#8 Hitter: Danton Hyman, Woodstock

Danton Hyman Newberry 2017Our #8 hitter, Danton Hyman, is no stranger to the folks at Central High School in Woodstock, as he has played in 71 games over the past two seasons for the ‘Stock.

A speedy outfielder, the 6-foot rising junior was ATVL’s 10th best hitter in ’16, and moved up two spots for the current year. (He is the 14th player since 2007 to make a top list twice.)

Let’s take a look at his two seasons in the Valley:

2016 30 111 23 40 6 0 0 13 9 13 12 5 0.360 0.411 0.414
2017 41 161 28 61 7 1 1 27 25 21 15 8 0.379 0.458 0.453

Pretty impressive. Danton played in 11 more games and had 50 more at-bats in 2017 than in 2016, but increased his rate stats and his BB/K ratio.

In 2016, Danton finished 2nd in the league in batting average, and was named to the All-Valley League 1st team at utility. (He pitched as well.)

In 2017, the list is much longer. Here we go: 4th in batting average, 2nd in OBP, tied for 5th in walks, 7th in total bases, tied for 9th in RBIs, 2nd in hits… and even though he was better than in 2016, this year he was named 2nd team All-Valley League in the outfield.

The pesky left-handed hitter’s best game was probably on June 14th, when he went 3-5 with a double.

Hyman has really done nothing but hit. Here are his two seasons at Division II Newberry:

2016 45 129 24 42 5 2 0 21 8 15 5 0 0.326 0.373 0.395
2017 52 192 45 67 6 0 0 25 29 24 12 6 0.349 0.438 0.380

Danton led Newberry in hits and on-base percentage this past year, and was named to the 2017 SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and All-Conference Gold Glove. ATVL loves those players who perform in the classroom! And by the way, Danton is legally deaf as well.

Congratulations on your excellent two seasons in the Valley, Danton!



The Hunt for .400

I know, I know, batting average is an “old school” stat, and we should focus on newer stats, like WAR, or WPA, or OPS+. However, those stats are not available for the Valley League, one, and two, hitting .400 has a legendary place in the history of baseball. (I would LOVE to be able to calculate WAR for the VBL, but our defensive stats aren’t there yet.)

Quick- name the last hitter to hit .400 in the history of major league baseball.

Got it? You knew it, didn’t you? Ted Williams, 1941, .406. You might even know the last two seasons when hitters got really close. Think about it a bit- I’ll come back to it.**

Now, does anyone know who leads the all-time list of highest adjusted OPS+ in a single major league season? Forget the number, can anyone just name the player? If you can, kudos to you, but my guess is that not many of you know that Barry Bonds had an OPS+ of 268 in 2002, which is the highest single-season achievement in the entire history of baseball.

Hitting .400 has always been special, even if we think that the “specialness” is wearing off over time. So this morning I’ll take a quick look at the history of the league, at least since 2004, and who is making a run at this “hallowed” number this season.

First, the list of 6 players who have hit .400 in a Valley League season since 2004:

1 Brad Zebedis Strasburg 2011 0.420
2 Julian Ridings Waynesboro 2012 0.419
3 Luke Greinke Winchester 2007 0.417
4 Gunnar McNeill Staunton 2014 0.414
5 Shane Billings Harrisonburg 2015 0.406
6 Jordan Tarsovich Strasburg 2013 0.404

An impressive list, to be sure.

Now, what’s going on in 2017? Will we have our first .400 hitter since Billings in 2015?

The top four batting averages in the league right now are:

  1. Dominic Canzone, Front Royal: .418 (46-110)
  2. Bradley McClain, Waynesboro: .406 (43-106)
  3. Michael Wielansky, Charlottesville: .398 (47-118)
  4. Danton Hyman, Woodstock: .380 (41-108)

I would say that all four of these players have a shot at joining the top 6, especially given the short VBL season. Even though Hyman is 20 points off right now, he has the speed to pick up a number of infield hits (historically, baseball analysts say that beating out those “dribblers” may make the difference in the end). And if Danton had just three more hits in those 108 at-bats, he would be hitting .407.

If I have the time, I may include a “race for .400” on my daily post, so we can keep tabs the rest of the way. Good luck to all 4!

** The last two highly-publicized shots at .400? Tony Gwynn, who hit .394 in 1994, and George Brett, who hit .390 in 1980.

Results from Wednesday June 14

Three of the five scheduled games were played last night- let’s take a look!


Covington 5, Woodstock 4
Waynesboro 7, Harrisonburg 0
Strasburg 3, Purcellville 2
Charlottesville-Staunton and Front Royal-New Market were postponed

Hitter of the Day

Danton Hyman Newberry 2017Danton Hyman is our hitter of the day, after going 3-5, with a run, 2 RBIs, and a double. Weirdly, this is the second day in a row that he had exactly the same hitting line! Danton was the 10th best hitter in the league in 2016, and is off to a scorching start this year as well. The sophomore from Newberry is hitting 409/462/500 in 44 at-bats.

Others of Note

Nicolas Lares, Covington: pinch hit walk off 2-run HR
Andrew Robinson, Waynesboro: 2-5, run, BB, 2B
Parker Phillips, Waynesboro: 2-4, run, 3 RBIs, 2B

Pitcher of the Day

Three excellent choices (well, five) for today, but the best start was thrown byPayton Kinney Nebraska Omaha 2017 Waynesboro’s Payton Kinney, from Nebraska Omaha! Payton threw 6 shutout innings while allowing only 1 hit, 1 walk, and striking out 6. He earned a game score of 75. After three starts and 15 1/3 innings for the Generals, Payton is 2-0, 2.34, with 14 K’s.

