2021 CT Wiffs Review: Top 20 Players




Wiffle®Ball is love shared by many people, who play in many different places. In the State where the game was born over 70 years ago, many different leagues brought wiffling action amongst their many teams. 25 teams from Connecticut's major backyards leagues competed in 2021, all with varying levels of success on a personal and team level. Despite every team having its own obstacles, and every league having its own playing formats, we have tried to determine the 20 best players from this past season.


Before we dive into the list, there a few ground rules that were used in the making of these rankings:

* Players were selected from known backyard leagues that host games in the State of Connecticut. Active leagues were verified in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to: active social media accounts with post(s)/content pertaining to the 2021 season, active website with updated game scores, standings, statistics, and or article(s); release of season results and/or statistics to the Connecticut Wiffle®Ball League in the event that such results are not publicly available

* All information pulled for these lists were current per each league's statistics databases as of December 30th, 2021

* Data used for these rankings may not be complete, as some leagues included in this list have not made any announcement regarding the completion of their season

* Players from the Connecticut Wiffle®Ball League teams are NOT included in these rankings; these rankings are to highlight the best players from the "backyard" leagues that played in 2021

* Players are based on, but are not limited to, the following: season statistics - regular season and/or postseason, season awards/accolades, criticism from available game footage


Given that all the preliminary stuff is out of the way, it is time to dive into the CT Wiffs Recap Top 20 Players of 2021!


25 - Honorable Mention) Teddy Callery

Photo Credit: Darien Wiffle Ball League - YouTube


Team: Western Warriors

League: Darien Wiffle Ball League (DWBL)

Notable Stats: .525 AVG, 11 HR, 2.067 OPS (13 GP)

Awards: DWBL Most Clutch Award

* = Season Not Completed


Coined with the phrase, "Mr. Clutch", Teddy "Clutch" Callery was a vital member of the Western Warriors' defense of the Darien Wiffle Ball League World Series title. Apart of a fantastic cast of players around him, Callery was most impactful with his bats, with several key blasts that got the Warriors crucial wins.



24 - Honorable Mention) Jake Futterman

Photo Credit: Compo Wiffle Ball League - YouTube


Team: Compo Cougars

League: Compo Wiffle Ball League (CWBL)*

Notable Stats: .313 AVG, 15 H, 12 RBI (12 GP)

Awards: N/A

* = Season Not Completed


While not being the top-tier player he had been in season's past, Jake Futterman's 2021 performance with the Compo Cougars was more than excellent in the team's hunt for glory. Jake provided a solid backbone to the great 2-way play of his teammate Sam Petrosino, getting hits that allowed for the team to capitalize when facing scoring opportunities.



23 - Honorable Mention) Chris Veneruso

Photo Credit: Westport Wiffleball League - Instagram


Team: Newport Birds

League: Westport Wiffleball League (WWBL)

Notable Stats: N/A

Awards: N/A

* = Season Not Completed


At the heart of every team lies a relentless leader, and the Newport Birds needed their captain Chris Veneruso to guide them well to a 2021 Westport Wiffleball League title. While not much can be said of his exact on-field product, the fact the team was able to accomplish as much as it did proves how much Veneruso was an impact player this past season.


The exact reach of his impact would be more interesting to see with some in-depth statistics. But without those resources, it's hard to place Chris anything higher than an honorable mention for 2021.



22 - Honorable Mention) Joe Druin

Team: Nighthawks

League: SoNo Wiffle League (SNWL)

Notable Stats: 15 SV, 6 HLD

Awards: N/A


Whilst often being in the shadow of his more talented counterparts, the relief pitching of Joe Druin was spot-on in the SNWL's Nighthawks run to a title in 2021. While many leagues do not track saves (SV) - let alone holds (HLD) - the fact that Joe was able to rack up as many as 15 saves says a fair amount about his pitching prowess in short-inning, high-pressure situations.



