Minor League Record Book “Movement”

Some of you know that I spent a few weeks working on my overall list of former Valley Leaguers who have played in the major leagues, but at the same time, I was updating both the major league AND the minor league record books. And, of course, being the nerd that I am, I love to keep track of the movement throughout both the major league and minor league seasons.

So, Brilliant Reader, read on to see some movement (and some potential milestones) on the minor league record books.

  • Erik Kratz (Waynesboro 2000, Harrisonburg 2001) was drafted in 2002, so he’s slowly moving up in a couple categories.
    • Doubles. Erik started the year with 199, in 14th place. He now has 4 on theErik Kratz Columbus 2017 season, putting him at 203, and 11th all time. He passed Tony Thomas (Harrisonburg 2005), Ryan Shealy (Harrisonburg 1999), and Wes Timmons (Winchester 1998-99). Tenth place is held by Tommy Murphy (Staunton 1998), who finished with 205 career doubles.
    • Home runs. Erik started 2017 with 110, in 12th place. He now has 115, and is in 10th place. He passed Jack Voigt (Staunton) and Stephen Smitherman (Winchester 1998-99). Next up, in 9th place, is Ryan Schimpf (Luray 2008), who has 120 dingers.
    • RBI. 440 pre-season, which was out of the top 20. Erik now has 450, which is 4 RBIs away from the player at #20- Pat Watkins (Staunton).
  • Clint Robinson (Harrisonburg 2005-06) is on the leader board several times as well.
    • Runs. Clint had 534 pre-2017, and was in 19th place. He now has 545, and is in 14th place. He passed Timmons, Andy Barkett (Winchester 1992), Joe Koshansky (Staunton 2002-03), Emil Brown (Waynesboro 1994), and Watkins. Clint RobinsonNext up is Kevin Reese (Winchester 1998), who has 546 career runs.
    • Hits- 1,016, 10th place pre-2017. Clint now has 1038. He’s still in 10th place, and is 22 hits away from Murphy at #9.
    • Doubles- 238 before the season, tied for 6th place (with Jon Zuber (Harrisonburg 1991). Now 242, in 6th alone, and 7 doubles away from Barkett in 5th place.
    • Home runs- 141 preseason, tied for 6th place (with Alan Cockrell (Staunton)). Now 146, alone in 6th, but only 1 home run away from 5th place (Christopher Carter (Waynesboro 2001)).
    • RBIs- 587 preseason, in 9th place. Now with 608 (milestone!), and in 6th place, after passing Carter, Shealy, and Barkett. Next is Koshansky with 658.
    • Walks- 409 preseason, tied for 18th (with Joey Butler (New Market 2006), who is still active). Now with 418, he passed Butler and Steve Decker (Front Royal). Koshansky is in 16th place with 420.
    • Batting average- .302 preseason, tied for 12th place. Now at .299, he’s dropped into a tie for 17th place.
  • Joey Butler, as mentioned above, is on the leader board or close in several categories. He has been on the disabled list for a while, so he hasn’t moved as much as Robinson.
    • Runs- 523 pre-2017, tied for 20th place (with Louie Meadows (Staunton)). Now Joey Butlerwith 524, he’s alone in 20th, and 11 runs behind Timmons in 19th.
    • Hits- 941 through 2016, 17th place. He’s now at 946 hits, still in 17th, but 7 hits behind Reese. And 54 from 1,000!
    • 2B- 177 pre-2017, 178 now, and still 14 doubles behind 20th place (Reese and Carter).
    • HR- 90, and has not hit one yet in 2017. #20, Marshall McDougall (New Market 1998), has 92.
    • RBI- 441, now has 443, 11 from #20 (Watkins).
    • Walks- 409, tied for 18th with Robinson. Now has 410, in 18th place alone, 2 walks from Decker.
  • Rudy Flores (Haymarket 2010) entered 2017 with 83 home runs. He now has 89, and is only 3 behind McDougall for 20th place.
  • Sherman Johnson (Covington 2009-10) is nearing 20th place on two lists…
    • Triples. Sherman had 29 through 2016, and now has 30. This puts him 2 away from tying for 20th place.
    • Walks. He had 369 before the season, and he now has 390, which is only 5 away from 20th place!
  • Tyler White (Haymarket 2010) is our last hitter.
    • Batting average- started 2017 at .301, in 14th place. He’s dropped to .298, which puts him in a tie for 19th place.
  • Scott Copeland (Staunton 2007) is our first pitcher.
    • Wins- Scott had 52 pre-2017, with put him in a tie for 18th (with Mike Ballard (Staunton 2004)). He has 55 now, which puts him in a tie for 14th place (with Jamie Brewington (New Market 1992)). He passed Mike O’Connor (New Market 2001), Matt Fox (Staunton 2003), and Brandon Dickson (New Market 2006). There is a 4-way tie for #10 with 59 wins- that’s next for Scott.
    • Strikeouts- 529 pre-2017, now has 556. #20 on the list is Ralph Citarella (Staunton) with 654.
  • Stephen Kohlscheen (Harrisonburg 2010)
    • ERA- Stephen was at 3.21 pre-2017, and is now at 3.20. He hasn’t moved from #11. Colter Bean (Winchester 1997) is 10th, with an career ERA of 3.16.
  • Brad Mills (Harrisonburg 2005) deserves a mention here. He’s currently 8th in wins with 62, and 5th in strikeouts with 858, but he has not pitched yet in 2017 due to an injury.

