Yesterday, we took a quick look at the four young men in the 2017 Valley League who have a serious shot at hitting .400 this summer.
Today, let’s take Mr. Atwood’s suggestion and look at those who have the best chance, right now, to join the top ten in ERA since the 2004 season.
First, though, can anyone name the best ERA in a season in the history of the major leagues? (Let’s say in modern times. All those pitchers in the 1880’s were from an obviously different time.) This isn’t quite as obvious as Ted Williams’s .406, eh? Answer at the bottom…. **
So, first of all, the list:
|1||Aaron Cressley||New Market||2013||0.62|
|3||Erne Valdes||Front Royal||2016||1.04|
Two pitchers joined this list just last season, but neither was able to catch Aaron Cressley’s 0.62 for the Rebs in 2013.
To anticipate Mr. Walls’s question, Cressley, Gilliam, Baxter, and Umberger all pitched in pro ball, while Drew Rucinski has reached the major leagues.
So how about the pitchers from this season who can maybe reach this list? (And by the way, pitchers need a minimum of 0.8 innings per team game to be eligible.)
These are the top five at the moment:
- Sean McCracken, Charlottesville: 0.72
- Thomas Sutera, Purcellville: 1.40 (Interestingly, Thomas has pitched exclusively in relief this summer. Can he maintain this pace? Oh- and he has 5 wins, too. One more ties him with the highest total from 2016, and 2 more puts him on the top ten list)
- Zach Peek, Strasburg: 1.41
- Andy Crum, Purcellville: 1.78 (Andy lowered his ERA from 2.15 to 1.78- .37!- with just 6 shutout innings last night)
- Nick Fuchs, Woodstock: 1.93 (I had a nice conversation with Nick and his teammate at the All-Star game. Nick is looking to transfer from Gannon, but hasn’t settled on a college yet)
ERA is a tenuous thing, really. If any of these guys have a bad outing, they could bounce right out of the top five. The opposite is also true, as Andy Crum proved just last night. I’m feeling like this season may be a bit more slanted towards the offense than in past years, so that make it even tougher for these guys to keep it up.
**Bob Gibson, 1.12 in 1968, the height of the pitching-dominated era.
So, any thoughts, Brilliant Reader?