Update on Lang, Villanueva, Jones, and O’Reilly

For our afternoon post, here are four quick updates on former Valley Leaguers!

  • Michael Lang (Haymarket 2009), a free agent signee of the Arizona Diamondbacks back in 2012, spent parts of two seasons in the Diamondback system. He was scooped up by Sioux City of the Independent American Association, and has now spent parts of 5 seasons there. A few days ago, he set the franchise record for career triples- he has 23 in his Indy ball career. He already owned the single season record, by the way.
  • Elih Villanueva (Luray 2007) is an old name among ATVL’s regular readers. He started 170 minor league games between 2008 and 2015, and 1 major league game in 2011 (against the Phillies, who whacked him pretty good). Elih was released by the Baltimore Orioles after the 2015 minor league season. He pitched in the Dominican Winter League, but was not signed by another club. He didn’t pitch in 2016, but signed with the Independent Lancaster Barnstormers in the Atlantic League this spring, where he went 5-1, 2.72 in 7 starts. All this to say that Elih was signed by the Red Sox a couple days ago, and is scheduled to start for Double-A Portland tonight. (I moved him back into the “active” file!)
  • You might remember Bradley Jones (Charles Town 2015) from his monster home run derby at the All-Star game in 2015, but he should also be known for being a darn good hitter in games, too. An 18th round pick in 2016, he was assigned to Low-A Lansing of the Midwest League in April. But after hitting 326/395/560 in 184 at-bats, he’s been promoted to High-A Dunedin of the Florida State League.
  • The Cardinals drafted Mike O’Reilly (Woodstock 2014) in the 27th round of the 2016 amateur draft. Today he was named a Midwest League All-Star after going 3-1, 2.08 in 39 innings. He’s given up 29 hits, 3 walks, and struck out 39. Way to go, Mike!

That’s all for now….


Jones, Alonso Get Some Hardware

Two former Valley Leaguers have received some hardware over the past week- one at the minor league level, one at the major league level.

Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays) first baseman Bradley Jones led the Midwest League in home runs (six), RBIs (23) and total bases (58), while finishing second in average (.372), hits (32), slugging (.674) and OPS (1.089). He recorded 10 multi-hit games and separate hit streaks of seven and eight games in April. Jones, 21, was selected by Toronto in the 18th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of the College of Charleston.

Bradley has come down a little bit since May started, but his stats are still awesome overall. He’s now hitting 333/395/595 overall, with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 6 home runs, 19 runs, and 26 RBIs. I would not be the least surprised if he finds himself a level higher pretty soon.

  • Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006) was named the player of the week by Baseball America for the period ending May 7th. If you haven’t been following what Yonder’s been doing so far this season, you need to head over to the Facebook page to see some of the highlights. Last night, he hit his 10th AND 11th home runs- 10 was a new career high- and it’s only May 10th. This is what Kyle Glaser wrote in BA…Yonder Alonso

Alonso, 30, hit .409 (9-for-22) with five runs scored, a double, five home runs and 10 RBI over six games to claim his first career Player of the Week Award. The week included the first multi-home run game of his career on Saturday against Detroit. The four-time BA Top 100 prospect has already tied his career-high for home runs in a season (9) and is on pace to set a new career-high in slugging percentage by more than 100 points.

Congratulations to both men!


2016 Rookie Leagues Hitter of the Year

We’re ready to start another of our offseason “series”- the hitter and pitcher of the year from each level of professional baseball. This is the 3rd year of this series already. My, how time flies.

The minor leagues are broken down into five different levels:

Rookie- Arizona, Gulf Coast, Appalachian, and Pioneer Leagues
Short-Season A- Northwest and New York-Penn Leagues
Full Season A- Carolina, California, South Atlantic, Florida State, and Midwest Leagues
Double A- Texas, Eastern, and Southern Leagues
Triple A- Pacific Coast and International Leagues

Then, of course, we look at the major leagues, too. So let’s start with the lowest level, and work our way to the top.

Rookie Leagues Hitter of the Year: Bradley Jones, Bluefield

Bradley Jones (Charles Town 2015) was picked in the 18th round of the 2016 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, was assigned to Bluefield of the Appy League, and proceeded to crush the league with his power.

Overall, Bradley hit 291/336/578 in 61 games and 237 at-bats. He scored 41 runs, drove in 55, hit 18 doubles, 1 triple, and 16 home runs, and even stole 16 bases. His final BB/K was 17/71. ATVL is excited to see what he might do in full-season ball in 2017!

