Maryland alum Justin Maxwell hitting his stride


Former Maryland outfielder Justin Maxwell has bounced around the MLB during his career.

However, Maxwell may have finally found a home in San Francisco.

Maxwell began his baseball career at Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring, and was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 43rd Round (1279th overall). The Bethesda native decided against playing for his hometown, and chose to attend the University of Maryland.

Maxwell began his collegiate career in 2002, and saw the field plenty even as a freshman. In 35 starts, he hit .239 with three home runs and 23 RBIs for a Terps team that only registered six wins the entire season. In 2003, Maxwell had a strong campaign in which he hit .317 with 10 home runs and 43 RBIs while recording 13 extra-base hits.

In what was supposed to be his junior year (2004), Maxwell fractured his right arm before the season began, forcing him to use a medical redshirt. Despite not seeing the field, the former Sherwood star was selected in the 10th round (291st overall) by the Texas Rangers. Maxwell declined once again.

In 2005, Maxwell was drafted in the fourth round (114th overall) by the Washington Nationals, which was the highest he was picked.

From to 2007 to this offseason, Maxwell spent time in the organizations of three MLB teams before arriving with San Francisco. The former Terp was a non-roster invitee to the Giants campe with the hopes of latching on with the defending champions.

Maxwell put together a spectacular spring as he hit .347 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 27 games. His sensational performance earned him a roster spot over former Giants top prospect Gary Brown.

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It was a great story for a guy that was only hitting .235 for his career entering this season. Maxwell made the team, but many didn’t see him as a serious piece in the Giants outfield.

However, with quirky outfielder Hunter Pence suffering a fracture in his left forearm, Maxwell became a very important bench player for San Francisco.

He hit .263 up until April 19 in fairly limited playing time. During that period, Maxwell only had multiple at-bats in three of the 12 games that he appeared in.

However, on April 21, something seemed to click for the 31-year old journeyman outfielder.

From April 21-27, Maxwell hit .333 with three home runs and nine RBIs. That stretch produced all the home runs and RBIs for Maxwell so far this season. Maxwell had multiple hits in three of those games.

With Pence’s return on the horizon, many thought that Maxwell’s playing time would end. However, manager Bruce Bochy said that Maxwell likely won’t be pulled from the lineup when Pence returns.

The former Terp hasn’t had a hit the last three games, but this is an incredible story. Maxwell was one of the more successful Maryland players in recent years, and it appears that he may have finally found a home.

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