Evaluating Maryland baseball’s way-too-early 2025 roster

Maryland baseball’s season ended very abruptly and earlier than many around the program anticipated. The Terps went into the final weekend of the regular season needing likely two out of three games against Penn State to qualify for the Big Ten Tournament. Instead, Maryland got swept by Penn State, and the Nittany Lions qualified for Omaha while the Terps were sent home. It was the first sweep Maryland suffered at home since 2019 when East Carolina did it, and the first time they’ve been swept at home since Purdue did it in 2018. Nonetheless, the Terps are in a great spot as a program having won the Big Ten in 2022 and 2023, and the Big Ten Tournament last year. The program’s streak of reaching three straight regionals will come to an end this season, but the future is surely very bright with Matt Swope leading the way. Let’s take a position-by-position look at who the Terps can expect back in 2025.

Catcher:

Both Devin Russell and Alex Calarco are eligible to return next season and both likely will. While neither of the two exceeded expectations, they paired up to make a formidable catching tandem for the Terps this season. Cole Constable will be back for his sophomore season as well. Maryland will also welcome in freshman Aidan Driscoll from St Johns Prep, as well as Parker Corbin from Cincinnati Country Day High School. Corbin was regarded as the number one shortstop in the state of Ohio, and can also catch as well.

Infield:

At first base, Eddie Hacopian has another year of eligibility and it would be a surprise if he does not come back. Hacopian earned All-Big Ten First Team honors this past Tuesday after putting up a monster .377 season. His average was third in the conference and he was also third in the conference with 83 hits. If he comes back for his senior season, he will once again be one of the best first basemen in the Big Ten, and possibly in college baseball. After playing the outfield in 2023, Brayden Martin will likely take over the starting second baseman spot after Sam Hojnar’s stellar season that also landed him All-Big Ten First Team Honors. Hojnar is out of eligibility. Chris Hacopian will in all likelihood slide from third to short after his All-Big Ten Freshman season in 2023, with the departure of Kevin Keister. He was tied for fifth in the conference with 15 home runs. Michael Iannazzo will likely take the starting third base role after providing the Terps with some solid at-bats mostly in the DH spot in 2023. Other freshmen include Colin Gibbs from St Johns College Prep, and previously mentioned Parker Corbin.

Outfield

Jordan Crosland is likely to be the starting left fielder for Maryland in 2024. When he was on the field, he provided an electric spark for the Terps with his bat and his glove, and played well above his age in 2023. In center, Elijah Lambros is a question mark to return. There is certainly a chance Lambros is drafted in the later rounds of the upcoming draft in June. Lambros provided elite centerfield defense and was productive in the bottom of the Maryland lineup. If he comes back, he has a good chance to be one of the better centerfielders again in the Big Ten. If Lambros decides to leave, centerfield could possibly be a spot Matt Swope looks at the transfer portal for. Jacob Orr is also likely to return after a very good Junior season. Orr will likely be the Opening Day starter in right field in 2025. He set a career-high in games started this season as well as a career-high in hits. Luke Zeisloft and Randy Carlo are other potential outfield options.

Rotation

Maryland’s rotation should be in a good spot heading into 2025. They’ll receive a big boost right away with the return of Kyle McCoy. McCoy, a 6’6 left-hander, missed all of the 2024 season after getting Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2023 season. When healthy, McCoy has shown the ability to have electrifying stuff, and was a member of the 2023 All-Big Ten Freshmen Team. Joey McMannis will likely be Maryland’s Saturday starter after an impressive freshman season that saw him make a start in almost every weekend series for the Terps this season. Logan Koester has the option to return and would be a big part of the Terps pitching plans in 2025. Ryan Van Buren and Omar Melendez are also expected back as well. Two potential freshmen options include Archbishop Spalding right-hander Jake Yeager, who has hit 94 on his fastball, and 6-foot-4, 210-pound right-hander Christopher Cespedes.

Bullpen

The bullpen will likely be the area of the team that Matt Swope uses the transfer portal most, but will also get some good arms back. Most notably, VCU transfer James Gladden will be full go after suffering a season-ending arm injury weeks before the season started. Lefty Evan Smith was impressive for the Terps as a freshman and will likely be one of the higher-leverage left-handers next season. In addition, veterans Duke McCarron, Meade Johnson, and Andrew Johnson all have eligibility as well.

Summary

Overall, the Terps are in an excellent spot with the vast majority of their key contributors set to return, with only the starting middle infielders departing. This was an extremely young team in 2024 both on the field and on the bench with an entirely new coaching staff, and Matt Swope in his first season at the helm. Surely it was not the season that anyone expected and one that ended a lot sooner than expected, but this will be an extremely dangerous team in 2025 with all of the young players having a year of experience under their belt. It would be pretty shocking if the Terps are not playing in Omaha this time next year.

Related Links

Maryland men’s basketball adds five games to non-conference schedule
Virginia DB Brennan Johnson “pumped” for upcoming official visit to Maryland
Everything John Tillman, players said after Maryland’s loss vs. Notre Dame
Maryland dominated by Notre Dame in National Championship, 15-5
In-state CB Jayden Shipps releases top seven with official visits set
Selton Miguel on his role at USF, transitioning to Maryland and goals for 2024-25