The Top Hitters of 2017, An Introduction

Ladies and gentlemen, we are just about to start the list of the top hitters in the Valley League in the 2017 season!

First of all, let’s talk about some parameters.

The first qualification is that each of these hitters has to be eligible for the batting title, which comes out to 2.7 plate appearances per team game. Harrisonburg’s Tony Beam and Waynesboro’s Malik Stephens, for example, had very good seasons in the Valley, but they did not reach the threshold.

Another thing to keep in mind: I am not making predictions about the future with any of these players. Why not? Because I DON’T KNOW. I AM NOT A SCOUT. I can’t tell you who has the smoothest swing or the fastest batspeed, or who is a lock to get drafted next June. I am going off of statistics only. I’ve been asked in the past, “Wouldn’t a list of the best hitters be better than just looking at the stats?” Yes, it would (I think). But I can’t do that, so I do what I am able. (Besides, Baseball America does the other kind of list, and lots of people are frustrated with them, too, because the “big names” get more attention than others, who might be performing better.)

With that said, I have had to parse some differences between players, as you might imagine. If I decided on just OPS (on-base plus slugging), then my list would be no different than what you could sort on the Valley League stat page. I try to use the whole package to rank the players. So I use batting average (the horror!), on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and even counting numbers to determine where a player has landed. (So if a player didn’t play as much as someone else, that would matter to a certain extent.)

Also keep in mind that I do this to celebrate players, not to denigrate anyone else. These players are amateurs, and I have no interest in putting any of them down for whatever reason. This space is to celebrate the accomplishments of these young men.

Remember that this list is only one person’s opinion. You may rank your favorite player much higher than I have, and that’s fine. You may comment about your displeasure, of course (free country), but again, I will not denigrate a player in this space. If you would like to have a private discussion in my email or inbox about my reasons for picking one player over another, that’s cool. Do remember, though, that I have spent quite a bit of time ordering these lists. I’m satisfied with how they look.

Is all that clear?

So. I have listed who I believe are the top 16 hitters in the 2017 season (I couldn’t decide between the last two, so I decided to include them both). I will count them down from #15B all the way to #1, one at a time, over the next few weeks. After that, I will turn my attention to starting pitchers, and then to relievers.

Here are the hitters who were close to making the list, but fell just short (in alphabetical order):

  • Ty Andrus, Harisonburg: 348/413/374 in 155 at-bats, 54 hits, 29 runs, 11 RBIs, 2 triples, 17/9 BB/K, 10 SB
  • Zac Evers, Waynesboro: 283/366/520 in 127 at-bats, 24 runs, 19 RBIs, 8 doubles, 5 triples, 4 home runs, 15/39 BB/K, 17 SB
  • Jacob Hirsh, Strasburg: 318/431/449 in 107 at-bats, 30 runs, 14 RBIs, 3 doubles, 1 triples, 3 home runs, 18/21 BB/K, 10 SB
  • Jake Perry, Strasburg: 313/413/481 in 131 at-bats, 21 runs, 18 RBIs, 13 doubles, 3 home runs, 21/42 BB/K
  • Rick Spiers, Charlottesville: 333/391/487 in 117 at-bats, 28 runs, 19 RBIs, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, 10/24 BB/K, 8 SB
  • Chase Suddeth, New Market: 324/424/456 in 136 at-bats, 30 runs, 25 RBIs, 10 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs, 22/20 BB/K, 9 SB

Playoff Results, Thursday August 3

The Tom Sox will wait another day!


Strasburg 4, Winchester 3 (10 innings); Turner Buis hit a solo home run in the top of the 10th inning to send this series to a deciding 3rd game.

Hitter of the Day

Turner Buis Coastal Carolina 2017Yep, it’s Turner Buis, who went 2-5, with 2 runs, an RBI, walk, and game winning home run. From Coastal Carolina, Turner hit 299/427/410 in 134 regular season at-bats, and is 167/286/333 after 24 playoff at-bats.

