The Major League Baseball draft is under a month away as it’s set to take place from July 9 through July 11 in Seattle

The Major League Baseball draft is under a month away as it’s set to take place from July 9 through July 11 in Seattle

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

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Among the players in contention to be a first-round pick in next month’s draft includes Maryland shortstop Matt Shaw. The Brimfield (MA) native was one of the best shortstops in all of college baseball throughout the year, hitting .341/.445/.697 with 22 home runs and 67 RBI through 62 games played.

It was enough for Shaw to be named the Big Ten Player of the Year for his efforts this past season, helping lead the Terrapins to a 42-21 record including 17-7 in conference play. The Terrapins would win the Big Ten Tournament and earn a spot in the NCAA Winstom-Salem Regional as part of the NCAA Tournament. They would start their tournament off with a 7-2 win over Northeastern but would drop the next two games of the regional to Wake Forest (21-6) and George Mason (11-10).

Shaw was a three-year starter for his entire career with the Terrapins, playing in 167 games, starting in all 167 that he played in. He was a career .320/.413/.623 hitter with 53 home runs, 47 RBI, and 166 runs batted in. He also walked 95 times in his career just 124 career strikeouts across 693 at-bats.

 Here’s what MLB.com’s Prospect Pipeline had to say about Shaw in his draft profile;

“Shaw might be one of the better college hitters in the Draft class. He rarely strikes out and draws walks while making consistently hard contact. He can drive the ball to all fields and he showed off impressive opposite-field power last year for Maryland, with many of his homers going out to right and right-center field. He’s a plus runner who is a legitimate base-stealing threat.”

MLB.com’s Prospect Pipeline also graded Shaw’s tools out to the following; Hit: 55, Power: 55, Run: 60, Arm: 45, Field: 50, and overall: 55.

Additionally, in MLB.com’s most recent mock draft on June 22, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo projected the San Francisco Giants to draft Shaw with the 16th overall pick. Mayo notes that not only does Shaw bring quality power as a middle-infielder but he also has quite a bit of speed as he totaled 18 stolen bases this past season. Additionally, according to the best sports betting apps on baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers are reportedly interested in Shaw. The Brewers are currently in second place in the National League Central division, only a game and half behind the Cincinnati Reds.

Maryland has had a strong baseball history with 122 players drafted all-time from the program with 36 making it to the Major Leagues. If Shaw goes in the first round, however, it will be the program’s first, first-round selection since 2007 when Brett Cecil was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 38th overall pick. Cecil would go on to play parts of 10 seasons in the Major Leagues collecting a 44-47 record and 4.29 ERA over 443 career appearances.

The Terrapins also had saw shortstop John McCurdy drafted in the first round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. He is the only other Terrapin to go in the first round since the turn of the millennium. Other notable recent draft picks out of the program include infielder Kevin Smith,pitcher  Mike Shawaryn, second baseman Brandon Lower, outfielder LaMonte Wade, and pitcher Jose Cuas. The Terrapins have had multiple draft picks in every draft since 2011 except the 2020 MLB Draft in which they had none.

Shaw’s success at Maryland and potential first-round selection does not come as a major surprise. Coming out of high school at Worcester Academy, Shaw received a Perfect Game grade of 9 which is equal to a “Potential top 10 round pick and/or a highest level college prospect”. He was also considered a top-500 overall prospect and a top-175 shortstop in the nation. He was not drafted in the 2020 MLB Draft coming out of high school.

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