21 - Honorable Mention) Jack Conway

Photo Credit: Darien Wiffle Ball League - YouTube


Team: Central Conquistadors

League: Darien Wiffle Ball League (DWBL)

Notable Stats: 14.1 IP, 0.63 ERA, 38 Ks, 1.40 WHIP (7 GP)

Awards: N/A


When examining the year as a whole, Central Conquistadors' Team Captain Jack Conway was not a player that many people - let alone myself - caught onto at the early stages of the season. But as the Darien Wiffle Ball League season progressed, and as the dog days of summer came around, few players in the State had the conviction and execution that Jack Conway had.


At his core, Jack is a masterful pitcher, relying on a slider and riser arsenal to blow by hitters. And using his signature pitch, he was able to make his mark on the CT backyard Wiffle®Ball landscape with his incredible performance in the 2021 DWBL ALDS. Conway was able to battle eventual Cy Young winner Sam Donnelly (whose name may also feature on this list at some point) for 9 innings in Game 1 of the series, keeping the game scoreless before a series of "small-ball" hits led to a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat. Another valiant pitching effort was put on in Game 3, but this too did not go the way of Jack's squad.


Despite this, Jack should look forward to a prosperous, full season in 2022, where he can continue to build on the great foundation he has shown thus far. If Jack is able to diversify his arsenal, and make some tweaks to his hitting approach, Jack could be a dark-horse star in the making for 2022.


And now, on with the OFFICIAL Top 20 Players! They are as follows....



20) Andrew Oppenheimer

Photo Credit: Compo Wiffle Ball League - YouTube


Team: Sons of Pitches

League: Compo Wiffle Ball League (CWBL)*

Notable Stats: .364 AVG, 24 H, 21.1 IP (12 GP)

Awards: N/A

* = Season Not Completed


Coming into the season, many already expected Andrew Oppenheimer to do big things in his first full season in the talent-filled Compo Wiffle Ball League. His debut in the 2020 CWBL postseason was nothing short of magical, with a combined hitting-pitching performance that led the Backyard Bombers to the CWBL title.


In 2021, he was quick to be taken, as he was selected with the first overall selection in the CWBL Draft. Playing with the Sons of Pitches under Jack Oakley, Andrew has been a great offensive presence in his first 12 regular season game, batting well above league average (Andrew hit .364), and driving in top-tier levels of runs (17, T-3).


If there was anything lacking from Andrew's game, however, it would have to be his pitching. Andrew's time on the rubber has been worrisome for much of the year, giving up the most runs by any starter through the 12-game slate the CWBL was able to get through in 2021. His inability to let opposing offenses square him up or take a walk, will make Andrew improve his approach if he wants to be a viable number-2 option next season.


Even at his relatively young age, the fact that Andrew has reached these accomplishments while not even through high school is quite impressive. Should he continue to improve, it would not be unreasonable to see him make a jump up the ratings next season.



19) Will Donnelly

Photo Credit: Darien Wiffle Ball League - YouTube


Team: Coastal Cyclones

League: Darien Wiffle Ball League (DWBL)

Notable Stats: .531 AVG, 1.656 SLG, 4-2 W-L, 2.85 ERA, 1.76 WHIP (14 GP)

Awards: N/A


The season for the Coastal Cyclones was one where improvement was made, but it actuated into little in terms of meaningful wins. While his Team Captain Braden Schenck was a finalist for the DWBL's Most Improved award for 2021, the team's real hero came from Will Donnelly.


Will's stats over fourteen games this season (regular season and postseason combined) are quite impressive for a developing two-way player. At the plate, Donnelly managed to win the DWBL Batting Title with his league-leading .531 batting average. Despite only having 17 hits to back up his AVG, Donnelly's ability to work counts allowed him to be a constant threat to be on base, either by walk or by the bat.


Defensively, Will had himself a respectable year, providing much-needed assistance to the Cyclone's slim rotation options. Will was able to work to 4 wins and a sub-2 ERA. While not with the blow-by stuff of other players on this ranking, Will was able to be efficient and gets out when his team needed him to.