Others of Note

Sebastiano Santorelli, Strasburg: 2-5, run, RBI
Tyler Halas, Strasburg: 2-5
Dillon Reed, Winchester: 2-3, run, RBI, SB, 2 BB
Alejandro Rivero, Winchester: 2-4, RBI, 2B, 3B

Pitcher of the Day

The best stat line from last night was turned in from Strasburg’s Lawson Humphries, Lawson Humphries Ga Southern 2017from Georgia Southern. Lawson threw 3 shutout, no-hit innings, with 2 walks and 1 strikeout last night. Lawson is 0-0, 2.45 in 3 2/3 playoff innings, after he went 1-2, 5.16 in 22 2/3 regular season innings.

Tonight’s Game

Winchester at Strasburg, 7 PM, deciding game 3. I’m planning to attend this one, and might even bring my daughter along, in her last evening in the states for quite a while. Say hello to Karen if you see her!

Playoff Results, Monday July 31

Hard to believe we’ve just entered August! Well, we’re down to five teams remaining for the coveted Jim Lineweaver Cup….


Charlottesville 7, Waynesboro 2 (Semi-finals; Tom Sox lead, 1-0)
Winchester 9, Purcellville 3 (First round; tied 1-1)
Strasburg 10, New Market (First round; Express win 2-1)- game report coming later!

Hitter of the Day

Sebastiano SANTORELLI Seton Hall 2017Our HOD is Strasburg’s Sebastiano Santorelli, from Seton Hall, who not only had an excellent game at the plate last night, but who also has a fantastic name. Sebastiano went 3-5 against the Rebels, with 3 runs, 2 RBIs, a double, and a home run. He hit 188/259/250 in 48 regular season at-bats, and is 4-8 in the playoffs so far.

Others of Note

Cole Migliorini, Charlottesville: 2-4, run, RBI, 2B, HR
Trevin Esquerra, Purcellville: 2-4, run, 2 RBIs, HR
Sean Scales, Strasburg: 3-5, run, RBI, SF
Philip Madonna, Strasburg: 2-4, BB

Pitcher of the Day

It’s a Strasburg sweep- our POD is Brendan Smith, from Albany! Brendan threw 7 Brendan Smith Albany 2017innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, and struck out 7. He earned the win and a game score of 71. He went 0-1, 2.57 in 28 innings in the regular season, and is 1-0, 1.08 in 8 1/3 playoff innings.

Others of Note

Connor Gillispie, Charlottesville: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K’s, win (70)
Daniel Collins, Winchester: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 10 K’s, win (67)

Tonight’s Games

Charlottesville at Waynesboro (Game 2 of semi-finals)
Winchester at Purcellville (Game 3 of first round- Strasburg is waiting for the winner)


Almonte, Rinn, Ratliff Named All-Stars

The Northwest League will send their best to play an All-Star game against the best from the Pioneer League on August 1st, and three former Valley Leaguers will be there.

Two players, Abraham Almonte (Strasburg 2016) and Robby Rinn (Aldie 2013), will represent the Pioneer League, while Tyler Ratliff (Purcellville 2016-17) will be there from the Northwest League.

Their stats through July 26th:

  • Almonte is 0-0, 1.74, with 5 saves and 16 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings pitched for Missoula.
  • Rinn is hitting 365/456/518 in 34 games and 137 at-bats for Idaho Falls.
  • Ratliff is hitting 250/308/375 in 72 at-bats for Spokane, after hitting 500/541/618 in 34 at-bats in the Arizona League.

Congrats to all three!

Results for Wednesday, July 26

All five games were played last night. Let’s see if the thunderstorms hold off for the games today!


Purcellville 18, New Market 12 (Whoa- 30 runs and 34 hits)
Covington 6, Waynesboro 5
Charlottesville 5, Winchester 4 (Win #31 for the Tom Sox- there have been only 5 other teams who have won as many since 2001- 2011, 2013 Turks (32 wins), 2006 Rebels (32), 2012 Generals (31) and 2012 Royals (31))
Strasburg 8, Woodstock 0
Harrisonburg 10, Staunton 9

Hitter of the Day

LMU baseball 2017 HeadshotsThe HOD is Purcellville’s Trevin Esquerra, from Loyola Marymount, who went 3-4, with 3 runs, 3 RBIs, 2 walks, a double, and a home run. Trevin is hitting a huge 361/407/639 in 147 at-bats this summer, with 11 doubles, 3 triples, 8 home runs, and 32 RBIs.

