Erik Kratz won the match yesterday (61.1% to 38.9%); he will face Brett Gardner in the next round.
- Steve Finley defeated Kirt Manwaring in the round of 32. His writeup: “Steve Finley was picked in the 13th round of the 1987 draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He made his major league debut on April 3, 1989, which started off a 19-year career with eight different teams. His best year (by OPS+) was in 1996 with the Padres, when he hit .298/.354/.531 in 655 at-bats, with 45 doubles, nine triples, 30 home runs, 126 runs scored, 95 RBIs, 22 stolen bases, a 56/87 BB/K ratio… and won a Gold Glove and finished 10th in MVP voting. He won a total of five Gold Gloves (1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2004), played in two All-Star games (1997, 2000), finished in the top 15 of MVP voting twice (1996, 2004), and won a World Series title with Arizona in 2001. In 9,397 career at-bats, Finley hit .271/.332/.442, with 449 doubles, 124 triples, 304 home runs, 1,167 RBIs, and 44.2 WAR (which puts him second all-time from the VBL, behind only Jimmy Key). He is one of only two players with 300 home runs, 425 doubles, 100 triples, and at least 300 stolen bases. The other? Willie Mays.”
- Yonder Alonso slipped past Brandon Inge in the round of 32 to get here. “Alonso was picked 7th overall in the 2008 MLB draft by the Cincinnati Reds out of Miami. He was blocked by Joey Votto, so the Reds eventually traded him to San Diego in late 2011, where he spent four seasons before being traded to the Oakland A’s in December, 2015. It as in Oakland where Alonso fulfilled some of the promise he had flashed before, when, in 2017, he had his best season, slashing .266/.365/.501 (split between Oakland and Seattle) in 451 at-bats, with 22 doubles and 28 home runs. He was named an All-Star that season. He’s bounced around a ton recently, spending 2018 with Cleveland, and 2019 with both the Chicago White Sox and Colorado Rockies. He signed this offseason with the Atlanta Braves. In his ten years in the majors, Alonso has hit a total of .259/.332/.404, with 181 doubles, exactly 100 home runs, and 426 RBIs.”
Vote by going to twitter.com/JohnATVL to vote! (Closes Sunday 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! (And the 2015 Annual, too.)