Each offseason, I would painstakingly go through all the pro players who at one time played in the Valley League, sorting the stats into the different levels of the minor leagues, and naming a best hitter and pitcher at each level. The series would take several weeks, as there were 12 different levels to cover.
Well, as the minor league season was cancelled in 2020 (seemingly giving MLB Baseball a chance to reorganize the entire thing- more on that later), this year we have only two winners- a hitter and pitcher of the year in the major leagues.
The pitcher of the year was a little bit easier to choose than the hitter, as Ryan Yarbrough (Luray 2012) was pretty clearly the best of the lot. Appearing in 11 games, nine of them starts, Yarbrough went 1-4, 3.56, with a 1.18 WHIP, 1.9 BB/9, and 7.1 K/9 in 55 2/3 innings for the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays. He also appeared in five postseason games, including the start in game four of the World Series. He also won this award in 2018.
Others of Note
- Emilio Pagan (Harrisonburg 2010), for San Diego- 0-1, 4.50, two saves, 1.05 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 9.4 K/9 in 22 innings
- Randy Dobnak (Front Royal 2015), for Minnesota- 6-4, 4.05, 1.35 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 5.2 K/9 in 46 2/3 innings
- Austin Gomber (Luray 2012), for St. Louis- 1-1, 1.86, 1.17 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 8.4 K/9 in 29 innings
- Nick Margevicius (Staunton 2015), for Seattle- 2-3, 4.57, 1.26 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, 7.9 K/9 in 41 1/3 innings
- Chad Kuhl (New Market 2012), for Pittsburgh- 2-3, 4.27, 1.36 WHIP, 5.4 BB/9, 8.6 K/9 in 46 1/3 innings
- Sam Howard (Staunton 2012), for Pittsburgh- 2-3, 3.86, 1.24 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 11.6 K/9 in 21 innings