Monday’s winner is John Kruk (58.8% to 41.2%). He will face Yonder Alonso in the elite eight.
Today we have Reggie Sanders (Winchester 1987) vs Daniel Murphy (Luray 2004-05)!
- Sanders defeated Collin Cowgill to get here. His writeup: “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.”
- Murphy defeated Gaby Sanchez to arrive at this spot. His writeup: “There is a legend about Daniel Murphy. The story goes that when he went to Jacksonville University as a freshman, everyone took turns introducing themselves. Supposedly, when it was his turn, Murphy said, “I’m Daniel Murphy. I hit third.” That showed a focus and confidence in his bat that has served him well in his MLB career. Drafted pretty late, in the 13th round in 2006 by the New York Mets, Murphy hit his way to the majors, making his debut in 2008. After splitting his time between the outfield and first base in 2009 for the Mets, he missed 2010 to a knee injury. Returning in 2011, he settled in at second base for the next few years. In 2015, Murphy exploded onto the national scene when he went nuts in the NLDS against the Dodgers, homering three times in five games, and then hit .529/.556/.1.294 in a four-game sweep against the Cubs in the NLCS, winning the MVP and driving the Mets to the World Series. He signed with the Washington Nationals for 2016, and went on to have his best season in his career, hitting .347/.390/.595 in 531 at-bats, with 47 double, five triples, 25 home runs, and 104 RBIs. He was an All-Star, won the Silver Slugger award, and finished second in MVP voting. He went on to have another excellent season in 2017, again making the All-Star game, winning the Silver Slugger, and earning MVP votes (he finished 19th). He was traded to the Chicago Cubs in August of 2018, signed with the Colorado Rockies before the 2019 season, and was back with the team for 2020 when the season was halted. He won two Player of the Month awards- May and July of 2016- and led the National League in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and doubles in 2016. He won another double “title” with 43 in 2017 as well. In his career up to this point, he’s hit .298/.343/.458 in 5,185 at-bats, with 368 doubles, 29 triples, 135 home runs, and 719 RBIs.”
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!