#38 Maryland Baseball 2016 Preview

Maryland Terrapins
Overall Rank: #38
Conference Rank: #2 Big Ten
Maryland Baseball Logo
Maryland is hoping to build off of their recent success. Two years ago they reached the Super Regional, where they lost to Virginia and last season they again faced off against Virginia in the Super Regional. And again they lost to the Cavaliers. But in the bigger picture, the move to the Big Ten has worked out fine for the Terrapins baseball program. They won a program high 42 games last year and the conference has become extremely competitive. Last season five Big Ten teams reached the NCAA Tournament. Five might be pushing it this year, but Maryland will be right there in the mix for a berth. 
2015: 42-24, 14-10
2015 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: John Szefc
Field Players:
The offense will need to do a little rebuilding with the absence of Kevin Martir, Brandon Lowe and LaMonte Wade. Those were the only three players on the team to hit over .300 on the year. Martir and Lowe in particular could also hit for power. Martir hit seven homeruns and drove in 45 RBIs, while Lowe hit nine homers and tallied 53 RBIs. Speaking of power, Jose Cuas is gone too. He led the team with 11 long balls and tied Lowe for a team high with 53 RBI. But there is talent returning, most notably Kevin Smith. Smith earned freshman all-American plaudits after hitting .273 with seven homeruns, 35 RBIs and 11 stolen bases as a freshman. The shortstop is ready to emerge as a leader.
Mike Shawaryn is a great piece to build around. As a sophomore last season the 6-3 right handed pitcher went 13-2 in 17 starts and tallied a 1.71 ERA. He is a strikeout pitcher and dominating force on the mound. It took until the end of the season for Brian Shaffer to work his way into the weekend rotation, but expect him to stay there this year. He made 16 appearances as a freshman, starting 11 games, and finished with a 5-1 record and a 4.57 ERA. He is a great control pitcher and is only getting better. With Ryan Selmer, Robert Galligan, Taylor Stiles and Taylor Bloom also returning with some starting experience, the Terps staff appears to be in great shape. With a strong recruiting class, which includes pitchers, Andrew Miller, John Murphy and Hunter Parsons, Coach Szefc should have plenty of options to fill in the holes. Like last season, it may take some time to get everybody’s roles established, but having too many options is never a bad thing.
Who to Watch:
Maryland will need increased production from the rest of their returning field players, most notably Anthony Papio, Nick Cieri, Jamal Wade and Kengo Kawahara. Papio, a senior outfielder who started all 66 games last year, is by far the most experienced player of the bunch. He has a bit of pop to his bat and hit six homeruns in 2015. Cieri and Wade can hit the long ball too, but will be asked to do much more this season.
Final Projection:
Maryland will be an interesting team to watch this year. Their strong pitching staff should lead to plenty of wins, but there are quite a few questions at the plate that need to be answered. Surely the strong recruiting class will help in that regard with players like Nick Browne, Marty Costes and Nick Dunn capable of making an immediate impact. However, if this group wants to make it to a third straight Super Regional, they need to find a few players who can get on base on a consistent basis.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament
Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Kevin Smith, IF, 249
Hits: Kevin Smith, IF, 68
Home Runs: Kevin Smith, IF, 7
RBIs: Kevin Smith, IF, 35
Runs: Kevin Smith, IF, 55
Stolen Bases: Kevin Smith, IF, 11
Wins: Mike Shawaryn, P, 13
Innings Pitched: Mike Shawaryn, P, 116.0
Strikeouts: Mike Shawaryn, P, 138
Saves: Robert Galligan, P, 1; Brian Shaffer, P, 1
Madness 2015 Draft Rankings:
#19 Mike Shawaryn