The name Steve McQuail should be a familiar one to Valley League fans- or at least to fans who have been around for five years or more.
Back in 2009, McQuail played for Front Royal, and put on an amazing display of power throughout the summer, ending up with 16 home runs in 42 games (along with 14 doubles), and even winning the home run derby, held that year at Woodstock. Baseball America named him the 5th best prospect in the league, and ATVL named him the top hitter.
Steve was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 30th round of the 2010 draft, but they released him after two seasons in short season ball.
But he didn’t give up. Steve played in the Frontier League in both 2012 and 2013, and then was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014. He’s played in Low-A South Bend, Triple-A Reno, and High-A Visalia this year. Combined in the three stops, he hit 253/308/487 in 304 at-bats.
The big news, however, is what he did on Wednesday, in game one of the California League playoffs. Steve unloaded on Stockton, going 4-5, with 3 home runs and 5 RBIs.
Visalia won easily, 13-3, thanks to McQuail and a couple other former Valley Leaguers- Rudy Flores (Haymarket 2010) drove in 4 runs with a double and home run, and Brandon Sinnery (Winchester 2009) earned the win with 6 solid innings pitched.
Way to go, Steve and the Valley League!