The #6 hitter in the league, in ATVL's estimation, is Staunton's main cog in the lineup, Blake McDade. McDade, a junior at Middle Tennessee, usually batted cleanup for the Braves, and his stats back up his spot in the lineup. (Doesn't he just look like a baseball player? And his name fits the bill, too!)
Appearing in all 49 of Staunton's games, Blake hit 301/408/534 in 176 at-bats, with 11 doubles, 3 triples, 8 home runs, 42 RBI, and a 27/42 BB/K ratio. He finished 2nd in the league in triples, second in RBI, tied for second in total bases (with 94), and tied for fifth in walks. He was named to the first team All-League team at first base for his efforts.
Interestingly enough, Blake hit even better when the playoffs rolled around. He went 8-18 in the five games (three against Winchester, two against Luray), with 2 runs, 5 RBI, a double, 2 home runs, a stolen base, and 2 walks.
Blake is showing excellent improvement at Middle Tennessee as well. In his freshman year in 2007, he hit 293/376/480 in 150 at-bats, with 8 doubles, 6 home runs, 40 RBI, 5 stolen bases and a 16/21 BB/K ratio. That's pretty impressive for a freshman, but he followed it up with an even better year: 354/463/549 in 206 at-bats, with 16 doubles, 6 home runs, 51 RBI, and a 44/39 BB/K ratio. That's scary good. I'll be very interested to see how Blake hits in his draft-eligible season.
Blake said that Adam Liberatore (Waynesboro) and Tyler Thornburg (Winchester) were two of the toughest pitchers he faced during the season, although his teammate, Lance Baxter, impressed him the most. He said that the league helped him improve where he needed it: "Coming into the summer I wanted to improve on my hitting against left handed pitchers, and I felt like I saw plenty of good left handed pitchers in the Valley to get better."
If this means that he'll hit even better in his junior year, then Blake McDade may get some extra attention from scouts. Congratulations on the excellent year!