As a baseball player, Joe Valchar has plenty of identifiable skills to succeed in the game. As a person, the 2021 uncommitted RHP/infielder has skills that will serve him in life just as well as they have on the diamond. His perseverance and commitment to a process is a rarity in the game, and quite frankly in society.
The rising junior out of Heritage High School in Wake Forest, NC, joined the Dirtbags going into his 9th grade year because he determined he wanted to play college baseball and his research led him to a tryout with the organization. After spending a year on a team coached by the Dirtbags’ general manager, Trey Daly, Joe felt the next season found him moved down a level.
Instead of jumping ship looking for someone to tell him the Dirtbags had made a mistake, he decided to do the work and prove himself. Which according to him is something he learned since joining the organization and now greatly values.
On that lesson from when he first became a Dirtbag, he says, “I thought I’d get a cool uniform and a hat so I must be good. I found I have to prove myself.”
A pretty mature statement from a 16 year old. And that’s just the beginning.
Valchar also recognizes how showing his game and being a Dirtbag coincides with opportunities. In talking about being recruited by college programs he says, “They know who to call if I can play.”
This summer has proven he can play.
Which brings the rising junior to begin to identify what he is looking for in a college program and who fits those criteria. From the energy of the staff, to the facilities and what the campus offers both academically and in terms of atmosphere, Joe has a pretty level headed view of how he’d like to see the recruiting process to play out. He is also very direct when talking about finding a place where his faith can be supported as being an important factor.
According to Valchar, the journey to being a recruited player goes hand in hand with his development while being a Dirtbag. He credits a lot of that to being surrounded by a talented group of teammates. Being in such an environment has motivated him to compete in order to stand out. Not only did he learn to compete in order to be elevated within the organization, but he also recognized how to take advantage of an identified skill.
“I learned to harness my arm strength. Pitching revealed itself and I refined that to build a skill I didn’t have before,” says Valchar.
An athletic 6’1” and 180 pound hurler, he uses his quick arm as an effective tool usually as a reliever. And from the bump, his low to mid 80’s fastball with an effective slider recently got him named to the all-tourney team for the WWBA 2021 National Championship event in Georgia while playing for the 16u Dirtbags James squad.
Dirtbags GM, Trey Daly gives these comments on Valchar’s pitching development, “His velocity has jumped 8 mph in the last year. He shows a clean arm action with a fastball up to 85mph.”
As a position player, Valchar makes his plays at 3B and can hit anywhere from lead-off to the middle of the order. His offensive aggressiveness brings results at the plate as well as making him a constant threat to steal bases.
His current Dirtbags coach, Will James, sees the whole package coming together for Joe by saying, “Valchar has a wide variety of tools that showcase how much of an athlete he is. He his going to play the game at a 110 percent at all times. If he continues to develop and keep the effort, his talent will be rewarded.“
If previous endeavors are any indication of what lies in front of Valchar, those that know have a good idea of what will happen. In fact, Trey Daly sees what has produced the success to this point, saying, “Joe is not afraid to work to improve his game.”
The respect seems to go both ways as Valchar is quick to point out not only how coaches like Daly and James have directed his skill development, but also in his appreciation for how they both use their connections and guidance to help him navigate the recruiting process.
So the work will continue and surely the recruitment will correspond. And whichever college program lands Joe Valchar, know for certain he will be “all in” regardless of the challenge.