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DIGITAL EXTRA: TJ Eck’s 2020 All-RCBL Team ballot

Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 4:04 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Rockingham County Baseball League is expected to announce the 2020 All-RCBL Team Monday. WHSV Sports Director TJ Eck was tasked with submitting a ballot.

About the All-RCBL Team

The All-RCBL Team honors the best individual performers from the Rockingham County Baseball League each summer. For the 2020 team, voters were asked to chose two catches, five infielders, four outfielders, one designated hitter, one utility player, and four pitchers. The RCBL Playoffs are scheduled to start Sunday evening.

A message from WHSV Sports Director TJ Eck

Below is the ballot I have submitted to the Rockingham County Baseball League with my choices for the 2020 All-RCBL Team. Local media members and RCBL writers are asked to vote for the team. The ballot contained in this article is only the one I submitted and is NOT the official 2020 All-RCBL Team. The official 2020 All-RCBL Team is expected to be released Monday, August 3.

I spent a lot of time on my ballot and voted for the players who I believe had the best individual performances during the 2020 Rockingham County Baseball League season. I believe making the All-RCBL Team is an individual accomplishment and I did not use team success as a major factor in determining the players on my ballot. I also focused on the amount of games played and plate appearances (for hitters) when trying to decide between players with similar stat lines. Every hitter on my ballot played in at least 16 games and each pitcher I voted for made at least four appearances.

I know the choices for my ballot will make some people happy and others unhappy. I welcome all feedback and dialogue. Feel free to email me at thomas.eck@whsv.com.

Reminder: this is only ONE ballot of the All-RCBL Team selection process. The official All-RCBL Team, which is voted on by multiple media members, could look different than what you see below. Enjoy!

TJ Eck’s 2020 All-RCBL Team ballot

Dylan Nicely - Catcher (Grottoes Cardinals)
Dylan Nicely - Catcher (Grottoes Cardinals)(WHSV)

Catcher: Dylan Nicely (Grottoes)

Stats: .403 Batting Average, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 13 Runs, 4 Walks, .450 OBP, 1.131 OPS - 18 games

TJ: “Dylan Nicely was one of the easiest selections for the All-RCBL Team. He’s been the best catcher in the league since opening day. Nicely leads all catchers in batting average and innings played behind the dish. He’s been a key part of Grottoes’ resurgence this summer, helping the Cardinals lock up the No. 3 seed in the playoffs.”

Catcher: Braeson Fulton (Clover Hill)

Stats: .386 Batting Average, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 5 Runs, 21 Walks, .582 OBP, 1.037 OPS - 18 games

TJ: “Determining the second catcher on the All-RCBL Team was not an easy choice. There were a few good candidates but Fulton’s full resume helped him earn the nod. He didn’t hit for much power but posted an impressive .386 batting average while showing an advanced eye at the dish with 21 walks to help boost a .582 on-base percentage. Fulton logged 123.1 innings behind the plate, the fourth highest amount in the league. The former Riverheads High School star will begin his college baseball career at James Madison University this fall.”

Infielder: Tanner Morris (Stuarts Draft)

Stats: .462 Batting Average, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 19 Runs, 21 Walks, .613 OBP, 1.382 OPS - 16 games

TJ: “Morris only played in 16 games but made his appearances at the dish count. He ranks second in the league in batting average and displayed some serious power. Stuarts Draft finished in last place but the Diamondbacks could be a tough out in the playoffs with players like Morris in the lineup. Note: Morris played college baseball at the University of Virginia and was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth round of the 2019 MLB Draft.”

Infielder: Josh Jones (Broadway)

Stats: .375 Batting Average, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 19 Runs, 8 Walks, .467 OBP, 1.092 OPS - 20 games

TJ: “Jones was a key piece in helping Broadway win its first RCBL regular season pennant since 1931. The JMU product tied for third in the league with 29 RBI and flashed the leather with some strong defense at third base and shortstop.”

Tyler Bocock - Infielder (Clover Hill Bucks)
Tyler Bocock - Infielder (Clover Hill Bucks)(WHSV)

Infielder: Tyler Bocock (Clover Hill)

Stats: .352 Batting Average, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 21 Runs, 23 Walks, .510 OBP, 1.130 OPS - 21 games

TJ: “2020 was just another day at the office for Bocock, who is one of the most accomplished players in league history. Bocock appeared in every game for the Bucks during the regular season and led the league in walks. He’s split time this season between shortstop, third base, and DH for Clover Hill while also posting a 2.93 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 15.1 innings pitched.”

