This weekend, Maryland baseball received some good news as senior Jake Stinnett and redshirt junior Charlie White passed the 5 PM deadline on Friday to sign their professional contracts, indicating that both players will return for the upcoming season. With a young team and a bright future, Coach John Szefc will look to these players to prove leadership to the rest of the team and build on its 30-win season a year ago.
Stinnett will shoulder the load to become the Terps’ ace this year as Jimmy Reed has finally graduated and is now under contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. After being called up from the bullpen midway through the year, Stinnett showed flashes of greatness throughout the remainder of the season.
Stinnett’s potential is evident by his dominant command despite having little time to adapt to the new role. It’s clear that Szefc has instilled his trust in Stinnett and will rely on him to improve to lead the way for the rest of the Terps’ pitching staff. Stinnett finished in the top fifteen in the ACC in hits allowed per nine innings (6.5, 39th in the nation), ERA (2.83, 197th in the nation), and WHIP (1.1, 121st in the nation).
Center fielder Charlie White was one of the best hitters in the ACC, as well as the country, last year. With two years of eligibility remaining, White will continue to lead the young lineup. With his return, the lineup will have six of its eight field players back next year. As White improves over the offseason, I look for his numbers to gradually improve and he will continue to show his worth as one of the dominant hitters in college baseball.
Maryland has the potential to have one of the most dangerous lineups in the ACC, with many young hitters having a full year and offseason to improve. White finished the season leading the Terps in batting average (.350, 138th in the nation), hits (75) and on-base percentage (.449, 89th in the nation). White also finished with 0.71 stolen bases per game (5th in the nation) and 67th in the nation for toughest to strike out.