Minor League Record Book: Runs

So it’s time to move along to the minor league record book.

A quick note before we start. A month ago or so, I worked pretty extensively on the list of major league players with a background in the Valley. At the same time, I decided to pump up both the minor league and major league record books.

But because I didn’t want to just throw out the one from 2006-2017, I kept it, and created a new one that tries to cover as much of the history as possible. So for each category (runs today), there will be two lists: the one with the top ten (or so) from 2006-2017, and then a top 20 from history. Some names will be the same on each, but only a few.

Also, there will be a few spots where information was not complete. This is mostly in the year a player appeared in the Valley. If any of you can help me out with some of the missing years, feel free to drop me a line.

So let’s start with runs:

2006-2017
1 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 583
2 Joey Butler New Market ’06 531
3 Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 485
4 Ryan Schimpf Luray ’08 458
5 Sherman Johnson Covington ’10 431
6 Eric Campbell Luray ’06 428
7 Collin Cowgill Covington ’05 427
8 Ben Guez Covington ’06 423
9 Blake Tekotte Woodstock ’06 414
10 Tyler Bortnick Front Royal ’06 387

Major leagues: Clint Robinson, Joey Butler, Ryan Schimpf, Eric Campbell, Collin Cowgill, Blake Tekotte
Still active: Robinson, Butler, Schimpf, Sherman Johnson, Campbell (in Japan)

All-Time
1 Jeff Manto Front Royal 818
2 Andy Abad Harrisonburg ’93 753
3 Alan Cockrell Staunton 741
4 Jim Pankovits Harrisonburg ’74 679
5 Gary Jones Waynesboro ’82 642
6 Frank Menechino Harrisonburg ’92 632
7 Antoan Richardson Winchester ’03 621
8 Luis Lopez Winchester ’92-3 620
9 Doug Dascenzo Front Royal 603
10 Jon Zuber Harrisonburg ’91 595
11 Tommy Murphy Staunton ’98 592
12 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 583
13 Jack Voigt Staunton 558
14 Kevin Reese Winchester ’98 546
15 Pat Watkins Staunton 542
Emil Brown Waynesboro ’94 542
17 Joe Koshansky Staunton ’02-03 541
18 Andy Barkett Winchester ’92 536
19 Wes Timmons Winchester ’98-9 535
20 Joey Butler New Market ’06 531

On both lists: Clint Robinson, Joey Butler

Advertisements

League Record Book: Strikeouts

Along with the reduction in innings (the last entry of the 2004-2017 record book), comes the reduction of strikeouts. Here we go….

1 Tim Gudex Harrisonburg 2004 89
2 Dustin Umberger Luray 2007 88
3 Cody Weiss Luray 2010 87
4 Drew Granier Harrisonburg 2010 84
5 Robert Gilliam Luray 2007 81
6 Jeff Dagenhart New Market 2004 79
Josh Eidell Woodstock 2007 79
8 Kevin Herget Strasburg 2012 77
9 Omar Aguilar Covington 2004 76
Sean Stidfole Winchester 2004 76

The highest total in 2017 was turned in by Winchester’s Daniel Collins, with 57 total. Nick Fuchs, from Woodstock, led the regular season with 53. The highest in history belongs to John Radosevich, who struck out 212 batters for Harrisonburg in 1964.

Major Leagues: none
Current minor leagues: Kevin Herget
Previous minor leagues: Tim Gudex, Dustin Umberger, Cody Weiss, Drew Granier, Robert Gilliam, Omar Aguilar, Sean Stidfole
No Minor leagues: Jeff Dagenhart, Josh Eidell

So that does it- we’re finished the league record book from 2004. We will move on to the minor league record book next- more fun!

tim-gudex-pitching-iowa

Tim Gudex long ago

A Look at the Starters

Now that we’ve finished up the top hitters of the 2017 Valley League season, we’ll turn our attention to the list of the top ten starting pitchers.

Some thoughts before we begin:

  • Pitchers needed to qualify for the ERA title to be eligible for this list (that means .8 innings per game played by the player’s team).
  • The most important categories are strikeouts (by extension, K/9), walks (and BB/9), WHIP (walks+hits divided by innings), and batting average against. Innings can be a tie-breaker.
  • Wins are not very important in this exercise.

