So, in today’s match, we have, for the first time since I began this bracket, two players from the same franchise squaring off. Sutera, the Valley League Pitcher of the Year and ATVL’s #1 reliever in 2017, is going up against Zimmerman, ATVL’s #1 reliever from the following year, and both are from Purcellville. Here we go!
- Thomas Sutera defeated Josh Andrews in the first round, 79.3% to 20.7% (29 votes), and then beat Christian Dearman in the next round, 64% to 36% (89 votes). His writeup: “Thomas Sutera, nicknamed “The Human Noodle” (he’s listed at 6-foot-5, 175 pounds), showed up in Purcellville after his pretty rough sophomore year at Siena in 2017. He was lights out for the Cannons, going 6-0, 1.57, with three saves, a 1.050 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, and 10.2 K/9 in 15 games and 34 1/3 innings pitched. He was named the Valley League’s Pitcher of the Year, and ATVL’s top reliever. After his junior season in 2018, the Philadelphia Phillies signed him as an undrafted free agent and sent him to the Gulf Coast League, where he gave up one earned run and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings. He spent 2019 with Lakewood in the Low-A South Atlantic League, going 1-3, 4.26 in seven games and 25 1/3 innings. He’s still active.”
- Anthony Zimmerman has absolutely blasted two players so far- Nicholas Purpera in round one, 94.7% to 5.3% (38 votes), and Mitchell Wade, 91.5% to 8.5% (47 votes). His writeup: “Anthony Zimmerman was throwing a bullpen in Harrisonburg at the 2018 All-Star game, popping 95+ mph fastballs, one after the other, in front of a North coach (not his own). A rising senior from Fordham, Zimmerman had appeared in only 11 games in college as a junior. The coach remarked to me later that he didn’t understand why Zimmerman wasn’t pitching more in college with the ability he showed. Well, first of all, Zimmerman went 3-0, 0.55 in 13 games that summer for the Purcellville Cannons, with seven saves, a 0.675 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, and 18.2 K/9 in 16 1/3 innings (he struck out 33 batters in those 16 innings). His batting average against was a tiny .121, making him a pretty obvious choice as the best reliever in the league. Returning to Fordham for his senior year in 2019, Zimmerman did, indeed, pitch more, appearing in 27 games. He went 3-2, 0.99, with three saves, a 1.24 WHIP, 5.9 BB/9, and 13.9 K/9 in 36 1/3 innings. He wasn’t drafted, but the Cincinnati Reds signed him as a free agent, and Zimmerman began his pro career at Greeneville in the Appalachian League in 2019, where he went 0-2, 7.94, with 20 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched.”
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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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