A Short Discussion on the Relievers

It’s time for the relievers.

And as usual, the ranking process for this list was ridiculous. Let’s be clear- each and every reliever that will be listed over the next month had a very good Valley League season in 2017. But it’s still almost impossible to rank them, because many of them were very, very good at one aspect, but not all of them. (In other words, for example, maybe a pitcher walked almost no one, but their WHIP was higher, or struck out everyone, but walked too many…)

So ATVL did his level best to rank the top 15 relievers of the 2017 season. He used ERA, batting average against, WHIP, BB/9, and K/9, and innings pitched mattered, too (as will be discussed below). And votes for pitcher of the year mattered as well…..

There is a group of relievers who were excellent, but who will not be listed- all because of a lack of innings pitched in relief during the regular season. So ATVL will give them a mention here, so at least they get a (brief) moment in the sun….

Israel Fuentes, Waynesboro, from Faulkner University: Israel pitched in 3 games from June 22 through July 3rd, going 0-0, 0.00, with a 0.519 WHIP, 1.2 BB/9, and 7.0 K/9 over 7 2/3 innings.

Andrew Mahoney, Waynesboro, from Mississippi State: Andrew also pitched in only 7 2/3 innings, weirdly, in the same time frame as Fuentes: Mahoney pitched on June 27th and July 1st. He went 2-0, 0.00, with a 0.649 WHIP, 1.2 BB/9, and 11.7 K/9.

Christopher Farish, Harrisonburg, from Wake Forest: Christopher went 1-1, 2.16 in 7 games, with 2 of them starts. He threw 25 innings, with 13 of them as a starter. He ended with a 1.200 WHIP, 4.0 BB/9, and 12.2 K/9. Perfect Game named him the 8th best prospect in the league.

Brandon Quaranta, Strasburg, from Philadelphia University: Brandon is best known as the masher in the middle of the Express lineup- the hitter who was named ATVL’s 2nd best hitter in the entire league in 2017. Brandon also pitched some in 2017; he threw 8 2/3 relief innings, going 0-0, 1.58, with a 0.973 WHIP, 4.0 BB/9, and 11.2 K/9.

Nathan Pawelczyk, New Market, from Winthrop: Nathan turned heads in 2017; he was named 2nd team All-Valley as a relief pitcher, and Baseball America named him the 6th best prospect in the league. Nathan went 3-0, 0.55, with a 0.982 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, and 12.7 K/9, but he only pitched 10 1/3 innings as a reliever, and 6 innings as a starter.

Rick Spiers, Charlottesville and Randolph Macon: Rick pitched 23 innings in 2017, but only 7 of them as a reliever. He was fantastic overall, going 4-0, 0.78, with a 0.783 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, and 10.6 K/9. In fact, he was on the mound when the Tom Sox won the deciding third game of the championship series.




Results from Tuesday July 18


Covington at Winchester PPD
Woodstock 4, Waynesboro 3
Staunton 4, Strasburg 3 (10 innings)
New Market 16, Purcellville 4
Charlottesville 7, Front Royal 1

Hitter of the Day

Jacob Rhinesmith Indian Hills CC 2017This guy is on a tear. New Market’s Jacob Rhinesmith, from Indian Hills CC, went 3-6 last night, with 2 runs, 3 RBIs, double, home run, and stolen base. He is an insane 12-17 in his last 3 games, and is slashing 365/430/552 in 96 at-bats this summer. He is very quickly rising to join the best hitters in the league.

Others of Note

Danton Hyman, Woodstock: 3-5, run, 2 RBIs
Turner Buis, Strasburg: 2-4, run, BB, SB
Simon Landry, Strasburg: 2-5, run, 2 2B
Jake Washer, New Market: 2-4, 3 runs
Alec Aleywine, New Market: 3-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 BB, 2B
Chase Sudduth, New Market: 3-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, BB, 2 2B
Michael Neustifter, New Market: 1-3, 3 RBIs, SF
Nolan Ritchie, Purcellville: 2-5, run, 2 2B, RBI
Trevin Esquerra, Purcellville: 2-3, RBI, BB, 2B, SF
Michael Wielansky, Charlottesville: 4-5, run, RBI
Rick Spiers, Charlottesville: 3-5, run, SB

Pitcher of the Day

A Tom Sox hurler grabbed this one- it’s Wake Forest’s Drew Loepprich, who threw 5Drew Loepprich Wake Forest 2017 shutout innings in relief last night, while allowing 1 hit, 0 walks, and striking out 2. He’s an amazing 3-0, 0.46 in 19 1/3 innings, with 12 hits allowed, 0 walks, and 17 strikeouts. ZERO WALKS. There is so much fun stuff going on this year…..