A Retrospective Look at VBL Prospects

Each year, ATVL posts updates on top prospects, originally from the Valley League, from different outlets. Baseball Prospectus, one of those outlets, has made all its old lists available, so ATVL was able to compile a list of all alumni who have been mentioned since 2007.

It’s a fascinating list. Of course, many players are mentioned more than once, but take a look at this blast from the past!

2016

Ryan Yarbrough (Luray 2012), Seattle #5 (Before he was traded to Tampa Bay)
Max Povse (Staunton 2013), Seattle #4

2015

Kaleb Fleck (Waynesboro 2008,10), Arizona #10
Jake Johansen (Front Royal 2011), Washington #8

2014

Tommy LaStella (Haymarket 2009), Atlanta #6
Jake Johansen (Front Royal 2011), Washington #5

2013

Eric Stamets (Haymarket 2010), Los Angeles Angels #10
Tommy LaStella (Haymarket 2009), Atlanta #9
Mac Williamson (Harrisonburg 2011), San Francisco #7
Tyler Thornburg (Winchester 2008), Milwaukee #2
Cory Spangenberg (Winchester 2010), San Diego #10

2012

Alex Wimmers (Luray 2008), Minnesota #7
Collin Cowgill (Covington 2005), Oakland #9
Tyler Thornburg (Winchester 2008), Milwaukee #4
Cory Spangenberg (Winchester 2010), San Diego #4
Carlos Gutierrez (Luray 2007), Minnesota #17
Kevin Munson (Covington 2008), Arizona #18
Scott Cousins (Harrisonburg 2005), Miami #16
Blake Tekotte (Woodstock 2006), San Diego #15

2011

Jason Kipnis (Covington 2006-07), Cleveland #1
Alex Wimmers (Luray 2008), Minnesota #8
Brandon Beachy (Woodstock 2008), Atlanta #10
Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006), Cincinnati #6
Carlos Gutierrez (Luray 2007), Minnesota #13
Blake Tekotte (Woodstock 2006), San Diego #20
Scott Cousins (Harrisonburg 2005), Miami #11
Tyler Thornburg (Winchester 2008), Milwaukee #15

2010

Jason Kipnis (Covington 2006-07), Cleveland #8
Carlos Gutierrez (Luray 2007), Minnesota #8
Tommy Manzella (Waynesboro 2003), Houston #7
Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006), Cincinnati #4
Brad Mills (Harrisonburg 2005), Toronto #14
Jon Jay (Staunton 2004), St.Louis #12

2009

Carlos Gutierrez (Luray 2007), Minnesota #9
Brad Mills (Harrisonburg 2005), Toronto #6
Chris Perez (Staunton 2004), St. Louis #3
Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006), Cincinnati #1
Collin Cowgill (Covington 2005), Arizona #9
Jon Jay (Staunton 2004), St.Louis “just missed”

2008

Jack Egbert (Winchester 2003), Chicago White Sox #7
Chris Perez (Staunton 2004), St. Louis #2
Daniel Murphy (Luray 2004-05), New York Mets #9
Tony Thomas (Harrisonburg 2005), Chicago Cubs #10
Tommy Manzella (Waynesboro 2003), Houston “just missing”

2007

Kevin Kouzmanoff (Winchester 2002), San Diego #1
Chris Perez (Staunton 2004), St. Louis #6
Joe Koshansky (Staunton 2002-03), Colorado #10

Minor League Record Book: ERA in a Season

Welcome to the last minor league record book category- best ERA in a season by a Valley League alumnus since the 2006 draft! I have set the minimum at 120 innings pitched, by the way.

1 Brad Mills Harrisonburg ’05 2008 1.95
2 Elih Villanueva Luray ’07 2010 2.26
3 Rowdy Hardy Staunton ’04 2007 2.48
Chad Kuhl New Market ’12 2015 2.48
5 Tyler Thornburg Winchester ’08 2011 2.57
6 Michael Bowman Staunton ’06 2009 2.60
7 Harrison Cooney Front Royal ’12 2014 2.65
8 Austin Gomber Luray ’12 2015 2.67
9 Cole McCurry New Market ’05 2009 2.71
10 Taylor Hill Winchester ’08 2014 2.81

Oddly enough, no one is on the list twice. The most recent add is Austin Gomber in 2015- in at #8.

