Each year, Baseball America names an “All-Rookie” team from the major leagues. It’s been several years since the last Valley League alumnus made the list, but this year, one broke through- Chris Devenski (Woodstock 2011)!
This is what the site had to say about Chris’s excellent season as a swing man for the Astros (meaning that he both started and relieved):
RP Chris Devenski • Astros
Devenski doesn’t throw 100 mph like the Mariners’ Edwin Diaz, who struck out 15.3 batter per nine innings, and he didn’t save 19 games like the Cardinals’ Seung Hwan Oh, the outstanding 34-year-old Korean import. All he did was pitch the most effectively, among rookie relievers, in the highest-leverage spots. Devenski, whom the Astros picked up in 2012 when they traded Brett Myers to the White Sox, likes to get ahead of batters with a low-90s fastball before finishing them off with either an outstanding changeup or slider, both of which sit at 80-82 mph. In his 43 relief appearances, he struck out 83 in 84 innings and recorded one save while allowing a .194 average and 0.81 WHIP.
I don’t think Chris will win the American League rookie of the year (which will most likely go to Michael Fulmer, or, God forbid, to Gary Sanchez), but he was, at least according to Baseball America, the best rookie reliever in the game!