As his dominant senior season winds to its end, Maryland pitcher Jake Stinnett was named ACC pitcher of the week for the fourth time this season Monday. Not since North Carolina State’s Mike Rogers in 2004 has an ACC player won four weekly honors in a season.
The league leader in innings pitched (89), strikeouts (107), shutouts (two) and complete games (four), Stinnett has excelled at the front end of Maryland’s rotation, compiling a 2.63 earned-run average through 12 starts with a WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) at 0.91. Stinnett was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 29th round last season, right beside teammate Charlie White, and has spent this spring elevating his draft stock. According to MLB.com, Stinnett currently ranks 63rd among prospects for the 2014 MLB draft, with the following scouting report:
He’s really taken off this season, showing a jump in velocity up into the mid-90s with plenty of sink. His slider has greatly improved, flashing as a plus pitch. His changeup is behind the other two, but he has shown some feel for it. The focus on pitching has helped his command, and he’s able to pitch to both sides of the plate.
There is some effort to his delivery, but not enough to make a team think he can’t start. College seniors typically are value picks, but Stinnett has the chance to go in the early rounds based on his size and stuff alone.
Stinnett’s latest honor came after a 13-strikeout performance, one short of his career high, in Friday night’s 2-0 victory over Notre Dame. Stinnett has reached double-digit strikeouts in three straight games. With likely one regular-season start remaining — next weekend at Pittsburgh — and possibly the ACC tournament, Stinnett is 17 strikeouts away from the Maryland season record, set by Steve Schmoll (124) in 2003.
The Terps, who swept the Fighting Irish last weekend at home, have six games left in the regular season, beginning Tuesday at Virginia Commonwealth. They are currently fourth in the ACC Atlantic Division, two games in the conference loss column behind Wake Forest. This season, the conference moved to a 10-team, double-elimination tournament format. Maryland is ninth in the league overall. A series victory versus the Panthers would send them into the field.