As usual, there were many pitchers who appeared in the 2017 VBL season who did not reach the innings threshold, but who were excellent all the same.

Here is a list of the starters who had excellent to pretty good summers but fell short because of innings:

  • Conor Gillispie, Charlottesville: 2-0, 1.58, 22 2/3 IP, 14 hits, 4 ER, 5 BB, 22 K’s, .175 BA, 0.837 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 8.7 K/9
  • Jordan Cox, Staunton: 0-1, 1.65, 16 1/3 IP, 8 hits, 3 ER, 8 BB, 24 K’s, .145 BA, 0.982 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9, 13.3 K/9
  • Colin Brown, Woodstock: 1-1, 3.46, 13 IP, 9 hits, 5 ER, 5 BB, 9 K’s, .200 BA, 1.077 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 6.2 K/9
  • Justin Sorokowski, Charlottesville: 3-1, 4.17, 32 1/3 IP, 25 hits, 15 ER, 10 BB, 22 K’s, .216 BA, 1.084 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 6.1 K/9
  • Andrue Hughart, Purcellville: 1-0, 1.45, 12 1/3 IP, 9 hits, 2 ER, 5 BB, 11 K’s, .200 BA, 1.138 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 8.0 K/9
  • Deacon Medders, Staunton: 2-1, 3.54, 33 IP, 30 hits, 13 ER, 9 BB, 32 K’s, .234 BA, 1.182 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 8.7 K/9
  • Ryan Ruggles, Front Royal: 3-2, 3.03, 32 2/3 IP, 36 hits, 11 ER, 5 BB, 27 K’s, .273 BA, 1.254 WHIP, 1.4 BB/9, 7.4 K/9
  • Michael Dailey, Charlottesville: 2-1, 3.17, 28 1/3 IP, 26 hits, 10 ER, 10 BB, 25 K’s, .243 BA, 1.272 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 8.0 K/9
  • Sean Lawlor, Covington: 1-2, 3.21, 28 IP, 29 hits, 10 ER, 8 BB, 24 K’s, .259 BA, 1.321 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
  • Ryan Leckich, Front Royal: 1-1, 2.02, 26 2/3 IP, 17 hits, 6 ER, 19 BB, 23K’s, .179 BA, 1.348 WHIP, 6.4 BB/9, 7.8 K/9
  • Mark Moclair, Front Royal: 2-2, 2.92, 27 2/3 IP, 14 hits, 9 ER, 25 BB, 46 K’s, .154 BA, 1.408 WHIP, 8.1 BB/9, 14.9 K/9
  • Matthew Young, Harrisonburg: 2-1, 3.20, 19 2/3 IP, 18 hits, 7 ER, 10 BB, 28 K’s, .243 BA, 1.421 WHIP, 4.6 BB/9, 12.8 K/9

 

League Record Book: Innings Pitched

I have to admit, Brilliant Reader, that innings pitched is not a very “sexy” category, but I decided to include it to show how much the game has changed. Take a look at the highest totals of innings pitched since the 2004 VBL season:

1 Tucker Pryor Front Royal 2008 79.0
2 Joshua MacDonald New Market 2005 76.0
3 Aaron Luchterhand Harrisonburg 2011 73.0
4 Drew Granier Harrisonburg 2010 72.2
5 Kyle Dubois Woodstock 2004 72.1
6 Lee Tabor New Market 2005 71.0
7 Peden Rucker Winchester 2005 70.2
8 Ross Fetterly New Market 2007 69.2
9 Jon Dages Waynesboro 2007 68.2
Ben Hildreth Haymarket 2008 68.2

With pitch counts and college coaches wanting more and more to protect arms (and why not?), the highest total this season was Strasburg’s Benjamin Dum, who ended up with 58 total innings pitched for Strasburg- a full 10 2/3 innings behind Dages and Hildreth. No one has joined this list in 6 seasons now. Interesting, no?

