Every summer, it seems, at least one Valley Leaguer just looks like a pro player. In 2021, if I had to pick one player that fits the mold, it would be Strasburg’s Chad Fairey.
Built like a linebacker at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, Fairey shook off the rust from a missed college season and showed great power, helping to ultimately lead the Strasburg Express to a VBL title.
In 118 regular season at-bats, Fairey hit .331/.445/.695, with 34 runs scored, 10 doubles, 11 home runs, 39 RBIs, a solid 22/33 BB/K, and 12 stolen bases without getting caught. He finished tied for tenth in batting average, first in OPS, ninth in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, fifth in walks, tied for first in total bases (82), fourth in RBIs, first in home runs, tied for third in doubles, eighth in hits, and third in runs. He was the only batter in the 2021 season to reach double figures in both doubles and home runs.
He was an All-Star, and was named first team All-Valley League in the outfield at the end of the year. He was also very good in the playoffs, putting up a slash line of .333/.524/.533 in four games, with five runs, a double, triple, two RBIs, 6/4 BB/K, and two stolen bases. He unfortunately sprained his ankle and missed the championship series against Waynesboro, but he was still there to cheer on his teammates.
His best three games (weirdly, all three were on the road):
- June 27 at Charlottesville: 2-3, two home runs, three RBIs, walk, stolen base (Two home runs in Charlottesville is no joke)
- July 9 at Woodstock: 4-5, run, two doubles, RBI, two stolen bases
- July 29 at Winchester: 3-3, five runs, double, triple, RBI, two walks, two stolen bases
He comes from a bit of “royalty,” too- his grandfather, Jim, played in the major leagues for six years.
Fairey has played at Clemson for two seasons, and redshirted for one. In 2019, he went 11-63 with three home runs and 10 RBIs, and the following year he went 7-30 with one home run in limited time. He redshirted in 2021 because of injury.
Again, watch for more playing time and an uptick in college stats this coming spring!