Schimpf Traded, Edgin, Kratz Sign

Three transactions of importance have happened in the last few days:

First of all, Josh Edgin (Winchester 2007) has been signed as free agent by the Baltimore Orioles. Drafted in the 30th round in 2010, Josh made his major league debut on July 13th, 2012. He has appeared in 177 major league games since then, going 4-4, 3.49, with 2 saves, a 1.279 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, and 8.1 K/9 in a total of 129 innings pitched. He has been worth 1.7 WAR in his career, according to baseball reference.

Josh is not exactly a lefty-killer, but he has been a little bit better against lefties than righties. Against left handed batters, in 295 plate appearances, Josh 223/296/367. Against right handed batters, in 249 PA, Josh is 254/352/362.

I imagine Josh has a shot to make the O’s opening day roster, and if he doesn’t make the major league club, he’ll most likely go to Triple-A.

Secondly, the San Diego Padres have traded Ryan Schimpf (Luray 2008) to the Tampa Bay Rays for Deion Tansel. Ryan was a 5th round pick in the 2009 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. He made his major league debut in 2016 with the Padres, and has played in 142 games in 2016 and 2017. In 527 plate appearances, Ryan has hit 195/317/492, with 72 runs, 19 doubles, 5 triples, 34 home runs, and a 69/175 BB/K ratio. Back in the old days, 34 home runs in 527 plate appearances would equal a starting spot, but it looks like the Rays have acquired Ryan to be depth at both second and third base. (The Rays are far from done this offseason, it looks like, so who knows?)

Thirdly, the New York Yankees, seemingly in the middle of adding some guy named Giancarlo Stanton, have also signed former VBLer and ATVL friend Erik Kratz (Waynesboro, Harrisonburg 2000-2001). Erik, who will be 38 years old in June of 2018, was a 29th round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays way back in 2002. (Erik is the second oldest former VBLer who is still active- the oldest is……. Brad Ziegler (New Market 2000), who is roughly 8 months older than Erik. Strange to think that Erik may have batted against Brad a whopping 17 years ago.) Erik started 2017 in Columbus, Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate, but was sold to the Yankees on August 31st. Erik went on to appear in 4 major league games for the Bronx Bombers during their playoff push. He will most likely play in Triple-A for the Yanks in 2018, but be available if, say, their two catchers both get in a benches-clearing brawl and get suspended. That would be weird, huh?

Erik Kratz NYY 2017downloadpi-mlb-padres-ryan-schimpf-091416-vadapt-980-high-60


How Did Our AFL Guys Do?

Can you believe, Dear Reader, that the Arizona Fall League has concluded already?

Well, it’s an honor to be selected to play there, so let’s look at how the three former Valley Leaguers pitched (because all three are hurlers).

  • Max Povse (Staunton 2013) started 6 games for Peoria, and went 1-2, 4.56, with 28 hits, 6 walks, and 25 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings pitched. I can’t help but wonder if he was auditioning for a starting job with the 2018 Seattle Mariners… right now, has Max listed at #7 for the rotation (2nd in AAA, with a mid-2018 ETA).
  • Tyler Cyr (Waynesboro 2014) pitched in 8 games for Scottsdale, and was also named to the all-star team. He went 0-1, 5.63 in 8 innings, with 8 hits, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts.
  • Ryan Meisinger (Staunton 2014) was assigned to Salt River after the season started. He appeared in 6 games, going 1-0, 0.00 in 6 innings, while allowing 1 hit, 2 unearned runs, 0 walks, and 0 strikeouts. It’s a little odd that he didn’t walk or strike out anyone.

A Look at Tyler White, Prospect

Tyler White (Haymarket 2010) is not technically a “prospect,” as he exceeded rookie limits in 2016, when he had 276 plate appearances for the Astros and hit 217/286/378.

However, returned to the minor leagues for 2017, Tyler had an excellent season for Triple-A Fresno before he returned to Houston for 67 plate appearances near the end of the season. (In which he performed pretty well, hitting 279/328/525; the high slugging comes from 6 doubles and 3 home runs.)

Tyler hit so well in the minors that Tyler Maun, from, named him an organizational All-Star for Houston, at the “utility” position. (By the way, if you enjoy podcasts, Tyler is involved with milb’s “The Show Before the Show,” a pretty cool look at the minor leagues.)

Here is what Tyler Maun wrote about our very own Tyler White:

Utility — Tyler White, Fresno (111 games), Houston (22 games): After primarily manning the corner infield spots for the first four years of his career, White was all over the defensive map in 2017. The 27-year-old played every infield position and saw time in left field for Fresno, all while compiling a .300/.371/.528 line with a career-high 25 homers and 89 RBIs in 111 Triple-A games. A year ago, White batted .217/.286/.378 in 85 big league games but held his own in his return to that level, hitting .279/.328/.525 in 22 games with Houston.

When I first read this, my thought was, “Wait a minute. Tyler played second base? He played shortstop?!?” Indeed he did; he appeared at second in 221 games, and at short for 20. Whoa. I didn’t see that coming.

Tyler might have to join a different organization to get serious playing time in the majors in the future, but at least he’ll get a ring for Houston’s title in 2017!


