Now that we’re through the top hitters in the league, we’ll turn our attention to the top starting pitchers. To be eligible for this list, pitchers had to throw 0.8 innings per team game played. I used ERA, batting average against, WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched), BB/9 and K/9 (walks and strikeouts per nine innings) to determine the list. Because of the proliferation of pitch counts and using pitchers as both starters and relievers, I had to make some tough calls about certain players. For example, I just couldn’t cut the 11th player from the list, so I just decided to list 11. I had to determine which list to put some other pitchers on- many guys were used in both roles in 2014. Anyway, as with all my lists, keep in mind that this is just one person’s opinion. You’re definitely allowed to have your own.
#11 Starter: Garrett Kelly, New Market
Garrett Kelly, from Wake Forest, came to the Valley League basically to learn how to pitch. Previously used as a catcher by the Demon Deacons, Garrett came to the Rebels to pitch as much as possible. This is the opposite of what usually happens with college pitchers- usually they have strict pitch counts and innings limits.
Not this guy! He led the league in innings pitched, was 2nd in strikeouts, and tied for 2nd in games started. He definitely got his work in.
Overall, Kelly went 3-2, 3.41, with 60 2/3 innings pitched, 49 hits, 26 walks, and 51 strikeouts. His WHIP was 1.236, BB/9 was 3.9, and his K/9 was 7.6. Batters hit only .215 against him. His best start was July 9th, at Winchester, when he threw a complete game shutout, allowing only 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 11. He also struck out 10 Staunton Braves in only 6 2/3 innings five days after the shutout.
Garrett didn’t pitch for Wake Forest in 2013 (he got 17 at-bats as a catcher), but in 2014 he did, going 1-3, 5.03, with 19 hits, 11 walks, and 19 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings pitched.
I am very interested to see how Mr. Kelly uses his newfound pitching experience in the ACC this spring!