Minor League Record Book: Stolen Bases in a Season

Our second-to-last minor league record book for hitters…. but we still have the pitchers!

Anyway, today we have stolen bases…

2006-2017
1 Rico Noel Covington ’08 2012 90
2 Rico Noel Covington ’08 2011 62
3 Rico Noel Covington ’08 2013 59
4 Mike Mitchell Staunton ’06 2008 55
5 John Raynor New Market ’04 2007 54
6 Tyson Auer Luray ’05-06 2010 53
7 John Raynor New Market ’04 2008 48
8 Patrick Norris Harrisonburg ’07 2009 45
9 Tyson Auer Luray ’05-06 2009 43
Tyler Bortnick Front Royal ’06 2011 43
Jay Gonzalez Harrisonburg ’11 2016 43

Rico Noel owns this list, for obvious reasons. His 90 stolen bases in 2012 is more than double the total of the numbers at the end of the list. John Raynor and Tyson Auer are on the list twice as well. Jay Gonzalez is the “newest” entry with his 43 stolen bases in 2016.

All-Time
1 Rico Noel Covington ’08 2012 90
2 Gene Richards 1975 85
3 Rico Noel Covington ’08 2011 62
4 Juan Pierre Harrisonburg ’97 1999 66
5 Antoan Richardson Winchester ’03 2006 66
6 Rico Noel Covington ’08 2013 59
7 Gary Jones Waynesboro ’82 1983 58
Brett Gardner New Market ’03-04 2006 58
9 Doug Dascenzo Front Royal 1986 57
Mike Wenner Front Royal 2000 57
11 Kennard Bibbs Harrisonburg ’01 2003 55
Mike Mitchell Staunton ’06 2008 55
13 John Massarelli Front Royal 1990 54
John Raynor New Market ’04 2007 54
15 Tyson Auer Luray ’05-06 2010 53
16 John Raynor New Market ’04 2008 48
17 Juan Pierre Harrisonburg ’97 2000 47
18 David Eckstein Harrisonburg 1998 45
Patrick Norris Harrisonburg ’07 2009 45
20 Allen Battle Front Royal 1992 43
Antoan Richardson Winchester ’03 2007 43
Tyson Auer Luray ’05-06 2009 43
Tyler Bortnick Front Royal ’06 2011 43
Jay Gonzalez Harrisonburg ’11 2016 43

Just look at the names on this list. Noel, Gene Richards, Brett Gardner, Juan Pierre, David Eckstein… some pretty famous players! Also, every single player on the 2006-2017 list is on the all-time list as well- I think that’s the only time this happens in the whole record book.

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Minor League Record Book: Walks in a Season

Next up: walks in one minor league season. You’ll see some new names on here, Brilliant Reader!

2006-2017
1 Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 2015 89
2 Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 2014 88
3 AJ Kirby-Jones Waynesboro ’09 2012 86
4 Tyler White Haymarket ’10 2015 84
5 Tyler Bortnick Front Royal ’06 2011 79
Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 2012 79
Joey Butler New Market ’06 2012 79
Ryan Schimpf Luray ’08 2013 79
9 Rob Kral Waynesboro ’09 2013 78
10 Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 2016 74

The name here, of course, is Sherman Johnson. Sherman is on this list three times, for the seasons 2014-2016. His plate discipline has earned him a spot on some prospect lists in past years, but he’s coming up on his age-28 season, so he’s not considered a “prospect” anymore. I really think he can help a major league team, though!

Johnson, Tyler White, Joey Butler (free agent), and Ryan Schimpf are all still active.

All-Time
1 Gary Jones Waynesboro ’82 1984 138
2 Gary Jones Waynesboro ’82 1986 128
3 Gary Jones Waynesboro ’82 1983 126
4 Gary Jones Waynesboro ’82 1987 123
5 Gene Richards 1975 116
6 Billy Sample Harrisonburg ’75 1978 109
7 Frank Menechino Harrisonburg ’92 1997 105
8 Jeff Manto Front Royal 1987 102
Shawn Fagan Front Royal 2002 102
10 Frank Menechino Harrisonburg ’92 1995 96
11 Dan Pasqua New Market ’81 1984 95
12 Cliff Pennington Harrisonburg 2008 93
13 Mark Davidson Winchester ’82 1985 92
14 Lauro Felix Harrisonburg ’91 1996 92
15 Gene Richards 1976 91
Jeff Manto Front Royal 1989 91
17 David Eckstein Harrisonburg 1999 89
Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 2015 89
19 Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 2014 88
20 David Eckstein Harrisonburg 1998 87

Welcome to the Gary Jones list! Holding down the top four spots is pretty significant. Jones has to have one of the most interesting minor league stat lines for players who never reached the major leagues. In 8 minor league seasons, Gary hit 283/437/370, with 783 walks to only 542 strikeouts. He topped out in Triple-A. But, he’s been the Chicago Cubs’ third base coach the past couple years, so that’s pretty cool. Will he get a managing gig someday?

Gene Richards, Frank Menechino, Jeff Manto, Sherman Johnson, and David Eckstein all appear twice. And there’s Cliff Pennington at #12, currently a free agent at the major league level.

A Look at Michael Gigliotti, Prospect

 

Michael Gigliotti Lexington 2017

Michael Gigliotti played in Covington in 2015- for 21 games. He hit 280/349/320 in 75 at-bats, along with 9 stolen bases.