Major leagues: None
Previous minor leagues: Drew Granier, Lee Tabor
Independent Leagues: Peden Rucker, Ben Hildreth
No pro ball: Tucker Pryor, Joshua MacDonald, Aaron Luchterhand, Kyle Dubois, Ross Fetterly, Jon Dages

Tucker Pryor Front Royal

Tucker Pryor throwing for Front Royal in 2008 (Credit: Haymarket Joe, AKA Joseph Cashwell)

#1 Hitter: Michael Wielansky, Charlottesville

Before we start the discussion of our #1 hitter from 2017, let’s take a quick look at the former #1 choices:

2016- Zach Sterry, Waynesboro
2015- Shane Billings, Harrisonburg
2014- Gunnar McNeill, Staunton
2013- Jordan Tarsovich, Strasburg
2012- Jimmy Yezzo, Winchester
2011- Brad Zebedis, Strasburg
2010- Cory Spangenberg, Winchester
2009- Stephen McQuail, Front Royal
2008- Tyler Townsend, Winchester
2007- Jason Kipnis, Covington

Some years, the choice for the best hitter in the league is a tough one. In 2007, for example, ATVL waffled between Zach Greinke and Jason Kipnis for forever, it seemed, until the final choice of Kipnis was made.

Michel Wielansky Charlottesvile 2017

This year, however, the choice was perhaps the easiest in the 11 years of listing the best that set foot in the Valley.

In what should come as exactly zero surprise, the best hitter in the 2017 Valley League season is Charlottesville’s Michael Wielansky!

Here is what Michael did for the Tom Sox in he regular season and playoffs:

VBL G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS Avg OBP SLG
2017 37 155 38 67 18 4 4 34 20 15 11 1 0.432 0.489 0.677
Play 7 32 8 13 1 0 1 6 4 0 2 0 0.406 0.459 0.531

Do you want to know what made Michael an easy choice for #1, Dear Reader? Michael finished 1st in the league in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, total bases, doubles, hits, and runs. He also tied for 3rd in RBIs, tied for 6th in home runs, and finished 3rd in triples. That’s first in 8 categories, and top five in 10.

His season was so amazing that he entered the league record book (from 2004) in 6 categories: batting average (1st), runs (tied for 4th), hits (tied for 1st), doubles (tied for 2nd), triples (tied for 10th), and total bases (6th). Holy smokes!

He was critically important to the best team in all of summer baseball (according to Perfect Game); so much so, that when the Tom Sox were given the Jim Lineweaver Trophy, Michael’s teammates sent him to receive the trophy from Commissioner Alger. A nice touch!

Michael had 5 hits in a game once, 4 hits 3 times, 3 hits 6 times, 2 hits 16 times, and had at least one hit in 39 of 44 games. He also started the season with a 14 game hitting streak. He was obviously named the league MVP, first team All-Valley at second base, and Perfect Game named him a 1st team All-American. Baseball America named him the 9th best prospect in the league, while Perfect Game pegged him at #4.

This all just added to the young man’s resume, which is already pretty full. Take a gander at what he’s done at Wooster:

Woo G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS Avg OBP SLG
2016 49 195 61 73 18 5 7 52 30 20 22 2 0.374 0.461 0.626
2017 46 186 69 79 15 6 10 54 19 13 20 9 0.425 0.509 0.731

So. Michael led his college team in 2016, as a true freshman, in runs, doubles, triples, home runs, stolen bases, and slugging percentage. After that season, he was named second team All-Region by ABCA and D3baseball.com. He was named first team All-Conference, and NCAC New comer of the Year.

Then as a sophomore in 2017, Michael led his college team in runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, batting average, slugging percentage, and even with 15 hit-by-pitches! He was named a first team All-American by ABCA, Mideast Region Player of the Year, ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove winner at shortstop, and to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District team.

All of this is amazing. Michael might have just had the best Valley League season in the past 15 years, and perhaps one of the best ever. Congratulations on your truly amazing season in the Valley League, Michael!

 

 

League Record Book: Saves

The next category of pitchers in our 2004-2017 league record book is saves, yet another flawed stat. And to be clear, Brilliant Reader, I saw some weird stuff in the 2017 box scores regarding saves. Once, I saw a pitcher who threw the 8th inning, but not the 9th, given a save (I don’t want to go through all of the box scores to find it, so maybe it was fixed later…). I also saw at least two pitchers throw 3 shutout innings of relief, while finishing the game their team won, and not be given a save. It’s very possible I’m missing something, but….

ANYWAY, let’s take a look at official saves given….

