The ninth best reliever in the 2021 Valley League season is the 6-foot-3 lefthander from VCU, Andrew Ward.
Ward threw 14 2/3 innings for Charlottesville last summer, going 1-0, 3.68, with a .200 BAA, 1.156 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, and 16.5 K/9. He struck out a whopping 27 batters to get those 44 outs! Out of the top relievers list, he finished tied for ninth in BAA and first in K/9. He also threw one inning in the playoffs… and struck out the side.
He had two outings that stood out- in fact, he struck out 15 batters in the following 6 2/3 IP:
- June 30, against Harrisonburg: 3 2/3 innings, eight K’s
- July 7, against against Harrisonburg: 3 innings, seven K’s
Ward went 3-1, 6.43 in his freshman year at VCU in 2021, with 30 strikeouts in 21 innings. He is not listed among VCU’s 2022 players, however, and I was unable to find him using the normal methods, so it’s unclear where he might be playing this spring.