2021 Preview: Woodstock River Bandits

Organizational Details

  • Last VBL title: None. The River Bandits joined the league in 2004, and have been eliminated in the semi-finals of the playoffs in 2012 and 2019, but the franchise has not advanced to the finals (yet).
  • General Manager: Porky Bowman
  • Recruiter: Gerald Harman
  • Head Coach: Mike Bocock- an inaugural member of the VBL Hall of Fame, Bocock has managed in the Valley League for 24 seasons with six different franchises, and has won a league-record seven VBL titles.
  • Key Alumni: Chris Devenski (2011), JT Hintzen (2016)

2019 Recap

WoodstockIn 2019, Woodstock finished the regular season at 25-17, just one game behind North Division-winning Strasburg. The Bandits swept New Market in the first round, but were upended in the semi-finals by Strasburg, two games to one. Woodstock won game one in a rout, 18-7, lost game two in a squeaker, 4-3, and game three was an instant classic, with Strasburg winning 11-10. The team MVP was also the league MVP, Aidan Nagle (Lewis-Clark), team Cy Young was the league Pitcher of the Year, Tristen Bayless (Houston), and the “Glue Guys” were the team’s catchers, Austin Bates (Eastern Florida State), Isaac Quinones (Miami), and Blake Way (Houston).

Returners

Key Hitters

(Stats are through Tuesday, May 18)

  • Nagle- After putting up one of the best statlines the league has ever seen in 2019 (.406/.492/.675, with 10 doubles, 11 home runs, and nine stolen bases), he went to Lewis-Clark and hit .387/.459/.755 in 155 at-bats, with 18 doubles, 13 home runs, 59 RBIs, and 17/29 BB/K.
  • Zack Whitacre (Potomac State, on his way to Radford)- He’s hitting .399/.497/.686, with 17 doubles, six triples, five home runs, and 29/20 BB/K
  • Deshazier- Has a .359 on-base percentage, along with five doubles, a triple, and five home runs
  • Chris Sparber (Louisburg State)- Hitting .425/.521/.832, with 10 doubles, 12 home runs, and 24/21 BB/K
  • Skyler Trevino (Houston)- He has four hits in 11 at-bats this spring.
  • Marco Martinez (Pasadena CC on his way to Cal State Fullerton)- Pasadena had its season cancelled. Bocock says, “He’s a big-time player. He’s the real deal!” He hit .388/.574/.627 in 2020, with six doubles, two triples, and two home runs in 67 at-bats.
  • Jaylon Lee (Eastern Mennonite)- Bocock really likes Lee’s potential as well. He hit .372/.441/.713 this spring, with five doubles, three triples, seven home runs, and 11 stolen bases.
  • Ackerman- Hitting .308/.373/.408, with five doubles and two home runs.

Key Pitchers

Bocock is quite pleased with the depth he sees on his staff.

  • Miller- Was MVP of MAC Commonwealth championship series, and an excellent late-inning arm
  • Will Duncan (Grayson CC)- Another late-inning arm, Duncan struck out 22 batters in 13 1/3 innings
  • Ryan Florio (Mt. Saint Mary’s)
  • Jose Varcela (Nova Southeastern)
  • Anthony Arguelles (Miami)- A “bulldog,” according to Bocock, he’s 4-1, 4.08 in 17 2/3 innings this spring.

Other Notes

  • The team has a very local player coming- Kelan Hoover (Garrett), who actually graduated from Central High School in Woodstock.
  • The team has strengthened ties with some of the “usual” college programs- Houston, Miami, Potomac State, and connected with former VBL coach Bryan Peters at Long Beach State.
  • Bocock tried something new during the lost season of 2020- he became a cattle farmer!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s