Minor League Record Book: Triples in a Season

After Kevin Reese’s 50 doubles, let’s move on to the most exciting play in baseball… the triple. Right?

2006-2017
1 Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 2014 13
2 Tyson Auer Luray ’05-06 2010 12
Chad Oberacker Fauquier ’09 2013 12
4 Scott Cousins Harrisonburg ’05 2009 11
Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 2010 11
Ryan Schimpf Luray ’08 2010 11
Tyler Kuhn Luray ’06-07 2011 11
8 Ruben Sosa Harrisonburg ’10 2014 10
Cory Spangenberg Winchester ’10 2014 10
10 James McOwen Luray ’05-06 2008 9
Tyler Kuhn Luray ’06-07 2008 9
Steven Bumbry Woodstock ’09 2010 9
Jason Kipnis Covington ’06-07 2011 9
Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 2013 9
Cory Spangenberg Winchester ’10 2013 9
Michael Garza Woodstock ’09-’10 2013 9
Kyri Washington Woodstock ’13 2016 9

Kyri Washington is the newest member of this list, with his 9 triples in 2016. (Kyri missed much of 2017 with an injury.)

All-Time
1 Louie Meadows Staunton 1983 14
Louie Meadows Staunton 1984 14
Louie Meadows Staunton 1987 14
4 Billy Sample Harrisonburg ’75 1977 13
Billy Sample Harrisonburg ’75 1978 13
Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 2014 13
7 Allen Battle Front Royal 1993 12
Clay Timpner Staunton ’02 2005 12
Tyson Auer Luray ’05-06 2010 12
Chad Oberacker Fauquier ’09 2013 12
11 Doug Dascenzo Front Royal 1986 11
Tommy Murphy Staunton ’98 2005 11
Brett Gardner New Market ’03-04 2008 11
Scott Cousins Harrisonburg ’05 2009 11
Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 2010 11
Ryan Schimpf Luray ’08 2010 11
Tyler Kuhn Luray ’06-07 2011 11
18 Gene Richards 1975 10
George Vukovich Harrisonburg 1979 10
Dan Pasqua New Market ’81 1983 10
Darren Lewis Harrisonburg 1991 10
John Massarelli Front Royal 1994 10
Kennard Bibbs Harrisonburg ’01 2004 10
Ruben Sosa Harrisonburg ’10 2014 10
Cory Spangenberg Winchester ’10 2014 10

Some fascinating names on this list- a mix of old and new. Louie Meadows wins the day, obviously.

Louie Meadows

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#14 Reliever: Hunter Fillingim, Winchester

Hunter Fillingim Florida AM 2016ATVL’s 14th best reliever in the 2017 Valley League season is Winchester’s Hunter Fillingim, a redshirt senior from Florida A&M!

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound righthander put up the following stat line for the Royals:

Win ERA W L G SV IP H R ER BB K BAVG WIP BB/9 K/9
2017 2.10 2 2 15 3 25.7 19 7 6 11 22 0.211 1.167 3.9 7.7
Play 13.50 0 2 3 1 3.3 8 6 5 1 8 0.444 2.727 2.7 21.8

So Hunter’s playoff stats weren’t quite up to par, but still, getting 8 out of 10 outs by strikeout is still pretty impressive. Hunter was given the “Outstanding Pitcher” award for the Royals (pic below).

Hunter has three years of stats in college so far:

ERA W L G SV IP H R ER BB K WIP BB/9 K/9
2014 3.18 0 0 12 0 51.0 58 28 18 21 32 1.549 3.7 5.6
2016 4.58 3 1 21 2 17.7 15 10 9 17 24 1.808 8.6 12.2
2017 2.36 3 2 23 4 26.7 28 15 7 10 36 1.423 3.4 12.1

Hunter pitched at Florida State College of Jacksonville in 2014, and redshirted 2015 after an ACL tear in the fall of ’14. He pitched for Florida A&M in 2016 and 2017, and was named to the MEAC All-Academic team both years.

Congratulations on your excellent summer, Hunter!

Hunter Fillingim Outstanding Pitcher Winchester

 

 

A Couple Quick Hits

The end of my basketball season has come and gone, which means a week of utter collapse, and then getting back to work.

We’ll start the process of returning to work by taking a quick look at a couple stories that have come across my desk in one way or another in the past couple week…

[In 2007], He was the ACC Player of the Year, first team All-ACC and was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, Dick Howser Trophy and Brooks Wallace Award the same season.

During his career, Thomas became the first Seminole to register 30 doubles, 100 hits and 30 stolen bases in a single season.  He finished that junior campaign with 33 doubles, which tied for the second most in a single-season at FSU.

Thomas led the ACC in batting average with a.430 mark while ranking first in six other offensive categories as junior.  He also finished among the Top 10 in four other categories enroute to earning consensus All-America honors.

