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2015 MLB Draft Prospects – Maryland

JR LHP Jake Drossner (2015)
JR LHP Alex Robinson (2015)
JR RHP Kevin Mooney (2015)
JR RHP Jared Price (2015)
rJR LHP Zach Morris (2015)
SR RHP Bobby Ruse (2015)
JR OF/LHP LaMonte Wade (2015)
JR 3B Jose Cuas (2015)
JR C Kevin Martir (2015)
rSO 2B Brandon Lowe (2015)
JR OF Anthony Papio (2015)
SO C/1B Nick Cieri (2016)
SO RHP Mike Shawaryn (2016)
SO LHP Tayler Stiles (2016)
FR C Justin Morris (2017)
FR LHP Willie Rios (2017)
FR 2B/SS Andrew Bechtold (2017)
FR OF Zach Jancarski (2017)
FR SS Kevin Smith (2017)
FR RHP Taylor Bloom (2017)
FR RHP Tyler Brandon (2017)
FR OF Kengo Kawahara (2017)
FR RHP Brian Shaffer (2017)
FR OF Jamal Wade (2017)
FR LHP Jack Piekos (2017)

So, Maryland is kind of stacked, huh? How about that? I’m excited by a future that includes SO C/1B Nick Cieri’s bat (less so his glove…), SO RHP Mike Shawaryn’s pro-ready changeup, FR C Justin Morris getting the chance to catch his older brother again, FR LHP Willie Rios making sub-6 foot pitchers proud, and FR OF Zach Jancarski running balls down in center. The present doesn’t look half-bad, either. Maryland’s pitching in particular stands out. Most, if not all, of their top current arms will wind up as relievers in professional ball, but the fact that they have upwards of five 2015 arms who look like safe bets to be selected in June speaks volumes about the quality of talent that has been pumped into the school in recent years. JRs LHP Jake Drossner and RHP Kevin Mooney have the best shot at starting in pro ball. Drossner throws two offspeed pitches for strikes (mid-70s CB, low-80s CU) and Mooney has the stuff to garner groundball outs (FB with sink, CB with plus upside) yet may not have quite the changeup he’ll need to escape the pen as a pro. JRs LHP Alex Robinson (96 peak) and RHP Jared Price (95 peak) have the most raw arm strength, but both have some serious control issues to work out before taking the next step. On sheer upside alone, a pretty easy case could be made that they are the top two 2015 arms on the roster; I’ll take Robinson if forced to pick. rJR LHP Zach Morris rounds out the group as another physical strong-armed future reliever with below-average present control.

I hope giving some love to the pitching staff doesn’t make it seem like the Terps are light on hitting. They are not. JR OF LaMonte Wade is a power spike away — which, based on his swing/frame/HS days is well within reach — from being a really intriguing 2015 draft prospect. As it is, he’s still a guy who can throw, run a little, and work deep counts. JR 3B Jose Cuas reminds me a little bit of Matt Gonzalez of Georgia Tech: both players have the tools to be regulars at the hot corner, especially defensively, but still have some growing to do on the offensive side. Cuas is the toolsier of the two, though both flash big league ability at times. I stuck a sophomore season comparison between the two ACC 3B after this paragraph, if you’re into that sort of thing. JR C Kevin Martir has almost the opposite problem as Cuas: his bat is way ahead of his glove at the present moment, which is not necessarily an ideal situation for a catcher to be in. I’ve heard some really good things about JR OF Anthony Papio, but his breakthrough — been far more solid than spectacular — has yet to occur.

MG: 314/.358/.416 – 20 BB/55 K – 9/17 SB – 255 AB
JC: .279/.333/.417 – 14 BB/49 K – 3/5 SB – 204 AB

I think Cuas and Wade are future pros with little doubt, but there’s one Maryland hitter that I’d take over both. It should come as no shock to any long-time reader that rSO 2B Brandon Lowe is my kind of ballplayer. His physical tools skew closer to average than not (glove, arm, speed, raw power), but the man has a knack for consistent hard contact that can’t be taught. He also has a tremendous batting eye that often puts him in good hitting counts. It’s a really tough profile to get too excited about — offensive second basemen who can’t really run are not typically seen as prospects by anybody — but I believe in the bat (.348/.464/.464 with 34 BB/20 K in 181 AB last year) enough to think he’s got a real chance to make it. He’s obviously not the best position player prospect in the ACC this year, but he’s definitely my favorite.

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