing-and-miss pitches and his curveball has more downward break than any pitch I’ve seen doing college baseball. The only cons to Mooney’s resume is that he has struggled with control in low-leverage situations and as a starting pitcher.

Lewis: Mooney has been tough as nails serving as the everyday closer since his freshman year.  He has amassed over 30 saves in his three year stint as closer, good for tops in program history.  His fastball tops out at 94 mph and his signature pitch is his true downer 12-6 CB that he can throw in any count.  His curveball is a plus pitch that is in the 78-80 MPH range.  His polished command of this 2-pitch mix makes him a top-10 round talent as a short inning reliever.  With a couple more ticks on his FB and the addition of a 2-seamer or a FB with some run could elevate Mooney to a closer’s candidate at the next level. Expect him to go in the first half of the draft, potentially in the top 10 rounds.

20-80 Scale (50 is Big League average)

Fastball: 50      Curveball: 60          Command: 45        Overall: 50

Range: Rounds 8-15

* John Vittas has been the play-by-play voice of the Maryland Terrapins and has called close to 100 games over the past four seasons. 

* Jon Lewis is a former college baseball player and provided live analysis on Vittas’ broadcasts. He is pursuing a career in professional scouting.

To view all the Terps’ Draft Previews, click here.

Maryland Draft Preview: OF Anthony Papio

by John Vittas and Jon Lewis

Ht: 6’2″           Wt: 195              Class: R-Jr.            Hometown (HS): Olney, MD (Sherwood)

2015 Stats

AB: 226      Slash Line: .261 / .372 / .416        HR: 6          RBI: 25       SB: 7       K-Rate: 24%

Pros: good power, excellent defender, strong arm, athletic

Cons: strikes out a lot, struggles with breaking pitches

17307362781_27356f17b4_z (1)Vittas: Papio is a gifted athlete with solid all-around tools. He has gradually improved his hit tool during his time in College Park, becoming a patient hitter who can go to all fields. Papio won the “Iron Terp” Award for his dedication to the team’s offseason strength and conditioning program and is a respected leader for the 2015 Terps. He’s a steady, durable ballplayer whose athleticism suits him well in all aspects of the game. He’s done a good job shaking the label of a “streaky” hitter, but still needs to work on squaring up breaking balls.

MLB Comp: Andre Ethier

Lewis: Papio has been a solid college performer, who I can argue has underachieved a little bit, especially in terms of average.  He has some of the best raw power on the Terps squad and is probably the strongest guy on the team.  I really like his hit tool and his developing power from the left side. He has a good approach, but sometimes takes too many pitches.  He runs well for a corner outfielder and takes good routes to balls in the gap/down the line.  He throws reasonably well from RF but may profile as more of a LF moving forward. An athlete with tools, it’ll be interesting to see if/where Papio goes.

20/80 Scale (50 is Big League Average)

Hit: 40      Power: 55      Run: 50     Field: 50      Throw: 45       Overall: 40

Range: second half of draft

* John Vittas has been the play-by-play voice of the Maryland Terrapins and has called close to 100 games over the past four seasons. 

* Jon Lewis is a former college baseball player and provided live analysis on Vittas’ broadcasts. He is pursuing a career in professional scouting.

To view all the Terps’ Draft Previews, click here.

Maryland Draft Preview: 2B Brandon Lowe

By: Jon Lewis and John Vittas

Ht: 5’10”          Wt: 178         Class: R-So.        Bats / Throws: L / R

Home (HS): Suffolk, VA (Nansemond River)

2015 Stats

AB: 234     Slash Line: .342 / .442 / .564     HR: 9     RBI: 52     SB: 10    K-Rate: 10%

Pros: pure hitter, plus plate discipline, goes to all fields, no wasted motion, short to the ball, quick hands, good lateral movement defensively

Cons: size, average arm, limited to second base

17078877866_7b8cec7471_zVittas: Watching Lowe swing a baseball bat is an absolute treat. His plate discipline is outstanding and bat control is precise. He can go to all fields and hit any pitch hard. He may lack star power due to his quiet personality and underwhelming size, but his bat can play at any level. After adding power and speed during his time at Maryland, Lowe has the potential to be a Major League starter.

Offensive Comp: Nick Markakis; Player Mold: Daniel Murphy with better defensive attributes

Lewis: Lowe is a polished hitter with a great approach and deceptive power. He generates excellent bat speed despite his diminutive frame and goes to all fields with ease. He does not possess a long stride or timing mechanism, which allows him to be short to the ball and barrel up seemingly everything. He is a steady defender who makes all the plays albeit he is not flashy. He has playable speed and a fringe average arm; he profiles as a solid pro defender at 2B.

20-80 Scale (50 is Big League Average)

Hit: 60     Power: 45     Field: 50      Arm: 45     Run: 50      Overall: 50

Rounds: 2-5