Unfortunately, the team surrounding Will Donnelly just was not able to bear the strength of the rest of the American League this season. Even if the team is better able to support Will, the Cyclones will continue to place much of the load on the ever-improving younger Donnelly brother in 2022.



18) Ryan Smith

Photo Credit: Westport Wiffleball League - Instagram


Team: Flavortown Hogs

League: Westport Wiffleball League (WWBL)

Notable Stats: .563 AVG, 4 HR, 5 RBI

Awards: N/A


Leading his team to the 3rd seed in the 2021 Westport Wiffleball League playoffs, Ryan Smith was one of the more interesting surprises of the 2021 season. While the stats provided by the WWBL are not complete and cover a very small number of games, Ryan Smith's accomplishments still do hold their merit. His 4 HR and over 50/50 batting average in the first handful of games may suggest that Smith went on to have a remarkable campaign.


Even in the face of playoff heartbreak in losing to the eventual-champion Newport Birds, Ryan Smith will head into 2022 as one of the WWBL's best performing players.



17) Zach Demeglio

Team: All-Stars

League: SoNo Wiffle League (SNWL)

Notable Stats: 50 Ks

Awards: N/A


Zach Demeglio was at the heart of the All-Stars' successes in 2021, with a pitching demonstration few others in the SoNo Wiffle League were able to outdo. His lethal strikeout stuff on the rubber led to a league-topping 50 Ks, which helped the All-Stars battle their way through the Wild Card game in the SNWL postseason.


While the All-Stars' season may go down as forgettable, that same attitude cannot be applied when looking at Zach Demeglio in 2021. What will be more interesting, is how much more impact he can have in 2022, for whichever team he finds himself on.



16) Cooper Puff

Photo Credit: Darien Wiffle Ball League - YouTube


Team: Western Warriors

League: Darien Wiffle Ball League (DWBL)

Notable Stats: .455 AVG, 13 HR, 37 RBI, 6-1 W-L, 3.71 ERA (16 GP)

Awards: N/A


In 2020, Copper Puff was an unsung hero for the eventual champion Western Warriors' playoff push. Puff had some excellent pitching performances in that previous postseason, a series of excellence that the team hoped he could continue or better upon in the coming year.


In 2021, Puff did not see as much breakout improvement as some critics would have liked. But even with the team around him, that did not leave the good talent he already has to waste. Cooper swung the bat well, hitting well above league average, and driving in a great share of runs for the Warriors offense. If that was not enough, Puff was also featured a 6-1 W-L record, which played a big role in his team's incredible 13-1 regular season campaign.


In examining Cooper's game after 2021, his immediate strengths may hide some of the walking woes and run allowance his pitching stats may suggest. With a high 6.52 BB/3 and 3.71 ERA, the Warriors did often have to win games with their bats when Cooper took to the flat hill.


With an improvement to his pitching game, Cooper still has the potential to be a breakout candidate in 2022, and be a big reason why the team could 4-peat come next summer.



15) Jeff Cocchia

Photo Credit: SoNo Wiffle League - Instagram


Team: Nighthawks

League: SoNo Wiffle League (SNWL)

Notable Stats: N/A

Awards: SNWL World Series MVP


Often compared and lessened to the talent of his brother, Jeff Cocchia had himself a 2021 campaign that ended in much more glory than his counterpart. Taken in by first-year manager Brian Ellhers, the Nighthawks combo of Brian and Jeff were fantastic in the SNWL postseason.


On one side of the tandem, Jeff provided much of the offense, slugging to a league-leading 23 HR over the course of regular season and postseason play. His total blitzed the rest of the competition, proving to be one of the most lethal bats in the SoNo Wiffle League during the 2021 campaign.


If Jeff is able to find another viable pitching option at his side, it may look to be another season raking for this now-champion of the SNWL.



