The 2019 MLB Draft is in the books, and Maryland baseball had two players and three commits selected when all was said and done.
This draft had a much different look than last year, when multiple Terps were chosen in the early rounds. But for at least two of Maryland’s seniors, this week marked the start of a professional journey.
Hunter Parsons, RHP — 19th round, New York Mets
Parsons has been the backbone of the Maryland pitching staff the last two years, pitching to a sub-3.50 ERA. He’s a workhorse on the mound, averaging almost seven innings a start this season. He certainly impressed in his last collegiate start, a win in the Big Ten tournament over Illinois, throwing 7.1 innings of one-run, four-hit baseball.
The Mets have 2018 NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob DeGrom and hard throwers Zach Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard in the major-league rotation, but Parsons has an opportunity to work his way up the organization. He’ll hope his durability and consistency lead him to a strong professional career.
AJ Lee, SS/3B — 34th round, Houston Astros
A late-season push really helped Lee out, as the Houston Astros have now given him a chance. He follows in the footsteps of Marty Costes as recent Terps to get drafted into the Astros organization (Houston picked Costes each of the last two years).
Lee posted a .317/.443/.497 slash line with 60 hits, 13 doubles, seven home runs and 36 RBIs in his senior year. That’s an impressive season considering he battled injury early on and went through a hitting slump. Lee capped off his college career with a home run in his final at-bat against Michigan in the Big Ten tournament. He’s a ways away from challenging Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa on the left side of the infield, but hopes to climb through the system.
Tucker Flint, OF commit — 36th round, New York Mets
Flint was a surprise as Maryland’s first commit to come off the board. He was given a Perfect Game grade of 9, and his 68 mph max barrel speed and 87 mph exit velocity are impressive numbers. He can even be a two-way player — though his fastball tops out at 82 mph, the lefty can be a commodity out of the bullpen.
With his commitment to the Terps, it’s not currently expected for him to sign with the Mets. If he stays with Maryland, coach Rob Vaughn could use him like Kevin Biondic in 2018 and Kody Milton briefly in 2019.
Ryan Ramsey, LHP commit — 36th round, Cleveland Indians
Ramsey, a projected single-digit round pick, slipped toward the end of the draft. However, his 9-1 record and 0.45 ERA in 2018 speak for themselves. He’s a crafty left-hander who tops out in the low 90s, but has very good off-speed stuff.
Several high schoolers slip like this because teams expect them to uphold their college commitments instead of going pro. The same happened to outfielder Jack Herman in 2018, but he ultimately signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, it will be tough to see Ramsey do the same.
Bobby Zmarzlak, OF commit — 40th round, Baltimore Orioles
Zmarzlak suffered the same fate as Ramsey did, slipping through the draft as teams seemed to expect he’d stick with his college commitment. However, the Orioles decided to take him with their last pick in the draft, the second Class of 2019 commit from Maryland to get picked.
His raw power and high school stats make him eye candy for professional baseball, but there is a very high chance now that he sticks with the Terps. If he does, his bat will be a big addition to Maryland for the 2020 season.