Friday’s winner was John Kruk; he wil go on to face Jon Jay in the Sweet Sixteen.
- Cowgill got here by defeating Mike Cubbage in the play-in round. This is what I wrote the last time: “From the University of Kentucky, Collin Cowgill played in Covington in 2005, alongside his brother, Michael, who attended JMU. Collin went on to be picked in the 5th round of the 2008 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He made his way to the majors with Arizona by 2011, and since, has spent parts of six seasons at the game’s highest level, hitting a total of .234/.297/.329 in 689 at-bats. He’s played for Arizona, Oakland, the New York Mets, Los Angeles Angels, and Cleveland. He hasn’t played in the majors since 2016; he spent 2017 in Triple-A for San Diego, 2018 for Philadelphia, and 2019 for Washington. He signed with the Seattle Mariners for 2020.”
- Sanders was picked in the 7th round of the 1987 MLB draft by the Cincinnati Reds out of Spartanburg Methodist. He made his major league debut on August 22, 1991, and with his blend of speed and power, pretty quickly latched on to one of the Reds’ outfield spots. His best season was pretty clearly 1995, when he was an All-Star and finished 6th in MVP voting after slashing .306/.397/.579, with 36 doubles, six triples, 28 home runs, 99 RBIs, and 36 stolen bases. His OPS+ finished at an astounding 155 that season. Sanders plyed with the Reds through his age-30 season in 1998, and then bounced around a ton until 2007, playing with the San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks (he won a World Series with them in 2001), San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and Kansas City Royals. He finsihed his career with a line of .267/.343/.487 in 6,241 at-bats, with 341 doubles, 60 triples, 305 home runs, 983 RBIs, and 304 stolen bases. He is one of only a handful of players who has compiled 300 stolen bases and 300 home runs in a career.
Vote by going to twitter.com/JohnATVL to vote! (Closes Tuesday morning)
And by the way, if you want to read much, much more about the 2019 VBL season, be sure to check out the 2019 Valley League Annual!