14) Austin Kipphut

Photo Credit: Darien Wiffle Ball League - YouTube


Team: Downtown Dodgers

League: Darien Wiffle Ball League (DWBL)

Notable Stats: 22 HR, 56 RBI, 31.1 IP, 6-5 W-L, 8.23 K/3 (21 GP)

Awards: N/A


For the Downtown Dodgers to be as successful as they were in 2021, Austin Kipphut would need to have yet another excellent season performance. Thankfully for his team, Kipphut had himself an impressive year.


On one hand, Kipphut's efforts were not all fantastic. Kipphut had arguably his worst pitching season of his career, pitching to a career worst 5.36 ERA, accompanied by an alarmingly high 10.34 BB/3 and 3.93 WHIP. None of those numbers inspire something that would be considered "excellent" or "team-leading". But even in spite of the rather forgettable pitching display, Kipphut's bat was nothing short of incredible. Kipphut would be tied for the home run lead (regular and postseason combined), with 22 blasts, and drive in 56 of the team's 113 runs scored on the season (good enough for 2nd in the league). In 21 games played, Kipphut's work to tandem with teammate Jack Cunningham helped power the powerful and efficient lineup that was the Dodgers, ultimately leading them to a comfortable trip to the DWBL World Series.


And if his hitting was not sufficient, then Austin's energy is yet another plus. Though not statistically considered, Austin was a vocal leader for the team all year, giving the team and himself the confidence and swagger to do battle with whatever opposition he faced, regardless of his performance on the day.


This offseason, news outlets within the league have reported on a move for Kipphut to the up-and-coming team Shactown. With him set to likely become the #1 arm for Luke O'Connell's squad in 2022, Kipphut will need to improve his arm in order to silence the doubts of his past demons, and his infamous nickname as "Chapman". The pressure will most certainly be on, but that's not to say Austin is not one who shies away from the spotlight of primetime. And even if the pitching prowess does not find a way back to form next season, Shactown can rest easy knowing they add another heavy bat to their ever-potent lineup.



13) SImeon Doll

Photo Credit: Darien Wiffle Ball League - YouTube


Team: Shactown Wiffle Ball

League: Darien Wiffle Ball League (DWBL)

Notable Stats: .500 AVG, 13 HR, 1.958 OPS, 20.2 IP, 3-7 W-L (17 GP)

Awards: DWBL Rookie of the Year


Simeon Doll was one of many players who got their start in backyard wiffle ball in 2021. But of all of them, few of them captivated a team and an aura like himself. A left-handed hitting and left-handed pitching prospect, Doll and his teammate Luke O'Connell helped bring Shactown as a late addition to the Darien Wiffle Ball League for 2021.


But upon arrival, Doll was an immediate, ever-intimidating threat to every pitcher that faced him. Doll led all rookies in a number of offensive categories, including batting average (.500), home runs (13), and slugging percentage (1.958). Doll served as the go-to power bat in the Shactown lineup, as his ability to hit for power as a lefty is something that is never before seen in the DWBL. Shactown struggled despite some of Doll's successes, but once the team hit the DWBL postseason in July, the whole team got to enjoy what the motivated and locked-in rookie could provide.


Comparing Simeon to the last player on the list, Doll's pitching performance was arguably worse than Kipphut's. Doll featured a disappointing 3-7 win-loss record, and an era above 7.00 over 20+ innings pitched. Then again, many of these innings were in the regular season, when the team was trying to get their footing within competitive Wiffle®Ball. Much as the hype of the postseason helped Simeon hit, it did even more for his pitching. Simeon proved to have some pitches in his mix, and culminated his season-long efforts with four innings of 2-run ball in their series win against the Coastal Cyclones.


If Simeon is able to keep up his hitting and be a star on an ever-improving Shactown roster, do not be surprised if his name creeps up higher in the list for 2022. There will be expectations around him, and we will have to see if the Doll hype is real.



