- Last VBL title: 2004, last finals appearance was in 2012. Franchise has advanced to the playoffs five straight seasons.
- Head Coach/Recruiter: Mike Smith, now in his seventh season overall in Winchester, with three as head coach. He also served as an assistant coach in Purcellville. Smith has been the high school baseball coach at Clarke County High School for ten years.
- General Manager: Brian Burke, who is also the head coach at Millbrook High School in Winchester.
- Important note: Winchester’s home field, Jim Barnett Park, has been resurfaced with turf by Shenandoah University, and the outfield fences have been moved back slightly as well. “It’s an awesome facility,” Smith said. “The kids are excited, maintenance is easier; I’m really, really excited about it.” The field usually plays above average for home runs; it will be interesting to see what happens in 2022.
The 2021 Royals had a murderer’s row of a lineup, including league MVP Austin Bulman (Rice), the league’s highest batting average with Nate Furman (Charlotte), and Will Long (Tennessee Tech, and pictured), named first team All-Valley at catcher. The team finished in third place in the North Division with a regular season record of 21-18. The squad swept Woodstock in the first round of the playoffs, but then lost in the North finals to Strasburg in two hard-fought games.
- Joseph Chavana, Trinity (2021)
- Sam Davies, St. Josephs (2021)
- Clayton Gilmore, North Carolina Wesleyan (Charlottesville 2021)
- Will Long (2019 and 2021)
Hitters to Watch
- This list has to start with Will Long, back for a third season. Long hit .339/.451/.600 for the Royals last summer, with eight home runs and 40 RBIs
- Fenwick Trimble, JMU: .276/.382/.442 in 199 at-bats, with 12 doubles and seven home runs as a true freshman
- Dallen Leach, North Florida: .268 in 153 at-bats, with seven doubles and four home runs
- Matthew Rivera, Ball State: .407 on-base percentage in 91 at-bats
- Jack Slater, St. Johns River State: .336 OBP in 89 at-bats
- Will Marcy, NC State “Can really swing it,” according to Smith. He hit .284/.392/.420 in 81 at-bats this spring.
- Chayce Bryant, Western Oklahoma (Southeastern commit): .444/.535/.807 in 171 at-bats, with 15 doubles, four triples, 13 home runs, and 27/24 BB/K this spring.
- Jordan Young, Spartanburg (Jackson State commit): .413/.476/.698 in 179 at-bats, 17 doubles, 10 home runs, 71 RBIs in 50 games!
Pitchers to Watch
- Joseph Chavana reportedly set the school record for wins at Trinity this spring; he went 10-1, 3.76, with 70 K’s in 79 innings pitched, and was named first team All-SCAC.
- Jackson Sloan, Southeastern: Nine K’s in six innings this spring
- David Warren, Memphis
- Cameron Kenny, Pasco Hernando: 6-3, 4.26, with 45 K’s in 50 ⅔ innings
- Jarrett Maresco, St. Johns River St: 5-3, 4.35, with 53 K’s in 62 innings
- Fenwick Trimble made Baseball America’s list of best names in college baseball… and he has a brother, South, who plays for George Mason
- Chase Nixon (NC State) is the son of former Red Sox hero Trot Nixon
- Jack Slater’s father, Tom, was a coach at VMI, Florida, and Auburn, and has most recently been the assistant hitting coach for the New York Mets from 2017 to 2021.
- Nixon and Nathan Keeter (Liberty) are cousins