As we’ve already done with much of the diamond, today we’ll take a look at the top outfielders in college who have played in the Valley League, as named by D1baseball.com.
And, this is crazy, but 13 players made the list of 150 total- nearing 10% of the whole thing! Let’s take a looong look at these guys:
- RJ Schreck (Harrisonburg 2019), Duke: Schreck comes in at #12 overall- which puts him in All-American territory. I’ve written about him before– when he was, indeed, named a preseason All-American. For the Turks in ’19, Schreck hit .217/.325/.304 in 69 at-bats, with two home runs, five RBIs, and nine walks against 13 strikeouts.
- Gabe Montenegro (Waynesboro 2018), Southern Mississippi: He comes in at #24. He hit .311/.361/.344 with three doubles in 90 at-bats for the Generals a long time ago. He’s hit .325/.426/.453 in 764 total at-bats in college, with 45 doubles, seven triples, 13 home runs, 103 RBIs, and a very solid 109/128 BB/K. And he’s from Guatemala City, too! (His photo is the featured image of this post.)
- Erik Stock (Charlottesville 2018), Connecticut, comes in at #42 overall. For Charlottesville in 2018 (while he was still at Old Dominion), Stock played in three games, going 2-9 overall. For UConn in 2021, though, he hit .364/.436/.556 in 187 at-bats, with 43 runs scored, 14 doubles, six home runs, and a solid 20/32 BB/K ratio.
- Bryson Worrell (Waynesboro 2019), East Carolina: #58 overall, Worrell hit .264/.385/.440 in 91 at-bats for the Generals in ’19, with eight stolen bases. In his four years at ECU, he’s hit .275/.370/.513 in 396 at-bats, with 26 doubles, 20 home runs, and 76 RBIs.
- Cole McConnell (Front Royal 2021), Louisiana Tech, at #61 on this list. McConnell was unstoppable for the ten games he played in the Valley in 2021, going 13-38, with 13 runs, eight RBIs, four doubles, two home runs, and four walks. Alas, he left on June 25. He was also really, really good in college in ’21, slashing .347/.399/.503 in 167 at-bats, with 12 doubles, four home runs, 30 RBIs, and 11/33 BB/K ratio.
- Christian Avant (Front Royal 2018), Georgia Southern: Honestly, Avant is another “what-if” for the Cardinals. He was sooo good in ’18- he slashed .375/.440/.588 in 20 games, with seven doubles, two triples, and two home runs, but he played in only one game after the All-Star game on July 8. In his four years at Georgia Southern, he’s hit .309/.383/.412 in 541 at-bats, with 101 runs, 21 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, 76 RBIs, 29 stolen bases, and a 33/64 BB/K. He is #96 on this list.
- Jack Hurley (Charlottesville 2021), Virginia Tech- Hurley went 10-42 with three doubles for Charlottesville in 2021, after hitting .251/.354/.411 in 175 at-bats for the Hokies in his freshman year, along with ten doubles, six home runs, and a 18/64 BB/K ratio. (He was named a second team Freshman All-American by College Baseball Nation.) He’s #102 on the list.
- Stephen Wilmer (Waynesboro 2021), from Florida Gulf Coast- #105 on the list. Wilmer never really got going with the ’21 Generals, hitting .183/.417/.383 in 60 at-bats, with three home runs, and 4-21 with a home run in the playoffs. But for FGCU in ’21, he hit .326/.429/.566 in 129 at-bats, with 11 doubles and six home runs.
- Jason Hinchman (New Market 2018), from Tennessee Tech- #109 on the list. Hinchman hit 24 home runs in 2019 for the Golden Eagles, showing his raw power. In 2021, he hit .241/.369/.488 in 162 at-bats, with five doubles and 11 home runs. For the title-winning New Market club in 2018, Hinchman went 4-21 in 12 games.
- Andrew Eyster (New Market 2018), from South Carolina- #122 on the list. Eyster is well known in the Shenandoah Valley, as he won the league MVP award in ’18, showing himself as the best hitter in the league by a pretty fair margin. For the Gamecocks in 2021, Eyster hit .279/.371/.484 in 215 at-bats, with nine doubles and 11 home runs. Check out his numbers for New Market in ’18: .421/.511/.781 in 114 regular season at-bats, with 32 runs scored, 14 doubles, nine home runs, 35 RBIs, and 18/21 BB/K. He then went 10-29 in the playoffs, with four doubles, two home runs, and 10 RBIs.
- Trevor Candelaria (Charlottesville 2021), from Davidson- #123 on the list. For the Wildcats in 2021, Candelaria and his flowing locks went .285/.384/.576 in 172 at-bats, with 40 runs scored, 17 doubles, 11 home runs, 32 RBIs, 13 stolen bases, and a solid 20/34 BB/K ratio. For Charlottesville last summer, he slashed .253/.337/.422 in 83 at-bats, with six doubles and two home runs.
- Jacoby Long (Woodstock 2021), from Miami- #129 on the list. Long only appeared in eight games as a freshman for the Hurricanes in ’21, but showed tremendous athleticism for the River Bandits in the summer, hitting .330/.398/.396 in 91 at-bats, with three doubles and eight stolen bases. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he’ll do in his sophomore season.
- Ian Diaz (Staunton 2021), from UMBC- #138 on the list. In 2021, his first year at UMBC, Diaz hit .346/.441/.603 in 136 at-bats, with seven doubles, two triples, and eight home runs. He was very good for Staunton last summer, slashing .310/.419/.469 in 113 at-bats, with seven doubles and three home runs. He went 3-11 with a triple and home run in the playoffs as well.