Thomas’ 14 career triples are still the fourth most in school history.

Tony was drafted by the Cubs in the third round in 2007, spent 9 years in the minors in affiliated baseball, and now two years in Independent ball. Tony appears in the all-time minor league record book in the categories of doubles (tied for 13th), triples (3rd), and stolen bases (18th).

While Tony fell just a little bit short of the major leagues (he played in 164 Triple-A games), he has made a career for himself while playing baseball, which is much more than most of us can claim.

Taylor has also done what probably seemed like an internship with ATVL; a few years ago (when she was still a college student, I believe) she helped me with the statistics for park factors for a past Valley League season. Maybe 2012? She very cheerfully saved me dozens of hours of work.

Congratulations, Taylor!

Clint has had an illustrious minor league career- he’s on the all-time minors record book list for runs (12th), hits (7th), doubles (4th), home runs (3rd), RBIs (5th), and walks (13th). He has played in 1,053 minor league games since he was drafted in 2007, and appeared in 243 major league games as well.

  • The Express are also doing something fun in the offseason- reports uploaded to youtube! Kyle Gutshall, the broadcaster extraordinaire, posted the first one on November 18th. Good stuff!

More Minor League Free Agents

I have to warn you, Dear Reader- this list is a bit alarming. Back on November 1st, I posted a few players who have been released or have filed for free agency. I listed Clint Robinson, Alex Wimmers, and Josh Edgin as newly-minted free agents.

Well, Baseball America released its full list of minor league free agents, and there are many, many more former beloved Valley Leaguers who are looking for gainful employment this off season. (I mean they are former VBLers who are beloved, not players who are formerly beloved, of course.)

Here is a quick look at all 20 of them… (Columns are last name, first name, position, VBL team and year, round drafted and year drafted)

Robinson Clint 1B Harrisonburg 2005-6 25 2007
Wimmers Alex P Luray 2008 (21) 2010
Edgin Josh P Winchester 2007 30 2010
Jay Jon OF Staunton 2004 2 2006
Pennington Cliff SS Harrisonburg 2003 1 2005
Alonso Yonder 1B Luray 2006 (7) 2008
Kratz Erik C Waynes-Har 2000-01 29 2002
Villanueva Elih P Luray 2007 27 2008
Cardullo Stephen OF Covington 2007 24 2010
Kensing Logan P Harrisonburg 2002 2 2003
Noel Rico OF Covington 2008 5 2010
Sosa Ruben OF Harrisonburg 2010 23 2011
Copeland Scott P Staunton 2007 21 2010
Rodriguez Eddy C Luray 2005-6 20 2006
Rickles Nick C Luray 2010 14 2011
McElroy Casey SS Waynesboro 2009 11 2011
Tolliver Ashur P Harrisonburg 2007 5 2009
Adkins Hunter P Staunton 2010 FA 2013
Butler Joey OF New Market 2006 15 2008
Hill Taylor P Winchester 2008 6 2011

Three of these players are likely to get very good major league contracts- Jon Jay, Cliff Pennington, and Yonder Alonso (especially Alonso, who is coming off a career year for Oakland and Seattle).

Most of the others will most assuredly get minor league contracts, if they get contracts at all. Hopefully all of these players will get a chance to continue their careers! (And ATVL will keep everyone updated of course.)

Nick Rickles Phillies org 2017

Nick Rickles with the Phillies org

Minor League Record Book: Doubles in a Season

Most doubles in a minor league season by a Valley League alumnus?

2006-2017
1 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 2010 41
2 Dalton Hicks Luray ’09 2013 39
Ryan McBroom Haymarket ’11-’12 2015 39
4 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-07 2012 37
Ryan Schmipf Luray ’08 2012 37
6 Yonder Alonso Luray ’06 2010 36
7 Tyler Bortnick Front Royal ’06 2010 35
Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 2011 35
Rudy Flores Haymarket ’10 2014 35
Joseph Bennie Strasburg ’11 2015 35

Clint Robinson is on this list three times! Ryan McBroom and Joe Bennie are the most recent- 3 seasons ago.