Others of Note

Jonathon Murphy, Woodstock: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K’s, win
Nick Fuchs, Woodstock: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K’s
Dean Stramara, Staunton: 3 Ip, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K’s, win
Derek Duffy, Staunton: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K’s
Dylan Hall, Strasburg: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 Bb, 6 K’s

Wednesday’s Games

Charlottesville at Front Royal 1 PM
Charlottesville at Winchester 7 PM
Waynesboro at Purcellville
Harrisonburg at Woodstock
Strasburg at New Market
Covington at Staunton

The Chase for .400


Michael Wielansky, Charlottesville: 4-5, now at .421
Dominic Canzone, Front Royal: DNP, .404 (Rumor has it Dominic has left for the summer)
McClain Bradley, Waynesboro: 1-5, now at .389
Danton Hyman, Woodstock: 3-5, now .381

Results from Wednesday June 28


Purcellville 7, Strasburg 2
Covington 5, New Market 4
Charlottesville 11, Woodstock 3
Front Royal 14, Staunton 8
Waynesboro 9, Harrisonburg 2

Hitter of the Day

Bryce Windham ODU 2017Our HOD is Bryce Windham, from Old Dominion and Charlottesville, who went 4-5, with a run, RBI, double, and walk. Bryce is now hitting 267/469/333 in 45 at-bats this summer. (I attended this game, and if I were the rest of the league, I would be terrified of the Tom Sox lineup. To a man, they were patient, working the count, and ringing out line drives when they chose a pitch to swing at. They looked very impressive.)

Others of Note

Payton Marshall, Purcellville: 2-4, run, BB, SB
Pablo Cabrera, New Market: 3-3, run, 2 RBIs, 2 SB
Caleb Walls, Covington: 2-4, run, BB, SB
Bruce Strickland, Covington: 3-4, 2 runs, RBI, HR
Ari Sechopoulos, Charlottesville: 3-5, run, 2 RBIs, BB, HR
Eric Jones, Charlottesville: 2-2, 2 runs, RBI, BB, SF
Cole Migliorini, Charlottesville: 3-6, 3 runs, 2 RBIs, HR
Dylan Hardy, Front Royal: 3-6, 3 runs, RBI, 2 SB
Carter Perkins, Front Royal: 2-5, run, 4 RBIs, 2B
Dominic Canzone, Front Royal: 4-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, SB
Trevor Rosenberg, Front Royal: 2-5, run, 2 RBIs
Jaden Hassell, Front Royal: 1-2, 3 runs, BB
Max Wood, Staunton: 2-3, BB
Zach Evers, Waynesboro: 2-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, HR
Joseph Estrada, Waynesboro: 2-4, run, 4 RBIs, HR, SB
Austin Embler, Harrisonburg: 3-4, BB

Pitcher of the Day

The POD is Harrisonburg’s Christopher Farish, from Wake Forest, who threw 7 effective Chris Farish Wake Forest 2017innings in relief yesterday. He allowed 2 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 8. He’s now 1-0, 1.92, with 23 K’s in 14 innings pitched- all in relief.

Others of Note

Sean Gabel, Purcellville: 7 Ip, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K’s, win (63)

Sean McCracken, Charlottesville: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K’s, win (59) (Love his pace on the mound)

Gabe Mosser, Waynesboro: 5 IP 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K’s, win (54)

Thursday’s Games

Purcellville at Covington

Winchester at Charlottesville

Waynesboro at Strasburg

Woodstock at Front Royal

Staunton at New Market

Results from Thursday, June 22


Purcellville 6, Front Royal 5
Purcellville 8, Front Royal 5
Waynesboro 5, Winchester 3
Harrisonburg 5, Covington 3
Staunton 5, Strasburg 4
New Market 8, Charlottesville 4

Hitter of the Day

Bruce Strickland Felician 2017A double and home run carry the day- our HOD is Covington’s Bruce Strickland, from Felician! Bruce went 2-4, with 2 runs, an RBI, and the aforementioned double and home run. He’s now 7-16 in his young season, with a slash line of 438/450/938. Out of his 7 hits so far, 5 of them have gone for extra bases.

Others of Note

Blake Thomas, Front Royal: 3-5, run, SB
Sheldon Reed, Purcellville: 2-4, 3 RBIs
Andrew Zban, Purcellville: 3-4, 2 RBIs
Raul Cabrera, Purcellville: 2-3, 2 runs, RBI, 2B, BB
Tony Beam, Harrisonburg: 3-5, RBI, 2B
Joe Lytle, Harrisonburg: 2-2, run, 2 RBIs, 2B
Hunter Stokes, Strasburg: 2-4, run, 2B, BB
Jay Charleston, Staunton: 3-5, run, RBI, 2 SB
Vinnie Pasquantino, Charlottesville: 3-4, run, SB
Eric Jones, Charlottesville: 3-5, RBI, 2B
Ari Sechopoulos, Charlottesville: 2-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2B
Jacob Rhinesmith, New Market: 2-3, 2 runs, RBI, 3B, 2 SB
Jack Hartman, New Market: 2-4, 2 runs, RBI

Pitcher of the Day

Our POD is Carter Bach, from Harrisonburg and Wake Forest! Carter earned a game Carter Bach Wake Forest 2017score of 64 with 5 innings, 1 hit, 1 unearned run, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts. This was Carter’s second game- he’s now 0-0, 3.00 in 9 innings pitched.