Others of Note

Francisco Fernandez, Covington: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K’s (69)
Brady Jones, Woodstock: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K’s
Tyler Thompson, Waynesboro: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K’s
Dylan Hall, Strasburg: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K’s (68)

Thursday’s Schedule

Waynesboro at Woodstock
Staunton at Winchester
Covington at Front Royal
Strasburg at Harrisonburg
Purcellville at New Market

#10 Hitter: Danton Hyman, Woodstock

Danton Hyman NewberryAccording to ATVL, the 10th best hitter in the 2016 Valley League season is Danton Hyman, from Woodstock and Newberry! (A second Woodstock River Bandit in a row. Hmm.)

Anyway, Danton hit 360/411/414 for the Bandits in 30 games and 111 at-bats. He hit 6 doubles, scored 23 runs, drove in 13, had a 9/13 BB/K ratio, and stole 12 bases in 17 attempts. His batting average was the 2nd best in the league. He was also an all-star selection, and went 0-3 with a stolen base in the big game. His best games were on June 9th, at New Market, when he went 5-6 with 4 RBIs and a stolen base, and July 17, against Waynesboro, when he went 4-6 with 2 runs and an RBI.

Danton’s pitching made him even more valuable, and he was named to the All-Valley League first team as a “utility” player, which means he both played in the field and pitched. On the mound, Danton went 0-2, 4.50 in 32 innings, while allowing 33 hits, 19 walks, and striking out 11. His best outing was on July 24th against Purcellville, when Danton threw 7 innings and allowed 7 hits, 2 unearned runs, 1 walk, and struck out 3. He got the loss, but it wasn’t his fault.

Danton is a current sophomore at Division-II Newberry. As a freshman in 2016, he hit a robust 326/373/395 in 129 at-bats, with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 24 runs, 21 RBIs, a 8/15 BB/K ratio, and 5 stolen bases. He also went 1-4, 7.34, with one save on the mound in 34 1/3 innings.

As an additional point of interest- when I was doing some research on Danton, I found an article from a year ago that discussed the fact that Danton was born deaf, and currently wears hearing aids. This obviously doesn’t keep him from succeeding on the diamond!

Congratulations on your excellent summer, Danton!

Danton Hyman all-star VBL

Daily Update, Thursday June 9

As expected, no former Valley Leaguers were drafted in the first 77 selections last night. Tonight, rounds 3-10 will be held. Stay tuned!

All five games were played again!


Waynesboro 5, Covington 2
Strasburg 7, Purcellville 6
Charlottesville 2, Front Royal 1 (12 innings)
Harrisonburg 6, Staunton 1
Woodstock 12, New Market 6

Hitter of the Day

Danton Hyman NewberryYou could make the case for at least three different players from last night, but in the end, you just can’t argue with 5 hits. Say hello to Danton (Charles?) Hyman, from Woodstock and Newberry College. Danton went 5-6 last night, all singles, drove in 4 runs, and stole a base. Mr. Hyman is a two-way player; he’s 9-17 in the batter’s box, and has thrown 1 1/3 innings so far on the mound. For Newberry in 2016, Danton hit 326/373/395 in 129 at-bats, and went 1-4, 7.34 in 34 1/3 innings. Great night!

Others of Note

Fabian Pena, Covington: 3-4, 2 runs, 2B
Deaires Moses, Purcellville: 3-4, 2 runs, BB
Bradley Dixon, Strasburg: 2-2, run, 3 RBIs, SB
Bernabe Camargo, Front Royal: 3-6, 2B
Bryan Arias, Harrisonburg: 3-4, run, 3 RBIs, BB, 2B, HR
Greg Popatak, Harrisonburg: 3-4, run, BB, 2B
Will Black, Woodstock: 3-5, 2 runs, RBI, BB, 2B
Nick Ward, Woodstock: 3-6, 3 runs, 2 RBIs
Daniel Kerwin, New Market: 3-3, 3 2B (THREE doubles?!?)

Pitcher of the Day

Our pitcher of the day is Harrisonburg’s Corey Childress, from Troy! (The pipeline from Troy to the ‘Burg is still Corey Childress Troy 2016functional!) Corey threw 7 innings and allowed 4 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, and struck out 5. He earned the win and a game score of 69. Corey has started 2 games so far this summer, and is 1-1, 0.69, with 11 K’s in 13 innings. For Troy this spring, Corey was 2-4, 3.12, with 10 saves and 46 K’s in 49 innings pitched.

Others of Note

David Ehmen, Waynesboro: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s, win (56)
Donovan Futrell, Covington: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K’s
Erne Valdes, Front Royal: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K’s (55)
Riley Arnone, Charlottesville: 5 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K’s (56)
Jack Alkire, Charlottesville: 4 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K’s, win
Easton Fuller, Woodstock: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K’s

Tonight’s Schedule (Besides watching draft picks scroll by…)

Purcellville (Alex London) at Front Royal (Kristopher Van Camp)
Charlottesville (Brooks Crawford) at Waynesboro (Campbell Scholl)
Covington (Thane Clark) at Winchester (John Barr)
New Market (Brandon Liskey) at Staunton (Sam Vincenzo)
Strasburg (Justin Freeman) at Harrisonburg (Donnie Sellers)