Two Named Classification All-Stars

Baseball America has released their classification all-stars for each level of the minor leagues, and two former VBLers have been named! (By the way, ATVL will name a hitter and pitcher of the year for each level later on this offseason,. Stay tuned.)

  • Ben Breazeale (Harrisonburg 2014) was named a first team Short-Season All-Star at designated hitter. Playing for Aberdeen of the New York-Penn League, Ben hit 323/433/474 in 192 at-bats, along with 14 doubles, 5 home runs, and a 27/56 BB/K ratio.
  • Michael Gigliotti (Covington 2015) was named to the first team Rookie All-Star list at outfield. Gigliotti hit 329/442/477 for Burlington in the Appalachian League, along with 8 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs, a sterling 32/21 BB/K ratio, and 15 stolen bases in 155 at-bats at the level.

Congrats to both!

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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…)

Top 2017 Prospects

Each year, two media outlets, Baseball America and Perfect Game, rank their top prospects in each summer league (well, most of them).

As usual, ATVL is there (with a little help from my friends) to keep everyone informed about what the scouting community thinks about the top players in our league.

So let’s take a look at the top ten prospects from each publication!

Baseball America Valley League Top 10 Prospects 2017
1. Zachary Peek, RHP, Strasburg, (So., Winthrop)
2. Dominic Canzone, OF, Front Royal, (So., Ohio State)
3. Tom Sutera, RHP, Purcellville (Jr., Siena)
4. Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, Charlottesville, (So., Old Dominion)
5. Luc Lipcius, OF, Front Royal, (So., Tennessee)
6. Nate Pawelczyk, RHP, New Market (Jr., Winthrop)
7. Jake Washer, C, New Market (RSo., East Carolina)
8. Brandon Quaranta, OF/1B, Strasburg (Sr., Philadelphia, Pa.)
9. Mike Wielansky, 2B/SS, Charlottesville (Jr., Wooster, Ohio)
10. Cash Gladfelter, SS, Woodstock (Jr., Shippensburg, Pa.)
Perfect Game Top 10 Prospects 2017
1. Dominic Canzone, OF, Front Royal, (So., Ohio State)
2. Zachary Peek, RHP, Strasburg, (So., Winthrop)
3. Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, Charlottesville, (So., Old Dominion)
4. Mike Wielansky, 2B/SS, Charlottesville (Jr., Wooster, Ohio)
5. Tom Sutera, RHP, Purcellville (Jr., Siena)
6. Tony Beam, C, Harrisonburg (Sr., Texas-San Antonio)
7. Max Wood, OF, Staunton (Sr., Central Florida)
8. Chris Farish, RHP, Harrisonburg (R-Sr., Wake Forest)
9. Brandon Quaranta, OF/1B, Strasburg (Sr., Philadelphia, Pa.)
10. Trevin Esquerra, 1B/3B, Purcellville (So., Loyola Marymount)

The Semi-Breakdown

Named on Both Lists:

  • Peek (1,2)
  • Canzone (2,1)
  • Sutera (3,5)
  • Pasquantino (4,3)
  • Quaranta (8,9)
  • Wielansky (9,4)

By VBL Team:

  • Strasburg- 2 (Peek, Quaranta)
  • Front Royal- 2 (Canzone, Lipcius)
  • Purcellville- 2 (Sutera, Esquerra)
  • Charlottesville- 2 (Pasquantino, Wielansky)
  • New Market- 2 (Pawelczyk, Washer)
  • Harrisonburg- 2 (Beam, Farish)
  • Woodstock- 1 (Gladfelter)
  • Staunton- 1 (Wood)
  • Covington, Waynesboro, Winchester- 0

 

 

Lopez, Gigliotti Named Appy League All-Stars

Two former Valley Leaguers were named to the Appalachian League postseason All-Star team- Irving Lopez (Staunton 2016) and Michael Gigliotti (Covington 2015).

  • Lopez, from Johnson City (since called up to State College), was named the best second baseman. He hit 287/378/433 in 50 games and 178 at-bats. He hit 7 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs, and had a solid 19/25 BB/K ratio.
  • Gigliotti played in Burlington for 42 games before the Royals moved him up a slot to Low-A Lexington in the South Atlantic League. For Burlington, Michael hit 329/442/477 in 155 at-bats, with 8 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs, and an amazing 32/21 BB/K ratio. He went on to hit 302/378/419 in 86 at-bats at the next level, too.

Would you be interested in seeing the history of Appy League all-stars connected to the VBL? Of course you would!

