The state of pitching in the Valley League seems to be in flux.
Back in the day (insert old man noise here if you wish), starting pitchers would pitch until they got tired, and very often complete six or sometimes even seven innings in one game.
That is not the case any more. In fact, in the 2019 Valley League season, only 15 pitchers reached 35 innings pitched. College coaches are more concerned about the health of their arms (as they should be, of course), and that has filtered down to VBL coaches as well.
So that makes lists such as these pretty difficult. To survive in these changing times, I decided to include pitchers as starters if their team counted them as such. In other words, if a pitcher’s team nominated him for an All-Valley League award as a starter, then I counted that pitcher as a starter. It’s that simple. I still needed a minimum innings requirement, but I decided to back that all the way down to 20.
ATVL has identified the top 15 starters in the 2019 season, and will begin posting them one by one in the coming days. The most important categories are strikeouts (by extension, K/9), walks (and BB/9), WHIP (walks+hits divided by innings), and batting average against. Innings can be a tie-breaker, but wins are not very important in this exercise- in fact, all fifteen guys have between one and three wins.
Let’s start things with the six guys who were really, really good, but weren’t around very long:
|Michael Zubovich, Char||2.74||5||19.7||20||8||6||1||30||1.066||0.5||13.7|
|Kelyn Fox, NM||1.28||5||14.0||14||5||2||2||13||1.143||1.3||8.4|
|Dane Kapande, Win||1.20||3||15.0||12||2||2||7||14||1.267||4.2||8.4|
|Devin Dunn, Stras||3.37||5||18.7||16||10||7||8||19||1.283||3.9||9.1|
|Gene Hurst, Stras||0.60||3||15.0||16||8||1||3||15||1.267||1.8||9.0|
|Riley Davis, Cov||1.00||3||18.0||17||6||2||4||16||1.167||2.0||8.0|
We’ll cover the first six out next!