Previous Winners:

2015- Patrick Mazeika (Waynesboro 2013)
2014- Logan Moon (Winchester 2012)

Others for Consideration:

  • Anthony Dimino, Kingsport (Covington 2013)- 325/437/410 in 117 AB, 22/20 BB/K
  • Hunter Newman, Cardinals (Front Royal 2014)- 297/391/459 in 74 AB
  • Nicholas Sinay, Bluefield (Front Royal 2014)- 246/435/304 in 191 AB, 34 SB
  • Robert Bennie, Athletics (Waynesboro 2014)- 336/388/500 in 110 AB, 5 3B
  • Michael Brosseau, Rays (Waynesboro 2015)- 319/424/442 in 113 AB, 15/19 BB/K, 12 2B, 7 SB
  • Gabriel Garcia, Brewers (Winchester 2016)- 300/393/500 in 130 AB, 12 2B
Bradley Jones, the 2016 Rookie Hitter of the Year!

Bradley Jones, the 2016 Rookie Hitter of the Year!

Jones Named Hitter of the Week Yet Again

bradley-jones-bluefieldI think it’s safe to say that Bradley Jones (Charles Town 2015) has finished his minor league season on a hot streak.

Just recently named the Appalachian League hitter of the week (8/28), Bradley earned the honor again in the last week of the regular season. Over 4 games, Bradley went 9-for-15, with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 6 RBIs, and 4 runs scored.

He ended the season on an 11 game hitting streak, going 22-for-44 over that span, with 13 runs scored, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 6 home runs, 21 RBIs, 4 walks, and 9 strikeouts.

He’s hit 291/336/578 in 61 games overall, with 18 doubles, 15 HR, 55 RBI, and a 17/71 BB/K ratio. Looks like a successful pro debut to me!



Huffman, Jones Named Players of the Week

Two former Valley Leaguers now in the minor leagues were named the best pitcher or hitter in their respective league recently by milb.com: Chris Huffman (Staunton 2012-2013) and Bradley Jones (Charles Town 2015).

First of all, Huffman was named the pitcher of the week in the High-A California League after striking out 8 in 6 shutout innings. Overall this season, he’s 10-5, 3.71 in 123.2 innings, along with 121 hits, 41 walks, and 94 strikeouts. He will definitely be in the running for full season A-ball pitcher of the year (another award ATVL made up).

Secondly, Jones was named the hitter of the week in the Appalachian League, after hitting  .448/.515/1.069 in 7 games, with 3 doubles, 5 home runs, 9 runs, 15 RBIs, 4 walks, and even 4 stolen bases. For the year, he’s hitting 278/326/552 in 223 at-bats, with 14 doubles, 1 triple, and 15 home runs. He’ll also get a long look for short-season A hitter of the year….

Congrats to both!





Cardullo, McBroom, Jones Named Hitters of the Week

The latest round of milb.com’s hitter of the week for each minor league came out yesterday, and three former Valley Leaguers were named!

From highest minor league to lowest:

  • Stephen Cardullo (Covington 2007) is the Pacific Coast League hitter of the week for this line: .417/.444/.917, 6 G, 10-for-24, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Stephen was a 24th round draft pick in 2010, played two years in the minors, and was released. After four (four!) seasons in Independent Leagues, the Rockies signed him in January 2016, and assigned him to Triple-A. In 376 at-bats, Cardullo is hitting 314/375/532, with 24 doubles, 5 triples, and 16 home runs. Might he get a callup sometime this season? It would make for a great story, that’s for sure!
  • Ryan McBroom (Haymarket 2011-12) is the Florida State League hitter of the week because of this: .385/.414/.769, 7 G, 10-for-26, 1 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 SB. Ryan is now hitting 272/314/465 in 419 at-bats in High-A, along with 24 doubles and 19 home runs. The FSL is considered to be a pitcher’s league, too.
  • Last but not least, Bradley Jones (Charles Town 2015) is the Appalachian League hitter of the week for: .458/.517/.958, 7 G, 11-for-24, 3 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R, 4 BB, 2 K, 3 SB, 2 CS. I covered Bradley’s hot streak a couple days ago, but here are his updated numbers: 257/303/485 in 171 at-bats, with 9 doubles, 10 home runs, and 12 stolen bases.

Congrats to all three!







Bradley Jones Goes Off

Bradley Jones (Charles Town 2015), an 18th-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays this June, has been on a tear for the rookie-level Bluefield Blue Jays in the Appalachian League.

Before his 0-3 last night, Bradley had gone 7-11 in his previous three games, along with 6 runs, 11 RBIs, and 3 home runs. He even walked twice without striking out. Over those three games, he raised his batting average 28 points, from .233 to .261.

Through 43 games in his professional debut, Bradley is hitting 256/305/494 in 164 at-bats, with 9 doubles, 10 home runs, 24 runs scored, and 27 RBIs. He also has a 12/50 BB/K ratio. He’s striking out in 28% of his plate appearances, which is a little high.

Most of you would remember Bradley from his performance in the semi-final round of the 2015 Valley League home run derby, when, with his dad pitching, Bradley crushed home run after home run over the left field wall in Harrisonburg. He was also ATVL’s #2 hitter overall in the ’16 VBL season.

If Bradley keeps hitting home runs at this pace, he will most likely keep moving up the ladder in Toronto’s system!

Bradley Jones Bluefield 2016 swinging