Pitching was at a premium in the Cal Ripken League this summer. Compiling this list was very difficult for me. There were great starting pitchers and there were great relief pitchers in the league this summer. But, where do the middle relievers fit in this this? How important are wins and era in making this list? These are just a few of the questions I had to ask myself, and this is why compiling my top players lists is going to be very difficult.
1. Matt Bowman RHP Bethesda–Princeton
Matt was clearly the best pitcher in the league this summer. At 6-0/165, he isn’t the biggest player on the field, but he showed a blazing fastball and pretty good command of an off-speed pitch. He went 5-2, had an era of 0.82 and pitched 55 innings for the Big Train. He surrendered just 31 hits, walked a ridiculously low 6 batters and he fanned 46 on the summer. He also pitched 2 shutouts and fanned 8+ batters twice this summer. He led the league in era and was tied for first in wins. He also placed third in the league in strikeouts, and was second in the league in innings pitched. He was an All-Star and was named to the Cal Ripken League All-League Team for his play. Perfect Game also named him a 2nd Team All-American this summer.
2. John-Austin Shephard RHP Southern Maryland–Tusculum
John-Austin is 6-2/190 pounds and he hails from Haymarket, VA. He was, without a doubt, the best reliever in the league this summer. He went 0-1, and had a 1.06 era in 17 innings pitched. In 18 appearances, he fanned 15 batters, and surrendered 16 hits. He also led the league with 15 saves this season. He was named to the All-League list as well this summer.
3. Kelly Secrest LHP Bethesda–UNC Wilmington
Kelly, a 6-0/185 pounder went 4-2 and sported a great 0.97 in 37 innings pitched. He allowed 29 hits, walked just 8 batters and he fanned 25 for Bethesda. He was second in the league in era this year. Kelly was named both an All-Star and an All-League player for this performance this summer.
4. Houston Hibbard RHP Rockville–San Fransisco
Houston is a 6-2/205 Senior from Los Gatos, CA. He went 4-2 and had a 2.08 era in a league-leading 60.2 innings pitched. He had a bb/k ratio of 11/32 and he led the league with 3 complete games this season.
5. Ryan Farrar LHP Youse’s–VCU
Ryan is a 5-2/180 pound Senior from Mechanicsville, VA. He went 1-0 and sported a 1.13 era in 24 innings of work this year. He appeared in 14 games, saved 5 of them and fanned a rather high 30 batters. This translates into a 13.5 k/9 ratio. He was also named to participate in the All-Star Game this summer.
6. Sander Beck RHP Youse’s–Maryland
Sander is a 6-2/200 pound rhp from the University of Maryland. The recent Baltimore Orioles draftee went 3-1 and had a 2.25 era in 32 innings of work. He allowed just 23 hits and had a bb/k ratio of 14/41 this year.
7. Austin Poretz RHP S. Maryland–?
Austin, an All-Star from Edgewater, MD went 5-1 and had a 2.85 era in 53.2 innings pitched. He allowed 50 hits, walked 18 batters and fanned 43 this season.
8. Martin Agosta RHP Bethesda–St. Mary’s
Martin was a key part in the best pitching-team in the league. He went 4-0, had a 0.99 era in 27.1 innings pitched this year. He allowed just 16 hits, walked just 3 batters and fanned 30 for the Big Train. He appeared in 11 games, made 2 starts and saved 2 games this year.
9. Drake Browne RHP Vienna–Furman
Drake, an All-Star this summer went 0-2 and had a 2.49 era in 25.1 innings of work. He had a bb/k ratio of 5/22 and he was second in the league with 6 saves.
10. Jarius Rhodes RHP Rockville–Georgia Perimeter
The hard-throwing Rhodes went 0-2, with a 1.32 era in 34 innings pitched. He allowed 24 hits, walked 11 and fanned 31 batters this summer.
11. Chad Kuhl RHP Youse’s–Delaware
Chad, a Bear, DE native went 5-2 and had a 2.63 era in 51.1 innings pitched. He made 8 starts, fanned 39 batters and he had one shutout this summer.
12. Bradley Markey RHP Youse’s–Georgia Tech
He went 5-2 and had a 2.36 era in 49.2 innings pitched. He fanned 35 batters, made 8 starts and completed 2 games.
13. Mike Mitchell RHP Vienna–UMBC
Mike is a big (6-3/225 pound) RHP from UMBC. He went 4-2 and had a .270 era in 46.2 innings of work this summer. He made 8 starts, walked 7 batters and he fanned 24 this summer.
14. Kyle Mullen RHP Alexandria–Saint Joseph’s
Kyle, an All-Star went 2-2 and had a 1.29 era in 28 innings pitched this summer. He fanned 20 batters and walked just 5 this year. Kyle appeared in 5 games, made 4 starts and complete 2 of those games.
15. David Wayne Russo LHP Bethesda–San Jose State
David went 2-0 and had a 1.85 era in 24.1 innings pitched this summer. He allowed just 13 hits, fanned 15 and saved 1 game.