Welcome to a new week! We will continue to narrow the bracket to the Sweet Sixteen.
- Chris Devenski defeated Fred Villarreal in the first round, 88.9% to 11.1%. His writeup: “This doesn’t happen much anymore, but Chris Devenski came to Woodstock the same summer he was drafted out of Cal State Fullerton. Banged by the Chicago White Sox in the 25th round in June 2011, Devenski still made the cross country trek to the ‘Stock. He pitched in eight games, six of them starts, and went 2-2, 2.50 in 39 2/3 innings, with a 1.083 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, and 12.0 K/9. He didn’t have enough innings to be considered for the top starters list, but he has easily achieved more in his career than any other pitcher who came to the Valley that summer. In five seasons with the Houston Astros (after a 2012 trade with the Sox), Devenski has gone 16-16, 3.28, with a 1.057 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, and 9.7 K/9 in 307 1/3 major league innings. He won a title with the 2017 Astros, and got close in 2019, too. He’s pitched in only two games in 2020, and is currently on the IL with elbow soreness.”
- Sean McCracken was the 2nd best starter in the 2017 VBL season for the 32-10 Charlottesville squad. He went 2-0, 1.65 in 38 innings, with a 0.947 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, and 6.4 K/9. He finished 1st in the league in ERA, tied for 10th in strikeouts, tied for 1st in batting average against (.200), 2nd in WHIP, 5th in BB/9, and tied for 10th in K/9. Sean also threw a shutout inning in the Valley League All-Star game, and was named first team All-Valley after the season. McCracken, at the time majoring in Chemical and Bio-Molecular Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Business at Johns Hopkins, was able to fulfill an internship with the Charlottesville firm of HemoShear Therapeutics during the day while playing for the Tom Sox in the evenings. Sean spent the summer researching non-alcoholic steato-hepatitis (NASH). In his four-year college career, McCracken went 18-7, 3.90 in 212 1/3 career innings. He did not go on to pitch in pro ball.
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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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