Ready for our Monday matchup? This week will finally see the end of the first round of our silly “Best Relievers from the Past Ten Years” bracket. Today, we have two “hometown” guys facing off.

  • When the summer of 2016 was starting, Will Reed was coming home from Harford Community College- literally, as he attended Loudoun County High School, located in….. Purcellville. Well, he surely gave the hometown fans something to cheer about. In the regular season, Will went 4-1, 0.81 with 7 saves in 14 games for the Cannons. He had a 1.091 WHIP, 4.9 BB/9, and 14.3 K/9 in 22 total innings. He finished 2nd in K/9, 3rd in strikeouts, and 3rd in ERA from the list of surveyed relievers. He gave up an earned run in only 2 of his 14 appearances. He threw 2 innings against Strasburg in the playoffs, allowing 3 hits, 1 unearned run, 1 walk, and struck out 4. He was named first team All-Valley, too, along with ATVL’s third best reliever. Reed returned to Harford in 2017, and went 8-1, 2.38 in 56 2/3 innings, with 78 K’s. The Pittsburgh Pirates picked him in the 20th round of the ’17 draft, but he only got to pitch in four pro games due to injuries before his career ended.
  • From Division-III Christopher Newport, Joe Burris returned to his hometown of Charlottesville to pitch for the C-Ville baseball club in 2017. All he did was go 2-0, 0.00, with four saves, a 0.420 WHIP, 1.3 BB/9, and 8.8 K/9 in 14 1/3 innings. His batting average against was a stupendous .089. He was ATVL’s 2nd best reliever from that season; he was mostly a victim of circumstance, as Purcellville reliever Thomas Sutera was the league’s Pitcher of the Year. Out of all relievers that summer, Joe finished tied for 1st in ERA, 1st in opponent’s batting average, 1st in WHIP, and 5th in BB/9. He threw two shutout innings in the Prospect Showcase, and was named 2nd team All-Valley League when the season was over. Burris returned to CNU, and in his senior year in 2018, went 3-0, 2.15, with six saves and 43 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings. He did not go on to pitch in pro ball after college.

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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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