Today we have a battle between Mario Morales, from the 2015 Front Royal Cardinals, and Zach Blatt, from the 2010 Luray Wranglers!
- Mario Morales came to the Cardinals after his first season pitching for Campbellsville, in a season when he went 4-3, 2.33, with a sick 3/52 BB/K ratio in 69 2/3 innings. He pitched out of the bullpen in the summer (obviously) for the Cards, and went 2-2, 2.11, with a 0.966 WHIP, 1.4 BB/9, and 7.8 K/9 in 38 1/3 innings. ATVL named him the third best reliever that summer. After college, Morales did not play organized pro ball, but carved out a little career for himself in Independent ball and the Mexican League, playing for four seasons. Overall in those years, he went 12-6, 3.38, with a 1.328 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, and 6.9 K/9 in 197 1/3 innings. (And he might still be active- he obviously has no stats from 2020, but perhaps he will from 2021.)
- Zach Blatt showed up at Wrangler Field after his sophomore year at Auburn, in which he went 1-0, 5.40 in 33 1/3 innings. He was absolutely lights out for Luray in the summer, going 2-1, 0.69, with two saves, a 0.808 WHIP, 1.4 BB/9, and 11.1 K/9 in 26 innings pitched. He was not only ATVL’s top reliever that summer, but was also named to the Valley League All-Decade first team. Blatt finished up his college career in 2012, and did not go on to pitch in pro ball.
Vote by going to twitter.com/JohnATVL.
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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