Infielder: Will Decker (Elkton)

Stats: .361 Batting Average, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 20 Runs, 8 Walks, .427 OBP, 1.052 OPS - 17 games

TJ: “Decker is a former Roanoke College star who has experience playing professionally at the Independent level. He was one of the most consistent hitters in the RCBL this summer. Decker had eight multi-hit performances in 17 games played.”

Lee Carneal - Infielder/Outfielder (Elkton Blue Sox)
Lee Carneal - Infielder/Outfielder (Elkton Blue Sox)(WHSV)

Infielder: Lee Carneal (Elkton)

Stats: .352 Batting Average, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 26 Runs, 12 Walks, .447 OBP, 1.123 OPS - 18 games

TJ: “Carneal made more appearances in the outfield than the infield in 2020 but he does have the flexibility to play all over the diamond and it was too hard to keep him off this team. Carneal is an RCBL veteran who posted another great season in 2020. He finished second in the league in runs scored and his six home runs were good enough to tie him for fourth place in the category.”

Chase DeLauter - Outfielder/LHP (Broadway Bruins)
Chase DeLauter - Outfielder/LHP (Broadway Bruins)(WHSV)

Outfielder: Chase DeLauter (Broadway)

Stats: .545 Batting Average, 13 HR, 39 RBI, 36 Runs, 19 Walks, .656 OBP, 2.020 OPS - 19 games

TJ: “DeLauter put together, arguably, the best offensive season in RCBL history in 2020. He claimed the league’s Triple Crown by leading the RCBL in batting average, home runs, and RBI while also scoring a league-best 36 runs. The lefty also started four games on the mound where he posted a 3.60 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched. DeLauter joined the Broadway Bruins of the RCBL this summer after a breakout freshman season with the JMU baseball team and he’s got a chance to be a high-round MLB Draft pick in a few years.”

Outfielder: Austin Nicely (Grottoes)

Stats: .395 Batting Average, 1 HR, 18 RBI, 19 Runs, 2 Walks, .410 OBP, 1.028 OPS - 17 games

TJ: “The former Spotswood High School star, who’s pitched professionally, was a key addition for Grottoes this summer. He provided a strong bat and speed to the lineup while also performing well on the mound for the Cardinals. Nicely made four starts as a pitcher, didn’t allow an earned run, and struck out 22 batters in 14 innings pitched.”

Outfielder: Corbin Lucas (Bridgewater)

Stats: .415 Batting Average, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 18 Runs, 11 Walks, .500 OBP, 1.115 OPS - 16 games

TJ: “The 2019 RCBL MVP put together another strong season this summer. Lucas is a perfect representation of the Rockingham County Baseball League and an emotional leader for the Bridgewater Reds. His .415 batting average ranks fourth in the league.”

Outfielder: Cody Bartley (Stuarts Draft)

Stats: .438 Batting Average, 10 HR, 30 RBI, 14 Runs, 7 Walks, .500 OBP, 1.390 OPS - 19 games

TJ: “If it weren’t for Chase DeLauter, Bartley would maybe have a case for league MVP in 2020 despite playing for a Stuarts Draft team that finished last in the regular season standings. He ranks second in the RCBL in batting average, home runs, and RBI.”

Designated Hitter: J.J. Loker (Elkton)

Stats: .362 Batting Average, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 20 Runs, 20 Walks, .525 OBP, 1.232 OPS - 19 games

TJ: “Loker took over as Elkton’s manager this season but still remained one of the best hitters in the league. The RCBL veteran hit for average and power while averaging more than one walk per contest. When I cover an Elkton game, it just feels like Loker is going to get a hit every time he steps into the box.”

Utility: Will Hass (Stuarts Draft)

Stats: .413 Batting Average, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 23 Runs, 10 Walks, .489 OBP, 1.139 OPS - 19 games

TJ: “If you’re making a lineup card in 2020 with all RCBL players available, it would be hard to keep Hass’ name off of it. Hass has played all over the diamond this summer for Stuarts Draft while posting one of the best offensive seasons in the league.”

