This young man needs no introduction to Valley League fans; but in case you don’t know him, Brilliant Reader, the 2021 #9 hitter is the 2019 League MVP, Aidan Nagle.
Nagle became the first MVP to return to the league since Tyler Kuhn returned to Luray in 2007 after his 2006 MVP campaign. And he didn’t disappoint, hitting .339/.432/.567 in 127 at-bats for Woodstock, along with 31 runs scored, six doubles, a triple, seven home runs, 42 RBIs, a solid 21/30 BB/K ratio, and seven stolen bases. He finished tied for eighth in the league in batting average, ninth in OPS, tenth in slugging percentage, tied for seventh in walks, fifth in total bases (72), led in RBIs, and finished fifth in home runs, hits, and runs scored. He was hitter of the day on July 8 at New Market, when he went 2-4, with a double, home run, walk, and three RBIs.
He went 2-4 with two doubles in the All-Star game, and had two seven-game hitting streaks and one eight-game streak (if only he could have tied them all together!). He was named first team All-Valley in the outfield at the end of the year. He became the fifth batter since 2007 to be named a top hitter two years in a row. In fact, Tyler Kuhn, coincidentally, was also the #1 hitter in 2006 and #9 in 2007.
The reason he was MVP two years ago? How about .406/.492/.675 in 160 at-bats, with 47 runs scored, ten doubles, 11 home runs, 33 RBIs, 23/26 BB/K, and nine stolen bases. I have not done research about statistics over multiple seasons, but Nagle’s 78 runs and 75 RBIs would have to rank on the leaderboard somewhere.
He’s completed four seasons of college baseball, albeit one of those was the shortened 2020. In 2017, at Cuesta College, Nagle hit .291/.397/.456 in 103 at-bats, with eight doubles, three home runs, and 17/12 BB/K. After missing 2018 due to injury, in 2019, still at Cuesta, he hit .375/.468/.578 in 123 at-bats, with ten doubles, two triples, four home runs, 38 RBIs, and 22/26 BB/K. That summer he pummeled VBL pitched and won the MVP.
In 2020, now attending Lewis-Clark, Nagle hit .253/.333/.342 in 79 at-bats, with two home runs and 8/12 BB/K. In 2021, though, he broke out in a big way, slashing .384/.451/.723 in 177 at-bats, with 50 runs scored, 19 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 66 RBIs, 18/25 BB/K, and three stolen bases. He was named an Honorable Mention NAIA All-American.
Congratulations on your two excellent seasons in the Valley, Aidan!