Maryland shortstop Matt Shaw was selected No. 13 overall in Sunday’s MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs, making him the highest-drafted player in Maryland baseball history.
Shaw was also the first Maryland product selected in the first round since Brett Cecil in 2007 and the sixth first-round selection in program history. Before Sunday, the highest MLB draft pick from Maryland was John Hetrick, who was drafted No. 17 overall in 1967.
In three years with the Terps, Shaw hit .320 and mashed a program-record 53 home runs, amassing a total of 166 runs batted in. He also recorded a total of 222 hits, stole 37 bases, had a career fielding percentage of .957 and started all 167 games he appeared in.
“I probably won’t ever coach the combination of talent, the combination of work ethic [and] the combination of attention to detail in everything he does,” former Terps head coach Rob Vaughn said when Shaw broke Maryland’s home run record in April. “He’s probably, when it’s all said and done, going to be the best player to ever walk through here.”
As a junior this past season, Shaw exploded for the most productive season of his collegiate career, hitting .341 with 24 home runs and an OPS over 1.100. He earned a plethora of awards for his 2023 performance, being named Big Ten Player of the Year, the recipient of the Brooks Wallace Award — given to the nation’s best collegiate shortstop — and a near-unanimous first-team All-American.
“Of all the Major League Baseball players that we’ve had, of everybody we’ve ever coached, I’ve never met someone like him,” current Maryland head coach Matt Swope, who played for the team from 1999-2002 and has been on its staff since 2013, said in May. “I’ve never found someone more confident than Matt Shaw.”
From the moment Shaw arrived at Maryland, he made himself known as a future star. As a freshman, he earned both Freshman All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game and a spot on the All-Big Ten freshman team.
He followed up his rookie campaign with a 22-home run sophomore season and a subsequent impressive showing in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League, earning the summer league’s Most Valuable Player award in 2022 after batting .360 for the eventual champion Bourne Braves.
It was during his sophomore season that Shaw transitioned from playing second base and the outfield to shortstop, however many expect him to return to second base at the professional level, citing arm strength as a concern. Nonetheless, the 5-foot-11 native of Brimfield, Massachusetts, saw his elite hitting ability earn him high grades from scouts and lead to him being the fifth position player from college drafted this year.