Now that we’ve hit the Valley League All-Star game (not with a break, though, as games resume tomorrow already), perhaps we can look at some notable stories (about stats, of course) to watch as we resume the season, a little more than halfway done.
- The “haves” and the “have-nots.” Not the right way to put this, probably, but there is a stark contrast between the teams at the top, middle, and bottom of the league standings. Three teams have a winning percentage of .679 or higher (Strasburg, Harrisonburg, and Waynesboro), three fall between .517 and .577 (Covington, Winchester, and Front Royal), while the rest fall below .400 (New Market, Purcellville, Staunton, Woodstock, and Charlottesville). In contrast, the highest winning percentage in the majors is .629 (SF Giants), and only four out of 30 have percentages under .400 (Cincinnati, Atlanta, Minnesota, and Tampe Bay). Will things tighten up, or will the difference become even more pronounced?
- Home run chase? Zach Sterry (Waynesboro) has 10 home runs at the break, while Greg Popatak (Harrisonburg) has 8. Since 2004, Joseph Odom (Winchester 2012) has hit the most, when he finished with 17. Will Sterry and Popatak challenge that mark?
- How about triples? Jose Carrera (Covington) has 4 already, while Jacob Tisevich (Woodstock) has 3. The most triples hit in a season since 2004 is 5, held by five players, but most recently done by Shane Billings (Harrisonburg) in 2015. Will both Carrera and Tisevich pass 5?
- Doubles? Three players are already in double figures of doubles- Daniel Kerwin (New Market), Tripp Shelton (Harrisonburg), and John Cable (New Market). Jimmy Yezzo (Winchester) hit 21 in 2012.
- The Valley League has had 6 players since 2004 hit at least .400; Jonathan Pryor (Harrisonburg) and Jason Polgano (Covington) are right there at the moment.
- ERA– Erne Valdes (Front Royal), Riley Arnone (Charlotteville), and Donovan Futrell (Covington) are all on pace to make the top ten list for ERA since 2004.
- Peyton Plumlee (Strasburg) has appeared in 6 games so far.. and has won 5 of them. Dustin Umberger (Luray 2007) won 9- the most since 2004. Stephen Xirinichs (Front Royal) and Corey Childress (Harrisonburg) each have won 4, by the way.
- Nicholas Purpera (Covington) has more than twice the saves than anyone else- 7. Eleven will place him on the top ten list of most saves since 2004.
- This has to do with the major leagues, but the VBL has already seen five alumni make their major league debut so far in 2016. Who’s next?
Anyone have anything else we should keep an eye on?