Intriguing matchup today- a big name from a few years ago against a very recent top pitcher….

  • Randy Dobnak defeated Matthew Tindall in round one, 78.8% to 21.2% (33 votes). His writeup: “Randy Dobnak is by far the most “famous” person in this competition. A nondrafted free agent sign of the Minnesota Twins in 2017, Dobnak made a meteoric rise to the major leagues- making his debut in August of 2019. Famously, he and his fiancee planned their wedding for that September, conservatively assuming that Randy would be free after the minor league season concluded at the end of August. But he had been called up to the majors (which came as a surprise), the season wasn’t over, and the Twins needed him. They had set the wedding date two years earlier! The Twins allowed him to miss some time so he didn’t miss his own wedding. So now let’s back up. Dobnak came to Front Royal in 2015, after his sophomore season at Alderson-Broaddus. He went 1-3, 2.45 for the Cardinals, with a 1.212 WHIP, 3.8 BB/9, and 9.8 K/9 in 33 innings pitched. He signed with the United Shore Professional Baseball League, an independent league, and signed with Minnesota from there. His minor league stats? In three seasons in the system, he went 24-9, 2.57, with a 1.100 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, and 6.5 K/9 in 297 1/3 total innings. Not too shabby, eh? Now hopefully in the majors to stay, Dobnak has gone 8-5, 3.12, with a 1.267 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, and 6.0 K/9 in 75 innings at the game’s highest level.”
  • Conor Miller hammered Mark Lamm in round one, 86.5% to 13.5% (89 votes). His writeup: “Conor Miller is the most recent top reliever, as he was named ATVL’s #1 in 2019 for Woodstock. From Division-III York, Miller went 1-1, 0.47 for the Bandits, with two saves, a 0.737 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, and 8.5 K/9 in 19 innings pitched. He gave up only two runs, one earned, all regular season. Miller returned to York for the 2020 college season and started three games before Covid-19 did its thing. Miller is planning to return to Woodstock in 2021- maybe we’ll have the first repeat top reliever in the history of the award?”

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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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