Major leaguers: Brad Mills, Elih Villanueva, Chad Kuhl, Tyler Thornburg, Taylor Hill

Still in affiliated ball: Mills, Kuhl, Thornburg, Harrison Cooney (injured much of ’16), Gomber, and Hill

All we have left is the major league portion of the record book- starting soon!

Chad Kuhl in the majors in 2016

Chad Kuhl in the majors in 2016

Minor League Record Book: Career Strikeouts

Next up: minor league career strikeouts by Valley League alumni since 2006! Some of the same characters here….

1 Brad Mills Harrisonburg ’05 858
2 Elih Villanueva Luray ’07 704
3 Brandon Dickson New Market ’06 663
4 Mike Ballard Staunton ’04 642
5 Greg Burke New Market ’03 605
Cole McCurry New Market ’05 605
7 Tim Sexton Staunton ’06-07 555
8 Scott Copeland Staunton ’07 529
9 Tobi Stoner Front Royal ’05 518
10 Drew Granier Harrisonburg ’09-10 483

Brad Mills is crushing the opposition! And he’s one of the few still active- just Scott Copeland. It’s not likely that Mills will top 1,000 in 2017 (he’s only topped 150 K’s in one minor league year before), but with two more seasons, it seems definitely possible.

It just doesn’t seem that pitchers hang around as long as hitters do!

Next up: ERA.

Brad Mills pitching for the Oakland A's in 2014

Brad Mills pitching for the Oakland A’s in 2014

Minor League Record Book: ERA in a Season

Best ERA totals in a season in the minors- minimum 120 innings pitched, since the 2006 draft… and this is the last minor league record book entry!

1 Brad Mills Harrisonburg ’05 2008- 1.95

2 Elih Villanueva Luray ’07 2010- 2.26

3 Rowdy Hardy Staunton ’04 2007- 2.48

Chad Kuhl New Market ’12 2015- 2.48

5 Tyler Thornburg Winchester ’08 2011- 2.57

6 Michael Bowman Staunton ’06 2009- 2.60

7 Harrison Cooney Front Royal ’12 2014- 2.65

8 Austin Gomber Luray ’12 2015- 2.67

9 Cole McCurry New Market ’05 2009- 2.71

10 Taylor Hill Winchester ’08 2014- 2.81

That’s it, folks!

Minor League Record Book: Career Strikeouts

Which Valley League alumni are on the top ten list for career minor league strikeouts?

1 Brad Mills Harrisonburg ’05- 826

2 Elih Villanueva Luray ’07- 704

3 Brandon Dickson New Market ’06- 663

4 Mike Ballard Staunton ’04- 642

5 Greg Burke New Market ’03- 605

Cole McCurry New Market ’05- 605

7 Tim Sexton Staunton ’06-07- 555

8 Tobi Stoner Front Royal ’05- 518

9 Scott Copeland Staunton ’07- 496

10 Drew Granier Harrisonburg ’09-10- 483

Interesting list. Six of these pitchers have pitched at the highest level- Mills, Villanueva, Dickson, Burke, Stoner, and Copeland.

Ballard, McCurry, Sexton, Stoner, and Granier are out of organized ball.

Harrisonburg bookends the list, but New Market and Staunton each have 3 representatives- wow- and Luray and Front Royal have one each.

Minor League Starting Pitchers From Thursday, April 23

Former Valley Leaguers in the minor leagues on the bump:

Starts for Thursday, April 23

  • Brad Mills (Harrisonburg 2005) for AAA Nashville: 6 IP, 5 hits, 4 earned runs, 3 BB, 3 K’s, game score of 46, loss, 4-2. (0-3, 6.75 for the year)
  • Blaine Sims (New Market 2010) for A Lancaster: 5 IP, 6 hits, 4 earned runs, 3 BB, 3 K’s, game score of 39, loss, 11-5. (0-3, 14.29 on the year)
  • Matt Benedict (Haymarket 2009-10) for A Bradenton: 5 IP, 6 hits, 1 earned run, 2 BB, 6 K’s, game score of 55, win, 6-3 (2-0, 1.93 for the year)
  • Austin Chrismon (Strasburg 2013) for A Quad Cities: 5 Ip, 5 hits, 3 runs, 0 earned, 0 BB, 6 K’s, game score of 57, win, 4-3 (1-1, 3.46 for the year)

Starts Scheduled for Friday, April 24

  • Drew Rucinski (Luray 2009-10) for AAA Salt Lake
  • Chad Kuhl (New Market 2012) for AA Altoona
  • Brandon Sinnery (Winchester 2009) for AA Mobile
  • Reed Garrett (New Market 2013) for A Hickory