Hey there, Brilliant Reader! As usual, yours truly has scoured the lists of award winners looking for previous and current players.
For this quick article, we’ll take a quick look at six former Valley Leaguers who have been named NAIA All-Americans. We’ll add a seventh player who received a different award.
- Kobe Foster (Front Royal 2018), from Tennessee Wesleyan, has been named to the first team at starting pitcher. Foster went an almost-unbelievable 12-0, 1.79, with 52 hits, 12 walks, and 95 K’s in 80 1/3 innings pitched.
- Ruben Ramirez (Winchester 2018-19), from Point Park, is also a first teamer, but at relief pitcher. Ramirez went 8-2, 1.25, with 10 saves… and get this: He gave up 55 hits and 19 walks in 79 1/3 innings… and struck out 118. He was named NAIA Ball’s (@NAIABall) Reliever of the Year.
- Southeastern’s Pedro Castellano (New Market 2019) was named to the first team at second base. A third baseman for New Market a couple years ago, Castellano hit .357/.439/.626 in 227 at-bats, with 50 runs scored, 16 doubles, 15 home runs, 87 RBIs (in 60 games!), and a 32/33 BB/K ratio. He was the league’s 15th best hitter in 2019.
- Travis Keys (Purcellville 2019) was named Honorable Mention. From Aquinas, Keys went 5-2, 2.61 in 62 innings, with a 1.11 WHIP and 101 strikeouts.
- Woodstock’s Aiden Nagle was also named an Honorable Mention recipient. Nagle, who returned to Woodstock this summer after winning the league MVP in 2019, hit .384/.451/.723 this spring in 177 at-bats, with 50 runs scored, 19 doubles a triple, 13 home runs, 66 RBIs (in 44 games), and a 18/35 BB/K ratio for Lewis-Clark. Nagle was obviously the top hitter in the 2019 VBL season.
- Payton Robertson (Staunton 2017), at LSU Shreveport, is our last Honorable Mention. In 148 at-bats this spring, Robertson hit .399/.495/.601, with 14 doubles, five triples, two home runs, 45 RBIs, an outstanding 28/15 BB/K ratio, and 38 stolen bases.
- Last but not least, Carson Ford was named NAIA Ball’s Freshman of the Year. From Tennessee Wesleyan, Ford hit .337/.500/.817 in 169 at-bats, with five doubles, five triples, 22 home runs, 69 RBIs, an even 41/41 BB/K, and 15 stolen bases.