Obviously, the Valley League draws many players from the CAA, given the league’s proximity to the Shenandoah Valley along with JMU’s presence in Harrisonburg.
That shows a bit with five former Valley Leaguers being named to the preseason All-CAA team, along with two of those five making Baseball America’s top draft prospects list.
- Ari Sechopoulos (Charlottesville 2017) is All-CAA in the infield. A senior for Charleston, Sechopoulos was off to an incredible start in 2020, obviously before the shutdown. In 14 games and 50 at-bats, he was hitting .360/.475/.680 with six doubles, two triples, two home runs, 20 RBIs, and a 10/2 BB/K ratio.
- Noah Bridges (Covington 2018) is All-CAA in the outfield for UNC-Wilmington, and ranks 3rd on BA’s 2021 Draft Prospect list. A redshirt junior, Bridges hit .290/.371/.387 with eight stolen bases in 62 at-bats last spring.
- Justin Showalter (Staunton 2018-19) is All-CAA at starting pitcher. A redshirt junior at JMU, Showalter was incredible in 2020, going 4-0, 0.67, with a 0.64 WHIP, 4/21 BB/K ratio, and .144 batting average against in 26 innings. He was one of the few college players I was able to connect with last spring before the shutdown… and before I got in trouble at Veteran’s Stadium for taking photographs (to be fair, in an unauthorized spot). (Showalter was ATVL’s 13th best starter in the 2018 VBL season, too.)
- Jared Wetherbee (Charlottesville 2018) is All-CAA at starting pitcher, and BA’s 4th best prospect for the 2021 draft. A redshirt junior at Elon, Wetherbee went 1-1, 3.54 in four starts in 2020. He also was ATVL’s #1 starter from the 2018 summer.
- Hunter Hart (New Market 2019) is a junior at William & Mary. He was named “honorable mention” All-CAA at designated hitter. All he did in 2020 is hit .417/.500/.500 with 17 RBIs in 12 games and 36 at-bats.