It’s common sense, I think, that if a Valley League team has important returning players from the year before, that it may give them a leg up, so to speak, on the competition.
The 2017 Strasburg Express are a classic example. First of all, they had Brandon Quaranta, a huge bat in the middle of the lineup, return, but having starting pitcher Ben Dum, from VCU, return was just as crucial to the team’s success.
Ben, like you might expect, turned in another outstanding campaign in 2017, helping to lead the Express to the cusp of another title.
Here are Ben’s stats for the past two seasons in the Valley:
As you can see, Ben has been an outstanding pitcher over the last two years.
He was ATVL’s #2 starting pitcher after his ’16 season, and was All-Valley first team. He was named to the VL 1st team in 2017, too, and although he fell two spots on ATVL’s list, that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a crucial piece of the Express success.
In 2017, on the list of pitchers considered for this list, Ben finished 7th in ERA, 1st in IP, tied for 4th in strikeouts, 7th in batting average against, 4th in WHIP, tied for 3rd in BB/9, and 8th in K/9. His best start was on July 11th at Covington, when he threw 5 shutout innings, along with 3 hits, 1 walk, and six strikeouts.
But take a look at his career stats! He’s gone 11-2, 2.26 in 20 games (18 starts) and 111 2/3 innings, with a WHIP at 1.038, 1.9 BB/9, and 7.3 K/9. Amazing!
The 6-foot, 185-pound right hander is a current junior at VCU. Here are his stats for the past two college seasons:
His numbers took a pretty large jump forward in 2017. I would watch for Ben to make his team’s starting rotation in 2018, and have an excellent college season!
Congrats on your amazing two seasons in the Valley League, Ben!