A Couple Quick Hits

The end of my basketball season has come and gone, which means a week of utter collapse, and then getting back to work.

We’ll start the process of returning to work by taking a quick look at a couple stories that have come across my desk in one way or another in the past couple week…

[In 2007], He was the ACC Player of the Year, first team All-ACC and was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, Dick Howser Trophy and Brooks Wallace Award the same season.

During his career, Thomas became the first Seminole to register 30 doubles, 100 hits and 30 stolen bases in a single season.  He finished that junior campaign with 33 doubles, which tied for the second most in a single-season at FSU.

Thomas led the ACC in batting average with a.430 mark while ranking first in six other offensive categories as junior.  He also finished among the Top 10 in four other categories enroute to earning consensus All-America honors.

Thomas’ 14 career triples are still the fourth most in school history.

Tony was drafted by the Cubs in the third round in 2007, spent 9 years in the minors in affiliated baseball, and now two years in Independent ball. Tony appears in the all-time minor league record book in the categories of doubles (tied for 13th), triples (3rd), and stolen bases (18th).

While Tony fell just a little bit short of the major leagues (he played in 164 Triple-A games), he has made a career for himself while playing baseball, which is much more than most of us can claim.

Taylor has also done what probably seemed like an internship with ATVL; a few years ago (when she was still a college student, I believe) she helped me with the statistics for park factors for a past Valley League season. Maybe 2012? She very cheerfully saved me dozens of hours of work.

Congratulations, Taylor!

Clint has had an illustrious minor league career- he’s on the all-time minors record book list for runs (12th), hits (7th), doubles (4th), home runs (3rd), RBIs (5th), and walks (13th). He has played in 1,053 minor league games since he was drafted in 2007, and appeared in 243 major league games as well.

  • The Express are also doing something fun in the offseason- reports uploaded to youtube! Kyle Gutshall, the broadcaster extraordinaire, posted the first one on November 18th. Good stuff!

Cyr, Povse Sent to Arizona Fall League

Each year, major league teams send a number of players to the Arizona Fall League, a sort of clearinghouse for prospects. It’s usually considered to be quite an honor, as teams often send their best to compete over the fall and winter.

Even though the season doesn’t start until October 10th, we can still celebrate two former Valley Leaguers who have been named by their organizations as participants in this year’s AFL:

  • Max Povse (Staunton 2013) has been sent by his parent organization, the Seattle Mariners, to the Peoria Javelinas. Max made his major league debut on June 22nd in 2017, but he gave up 9 hits and 3 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings for the Mariners. He fared much better in Double-A, going 3-2, 3.46, with 32 K’s in 39 innings. He also spent 31 2/3 innings in Triple-A Tacoma.
  • Tyler Cyr (Waynesboro 2014) spend 2017 plying his trade for the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels in the San Francisco Giants system. He went 5-2, 2.19, with 18 saves and 57 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings pitched. He was assigned to the Surprise Saguaros.

Good luck to both pitchers! (ATVL will do his best to follow along…)

League Record Book: Total Bases

We’re ready for the latest installment of the Valley League record book from 2004-2017! Cue up the list of most bases in one season….

1 Jimmy Yezzo Winchester 2012 148
2 Joseph Odom Winchester 2012 139
3 Jon Love Front Royal 2004 125
Tyler Kuhn Luray 2006 125
5 Zach Sterry Waynesboro 2016 123
6 Michael Wielansky Charlottesville 2017 122
7 Steve McQuail Front Royal 2009 119
Bradley Picha Winchester 2012 119
9 Jonathan Griffin Luray 2010 117
10 Collin Cowgill Covington 2005 116
11 Leo Rojas Winchester 2012 115

You know what it means, Dear Reader, when we have 11 on a list- someone from 2017 broke the seal! There he is, Charlottesville’s Michael Wielansky, with 122 total bases… just about breaking the top 5.

Major Leagues: Collin Cowgill
Current Minor Leagues: Joseph Odom, Zach Sterry
Previous Minor Leagues: Jimmy Yezzo, Tyler Kuhn, Steve McQuail, Jonathan Griffin
No Minor Leagues: Jon Love, Bradley Picha, Leo Rojas
Still in College: Michael Wielansky

Jimmy Yezzo Hagerstown

Jimmy Yezzo playing for Hagerstown

Erik Kratz Sold to Yankees

The Cleveland Indians have sold Erik Kratz (Waynesboro 2000, Harrisonburg 2001) to the New York Yankees.
Big Erik was having quite a good year for Triple-A Columbus, not only hitting a bit, but throwing out 37% of runners attempting to steal, and also framing well.
Erik has been assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre for the time being, but the thought is that he will join the big league club when/if Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine are suspended for their roles in the brawl with Detroit.
Oddly, Erik joins another catcher in Scranton with ties to theValley League. One of the other backstops is none other than Eddy Rodriguez, who played in Luray in 2005 and 2006. (And gave my daughter a baseball in New Market in 2006, in the process becoming her favorite player.)
If Erik is called up, he will also join another former Valley Leaguer- Brett Gardner, who played in New Market in 2003 and 2004.
(Erik is also a friend of ATVL, for full disclosure. He did a huge interview with this page back in 2006- you can read them here and here)
(Also see more on this deal here)
Erik Kratz throwing