As many of you know, my beginning point for many of the things I do in this space is 2006, as that draft was the first one I could reliably track former Valley Leaguers.
Since that start date, 31 players from the Valley have reached the pinnacle of their profession. If you’re curious, here they are:
2006 draft: Jon Jay (Staunton 2004), David Carpenter (Covington 2004), Dan Murphy (Luray 2005), Will Harris (Staunton 2003), Brian Bocock (Luray 2004), John Raynor (New Market 2004), Tobi Stoner (Front Royal 2005), Eddy Rodriguez (Luray 2006-7), Scott Cousins (Harrisonburg 2005) and Chris Perez (Staunton 2004). Greg Burke (Front Royal 2001), Rob Delaney (New Market 2003), and Brandon Dickson (New Market 2006) fit in here, too, as they were signed as free agents in 2006. (13)
2007 draft: Clint Robinson (Harrisonburg 2005-6), Brad Mills (Harrisonburg 2005), and Josh Judy (Haymarket 2006-7) (3)
2008 draft: Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006), Joey Butler (New Market 2006), Eric Campbell (Luray 2006), Blake Tekotte (Woodstock 2006), Elih Villanueva (Luray 2007) and Collin Cowgill (Covington 2005). Brandon Beachey (Woodstock 2008) was signed as a free agent in 2008. (7)
2009 draft: Jason Kipnis (Covington 2006-7), Ryan Dennick (Fauquier 2008) (2)
2010 draft: Josh Edgin (Winchester 2007), Tyler Thornburg (Winchester 2008) (2)
2011 draft: Tommy LaStella (Haymarket 2009), Taylor Hill (Winchester 2008), Cory Spangenberg (Winchester 2010), and Drew Rucinski (Luray 2009-10) (4)
For those keeping score at home, that’s
- 31 players
- 5 sets of teammates (Robinson-Mills, Alonso-Campbell-Rodriguez, Villanueva-Rodriguez, Hill-Thornburg, Dickson-Butler)
- 7 players come from Luray, 4 from Winchester and New Market, 3 from Staunton, Harrisonburg and Covington, 2 from Haymarket, Woodstock, and Front Royal, and 1 from Fauquier (none from Waynesboro, Charles Town, Strasburg, Aldie, and Rockbridge)
- To be fair, Charles Town has existed for only two seasons, Strasburg for four, Aldie for two (but you could argue that Aldie is an extension of Haymarket of course), and Rockbridge existed for five before folding. Fauquier existed for 3 years before folding.
- Charles Town currently has 2 players in affiliated ball, Strasburg has 5, Aldie has 1 (Eason Spivey), and Rockbridge has 5. Fauquier still has 3 active pro players (Ryan Dennick, Chad Oberacker, and Matt Wessinger).
- If I were to hazard a guess as to whom might get called up in 2015, I would guess these five: Adam Liberatore (Waynesboro 2007-8), Jack Leathersich (Haymarket 2009), Kevin Munson (Covington 2008), Kaleb Fleck (Waynesboro 2008-10), and Rico Noel (Covington 2008)