2015- Patrick Mazeika, C, Kingsport (Waynesboro 2013)
2014- Jordan Edgerton, 3B, Danville (Woodstock 2013), Trey Cochran-Gill, RP, Pulaski (Harrisonburg 2012)
2013- Emilio Pagan, RP, Pulaski (Harrisonburg 2010) (Emilio was unscored upon in 20 1/3 innings at Pulaski)
2010- Marcus Nidiffer, 1B, Greeneville (Covington 2008-9)

Gomber Named August Pitcher of the Month

 

Austin Gomber Springfield 2017Milb.com has released its August players of the month, and our very own Austin Gomber (Luray 2012) is the Texas League pitcher of the month!

The article included this writeup about Austin:

Springfield Cardinals (Cardinals) left-hander Austin Gomber was 5-0 with a 0.91 ERA in six August starts. Gomber led the Texas league in WHIP (0.76), batting average against (.134) and ERA, while finishing second in strikeouts (44). He did not allow more than two runs in any of his six starts. Gomber, 23, was selected by St. Louis in the fourth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Florida Atlantic University.

Pretty awesome month. Overall, Austin has gone 10-7, 3.34 in 26 games started in 2017. He’s allowed 116 hits, 51 walks, and struck out 140 in 143 innings pitched. That leaves him with a 1.17 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, and 8.8 K/9. All this is Double-A- two levels from the majors, but only one phone call. (I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I would bet pretty heavily on Austin making the major leagues at some point.)

Congrats, Austin!

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Blake Whitney’s 2017 Summer

As you know, Brilliant Reader, All Things Valley League tracks both current (although there are NO “current” players at the moment) and former Valley League players.

Blake Whitney USC Upstate 2017.jpgLast year, Blake Whitney came to the Front Royal Cardinals from USC Upstate, and had an excellent season. In fact, ATVL named him the 13th best starter in the league after he went 3-2, 3.88, with a 1.355 WHIP, 3.7 B/9, and 10.2 K/9 in 48 2/3 innings. Most importantly, though, he led the league with 55 strikeouts.

Blake returned to Upstate for his junior year, and went 5-6, 5.50 with 82 strikeouts in 73 2/3 innings pitched.

Blake has again had an excellent summer. After his college season, he landed with the North Adams SteepleCats of the summer New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL). He proceeded to do this: 1-3, 2.07 in 9 starts, 52 innings, 36 hits, 13 walks, and….. 80 strikeouts! Those strikeouts broke a 4-year record for North Adams. He was named player of the week by Collegiate Summer Baseball as well.

That’s pretty awesome, but Blake’s summer wasn’t finished yet. He headed up to the Cape to join the Bourne Braves for the playoff push. He pitched in one game in the regular season, and won it after throwing 2 1/3 shutout innings and striking out 2. Then the playoffs came around, and Blake went 1-0, 0.90 in 2 games (1 start), and struck out 12 more batters in 10 innings pitched, while walking none.

As we know, the Cape is the highest level of Summer Ball in the country, and Blake definitely succeeded there.

Congratulations on your excellent summer, Blake!

Blake Whitney North Adams SteepleCats 2017 (Berkshire Eagle).jpg

Blake throwing for North Adams (Berkshire Eagle)

 

Baseball America Top 100 Prospects

Baseball America publishes a list of their top 100 prospects each year, and have done so since 1990.

So, you know what I had to do, Brilliant Reader… here is every Valley League alumnus who has been named in the history of the BA 100 list!

1990-1997: None

1998: Mike Lowell, #71, 3B, New York Yankees (Waynesboro 1993)

1999: None

2000: Adam Everett, #76, SS, Houston Astros (Winchester 1996)
Aubrey Huff, #98, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays (Staunton 1997)

2001: Jon Rauch, #4, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Harrisonburg 1998)
Aubrey Huff, #43

2002: Jon Rauch, #92

2003: Jon Rauch, #92

2004-2005: None

2006: Cliff Pennington, #83, SS, Oakland A’s (Harrisonburg 2003)

2007: None

2008: Chris Perez, #97, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Staunton 2004)

2009: Yonder Alonso, #35, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (Luray 2006)

2010: Yonder Alonso, #45

2011: Jason Kipnis, #54, 2B, Cleveland Indians (Covington 2006-07)
Yonder Alonso, #73

2012: Yonder Alonso, #33
Cory Spangenberg, #78, 2B, San Diego Padres (Winchester 2010)

2013-2017: None

If I had to guess who will make the list in the coming year, I would say Nate Pearson (Staunton 2016) had a solid shot, especially with his velocity (he’s hit 100+ on the radar gun a number of times).

So, if you’re keeping score at home, 9 different players have been named a top 100 prospect. Two come from Harrisonburg, Winchester, and Staunton, and one comes from Waynesboro, Luray, and Covington. Every single one of the nine has had a nice career in the major leagues.

Mike Lowell Boston Red Sox

Mike Lowell with the Red Sox