1 Adam Zipko New Market 2013 18
2 Chris Dennis Winchester 2004 15
3 Derrik Lutz Front Royal 2004 14
4 Brandon Dickson New Market 2005 13
Joel Brookens Front Royal 2007 13
Jimmy Stanley Waynesboro 2007 13
Shawn Griffith Fauquier 2008 13
8 Bobby Hernandez Staunton 2007 12
9 Chris Fessler Harrisonburg 2005 11
Daniel Bridgeman Strasburg 2013 11

Adam Zipko crushed this list in 2013, earning 20% more saves than the previous high, set all the way back in 2004. The highest total in 2017 was shared by Purcellville’s Dalton Whitaker, Woodstock’s Jonathon Murphy, and Purcellville’s Trey Alderman, who all ended up with 5 saves. (I think managers should manage with no consideration for the save statistic, so I’m all for this trend.)

Major leagues: Brandon Dickson
Previous minor leagues: Chris Dennis, Derrik Lutz, Shawn Griffith, Bobby Hernandez, Chris Fessler
No pro ball: Adam Zipko, Joel Brookens, Jimmy Stanley (pitched in Indy Ball), Daniel Bridgeman

Adam Zipko Millersville

Zipko at Millersville

#2 Hitter: Brandon Quaranta, Strasburg

Brandon Quaranta Phil U 2017This young man, Brandon Quaranta, has cut a pretty wide swath through the Valley League in his two seasons in Strasburg. If you follow the Valley League with any regularity, Brilliant Reader, you’ve heard of this young man and his hitting ability and monstrous power. (He pitches, too, of course.)

Let’s get right to the stats, for both 2016 and 2017, along with Brandon’s playoff stats, with the totals at the end:

VBL G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS Avg OBP SLG
2016 20 80 17 30 7 1 6 24 4 15 1 0 0.375 0.425 0.713
Play 7 29 9 13 2 0 5 12 3 8 0 0 0.448 0.500 1.034
2017 38 151 36 50 11 0 11 49 25 32 1 0 0.331 0.448 0.623
Play 9 35 8 7 0 0 1 3 11 7 0 0 0.200 0.383 0.286
Tot. 74 295 70 100 20 1 23 88 43 62 2 0 0.339 0.438 0.647

In 2016, even though Brandon came late and didn’t get enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title, he finished 4th in the league in home runs, and was named 1st team All-Valley at designated hitter.

In 2017, He had 4 hits in a game 4 times, and, perhaps not so coincidentally, was named ATVL’s hitter of the day 4 times as well. His best game was on July 21 against Woodstock, when he went 4-6, with 3 runs, a double, 2 home runs, and 7 RBIs.

He finished 3rd in OPS, 7th in OBP, 4th in slugging, tied for 5th in walks, 3rd in total bases, 1st in RBIs, 1st in home runs, tied for 4th in doubles, 9th in hits, and tied for 3rd in runs. That’s top 5 in 8 categories! He was named, again, first team All-Valley at DH, and a 2nd team All-American at utility in the entire nation by Perfect Game. Oh, right- he won the home run derby in the All-Star game, too!

Brandon also made both big prospect lists; he was named #8 in the league by Baseball America, and #9 by Perfect Game.

Now let’s take a look at what Brandon has done at Philadelphia University (which, by the way, will now by known as “Jefferson,” after the merger between Phil U and Thomas Jefferson University).

PU G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS Avg OBP SLG
2015 19 41 4 8 0 0 1 8 9 12 2 0 0.195 0.340 0.268
2016 35 102 22 34 3 0 7 25 15 20 3 0 0.333 0.444 0.569
2017 47 157 45 45 8 1 15 41 34 34 12 1 0.287 0.430 0.637
Tot. 101 300 71 87 11 1 23 74 58 66 17 1 0.290 0.423 0.563

Brandon led his team in home runs, RBIs, and walks in 2017, and was named to the All-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference First Team.

And just for fun, let’s combine Brandon’s stats from the Valley League and his college team:

175 games, 595 at-bats, 141 runs, 187 hits, 31 doubles, 2 triples, 46 home runs, 162 RBIs, 101 walks, 128 strikeouts, 19 stolen bases (1 caught stealing), and a slash line of 314/430/605. Wow.

Congratulations on your two excellent seasons in the Valley, Brandon! Now go out there and have another great year at Jefferson, and force a major league team to draft you in June! (And happy birthday!)

Brandon Quaranta at bat 2017 resizedBrandon Quaranta close up resized 2017