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!


Two Named NY-Penn League All-Stars

Two former Valley Leaguers have been named to the New York-Penn League All-Star teams, released a few days ago. Both of these players were drafted in June, and are off to very good starts!

  • Ben Breazeale (Harrisonburg 2014) was named to the NYP South team. Ben was drafted in the 7th round in June, and plays for the Aberdeen Orioles. He’s hitting 361/466/521 in 144 at-bats, with 14 doubles, 3 home runs, and a solid 28/35 BB/K rate.
  • Ryan Gridley (Waynesboro 2015) was named to the North squad. Ryan was drafted this June in the 11th round by the Oakland A’s, and plays for the Vermont Lake Monsters. The Lake Monsters. Sigh. Anyway, he’s hitting 269/372/328 in 134 at-bats, with 8 doubles and a 20/18 BB/K rate.

Congrats to both!


Four Hitters off to Screaming Starts

(Not a Daniel Murphy scream, but a scorching hot start…)

  • Tyler Ratliff (Purcellville 2016-7) was drafted by Texas in the 17th round just a couple weeks ago. After signing, he was sent to the Arizona League, where he is annihilating the pitching. Overall, he’s hitting 500/541/618 in his first 34 pro at-bats, with 13 runs scored, 9 RBIs, and 4 doubles. He went 5-5 with 5 RBIs in his second game as a professional.
  • Ben Breazeale (Harrisonburg 2014) was drafted by the Orioles ten rounds before Ratliff. He’s appeared in ten games so far, and hit safely in nine of them for Aberdeen. He’s at 486/571/771, with 6 runs, 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs, and a 7/8 BB/K ratio. He went 4-5 just last night.
  • Robby Rinn (Aldie 2013) was drafted in 2016 by the Royals. He hit 280/341/386 in 189 at-bats in his pro debut, but has exploded in 16 games and 66 at-bats in 2017 so far. He’s at 379/468/545 for Idaho Falls, with 13 runs, 5 doubles, 2 home runs, and a whopping 21 RBIs.
  • Gabriel Garcia (Winchester 2016) had a very good pro debut in 2016, hitting 300/393/500 and being noticed by various media outlets as a prospect to watch. Now a year later, and assigned to Helena of the Pioneer League, Gabriel is hitting 308/471/481 in 15 games and 52 at-bats. He has 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 11 RBIs, and 12 walks. He’s one to watch.

The 2017 Draft List

Here is the list of the 44 former (and current) Valley League players drafted this year…