Others of Note

Nick Barber, New Market: 3-6, run, RBI, SB
Jake Washer, New Market: 2-4, run, RBI, BB
Austin Bogart, New Market: 3-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, 2B
Luke Johnson, New Market: 3-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs, 2B, HR
Gabriel Castillo, Purcellville: 2-5, 2 runs, BB
Shaggy Freeland, Purcellville: 3-5, 4 runs, 3 RBIs, BB, 2 2B
Trey McDyre, Purcellville: 2-3, run, 3 RBIs, 2 BB
Andy Szamski, Purcellville: 2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, BB, 2B, SB
Riley Mihalik, Covington: 3-4, 4 RBIs, BB, 2 2B
Damian Rodriguez, Winchester:2-3, run, BB, 2B
Turner Buis, Strasburg: 3-3, 2 runs, BB, HBP
Brandon Quaranta, Strasburg: 2-4, run, 4 RBIs, BB, HR
Jake Perry, Strasburg: 2-4, run, RBI, BB, 2B, HR
Ty Andrus, Harrisonburg: 3-5, 2 runs, BB
Luke Nussman, Harrisonburg: 3-3, 4 RBIs, 2 BB, 2 2B
Hunter Seay, Harrisonburg: 4-5, run, 5 RBIs, 2B
Jay Charleston, Staunton: 3-5, 3 runs, 2B, 3 SB (Giving him 37, which ties him for the most since at least 2004)
Richard Miller, Staunton: 2-4, run, RBI, BB, SB
Austin Edens, Staunton: 2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, HR, 2B

Pitcher of the Day

Our POD is Strasburg’s Hunter Wolfe, from Purdue! Hunter threw 7 shutout innings Hunter Wolfe Purdue 2017against Woodstock while allowing 4 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 4. He earned the win and a game score of 72. Hunter is now 2-1, 6.35, with 23 K’s in 22 2/3 innings this summer.

Others of Note

Layne Looney, Charlottesville: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K’s
Corley Woods, Staunton: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K’s (54)

Thursday’s GamesĀ 

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

Results from Friday, July 21

I’m very, very busy today, so the update on the standings will have to wait until tomorrow (kesho in Swahili).

Scores from Last Night

Charlottesville 9, Covington 3
Purcellville 2, Front Royal 1
Strasburg 19, Woodstock 8
Winchester 16, New Market 15
Staunton 10, Waynesboro 5

Hitter of the Day

Brandon Quaranta Phil U 2017What a night! We had three players tally at least 4 hits last night, when on most nights, we have none. But the hitter of the day is pretty clearly Strasburg’s Brandon Quaranta, from Philadelphia University, who went 4-6, with 3 runs, 7 RBIs, a double, and 2 home runs! This explosion has Brandon’s slash line at 323/434/602 in 133 at-bats, with 10 doubles, 9 home runs, and 39 RBIs.