Others of Note

Nickolas Ortega, Front Royal: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K’s
Christopher Farish, Harrisonburg: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K’s (I don’t usually include this many earned runs over 3 IP, but 9 K’s?!? Wow.)
PJ Piesko, Covington: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K (57)
Brendan Smith, Strasburg: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K’s
Derek Duffy, Staunton: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K’s (6 out of 7 outs recorded by K)
Corley Woods, Staunton: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K’s, win

Friday’s Games

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

#7 Reliever: Parker Johnson, Staunton

parker-johnson-wake-forest-2016-headshotYou just gotta love pitchers that both have a low walk rate and a high strikeout rate.

So take a look at Parker Johnson, the 6-foot righthander from Staunton and Wake Forest. In 29 Valley League innings, Parker went 2-1, 3.10, with a 1.034 WHIP, 1.9 BB/9, and 13.7 K/9 in 29 innings. For those scoring at home, that’s allowing 6 walks and striking out 44 in those 29 innings. Among pitchers considered for this list, his BB/9 was 7th, and his K/9 was 3rd. He pitched in 2 games in the playoffs, and over 5 innings, allowed 4 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, and struck out 8 more hitters.

Parker is a redshirt junior at Wake Forest. In 2015, his first season for the Demon Deacons (really?), he went 1-0, 9.14 in 21 games and 21 2/3 innings. He walked 9 and struck out 17. His workload was reduced quite a bit for 2016, when he appeared in only 11 games and threw 10 2/3 innings. He went 0-1, 9.28, with 5 walks and 15 strikeouts.

Parker also pitched in Staunton in the summer of 2015, when he went 2-2, 3.85, with 11 walks and 24 strikeouts in 17 relief outings covering 21 innings.

He has huge potential, that is obvious to see. His head coach, Tom Walter, said this about his ability: “He has a live arm and has shown the ability to pitch with his fastball on both sides of the plate with velocity and movement. If he can get his breaking ball and his change-up more consistent, he can be a big asset to us out of our bullpen.”

Congratulations on your outstanding summer, Parker!



#11 Starting Pitcher: John McCarren, Harrisonburg

john-mccarren-wake-forest-head-2016ATVL’s #11 starting pitcher in the 2016 Valley League system is Harrisonburg’s John McCarren, the senior righthander from Wake Forest!

John started 6 games for the Turks, and went 4-1, 3.71, with a 1.088 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, and 7.1 K/9 in 34 innings pitched. He struck out 27 and only walked 9. His best start was on July 20th against Front Royal, when he threw 5 shutout innings while allowing only 2 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 4. The Turks won, 4-0.

McCarren has pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen for the Demon Deacons. (He did start 4 games over 3 years, but he’s thrown in 59 games out of the ‘pen.) In 2014, as a freshman, John went 1-2, 4.18, and 1 save. He had a 1.57 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, and 6.8 K/9 in 28 innings.

The next season, he went 0-3, 5.51, again with 1 save. His WHIP went down to 1.48, BB/9 went up slightly to 3.6, and his K/9 decreased to 5.5 in 50 2/3 innings.

As a junior in 2016, John had probably his best season, as he went 7-3, 3.66 in 66 1/3 innings, along with a 1.51 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, and 5.6 K/9.

One more stat line to report: in the summer of 2014, John played in the Perfect Game League for the Amsterdam Mohawks (the Mohawks?!?), and went 2-1, 2.60 in 17 games and 27 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. His WHIP was 1.01, and he had a 1.3 BB/9 and 9.8 K/9.

Congratulations on your excellent summer, John!


#5 Hitter: Jonathan Pryor, Harrisonburg

(Austin Bachand / DN-R)

(Austin Bachand / DN-R)

Welcome to the top five!

According to ATVL, the 5th best hitter in the 2016 Valley League season is Harrisonburg’s Jonathan Pryor, from Wake Forest!

Jonathan was a critical bat in the middle of the Turk lineup. Over 36 games and 120 at-bats, he hit 358/463/508, with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 30 runs scored, 26 RBIs, and a stellar 24/22 BB/K ratio. He finished 3rd in the league in batting average. He went 1-3 in the all-star game (along with 2 RBIs and a walk), and went 2-8 with a double in the playoffs. The Valley League named him 1st Team All-Valley in the outfield. His best game was on June 26th against the Express, when he went 4-5, with 3 runs, a double, 3 RBIs, and a stolen base.

The current senior has seen action in three different seasons for the Demon Deacons. In 2014, as a freshman, Jonathan hit 179/200/179 in only 28 at-bats. He really took off as a sophomore, when he hit 316/366/384 in 48 games and 177 at-bats. He added 9 doubles and 1 home run, while he scored 35 runs and drove in 11. He walked 5 times that year against 40 strikeouts.

As a junior in the spring of 2016, Pryor hit 247/421/313 in 166 at-bats, with 8 doubles, 1 home run, 39 runs, 17 RBIs, and a much better 39/51 BB/K ratio. Oddly enough, Jonathan has seen action in 5 different summer leagues now. In 2014 he played in the Perfect Game and New England Collegiate Leagues. In 2015 he played in the Coastal Plain League, and in the season just concluded he played in the Valley League and joined the Cape Cod League in August.

Congratulations on your excellent summer, Jonathan!