- Last VBL title: None. The River Bandits joined the league in 2004, and have been eliminated in the semi-finals of the playoffs in 2012 and 2019, but the franchise has not advanced to the finals (yet).
- Team President: Randy Jones
- Head Coach/Recruiter: Mike Bocock- an inaugural member of the VBL Hall of Fame, Bocock has managed in the Valley League for 25 seasons with six different franchises, and has won a league-record seven VBL titles. Bocock recruited this team; much of his roster is hand-picked!
- Key Alumni: Chris Devenski (2011), JT Hintzen (2016), and Lael Lockhart (2019) are the only current alumni in organized baseball
The 2021 version of the Woodstock River Bandits fell just a half game short of the franchise’s second division title. The team finished 26-16, and was led at the plate by returning MVP Aidan Nagle (Lewis-Clark) and Jacoby Long (Miami). The staff was one of the best in the league, and the starters were led by Brandon Haggerty, while Conor Miller anchored the bullpen. The Bandits squared off with red-hot Winchester in the first round of the playoffs, and the Royals swept the Bandits, winning the two games by a total of 22-3.
- Albert Espinoza, Palm Beach State (2021)
- James O’Neal, Incarnate Word (2021): He was the 7th best reliever in the 2021 VBL season
- Ethan Campos, Wharton County (2021) (Pictured)
- Justin Wachs, Nova Southeastern (Harrisonburg, Woodstock 2021)
- Jacob Williams, Middle Tennessee State (2021)
- Hunter Hoopes, Alabama (2019, 2021)
- Kelan Hoover, Garrett (2021)
- Tomas Sanchez, Texas Wesleyan (2019)
Hitters to Watch
Of his outfield, Bocock said, “We’re as strong as I’ve ever been.” The team looks like it has good speed, too:
- RJ Stinson, William Carey: .404/.500/.617, five doubles, nine home runs, 37/16 BB/K in 188 at-bats
- Albert Espinoza: Will be solid defensively as well
- Tristan Moore, Palm Beach State: .377, nine home runs, 20 stolen bases
- Hunter Smith, Wharton County: .324, 28 stolen bases
- Frankie Ritter, Shenandoah: .361, 23 stolen bases
- Tomas Sanchez: 23 stolen bases
- Jose Hernandez, Miami-Dade: Nine home runs
- Jack Spyke, Winthrop: .289, can play multiple positions
- Jack Jarvis, Purdue: .291, 17/20 BB/K
Pitchers to Watch
- Hunter Hoopes: Struck out 23 batters in 20 innings out of the bullpen for the Crimson Tide; he will most likely be the opening night starter for the Bandits
- Ethan Campos: 6-3, 3.66 in 64 innings, with 66 K’s, was the 14th best reliever in the 2021 season
- Stephen Pena, Eastfield College:6-0, 2.52 in 35 innings, along with 48 K’s
- Christian Gordon: State College of Florida:25 K’s in 23 innings
- Tyler Wilkinson, West Virginia Tech
- Dario Herrera, William Carey
- Ryan Braderich, Nova Southeastern
- Bocock is releasing a book entitled “Close to the Dirt: Mike Bocock’s Journey Through the Dugouts and Diamonds of the Shenandoah Valley,” on June 3. Written by Bill Meade, the book covers much of Bocock’s experiences in baseball at various levels. Bocock commented, “It has a lot about the Valley League and Rockingham County League.” On June 3, several former Valley Leaguers are coming back to Woodstock to celebrate the release of the book and opening night- including several from the 1989 New Market team.
- Tomas Sanchez’s father, also named Tomas, played for Bocock at Chowan and for Front Royal in the VBL
- Hunter Hoopes’s grandparents live in Woodstock
- Trivia Question: Can you name the six different franchises Mike Bocock has managed?