12) Brian Ellhers

Photo Credit: SoNo Wiffle League - Instagram


Team: Nighthawks

League: SoNo Wiffle League (SNWL)

Notable Stats: 23 HR

Awards: SNWL Manager of the Year, All-SNWL First Team


Another SNWL player, another rookie to join the Top 20 players list. Brian Ellhers joined the SoNo Wiffle League taking in the Nighthawks, who were coming in to 2021 following a league-worst 2 wins a season ago. Joining league staple Jeff Cocchia, expectations were for the team to improve on their less-than-desirable 2020 campaign.


If just looking at face value and value to his team, Ellhers was one of the most impactful people in CT Wiffs in 2021. His leadership and roster construction, combined with a SNWL World Series title run; puts him well in the running for a CT Manager of the Year award, if it so existed. But when judging his on-field performance, that too was nothing short of excellent. His league-leading 23 HR powered a high-octane Nighthawks offense, one that battled their way through two tough postseason series to a title this past June. His capabilities to impact the team's ability to win led him to an All-SNWL First Team selection as well, putting himself in comparisons to some of the SNWL's best players.


Heading into 2022 as manager once again, Ellhers will be called on again to lead his team to a title. With the basis of talent he has provided this year, Nighthawks supporters should have good reasons to believe in what they are about to witness.



11) Luke Oakley

Photo Credit: Compo Wiffle Ball League - YouTube


Team: Sons of Pitches

League: Compo Wiffle Ball League (CWBL)*

Notable Stats: .456 AVG, 26 H, 12 HR, 17 RBI, 30.0 IP, 2.50 ERA, 35 Ks (12 GP)

Awards: N/A

* = Season Not Completed


In his 12-game display in 2021, Luke Oakley proved to not only be the face of the Sons of Pitches franchise in the Compo Wiffle Ball League, but one of the best young players in the State of Connecticut. Often compared to his brother Jack and his Dominant Dingers, the Pitches proved to have the better all-around team, complimented by a great season by Luke.


Luke was excellent in about every facet of his game this year - 2nd in batting average (.456) and hits (26), league-leading in home runs (12), and tied for 3rd in RBI (17). His 2.16 H/Gm made him a constant threat to not only get on base, but drive in runs to put his team in the driver's seat. And if he was able to make good with his bat, Luke could pitch and duel with any team he faced. Luke's solid pitching line - 30.0 IP/3.50 K/3 / 35 K - placed him in the top-tier of CWBL pitchers in 2021. His ability to hit spots and make hitters hit into defense-helping outs made his presence essential to the Sons of Pitches in 2021.


Whatever the plans is for Luke and the CWBL in 2022, he may not have to worry too much, knowing that a team with him is sure to be a contending party once again.


10) Gordon Washburn

Photo Credit: Darien Wiffle Bal League - YouTube


Team: Western Warriors

League: Darien Wiffle Ball League (DWBL)

Notable Stats: .453 AVG, 29 H, 17 HR, 64 RBI, 1.971 OPS, 13.2 IP, 5-0 W-L, 1.83 WHIP (21 GP)

Awards: DWBL Most Valuable Player


Before EVERYONE gets heated on social media and message forums after reading this...yes, I did rank a league MVP barely within the Top 10 rankings. Before you go any further, make sure to get your emotions out before reading on, because I believe I have some fair things to point out about this particular player.


In a rather surprising move of the 2020-21 offseason, the DWBL saw longtime player Gordon Washburn transfer powers, trading in his time with the Eastern Elephants for the defending-champion Western Warriors. With a new coat of paint and new cast of players to join him, Washburn seized the moment and played his best season to-date. In taking more of a "skipper" role as the season progressed, Gordon was as effective with his moves as with his on-field performance. Hitting above .400 and driving in a league-leading 64 RBIs, Washburn was a spark-plug to the Warriors' ability to pounce at the dish.


If that was not good enough, then the Warriors got yet another arm to their potent pitching lineup. Gordon battled his way to a perfect 5-0 record, limiting any chances for runners to get on-base and pose any threat to the Warriors' exclamation of a 3-peat season.


