(October 27, 2021, New York)– The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball Clubs (ALPB) today announced the league’s Pitcher of the Year, Daryl Thompson.
Daryl Thompson, a right-handed pitcher for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs was named the Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year, earning the honor for the second consecutive season. Thompson, a Southern Maryland native, becomes the third Atlantic Leaguer to ever win multiple ALPB Pitcher of the Year honors, and the second to win it in back-to-back seasons. Thompson’s two-peat runs the Blue Crabs’ franchise tally up to five ALPB Pitcher of the Year awards in their 13-year franchise history, the most during that span.
The 35-year-old, Thompson, began his professional career when he was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 8thRound of the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft out of La Plata High School, which stands a mere five miles from what is now Regency Furniture Stadium. Thompson would debut at the MLB level with Dusty Baker and the Cincinnati Reds in 2008, a stage he’d return to in 2011.
In his ninth season in Southern Maryland and his second as a player-pitching coach, the hometown hero continued to make history. On June 9th Thompson became the ALPB’s all-time strikeout king. On October 6th he became the league’s all-time wins leader, with a whopping 76 career wins following consecutive 15+ win seasons. In 2021, his 18th season of professional baseball, Thompson posted a league-best and career-high 16 wins to accompany three losses. In a league that saw historic offense and a league-record 5.93 ERA across the board, Thompson posted a comparatively minuscule league-leading ERA (3.20) and WHIP (1.12) while tossing four complete games, a league-high 169.0 innings pitched and landed in the top five in a slew of additional categories.
To open the season, Thompson claimed the league’s Pitcher of the Month award in May/June. The player-pitching who is beloved by his community and teammates continued to lead by example in the midst of the team’s first playoff push since 2017. In his first six starts of the Second Half, Thompson picked up five wins and a no-decision to accompany a 1.65 ERA. To secure a Second Half North Division Championship for his squad, Thompson made three starts in the final ten days of the regular season, securing a trio of wins. On two days’ rest, Thompson made yet another start in the postseason, allowing just three runs.
“That was my goal coming into this season, I set out to repeat and improve on what I was able to do in 2019,” Thompson said.
“We are so incredibly proud of Daryl Thompson. You couldn’t write a better story. More importantly, you couldn’t ask for a better coach, player, teammate, and community member. Thompson is unequivocally the single most valuable player in the Atlantic League and a pillar in the community that spreads his love for the game of baseball. There is only one Daryl Thompson, and we’re glad that he’s on our team,” said Blue Crabs General Manager, Courtney Knichel.