The fifth best starting pitcher in the 2021 Valley League season is the big righthander from Samford, Jacob Cravey.

Cravey, a very large man at 6-foot-6, was a crucial arm for the Strasburg Express in 2021. In 23 2/3 regular season innings, Cravey went 2-2, 1.90, with a .195 BAA, 1.013 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and 10.3 K/9. He finished fourth in the league in ERA, seventh in BAA, fifth in WHIP, and tenth in K/9. He was named second team All-League at the end of the year. He also started one game in the playoffs (against New Market), and while he gave up two earned and two unearned runs in four innings, he also struck out 10. (I was sitting behind the plate for this one, and his stuff was pretty electric.)

His best start was on July 3 against Staunton, when he threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits, two walks, and striking out nine. He also threw six effective innings at New Market on June 26, allowing one run, four hits, two walks, and striking out five.

The seventh-best righthander coming out of Alabama after high school (according to Perfect Game), Cravey was very good in his freshman year at Samford, going 1-2, 3.26, with nine walks and 28 K’s in 30 1/3 innings pitched.