Yes, I know- we’re almost to the beginning of the major league AND minor league season, but we still have one set of awards to announce. Last year, for the first time, All Things Valley League named a hitter and pitcher of the year at each level of the minor leagues. This is a player that formerly played in the Valley League, of course.
We’ll start with Triple-A, work our way down to the rookie levels, and then conclude with the major league awards (since the majors are, indeed, a level of baseball, after all).
2014 Winner: Clint Robinson (Harrisonburg 2005-06)
2015 Winner: Tyler White (Haymarket 2010)
Tyler White was a 33rd round draft pick in 2013. Read that again. No, seriously. 33rd round pick? Yes, indeed. All Tyler has done, not unlike our 2014 winner, Clint Robinson, is hit, hit, and hit some more. He started the 2015 season in Double-A Corpus Christi, and put up a stat line of 284/415/426 in 59 games and 190 at-bats. Pretty solid, right?
Then he was called up to Triple-A Fresno. All he proceeded to do is hit 362/467/559 in 57 games and 213 at-bats, along with 37 runs scored, 19 doubles, a triple, 7 home runs, 59 RBIs, and a ridiculous 42/38 BB/K ratio. That’s right- if you go back and take a look at his Double-A and Triple-A stats, he hit better at a tougher level (although the PCL is, overall, a pretty hitter-friendly environment).
That’s why Tyler White is going to make the major leagues at some point in the 2016 season (in my opinion, of course).
Others to Consider
Joey Butler (New Market 2006): 333/416/575 in 120 at-bats for Durham
Eric Campbell (Luray 2006): 363/493/593 in 113 at-bats for Las Vegas
Ben Guez (Covington 2006): 287/410/504 in 115 at-bats for Colorado Springs
Casey McElroy (Waynesboro 2009): 275/339/397 in 247 at-bats for El Paso
Mac Williamson (Harrisonburg 2011): 249/370/439 in 189 at-bats for Sacramento