Next up in our charming series on the minor league record book is career doubles. As usual, we’ll start with the 2006-2017 list, and then look at the “all-time” list…
New Market ’06
Front Royal ’06
The same four are still active: Clint Robinson, Joey Butler, Ryan Schimpf, and Rudy Flores. Robinson, Butler, Schimpf, Eric Campbell, Blake Tekotte, and Collin Cowgill have all played in the major leagues.
Now the all-time list…
Notice #8- Erik Kratz, who is still active, but who doesn’t fall into the 2006-2017 category (Erik was drafted in 2002).
Triples are next…
Tony Thomas when he was in the Red Sox organization
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:
New Market ’06
Front Royal ’06
Major leagues: Clint Robinson, Joey Butler, Ryan Schimpf, Eric Campbell, Collin Cowgill, Blake Tekotte
Still active: Robinson, Butler, Schimpf, Sherman Johnson, Campbell (in Japan)
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 minorleague 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 the 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. Next 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 with 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.
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.
Now that we’re into May, we should take a quick look at Valley League alumni who are in the major leagues- what do you think? (Stats through Sunday, April 30th)
Any discussion of major league alumni in the batter’s box needs to start with Daniel Murphy, I believe. The former Luray Wrangler (2004-5) finished 2nd in MVP voting in 2016, and he hasn’t missed a beat so far in 2017. He’s hitting 343/378/590 in 105 at-bats, with 9 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, 17 runs scored, and 26 RBIs. He’s a critical piece in the National’s thumping lineup!
We’ll stick with the Wranglers for #2- Yonder Alonso (2006). Yonder is hitting 279/355/515 for the Oakland A’s, along with 4 doubles and 4 home runs in 68 at-bats. He’s scored 9 runs, driven in 14, and has a 8/17 BB/K ratio.
Brett Gardner (New Market 2003-4) got off to a slow start in his age-33 season, but he’s definitely picking it up. In 73 at-bats for the surprising Yankees, he’s hitting 205/318/329, with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 stolen bases, and 15 runs scored.
Jason Kipnis (Covington 2006-7) started the season on the disabled list, and has started slowly since his recent return. He’s hitting 161/212/161 in 31 at-bats so far- but he also had a home run stolen by Josh Reddick…
Jon Jay (Staunton 2004) is flourishing in a part-time role with the Chicago Cubs so far. He’s hitting 385/478/487 in 39 at-bats- most of them hitting 9th in Joe Maddon’s interesting lineups. He has 2 doubles, a triple, 9 runs scored, and a 6/10 BB/K ratio.
Ryan Schimpf (Luray 2008) won the third base job in San Diego out of Spring Training. He got off to a slow start, like Gardner, but he’s starting to hit for more power recently. He’s hitting 149/301/405 in 74 at-bats, with a double and 6 home runs. He has 11 hits so far, with 7 of them going for extra bases. He’s scored 12 runs and has driven in 13. He also has a 17/28 BB/K ratio.
Cliff Pennington (Harrisonburg 2003) has only batted 17 times for the Angels so far. He’s hitting 176/286/176 while adding 2 stolen bases.
Cory Spangenberg (Winchester 2010) started 2017 in Triple-A, but has been called up, and is playing pretty regularly. In 21 at-bats, he’s hitting 286/286/333, with a double and a stolen base.
Tommy La Stella (Haymarket 2009) pinch hit 6 times for the Cubs in April before he was sent to Triple-A Iowa (with less angst this time). He hit a double and walked twice. He’s 9-29 in Triple-A so far.
Stephen Cardullo (Covington 2007) also started in the majors and has been sent to Triple-A. He went 4-28 with 3 walks before heading to Albuquerque. He’s 4-11 so far in the Pacific Coast League.
Mac Williamson (Harrisonburg 2011) started the season on the major league disabled list with San Francisco, but after some rehab games in the minors, he was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. (He’s 5-27 with a home run.)
A bonus player here- I was pretty surprised when Clint Robinson (Harrisonburg 2005-6) was sent to Triple-A Syracuse at the end of Spring Training after spending two full seasons in the major leagues. So far, he’s 14-76 in Triple-A.
So, sure, driving in a bunch of runs depends quite a bit on opportunity, but it also means that a hitter is in the lineup consistently, too.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most RBIs in a major league career since the 2006 draft!
Tommy La Stella
Brett Gardner Watch: 342 RBIs, good for 3rd on this list.
Once again, we have Dan Murphy at the top, with Kipnis, Jay, and Alonso filling the next three slots. Schimpf jumped to 8th on this list with less than half a year in the majors- will he get a full season in 2017?