Zach Peek (Winthrop) was named the #1 overall prospect in the Valley Baseball League by the Baseball America staff. His Express teammate Brandon Quaranta (Philadelphia University) also held a spot on the list, coming in at #8 on their list of the top 10 prospects.
Zach had an incredible summer for the Express on his way to solidifying himself as the top prospect in the league. Peek posted a 4-1 record and 1.80 ERA over 35 innings while striking out 40 batters and allowing only 25 hits. His outstanding command of the zone fueled his success, walking only 6 batters in the regular season. Baseball America had this to say about Peek:
“After posting a 5-1, 3.70 record in 24 appearances in his college freshman spring, Peek upped his game during his Valley summer. Using a mid-to high-three-quarters delivery, he racked 40 strikeouts and just six walks in 35 innings pitched for a 0.89 WHIP. He pitched to a 1.80 ERA (third in the league). Peek has the necessary size (6-foot-3, 195 pounds), velocity and control as he gets more experience in college ball. His 89-93 mph fastball has movement off the corners and in the zone. He has a short-arm delivery and is deceptively quick over the top. His three-pitch mix includes an 83-84 change with enough depth for now and a 76-79 curve with 11-5 action.”
Arguably the best Valley League hitter in recent memory, Brandon Quaranta also earned a spot on the list ranking as the #8 overall prospect (after ranking at the #16 overall prospect in the VBL by Perfect Game in 2016).. Brandon had a monster summer at the plate, posting a .331 average in the regular season and leading the league in HRs (11) and RBI (49). Also closing for Strasburg, Quaranta posted 4 saves and 1.58 ERA in 11.1 innings of work. Baseball America had this to say about Brandon:
“Quaranta pitches and hits for Division II Philadelphia, but Quaranta's baseball future lies with his power potential. After hitting 15 homers in the spring, he hit .331/.448/.623 for Strasburg with league-leading totals of 11 home runs and 49 RBIs this summer. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound righthanded hitter holds the bat near his shoulder and tries to lift pitches as quickly as possible. His power zone is primarily inside and up. He has average speed at best (7.05 60-yard) and he’s limited to first base defensively with an average arm.”
No stranger to summer rankings, the strong individual performances by Peek/Quaranta during the 2016 season rival the success posted by their Express alum in 2017. In 2017 the Strasburg had 1 prospect in the Baseball America top 10 (Keegan James #2) and 5 prospects in the Perfect Game top 20 list (Keegan James #1, Michael Curry #6, Carter Pharis #12, Brandon Quaranta #16 and Abe Almonte #19).