Others of Note

Rick Spiers, Charlottesville: 5-5, 2 runs, RBI, 2B, SB
Vinnie Pasquantino, Charlottesville: 2-4, run, RBI, BB
Trevor Rosenberg, Front Royal: 2-3, BB
Shaggy Freeland, Purcellville: 4 BB
Danton Hyman, Woodstock: 3-5, run, RBI
Grant Hoover, Woodstock: 3-5, 3 runs, RBI
Turner Buis, Strasburg: 2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, BB, HR
Jacob Hirsh, Strasburg: 1-2, 4 runs, RBI, 3 BB, HBP, 3 SB
Tyler Halas, Strasburg: 2-4, run, 2 RBIs, 3B, SB, BB
Jackson Furstace, Strasburg: 2-3, 4 runs, 4 RBIs, 2 BB, HR
Blake Reese, New Market: 2-6, run, 3 RBIs, BB, HR
Hunter Lipscomb, New Market: 2-6, 2 runs, BB, 2B
Jake Washer, New Market: 2-5, 3 runs, RBI, BB, 2B
Conner Corbitt, New Market: 2-5, run, 3 RBIs, BB
Nick Barber, New Market: 5-6, 2 runs, RBI, 3B, 2 SB
Cody Wilson, Winchester: 3-4, 5 runs, RBI, 2 BB, 3B, HR, 2 SB
Kenneth Gilmore, Winchester: 2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, BB, 3B
Alejandro Rivero, Winchester: 3-5, 3 runs, RBI, 2B, 2 SB
Seth Wall, Winchester: 2-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, 2 2B
Seth Woodard, Winchester: 3-4, run, 2 RBIs, HBP, SB
Dakota Robbins, Waynesboro: 2-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, 2 HR
Max Wood, Staunton: 2-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2B
Garrett Marchand, Staunton: 2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, BB, 2B
Brendan Cutting, Staunton: 3-5, run, 3 RBIs, 2 2B, HR
Kam Lane, Staunton: 2-3, 2 runs, BB

Pitcher of the Day

With that many hitters with extraordinary games, you would be forgiven, dear reader, if Andrue Hughart Potomac State 2017you assumed the list of pitchers would be close to zero. However, we still have six pitchers who threw well last night. The best line belongs to Purcellville’s Andrue Hughart, from Potomac State, who threw 6 1/3 innings while allowing 4 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks, and striking out 5. He earned a game score of 63, as well as the win. The righthander, who plans to transfer to Glenville State in the fall, is now 1-0, 1.45, with 11 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings pitched.

Others of Note

Conor Gillispie, Charlottesville: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K’s
Layne Looney, Charlottesville: 3 IP , 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K’s, win
Thomas Sutera, Purcellville: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K’s, save
Jackson Ray, Strasburg: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K’s, win
Dean Stramara, Staunton: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K’s, win

Saturday’s Games

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

Results from Sunday, July 16


Covington 4, Staunton 3
Waynesboro 8, Charlottesville 4
Winchester 10, Front Royal 5
Strasburg 9, Woodstock 8
Harrisonburg 7, New Market 5

Hitter of the Day

Turner Buis Coastal Carolina 2017It’s Turner Buis, from Strasburg and Coastal Carolina! Turner went 2-5 last night, with 3 runs scored, an RBI, a triple, and a home run. Turner is now hitting 250/388/370 in 100 at-bats. He has 24 walks in 25 games played!

Others of Note

Sebastian Dunn, Covington: 2-3, run, BB
Bryce Windham, Charlottesville: 2-4, 2 runs, RBI, BB
Steven Carpenter, Charlottesville: 2-3, BB, 2B
Reid Long, Waynesboro: 1-3, run, 5 RBIs, HR, SF
Dillon Reed, Winchester: 1-2, 4 runs, 3 BB, 3 SB
Kyle Vesnesky, Winchester: 2-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 2B
Simon Landry, Strasburg: 2-3, RBI, BB
Tyler Martin, Strasburg: 2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, BB, HR
Connor Golden, Woodstock: 2-5, RBI, BB, 2B
Kole Harris, Woodstock: 3-4, 2 runs, 2B
Jacob Rhinesmith, New Market: 3-5, 2 runs (9-11 in his last 2 games!)
Joe Lytle, Harrisonburg: 3-5, RBI, 2B

Pitcher of the Day

A Strasburg sweep today- our POD is Benjamin Dum, from VCU! Benjamin went 5 innings Ben Dum VCU 2017and allowed 5 hits, 1 unearned run, 1 walk, and struck out 3. He’s now 4-2, 2.74 in 39 1/3 innings, along with 32 strikeouts.

Others of Note

Orlando Cannon, Covington: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Garrett Bye, Waynesboro: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K’s, save
Grant Hoover, Woodstock: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Monday’s Games

Front Royal at Covington
Waynesboro at Winchester
Charlotteville at Staunton