So, with all this praise, why only number 10? Well, in all honesty, I think there were other players who captivated me with their play more than Gordon did. What Gordon did to impact his great, and that should not be held against him. I just found that, in terms of polish to their game and other statistical marvels, there were nine other players that were better than Gordon in 2021. As good as Gordon was statistically, I think that there is more within him to impress me critically. Knowing Gordon's perseverance and desire to win, I expect him to rise to the occasion in 2022, and continue to elevate his game in pursuit of his 2nd DWBL title.


9) Alex Oppenheimer

Photo Credit: Compo Wiffle Ball League - YouTube


Team: Backyard Bombers

League: Compo Wiffle Ball League (CWBL)*

Notable Stats: .378 AVG, 9 HR, 18 RBI, 28.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 3.10 K/3 (12 GP)

Awards: N/A

* = Season Not Completed


A Compo Wiffle Ball League World Series Champion in 2020, Alex Oppenheimer looked to repeat his offensive dominance in the 2021 season. For Alex, the season was much of a fantastic rinse-and-repeat act. Get in the box, hit a bomb, strike everyone out, go home, and repeat the next time out.


For much of the 12 games we saw of Alex this spring, that recipe for success was on full display. While taking a dip in the batting average department, Alex responded with a 9-homer, 18-RBI performance that gave the Backyard Bombers a solid foundation on offense. But not to be outdone this year, Alex also stepped up his game pitching, fanning just shy of 30 batters (29 exactly) over 28 innings of work. Alex still struggled to keep people from the occasional run of square-ups, but his improved composure and pitch sequencing got him out of trouble enough to get an impressive 2.14 ERA.


Looking back at 2021, Alex can rest assured knowing that he is continuing on the path of being one of the best players in the CWBL, and one of the best young players in CT backyard wiffs right now.


8) Andrew Moy

Photo Credit: Westport Wiffleball League - Instagram


Team: Saugatuck Swordfish

League: Westport Wiffleball League (WWBL)

Notable Stats: .591 AVG, 2 HR, 11 RBI

Awards: N/A


Whenever you check out a Westport Wiffleball League video, one player continues to catch the eye of many spectators. For others, it may be Veneruso or Smith - other WWBL guys who are on this list - but for me, it has to be Andrew Moy.


Coming close to winning a WWBL title for a 2nd year running, Moy's big right-handed swing has been a threat ever since he started out. In 2021, Moy had one of the hottest starts of anyone in the State, hitting almost .600 with 11 RBI in just four (4) games. While stats were not provided for the rest of the season, that start alone was enough to justify the WWBL having a Top-10 selection on this list. Moy's confidence as a hitter really has to make people consider, "how is it fair to try and pitch to this man?"


Provided we can continue to look into this player's progression in the coming years, Andrew Moy might be a name to look after across backyard Wiffle®Ball in Connecticut.


7) Jack Oakley

Photo Credit: Compo Wiffle Ball League - YouTube


Team: Dominant Dingers

League: Compo Wiffle Ball League (CWBL)*

Notable Stats: .413 AVG, 8 HR, 21.1 IP, 1.46 ERA (12 GP)

Awards: N/A

* = Season Not Completed


And the winner, for the Best Wiffler Named Oakley is...JACK OAKLEY!!


Despite playing on the worst-performing Compo Wiffle Ball League team, Dominant Dingers ace Jack Oakley put together a terrific 2021 season for himself. A top-tier hitter and pitcher, Jack was a bright light in what was otherwise a forgettable season for the Dominant Dingers. Jack was fun to watch at the plate, hitting well above league average and doing his part to drive in runs.


Where the play really stands out is in his pitching. Jack was one of - if not, arguably the best - pitcher in the CWBL this past season. Jack showed some of the best stuff in his amateur Wiffle®Ball career, throwing to a 1.43 ERA and amazing 5.23 K/3 (mind you, in a l