A General Mid-season Review by GeneralsSignGuyMike
A General Mid-season Review
Written by GeneralsSignGuyMike (Michael Kerr)
It is now July 4th and its the 1st day this summer that not 1 team is playing so I decided to make a midseason report from what I have seen so far, this is just my opinion. There is one more day before the All-Star Game in Covington and I wanted to wish everyone on both teams good luck, each and everyone of you deserve it and great job all have done in the 1 month of Valley League Baseball.
I am going to compare the teams from last year to this year now with their records as of July 4th and say in my view he is a favorite along with my Generals and dark-horse sleeper picks. My midseason MVP's so far are: a tie between Brandon Sizemore and Adam Liberatore, Liberatore is by far the most improved player. Look at the numbers from last year's stats to this year and you will see. Other pitchers who have done well is also on the Generals is Jared Dobbs, Andy Altemus and Daniel Wiltz. I have yet to see Lance Baxter in person but he has put up superb numbers and he has to get mention about being one of the best pitchers so far along with Travis Smink from Luray. The best hitters along with Brandon Sizemore have been Evan Webb and Jacke Healey and Derek Hamblen all from the Generals. Now from the other teams have been: Jeff Jefferson and Adam McClain from Luray, Kevin Dietrich from New Market, Drew Johnson from Harrisonburg, and Tyler Townsend from Winchester. There has been alot more players doing well this season but from what I have seen against the Generals and seeing these guys in person this is my opinion.
Here is the team records from now and then and my view:
1. Waynesboro Generals (19-8 in 2008, 19-7 in 2007): The Generals are the defending champs and have been at the top or very close the past 3 years and its still showing here again this year. Its hard to believe the team was at one time 5-4 and since that point they are 14-4 with Brandon Sizemore leading the charge with 5 HR and Adam Liberatore, Jared Dobbs and Andy Altemus having 4 wins already before the pitching staff. They have the best record at home at 11-2. Can they make it 3 straight regular season division titles and a 2nd straight Valley League Championship?
2. Luray Wranglers (19-8 in 2008, 16-9 in 2007): The Wranglers are have an improvement of 2 games from last year. This team has had within the past week has scored over 14 or more runs 3 times. Jeff Jefferson leads the charge with 6 HR and Adam McClain ain't to far behind with 5 HR. Travis Smink leads the pitching staff with 4 wins and Kyle Cichy. With one of the best hitting teams in the Valley League along with great pitching will they win the Northern Division? Plus make it to their 3rd straight Valley League Championship?
3. Fauquier Gators (16-9 in 2008, 6-17 in 2007): The Gators are the most improved team by far this year. Now this is my last place to visit to get my last stamp on my Around the Valley passport and I know I will be watching an exciting contest with Waynesboro and Fauquier there. Last year was the first year for Fauquier in the league and usually its hard for a team to do great in its 1st year. It did show last year but wow they have made some great leaps this year and its showing. 10-5 at home and winners of their last 4 at home. The team does have the least amount of home runs but don't let it fool ya. Ryan Gauck and Chad Pierce is their best hitters and their pitching staff is right near the top with Jon Jacobs, Rob Whitley, and Shawn Griffith leading the league with 10 saves. Does the Gators have a chance to win the Northern Divison? Can they be the dark horse sleeper pick?
4. Covington Lumberjacks (14-11 in 2008, 12-14 in 2007): 5. Winchester Royals (15-12 in 2008, 12-12 in 2007): 6. Staunton Braves (14-13 in 2008, 13-12 in 2007):
I say the first three teams are a lock for the playoffs. These 3 teams are very close to becoming locks for the playoffs too. Covington and Winchester have the best batting average in the league and the Braves are now on a 3 game winning streak and have scored over 11 runs or more in the past 2. Staying over .500 is a must for all three of them, can they catch the top 3 in the Generals,Wranglers,and Gators lets wait and see. Best players for the teams are for the Lumberjacks: Derrick Washington, JJ Muse and Marcus Nidiffer. For the Royals: Tyler Townsend, and Mickey Wiswall leading the league in RBI's. For the Braves: Lance Baxter, Blake McDade, and Max Most.
7. Woodstock River Bandits (10-16 in 2008, 13-10 in 2007): 8. Haymarket Senators (10-16 in 2008, 7-17 in 2007): 9. Front Royal Cardinals (10-17 in 2008, 9-13 in 2007): 10. Harrisonburg Turks (9-17 in 2008, 16-7 in 2007): 11. New Market Rebels (9-18 in 2008, 11-14 in 2007):
Its anyone's guess who will be the final 2 teams out of these 5 teams. The Senators are improved from last year's record and the Turks have had a disappointing year but they like the other 4 are still alive for a playoff berth. Woodstock won 5 straight but now they are on a 3 game losing streak. The Cardinals are a very dangerous team with it comes to stolen bases and the Rebels have lost 7 1-run games. 18 wins or more will get atleast 2 of these 5 teams in, the question is which 2 will get it or if one of the middle 3 teams struggle can a 3rd team out of this pack take a spot in the playoffs.
It will be an exciting month of July I can't wait to see what happens!