The short-season leagues are the New York-Penn League and the Northwest League. Many recent draftees are assigned to these leagues, which means that many former Valley Leaguers play in these leagues every year.
2014 Short-season Hitter of the Year
Very clearly, the short-season hitter of the year is Ryan McBroom (Haymarket 2011-2012), a 15th round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015. Ryan slugged his way through the Northwest League, hitting a whopping 34 extra base hits in only 70 games. He finished at 297/339/502 in 273 at-bats, with 23 doubles, 11 home runs, 59 RBIs, and a 13/52 BB/K ratio. That BB/K ratio is the only stat to ding Ryan’s season, but as far as professional debuts go, Ryan had an amazing season.
Others to consider:
|Michael Katz||Brooklyn||NY Penn||42||153||17||42||9||1||0||18||12||45||5||0.275||0.323||0.346||0.669|
|Tyler McFarland||Staten Island||NY Penn||62||237||24||66||17||2||5||40||20||37||6||0.278||0.345||0.430||0.775|
|Riley Palmer||Aberdeen||NY Penn||59||194||27||53||11||2||5||21||8||61||2||0.273||0.324||0.428||0.752|
McFarland (Harrisonburg 2011) is the son of JMU’s Spanky McFarland, who has been the head coach at JMU for 18 years.
2014 Short-season Pitcher of the Year
However, the pitcher of the year is pretty clear: It’s Ryan Yarbrough (Luray 2012), who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 draft by the Seattle Mariners. He made his pro debut for Everett in the Northwest League, and promptly went 0-1, 1.40, with a 0.75 WHIP, 0.9 BB/9 and 12.3 K/9 in 38 2/3 innings (10 starts and 2 relief appearances). Out of all the pitchers considered, Ryan came in 3rd in ERA, and 1st in BB/9, K/9, and WHIP. He dominated the Northwest League. I will be shocked if he doesn’t make a full season club this spring. (And by the way, he also threw 4 shutout innings in Rookie ball.)
Others to consider:
|Matt Hockenberry||Williamsport||NY Penn||2||0||2.35||9||0||1||15.3||13||5||4||3||17||1.76||10.00||1.05|
|Austin Gomber||State College||NY Penn||2||2||2.30||11||11||0||47.0||55||17||12||18||36||3.45||6.89||1.55|
|Calvin Rayburn||Williamsport||NY Penn||2||1||1.23||22||0||9||29.3||16||8||4||9||16||2.76||4.91||0.85|
|Chris Pike||Hudson Valley||NY Penn||4||1||2.72||12||10||0||53.0||41||16||16||15||44||2.55||7.47||1.06|
|Austin Chrismon||Tri-City||NY Penn||6||3||3.69||16||13||0||68.3||65||32||28||15||49||1.98||6.46||1.17|
|Gaither Bumgardner||Brooklyn||NY Penn||0||2||2.30||12||0||2||31.3||20||14||8||15||27||4.31||7.76||1.12|
Michael Kraft (Harrisonburg 2012) gave up only 7 hits in 21 innings… Seth Lucio (Waynesboro 2012) struck out 46 batters in only 27 1/3 innings… Adam Parks (Charles Town 2013) barely pitched at Liberty, then was drafted and dominated the Northwest League. He’s also best known for throwing a perfect game in the Valley in 2013.