Braves Shine In Showcase Event

Five Staunton Braves played for the Valley Baseball League in the first annual Southern Collegiate Showcase event in Kannapplis, N.C. and helped the VBL win both of its games. The VBL defeated the Southern Collegiate League 6-0 and then edged the Cal Ripken Collegiate League 3-2.

Representing the Braves were Jay Charleston (Tennessee), Antwaun Tucker (Longwood), Michael Higgins (UCF), Daniel Rivero (Miami) and Deacon Medders (Alabama).

Aaron Fitt provided a rundown of the VBL’s top prospects and mentioned three of the Braves.

Jay Charleston: “Jay Charleston is a completely different kind of player — a 5-foot-10, 170-pound speed merchant who got up the line in 3.85 seconds from the right side on a bunt. He’s a live-bodied athlete with quick hands and a nice line drive swing at the plate, and he showed off very good instincts and range in the outfield.”

Daniel Rivero: “Daniel Rivero (Miami) worked a 1-2-3 third against the Ripken. Like (Zach) Peek (Strasburg), Rivero is a rising sophomore righty with a nice 6-foot-3 pitcher’s frame, though he’s more physical at 215 pounds. Rivero threw strikes at 91-94 mph and flashed two promising breaking balls: a 76 mph curveball and an 82 slider, which he back-doored effectively against a lefthanded hitter to get the final out of his inning. Rivero made just seven appearances as a freshman this spring, posting an 8.38 ERA, but the Hurricanes say he has worked hard in the weight room to get stronger, and his labor is already paying off. The key for him going forward will be reducing his walk rate, as he has posted a 32-16 K-BB mark in 28 innings for Staunton this summer.”

Deacon Medders: “The Valley started off the showcase on Saturday with Alabama sophomore Deacon Medders on the mound, and he breezed through two perfect innings. At 6-foot-4, 194 pounds, Medders oozes projection — he has a clean, easy delivery with a high slot, and he figures to add velocity to his 89-90 mph fastball as he matures. Medders works downhill with his fastball and showed a promising mid-70s curveball and a 79-80 changeup with solid fade.”