By John Leonard

The names have been culled, the spreadsheet has been updated… the 2021 Valley League draft class is officially in the books.

We have 21 previous and current players drafted this year:

Round Overall Pick Name Position College ML Team VBL Team
2 41 Connor Norby 2B East Carolina Baltimore Waynesboro 19
5 140 Evan Justice LHP NC State Colorado Charlottesville 18
6 177 Carlos Rodriguez RHP Florida Southwestern Milwaukee Charlottesville 21
7 205 Christian McGowan RHP Eastern Oklahoma State Philadelphia Strasburg 19
8 242 Hunter Gregory RHP Old Dominion Toronto Charlottesville 18
9 264 Spencer Packard OF Campbell Seattle Front Royal 18
9 281 Alex Ayala RHP Florida Southwestern Tampa Bay Charlottesville 21
9 282 Lael Lockhart LHP Arkansas Los Angeles D Woodstock 19
10 284 CJ Widger LHP Rowan Texas Staunton 21
10 297 Wes Clarke C South Carolina Milwaukee Waynesboro 19
11 317 Dylan Heid RHP Pitt-Johnstown Baltimore Purcellville 18
11 335 Christian Edwards RHP Jacksonville State Chicago WS Waynesboro 19
14 428 Jonny Butler OF NC State Oakland Winchester 18
14 431 Antonio Menendez RHP Wake Forest Tampa Bay Charlottesville 18
15 456 Alaska Abney RHP Coastal Carolina Cleveland Charlottesville 19
16 469 Anthony Simonelli RHP Virginia Tech Kansas City Winchester 18
18 534 Riley Davis RHP UAB Seattle Covington 19
18 536 Hunter Dula RHP Wingate San Francisco Harrisonburg 19
18 539 Bennett Hostetler SS North Dakota State Miami Covington 18
19 571 Thomas Francisco 1B East Carolina St.Louis Charlottesville 19
20 587 Trendon Craig OF Louisburg College Baltimore Covington 21


-Charlottesville, with seven draftees, has the most by far. Waynesboro and Covington each have three, and Front Royal, Woodstock, Staunton, Purcellville, Strasburg, and Harrisonburg all have one. New Market, alas, got shut out (Whither goes Oraj Anu? Andrew Eyster?).
-It’s interesting that four 2021 Valley Leaguers were drafted. In 2019 there were only two current players picked, there was one in 2018 (Andrew Eyster), and one in 2017 (Ted Andrews). Does this mean that the talent level ins higher in 2021? Probably, yeah.
-After the first ten rounds, I made a prediction that four more players would get picked; only one, Jonny Butler, actually was. Bobby left a comment on the FB page listing five more, and only one of those was, too! (It was Thomas Francisco.) It’s harder to predict these things than it looks.
-Many more players will sign free agent contracts in the coming days; I will update everyone as I hear of them.