Year in, year out, Veto League Baseball flourishes on newcomers. The league can’t survive without fresh faces, especially those that show up over half of the games. Last season’s 38 debuts were the fewest since 2010, and it was no coincidence that the league struggled to field enough players for games many weekends. There were a combined 120 newbies who made an appearance at Veto League between 2012-2013, and VLB played a record number of games each of those seasons.
Through the first nine games, 11 rookies have made debut appearances.
One month into the new year, five rookies have shown for at least five of the nine games played. Ultra dedicated players Donny Reul and Craig Thomas make an hour commute from Charlotte, Iowa, each weekend, each missing just one game thus far. Reul leads all rookies with four doubles, while Tyler Mulder has arguably hit the ball the hardest of all freshman with three doubles. Thomas leads the rookies in runs scored (9).
An early season contender for Most Improved is Chip Witt, who still qualifies for rookie status because he’s played less than 13 career VLB games. In half the total games he played last season, Witt has already surpassed his run and RBI totals from last year, and is just one hit shy of his ’14 hit count. Witt is also leading the top five rookies with a .480 average – up from .342 last year.
Other promising VLB rookies include Edwin Moore (six games) and Colin Grove (four games). Moore was one of the few dedicated members who attended the “Winter Meetings” back in the spring. Caleb Jasper recently made his long anticipated career debut and after just two games is batting a league best .875. However, the fleet footed Jasper has been tagged out in run-downs three times while testing VLB defensive talent. Chris Brown joined VLB at Douglas Park on May 9 and collected six hits, four runs and three RBI in just seven plate appearances. VLB hopes to have him back soon. Father-son duo “The Padillas” (Joseph & Joseph) have combined for six games played, eight runs and 11 RBI.
Veto League continues next Saturday, field yet to be determined.