Here’s our Friday matchup!
- Justin Camp joined the Harrisonburg Turks in 2013, after his freshman year at Auburn. All he did was go 6-1, 1.37, with a 0.831 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, and 6.9 K/9 in 59 innings pitched. Opposing batters hit a tiny .159 against him. ATVL named him the 3rd best starter in the league. He pitched all four years for Auburn, going 11-12, 3.49, with 11 saves and a 1.34 WHIP. The Kansas City Royals picked him in the 37th round of the 2016 draft, and he played for three seasons in pro ball. Overall, he went 3-7, 2.79, with a 1.27 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, and 7.7 K/9 in 142 1/3 innings. He was released after the 2018 season.
- Erne Valdes defeated James Ziemba in the first round, eight votes to two. (Yup, ten total votes were cast on that one!) His writeup: “Erne Valdes (Front Royal 2016) was, according to ATVL, the top starter in the league. In six starts that summer, he went 2-1, 1.04, with a 0.836 WHIP, 3.4 BB/9, and 11.7 K/9 in 34 2/3 innings pitched. Returning to NAIA St. Thomas for his last two seasons, he went a combined 10-5, 3.22, with a 1.24 WHIP, 5.7 BB/9, and 13.6 K/9 in 106 2/3 innings. Missing bats like that will get you noticed, and sure enough, the Texas Rangers signed Valdes as an undrafted free agent in 2018, and assigned him to the rookie-level Arizona League. He appeared in 16 games at that level, going 1-2, 3.86, with two saves, a 1.04 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9, and 13.5 K/9 in 28 innings. While it seems that the Rangers might have kept him around after striking out 42 in 28 innings, they released him after that summer.”
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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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