Tuesday’s winner is Daniel Murphy; he will move on to face Reggie Sanders.
Today we have Cliff Pennington (Harrisonburg 2003) vs Jason Kipnis (Covington 2006-07).
- Cliff Pennington got here by defeating another Turk, Darren Lewis, in the first round. His writeup: “Cliff Pennington played in Harrisonburg in 2003. He was the 21st overall pick in the 2005 MLB draft of the Oakland A’s. He made the majors three years later, in 2008, and had a total of 11 years at the game’s highest level. In 2,799 career at-bats, he hit .242/.309/.339. He played in the postseason in 2012 and 2015- he appeared in three games against the Royals in the ALCS (and walked in his only plate appearance). In August, 2013, he walked five times for the Diamondbacks in an 18-inning game against the Philadelphia Phillies. He bounced around a bit at the tail end of his career, and was released just about a year ago, in June 2019, and almost immediately moved on to the next stage of life as a coach for his alma mater, Texas A&M. He earned 11.1 WAR in his career.”
- Jason Kipnis was truly astonishing for the Lumberjacks in 2007; ATVL named him the top hitter in the league. Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft by the Cleveland Indians out of Arizona State, Kipnis quickly moved through the minor leagues and made his major league debut on July 22, 2011. He moved into the starting lineup in 2012, and, besides an injury or two, remained Cleveland’s starting second baseman (or center fielder) until 2019. His best season was in 2013, when he slashed .284/.366/.452 in 564 at-bats, with 36 doubles, four triples, 17 home runs, 84 RBIs, and even 30 stolen bases. He was named to the All-Star team, and finished 11th in MVP voting. He was also an All-Star in 2015, and finished 16th in MVP voting that offseason. Over his nine-year career, Kipnis has hit a total of .261/.333/.417 in 4,290 at-bats, with 252 doubles, 23 triples, 123 home runs, 529 RBIs, and 135 stolen bases. He signed with the Chicago Cubs in the 2019 offseason.
Vote by going to twitter.com/JohnATVL! (Closes Thursday 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!