The eighth best starting pitcher in the 2021 Valley League season is Strasburg’s Donovan Burke!
Burke, a six-foot lefthander from JMU, went 2-3, 2.29 in 35 1/3 innings for the Express, along with a .220 BAA, 1.133 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, and 8.9 K/9. He finished tenth in the league in WHIP, eighth in strikeouts, sixth in ERA, and tied for fifth in innings pitched. He was named second team All-Valley at the end of the year.
His best start was on June 12 at Front Royal, when he threw five shutout, one-hit innings, with two walks and eight strikeouts. He second best was on July 3 against Staunton, when he threw six innings, allowing two hits, two runs (one earned), one walk, and struck out 10. He also struck out eight in his six inning playoff start against hard hitting Winchester.
For JMU, Burke threw only 1 2/3 innings in 2020, but saw more time in 2021, going 4-1, 3.00, with 17 walks and 38 strikeouts in 33 total innings. He was named CAA Rookie of the Week on March 16. Of course, the CAA just ruled yesterday that JMU athletic teams would not be allowed to partake in conference championships if they announce the upcoming move to the Sun Belt Conference… regardless, Burke should have an excellent spring for the baseball team.