Here is the list of the top 20 batting averages in the Valley League, 1994-2019:
|Andrew Eyster||New Market||2018||0.406|
|13||Dominic Canzone||Front Royal||2017||0.404|
|18||Jeff Van Houten||Harrisonburg||2003||0.391|
|20||Nate Rewers||Front Royal||1998||0.388|
- These averages are the regular season and playoffs combined.
- The top 14 entries, and 18 of the 20 on this list were within the last ten years. Any thoughts about whether the league slants towards hitting or pitching?
- Ten teams are represented; weirdly, all of them are still active (in other words, no Luray, Haymarket, Aldie, Rockbridge, Loudoun, etc).
- Staunton, Woodstock, and Harrisonburg all have three players listed; Charlottesville, Strasburg, Waynesboro, Winchester, and Front Royal have two, and Covington and New Market have one.
- Eleven of the 20 were named MVP. Can you name them?
- Thirteen players have hit .400 or better in a season; the first was in 2007, and all the others were since 2011 (the last nine seasons).
- Michael Wielansky had one of the best seasons the Valley has ever seen, and he was a D-III player from Wooster.
I would hazard a guess that averages have gone up because more schools are holding back their good arms and or limiting their innings.
Of course, it’s hard to know exactly why averages might be up, but you, dear Andrew, are definitely on to something. The major league’s protection of arms has certainly filtered down to the college level.