Four former Valley Leaguers have been named in preseason American Athletic Conference articles- two as future draft prospects, and two as both draft prospects and preseason All-AAC players (and three as East Carolina Pirates). Let’s take a look!

  • Thomas Francisco (Charlottesville 2019) has been named the 8th best prospect for the 2021 draft, and preseason All-AAC in the outfield (he mostly played first base for Charlottesville). Francisco, one of the best hitters in the league in ’19, hit .423/.515/.538 in 26 at-bats for ECU during the shortened 2020 college season.
  • Connor Norby (Waynesboro 2019) has been named All-AAC at second base. Currently a sophomore, Norby hit a robust .403/.439/.500 in 52 at-bats for East Carolina in 2020, along with six stolen bases.
  • Our third East Carolina player, Bryson Worrell (Waynesboro 2019), is both preseason All-AAC in the outfield and listed as Baseball America’s 16th best draft prospect from the league. Worrell hit .373/.465/.729 in 59 at-bats last spring, along with six doubles, five home runs, and 10 walks.
  • Last but not least, Houston second baseman Brad Burckel (Waynesboro 2019) is BA’s 7th best prospect for the 2022 draft, as he’s only a sophomore. Burckel hit .278/.333/.417 in 36 at-bats in 2020. By the way, he was also named to the AAC All-Academic team in both his freshman and sophomore years.

(And if you’re wondering why Lael Lockhart (Woodstock 2019) isn’t listed here, it’s because he transferred to Arkansas.)