Guess what? We’re starting the second round of our ridiculous 2010-2019 Top Starting Pitchers Bracket!

  • Tristen Bayless is the Valley League’s reigning Pitcher of the Year, as he easily won the award in 2019. Pitching for the Woodstock River Bandits, Bayless went 3-2, 1.92, with a 1.162 WHIP, 5.8 BB/9, and 13.8 K/9 in 32 2/3 innings pitched. He also struck out 12 in a seven-inning start in the playoffs. The most dominating outing, though? Facing the best from the Florida Collegiate League, Bayless struck out all six batters he faced in the Prospect Showcase in North Carolina. Bayless has been a bit of a nomad in his college career. He spent 2017 at Texas A&M, where he only saw action in two games. He moved to McLennan Community College in 2018, and showed strikeout potential. He transferred to Houston for 2019, and spent that season working as a lefty specialist (a “loogy,” shorthand for “left-handed-one-out-guy”). In 2020, he appeared in eight games, covering 12 innings. And, of course, he struck out 24 batters.
  • Corey Sessions defeated Blaine Sims in the opening round, 53.8% to 46.2% (13 total votes). His writeup: “Corey Sessions showed up in Front Royal from Davenport in 2015. For the Cards that summer, Sessions went 5-2, 2.01, with a 0.868 WHIP, 1.3 BB/9, and 4.5 K/9 in 40 2/3 innings pitched. (He walked only six batters all summer.) ATVL named him the league’s 4th best starter. Undrafted after his college career, Sessions played for two seasons with the Southern Illinois Miners in the Independent Frontier League. Overall, he went 3-9, 4.72, with a 1.47 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, and 4.6 K/9 in 120 2/3 total innings.”

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And by the way, if you want to read a ton about either the 2015 or 2019 VBL season, be sure to check out this post on the 2019 Valley League Annual.

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