Will Long, the 8th best hitter in the Valley League in 2021, is also a returner to the League. In 2019, the catcher from Tennessee Tech hit .247/.403/.419 in 93 at-bats, with seven doubles and three home runs.
Back in Winchester in 2021, Long was clearly one of the best hitting catchers this summer, putting up a .339/.451/.600 line in 115 at-bats, with 26 runs scored, six doubles, eight home runs, 40 RBIs, and a solid 22/23 B/K ratio. He finished tied for eighth in the league in batting average, eighth in OPS and hits, sixth in OBP, slugging percentage, and total bases (69), fifth in walks, third in home runs, and tied for second in RBIs. He went 1-1 in the All-Star game, went 5-17 in the playoffs, including four more doubles and six RBIs, and was first team All-Valley at the end of the year.
His best game was most likely July 9 at Front Royal, when he went 3-6, with three runs, two home runs, four RBIs, and walk. That game ended a truly astonishing four game stretch from July 5-9, when he went 10-19, with a double, five home runs, 19 RBIs, and two walks.
Long has played three years in school so far. In 2019, he went 3-31; in 2020 9-42, and in 2021 he hit .250/.366/.368 in 76 at-bats, with three doubles, two home runs, 14 RBIs, and 15/21 BB/K. Watch for an uptick in these numbers in 2022!