Brett Gardner won the match yesterday (64.3% to 35.7%); he will await the winner from today.

Friday’s Match

Today we have Erik Kratz (Waynesboro 2000, Harrisonburg 2001) vs Aubrey Huff (Staunton 1997).

  • Erik Kratz defeated Chad Tracy in the first round, and then Johnny Oates in the round of 32. His writeup: “[Kratz] is a local- he is an EMU grad. His number hangs on the outfield fence in Park View, and he was the alumni of the year just this past fall. Kratz was drafted in the 29th round in 2002 by the Toronto Blue Jays, and has played in the majors in parts of 10 different seasons (so far). He was a hero for the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2018 NLDS against the Rockies, when he went 5-8 at the plate, with a double and an RBI. He also made some waves at the time by proving to be a fun and interesting interview. He’s back with the New York Yankees for the 2020 season, assuming it will be played at some point.”
  • Aubrey Huff defeated Tom Brookens in the round of 32. “Huff, from the University of Miami, played in Staunton in 1997. He was picked in the 5th round of the 1998 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, and made his major league debut just two years later, on August 2, 2000. He put in his best hitting season with the Rays in 2003, when he slashed .311/.367/.555, with 47 doubles, three triples, 34 home runs, and 107 RBIs in 636 at-bats. He finished 24th in MVP voting after the season. He was traded to Houston late in 2006, signed with Baltimore as a free agent after the season, and after spending the end of 2009 with Detroit, signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants twice, and won two titles there, in 2010 and 2012. He second best season was in 2010, when he hit .290/.385/.506, with 35 doubles, five triples, 26 home runs, and 86 RBIs in 569 at-bats. He finished 7th in the MVP voting that year. He also received MVP votes, along with the Silver Slugger award, in 2008 with the Orioles. He retired after the 2012 season. In more than 6,100 at-bats in his career, he hit .278/.342/.464, with 360 doubles, 24 triples, 242 home runs, and 904 RBIs.”

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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! (Or 2015, too, for that matter.)