As reported elsewhere on this site, Brett Cecil who played for at Maryland under Coach Terry Rupp and currently plays for the Toronto Blue Jays was named this week to the American League All-Star Team. Cecil left Maryland following his junior year after being the 38th player chosen in the 2007 draft.
Cecil is a local boy made good. He grew up in Dunkirk, MD and played his high school ball for DeMatha where he was named Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year. He was also named Player of the Year for the state of Maryland by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association He chose Maryland over offers from Clemson, East Tennessee State, Sienna, Stetson, and UNC-Charlotte.
In his three years at Maryland, he compiled a record of 10 - 12. More impressively, as a sophomore he set the Terps all time single season save record registering 13 saves and besting the old mark by six. He also holds the mark for career saves with 23 and his 74 total appearances are good for fifth all-time at Maryland.
After being drafted by the Blue Jays, he spent two years in the minors before being called up and making his first major league appearance on May 5, 2009. He had an up and down career bouncing between AAA Las Vegas and the Blue Jays. Despite starting the year in Las Vegas, Cecil had a solid year with the parent club in 2010 leading the Jays in wins with 15 while registering a 4.22 ERA in 28 games.
Cecil struggled a bit in 2011 and 2012 spending most of the latter year in the minors before being a late call-up in September where he served mostly mop-up duty. However, he seemed to find some rhythm as a relief pitcher and, according to his manager, John Gibbons, the 6'2" lefty really found himself in spring training this year when he gave up on his slider and began using his curve early in the count to get ahead of batters.
In a recent interview with MASN during a Jays visit to Camden Yards, Cecil admitted to having grown up as a Yankees fan but also credited then Terps pitching coach Jim Farr with preparing him for the mental aspects of pitching at the big league level. That mental toughness has carried through into a season where as of July 10, 2013, his record stands at 3-0 and he has a 1.81 ERA. Perhaps more impressively, opponents are only batting a paltry .157 against him and his WHIP (Walks + Hits per Innings Pitched) is a measly 0.87.