All-Time
1 Kevin Reese Winchester ’98 2004 50
2 Luis Lopez Winchester ’92-3 1997 47
3 Stephen Smitherman Winchester ’98-9 2001 45
4 Allen Battle Front Royal 1994 44
5 Marshall McDougall New Market ’98 2001 43
6 John Kruk New Market ’81 1983 41
T.R. Marcinczyk Staunton 1997 41
Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 2010 41
9 Aubrey Huff Staunton 1999 40
Christopher Carter Waynesboro ’01 2007 40
11 T.R. Marcinczyk Staunton 1999 39
Chad Tracy Staunton ’99 2002 39
Stephen Smitherman Winchester ’98-9 2005 39
Dalton Hicks Luray ’09 2013 39
Ryan McBroom Haymarket ’11-’12 2015 39
16 Larry Sheets Staunton 1983 38
Mike Lowell Waynesboro ’93 1996 38
Joseph Hastings Staunton 2002 38
Kevin Reese Winchester ’98 2005 38
20 Jon Zuber Harrisonburg ’91 1993 37
Andy Abad Harrisonburg ’93 1996 37
Jon Zuber Harrisonburg ’91 1997 37
Peter Zoccolillo Front Royal ’98 2004 37
Luke Scott Staunton 2004 37
Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-07 2012 37
Ryan Schmipf Luray ’08 2012 37

Kevin Reese in 2004: He started the season in Double-A Trenton, and hit 298/348/489 with 37 doubles in 78 games. Called up to Triple-A Columbus, he proceeded to hit 323/370/521, with 13 doubles in 53 games. Overall? 308/357/502, 50 doubles in 546 at-bats. Wow.

Kevin Reese NYY bball card

#15 Reliever: Tyler Swiggart, Winchester

Tyler Swiggart GW 2017The 15th best reliever in the 2017 Valley League season is Winchester’s Tyler Swiggart, from George Washington!

Let’s take a look at his stats for the Royals:

Win ERA W L G SV IP H R ER BB K BAVG WIP BB/9 K/9
2017 3.22 1 0 12 1 22.3 20 9 8 1 19 0.230 0.942 0.4 7.7

For pitchers considered for this list, Tyler finished 4th in BB/9, and 7th in WHIP. One walk in 22 1/3 innings is pretty impressive, even if three pitchers had a lower rate.

Tyler pitched in the Midwest Collegiate League in the summer of 2016, in which he went 3-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 18 games. He had one save in 29 innings, along with an excellent 5/28 BB/K ratio. He was an MCL all-star, and was an All-League selection at relief pitcher.

A 6-foot-5, 195 pound senior, Tyler has put up the following numbers for GW:

GW ERA W L G SV IP H R ER BB K WIP BB/9 K/9
2015 4.13 3 1 20 0 24.0 22 12 11 8 16 1.250 3.0 6.0
2016 6.10 0 2 18 0 20.2 25 14 14 11 18 1.782 4.9 8.0
2017 3.31 2 2 16 0 35.1 34 14 13 9 18 1.225 2.3 4.6

Tyler Swiggart GW pitching

Minor League Record Book: Hits in a Season

Next up: hits in one minor league season!

2006-2017
1 Tyler Kuhn Luray ’06-07 2011 168
2 Rebel Ridling Covington ’06 2009 166
3 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 2011 164
4 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 2010 160
5 Jason Kipnis Covington ’06-07 2010 159
6 Rudy Flores Haymarket ’10 2014 158
7 Tyson Auer Luray ’05-06 2010 154
8 Jonathan Griffin Luray ’10 2012 153
9 James McOwen Luray ’05-06 2009 152
Mac Williamson Harrisonburg ’11 2013 152

It’s been three seasons since Rudy Flores rapped 158 hits in 2014, and he’s the last one to join. Ten spots are separated by only 16 hits….

All-Time
1 Gene Richards 1975 191
2 Juan Pierre Harrisonburg ’97 1999 187
3 Luis Lopez Winchester ’92-3 1997 180
4 Doug Dascenzo Front Royal 1986 178
5 Chad Tracy Staunton ’99 2002 177
6 Christopher Carter Waynesboro ’01 2007 174
7 Gene Richards 1976 173
8 Talmadge Nunnari Harrisonburg ’96 1999 172
9 Luis Lopez Winchester ’92-3 1999 171
10 Billy Sample Harrisonburg ’75 1978 170
John Kruk New Market ’81 1983 170
12 Chad Tracy Staunton ’99 2003 169
13 Kevin Reese Winchester ’98 2004 168
Tyler Kuhn Luray ’06-07 2011 168
15 Rebel Ridling Covington ’06 2009 166
16 Mike Eylward Staunton 2006 165
17 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 2011 164
18 Allen Battle Front Royal 1994 163
19 Steve Finley Harrisonburg 1988 161
Kevin Kouzmanoff Winchester ’02 2004 161
Luis Lopez Winchester ’92-3 2000 161

Gene Richards was insane in 1975. In his first taste of pro ball, he was assigned to Reno in the High-A California League… and proceeded to hit 381/499/551 in 501 at-bats, with 148 runs scored, 191 hits, 29 doubles, 10 triples, 12 home runs, 85 stolen bases, and a crazy 116/75 BB/K ratio. Jiminy Christmas!

Gene Richards San Diego Padres

Gene Richards with the Padres