1   28 Nate Pearson, RHP, Central Florida, Toronto Blue Jays (Staunton 16)
4  120 Michael Gigliotti, CF, Lipscomb, Kansas City Royals (Covington 15)
4  126 Garrett Cave, RHP, Tampa, San Francisco Giants (Staunton 15)
6  190 Wills Montgomerie, RHP, Connecticut, Los Angeles Dodgers (Waynesboro 15)
7 198 Nick Margevicius, LHP, Rider, San Diego Padres (Staunton 15)
7 218 Ben Breazeale, C, Wake Forest, Baltimore Orioles (Harrisonburg 14)
8 243 Billy Cooke, CF, Coastal Carolina, Seattle Mariners (Charlottesville 15)
8 251 Zach Sterry, 1B, Oakland, Boston Red Sox (Waynesboro 2016)
11 321 Ryan Gridley, SS, Mississippi State, Oakland A’s (Waynesboro 2015)
11 338 Trevor Craport, Util, Georgia Tech, Baltimore Orioles (Harrisonburg 16)
11 339 Donnie Sellers, RHP, Wake Forest, Toronto Blue Jays (Harrisonburg 2016)
13 385 Kevin Williams, LF, Samford, Los Angeles Angels (Front Royal 2016)
13 398 Reed Hayes, RHP, Vanderbilt, Baltimore Orioles (Staunton 15)
15 451 Kyle Davis, 2B, West Virginia, Houston Astros (Charlottesville 15)
15 458 Juan Escarra, 1B, Florida International, Baltimore Orioles (Staunton 14)
17 524 Tyler Ratliff, 3B, Marshall, Texas Rangers (Purcellville 16)
18 551 Dominic LoBrutto, LHP, Florida International, Boston (Winchester 16)
19 574 Irving Lopez, 2B, Florida International, St.Louis (Staunton 16)
19 583 Jonathan Pryor, OF, Wake Forest, Washington Nationals (Harrisonburg 16)
20 598 Will Reed, RHP, Harford CC, Pittsburgh Pirates (Purcellville 16)
21 618 Greg Lambert, CF, S.Illinois Carbondale, San Diego (Front Royal 15)
22 655 James Ziemba, LHP, Duke, Arizona (Harrisonburg 14-15)
22 658 Brett Pope, SS, Western Carolina, Pittsburgh (Charlottesville 15)
23 681 Malik Jones, RHP, Missouri Baptist, Oakland (Purcell, Harrison 16)
24 732 Riley Echols, RHP, Freed Hardeman, Cleveland (Charles Town 15)
24 734 Brooks Wilson, RHP, Stetson, Texas (Waynesboro 15)
25 765 Mitch Stophel, RHP, King, Chicago Cubs (Front Royal 16)
26 772 Abraham Almonte, LHP, Philadelphia, Arizona (Strasburg 16)
26 776 Aubrey McCarty, RF, Florida A&M, Colorado (Waynesboro 15)
26 785 Drew Crosby, LHP, Memphis, Detroit (Winchester 15)
26 793 Kameron Esthay, OF, Baylor, Washington (Harrisonburg 15)
27 808 David Lee, RHP, Florida, Pittsburgh (Winchester 15-6)
27 810 Nick Hutchins, C, S.Illinois Carbondale, Kansas City (Front Royal 15)
27 812 Alex Mauricio, RHP, Norfolk State, New York Yankees (Waynesboro 15)
28 835 Bernabe Camargo, SS, Galveston, Arizona Diamondbacks (Front Royal 16)
28 848 Zach Jarrett, OF, UNC CHarlotte, Baltimore (Woodstock 14)
29 876 Frank Rubio, RHP, Florida, San Francisco (Front Royal 16)
30 891 Cody Puckett, LHP, Middle Tennessee, Oakland (Front Royal 15)
31 936 Keenan Bartlett, RHP, Richmond, San Francisco (Winchester 15)
33 996 Peyton Maddox, C, VMI, San Francisco (Charles Town 15, Staunton 16)
34 1019 Karl Craigie, LHP, UT San Antonio, Miami (Charles Town 14)
35 1060 Colby Nealy, RHP, Washington State, LA Dodgers (Strasburg 15)
37 1107 Ted Andrews, RHP, Tulane, Chicago White Sox (Front Royal 17)
39 1185 Cooper Coldiron, INF, Houston, Chicago Cubs (Charles Town 15)

Eight Named to J. Bench Award Watch List

Each year, the “Johnny Bench Award” is awarded to the top Division-I catcher by The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. Semi-finalists will be announced on May 17th, and the winner on June 29th.

Eighty-five catchers have been nominated by their coaches thus far (players can be added up until May 1).

Eight former Valley Leaguers have been named to the original watch list, which was released on on March 9th. Here are the eight catchers (in alphabetical order):

  • Ben Breazeale, Wake Forest (Harrisonburg 2014). Ben is hitting 385/452/596 in 52 at-bats for the Demon Deacons so far this season.
  • Michael Curry, Georgia (Strasburg 2016). He’s hitting 254/333/475 in 59 at-bats. He leads the Bulldogs with 4 home runs, 17 RBIs, and 28 total bases so far this season.
  • Austin Hale, Stetson (Woodstock 2013, Waynesboro 2015). Austin’s hitting 167/244/194 in 36 at-bats so far.
  • Jake Kusz, UNC Greensboro (Harrisonburg 2016). Jake has appeared in only 2 games so far, and went 2-4.
  • Spencer Levine, Florida Gulf Coast (Winchester 2015-16). He’s hitting 269/403/423 in 52 at-bats so far in 2017.
  • Peyton Maddox, VMI (Charles Town 2015, Staunton 2016). Peyton is hitting 261/382/543 in 46 at-bats for the Keydets.
  • Fabian Pena, Manhattan (Covington 2016). He’s hitting 326/370/442 in 43 at-bats so far. Whoa- just noticed this. On Fabian’s bio page, this line jumps out: “Turned in arguably the finest season in school history” in 2016, his freshman year.
  • Jake Sidwell, Davidson (Charlottesville 2015). He’s hitting 269/472/385 in 26 at-bats in 2017.

Good luck to all of you- hopefully one of you will win the award!