Adam Riggleman - RHP (Broadway Bruins)
Adam Riggleman - RHP (Broadway Bruins)(WHSV)

Pitcher: Adam Riggleman (Broadway)

Stats: 3-0 Record, 6 Appearances, 4 Games Started, 0.78 ERA, 24 Strikeouts, 5 Walks, 23 Innings Pitched

TJ: “Riggleman led the RCBL in ERA this summer and was another key player in helping the Bruins claim their first league pennant in nearly 90 years. He showed impressive command with just five walks combined across six appearances.”

Lliam Grubbs - RHP (Bridgewater Reds)
Lliam Grubbs - RHP (Bridgewater Reds)(WHSV)

Pitcher: Lliam Grubbs (Bridgewater)

Stats: 1-0 Record, 4 Appearances, 4 Games Started, 0.84 ERA, 30 Strikeouts, 8 Walks, 21.1 Innings Pitched

TJ: “Grubbs, who pitches at James Madison University, turned out to be an important addition for the Reds in 2020. He finished second in the league in ERA while posting an impressive strikeout rate. Grubbs, who pitched well for the Staunton Braves of the Valley Baseball League last summer, is expected to be an important pitcher for the Dukes in 2021.”

Pitcher: Michael Dailey (Grottoes)

Stats: 3-1 Record, 4 Appearances, 3 Games Started, 2.64 ERA, 31 Strikeouts, 5 Walks, 17 Innings Pitched

TJ: “Grottoes manager Tim Nicely told me he was excited to have Dailey aboard for 2020 before the season began and his excitement was warranted. Dailey took the ball on opening day and showed why he’s a Division 1 level pitcher at VCU. He only threw 17 innings during the regular season but averaged nearly two strikeouts per inning while showing off some of the best “stuff” in the RCBL this summer.”

Pitcher: Darrell Thompson (New Market)

Stats: 2-1 Record, 5 Appearances, 5 Games Started, 3.64 ERA, 55 Strikeouts, 6 Walks, 37 Innings Pitched

TJ: “Thompson was a workhorse for the Shockers this summer. He led the league in innings pitched and strikeouts while posting a respectable 3.64 ERA and walking just six batters. Thompson’s work on the mound for a deep and balanced New Market team is a big reason why the Shockers finished in second place during the regular season.”

Other Players Considered

Infielder - Kevin Navedo (Clover Hill) - .365 Batting Average, 1 HR, 15 RBI

TJ: “Navedo put together an outstanding summer for the Bucks in 2020. Leaving him off the All-RCBL team was one of the toughest choices I had to make.”

Infielder - Nick Goode (New Market) - .415 Batting Average, 0 HR, 6 RBI

TJ: “Goode’s batting average ranks among the league leaders but he only had two extra-base hits during the regular season and played in just 14 games. Goode is one of the best pure hitters in the RCBL.”

Pitcher - Nick Corbin (Clover Hill) - 2.49 ERA, 15 Strikeouts, 21.2 Innings Pitched

TJ: “The veteran right-hander put together a strong season for Bucks. If there was a fifth pitcher spot on the All-RCBL Team, Corbin would’ve made it on to my ballot.”

Catcher: Adam Hackenberg (Montezuma) - .388 Batting Average, 1 HR, 5 RBI

TJ: “Hackenberg, a catcher at Clemson University, is one of the most talented players in the league but he missed out on my ballot after appearing in only 14 games.”

Infielder - Will Wagner (Montezuma) - .350 Batting Average, 6 HR, 15 RBI

TJ: “Wagner is one of the best hitters in the league and would’ve surely found his way on to my ballot if he played in more games in 2020. He made just 12 appearances for the Braves during the regular season.”

Utility - Matt House (New Market) - .358 Batting Average, 0 HR, 13 RBI

TJ: “House hit for a high average but lacked power and slugging in 2020. He didn’t make his way on to my ballot but had a strong summer at the dish and was a key part in helping New Market earn a second place finish in the regular season.”

Designated Hitter - George Laase (Bridgewater) - .422 Batting Average, 5 HR, 22 RBI

TJ: “Laase was supposed to be coaching the Strasburg Express of the Valley Baseball League this summer but when the 2020 VBL season was canceled, he signed on with the Reds. Laase has only played in 13 games and seen limited at-bats at times this summer but he’s made the most of his chances. No one in Valley cares more about the game of baseball than Laase, who is also the head coach at Staunton High School.”

Infielder - Jack Pausic (Stuarts Draft) - .272 Batting Average, 8 HR, 29 RBI

TJ: “Pausic was one of the best power hitters in the RCBL during the regular season.”

Copyright 2020 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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