The Championship Matchup Has Arrived: Harris vs Zimmerman

We started this ridiculousness on December 23. December 23! Well, now, on March 12, we’ll set up the matchup between our two finalists- Anthony Zimmerman and McLain Harris. I’ll have this one up on twitter for two days rather than just one.

  • McLain Harris defeated Matt Solter 54.9% to 45.1% (213 votes), Patrick Wiseman 91.9% to 8.1% (74 votes), Joe Burris 66.1% to 33.9% (59 votes), Dalton Oates 67.2% to 32.8% (61 votes), and finally Evan Rathburn 72.5% to 27.5% (69 votes). That first matchup with Solter was the only one in which he was seriously threatened, but Zimmerman has drummed up huge support so far, so we’ll see about this one. Harris’s writeup: “According to ATVL, McLain Harris was the 4th best reliever in the 2019 Valley League season. In 14 games and 21 innings for the Generals, Harris went 1-1, 0.85, with three saves, a 1.190 WHIP, 1.3 BB/9, and 13.3 K/9. Among all relievers that season, he finished fourth in ERA, tenth in WHIP, first in BB/9, and third in K/9. His three walks against 31 strikeouts was particularly impressive. As a junior at Young Harris in 2020, Harris went 1-1, 2.93, with 22 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings while pitching in eight games.”
  • Anthony Zimmerman has travelled a tough road to get here, especially recently, but he had plenty of support, and has increased his vote total as this contest has continued. He defeated Nicholas Purpera 94.7% to 5.3% (38 votes), Mitchell Wade 91.5% to 8.5% (47 votes), Thomas Sutera 55.1% to 44.9% (138 votes), and lastly, Conor Miller 57.6% to 42.4% (238 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.”

Vote by going to twitter.com/JohnATVL.

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.

Also, please check out and subscribe to the Valley Baseball League youtube channel!

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