His team’s administration insisted he was coming back, but as we all know, many, many players say they’re coming to the Valley and then just don’t make it. I didn’t want to anticipate too much and then be disappointed.

But folks, it appears to be true. His contract has been turned in, and rumor has it he’s in the Valley already, ready to play when the rain finally stops.

The 2019 League MVP, Aidan Nagle, has returned for another summer in the VBL.

Two years ago, Nagle laid waste to Valley League pitchers, hitting safely in his first 17 games and never looking back. He ended up hitting .406/.492/.675 in 160 regular season at-bats, along with scoring 47 runs, hitting ten doubles, 11 home runs, driving in 33 runs, and stealing nine bases. He then went 8-20 in the playoffs, with another nine runs, one double, one triple, three home runs, and six more RBIs. He was the league’s MVP, and ATVL’s top hitter from the summer.

This spring at Lewis-Clark, Nagle hit .384/.451/.723 in 177 at-bats, with 19 doubles, a triple, 13 home runs, 50 runs scored, and 66 RBIs. He was named an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American.

And now he’s back! It’s certainly not fair to assume Nagle will hit like he did in ’19, but adding him to the lineup will definitely help the River Bandits.

In the last 20 seasons, Nagle is only the second MVP to return to the Valley; the first was West Virginia’s Tyler Kuhn, who was MVP in 2006 for Luray and then returned in 2007. How did he fare in his two seasons?

  • MVP 2006: .374/.413/.570 in 179 at-bats, with 10 doubles, five triples, five home runs, 14/27 BB/K
  • 2007: .318/.398/.447 in 170 at-bats, nine doubles, two triples, three home runs, 21/23 BB/K

Kuhn was drafted by the Chicago White Sox and advanced all the way to Triple-A in his minor league career.

I’m delighted to have him back, and Woodstock is, too. Opposing pitchers? Not so much. But ATVL will be following along, no matter the outcome!

Other Thoughts

  • Kuhn’s head coach in both 2006 and 2007 in Luray? None other than Mike Bocock, who was Nagle’s head coach in both seasons, too.
  • Kuhn is the only other returning MVP, but two players in the past 20 years were MVP the second year they played in the VBL: Winchester’s Wes Timmons, who played in 2000 and then won the MVP in 2001, and Daniel Murphy, who played for Luray in 2004 and then was MVP in 2005. (Oh, and Murphy’s head coach was also Mike Bocock!)