He really took off in 2016 in the Cape Cod League, though, and headed into his junior year at Lipscomb on everyone’s radar. Well, I’ll let mlb.com take it from here:

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 30 | Run: 60 | Arm: 40 | Field: 60 | Overall: 45

Gigliotti starred in the Cape Cod League in 2016, with scouts voting him the summer circuit’s top prospect and Jeff Trundy, his manager at Falmouth, saying he was more advanced than Jacoby Ellsbury was with the Commodores. His hitting ability and athleticism had him poised to become the second first-rounder in Lipscomb history (Bo McLaughlin, Astros, 1975) until he slumped through most of the first half of his junior year. He rebounded at season’s end and reached base safely in each of his final 32 games before signing for $397,500 as a fourth-round selection.

A left-handed hitter, Gigliotti sprays line drives all over the field and excels at bunting for hits. He was oddly passive for much of the spring, setting a career high in walks but also falling behind in counts too often and struggling once he did. He has ordinary bat speed and doesn’t drive the ball much, so there are concerns about how much impact he’ll have offensively.

If he can recapture his Cape form, Gigliotti has the on-base ability and speed to be a dynamic tablesetter atop a lineup. He’s a 60-65 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale and knows how to use quickness on the bases and in center field. He covers a lot of ground in center and his below-average arm is playable there.

Michael is listed at #21 in the Royal’s system after his initial pro season split between Burlington of the Appalachian League, and Lexington of the South Atlantic League. He hit a combined 320/420/456 in 64 games and 291 plate appearances, along with 22 stolen bases and a 40/41 BB/K ratio.

Let’s hope for a breakout from Michael in 2018!

Michael Gigliotti Lexington 2017 at bat

 

Minor League Record Book: Triples in a Season

After Kevin Reese’s 50 doubles, let’s move on to the most exciting play in baseball… the triple. Right?

2006-2017
1 Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 2014 13
2 Tyson Auer Luray ’05-06 2010 12
Chad Oberacker Fauquier ’09 2013 12
4 Scott Cousins Harrisonburg ’05 2009 11
Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 2010 11
Ryan Schimpf Luray ’08 2010 11
Tyler Kuhn Luray ’06-07 2011 11
8 Ruben Sosa Harrisonburg ’10 2014 10
Cory Spangenberg Winchester ’10 2014 10
10 James McOwen Luray ’05-06 2008 9
Tyler Kuhn Luray ’06-07 2008 9
Steven Bumbry Woodstock ’09 2010 9
Jason Kipnis Covington ’06-07 2011 9
Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 2013 9
Cory Spangenberg Winchester ’10 2013 9
Michael Garza Woodstock ’09-’10 2013 9
Kyri Washington Woodstock ’13 2016 9

Kyri Washington is the newest member of this list, with his 9 triples in 2016. (Kyri missed much of 2017 with an injury.)

All-Time
1 Louie Meadows Staunton 1983 14
Louie Meadows Staunton 1984 14
Louie Meadows Staunton 1987 14
4 Billy Sample Harrisonburg ’75 1977 13
Billy Sample Harrisonburg ’75 1978 13
Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 2014 13
7 Allen Battle Front Royal 1993 12
Clay Timpner Staunton ’02 2005 12
Tyson Auer Luray ’05-06 2010 12
Chad Oberacker Fauquier ’09 2013 12
11 Doug Dascenzo Front Royal 1986 11
Tommy Murphy Staunton ’98 2005 11
Brett Gardner New Market ’03-04 2008 11
Scott Cousins Harrisonburg ’05 2009 11
Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 2010 11
Ryan Schimpf Luray ’08 2010 11
Tyler Kuhn Luray ’06-07 2011 11
18 Gene Richards 1975 10
George Vukovich Harrisonburg 1979 10
Dan Pasqua New Market ’81 1983 10
Darren Lewis Harrisonburg 1991 10
John Massarelli Front Royal 1994 10
Kennard Bibbs Harrisonburg ’01 2004 10
Ruben Sosa Harrisonburg ’10 2014 10
Cory Spangenberg Winchester ’10 2014 10

Some fascinating names on this list- a mix of old and new. Louie Meadows wins the day, obviously.

Louie Meadows

Minor League Record Book: Career Stolen Bases

Next up in our look at the “history” of the Valley League is career stolen bases in the minor leagues. As usual, we’ll start with 2006-2017, and then “all-time…”

2006-2017
1 Rico Noel Covington ’08 300
2 Tyler Bortnick Front Royal ’06 178
3 Mike Mitchell Staunton ’06 168
4 John Raynor New Market ’04 145
5 Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 142
6 Patrick Norris Harrisonburg ’07 138
7 Blake Tekotte Woodstock ’06 127
8 Tyson Auer Luray ’05-06 124
Ruben Sosa Harrisonburg ’10 124
10 Jay Gonzalez Harrisonburg ’11 122
11 Matt Camp Covington ’03 121
12 Cory Spangenberg Winchester ’10 111

Rico Noel spent the first part of 2017 with Lancaster of the Independent Atlantic League (where he stole 34 bases, by the way), but then was signed in August by the Houston Astros. He stole 4 bases in Double and Triple-A, giving him a nice round number up there at the top.

So Noel is still active, as is Ruben Sosa (17 SB in 2017) and Jay Gonzalez (31 SB in 2017). Cory Spangenberg is also active, although he spent only 17 games in Triple-A El Paso in 2017, where he stole 3 bases.

All-Time
1 Antoan Richardson Winchester ’03 331
2 Rico Noel Covington ’08 300
3 John Massarelli Front Royal 288
4 Doug Dascenzo Front Royal 250
5 Gary Jones Waynesboro ’82 225
6 Tommy Murphy Staunton ’98 215
7 Louie Meadows Staunton 192
8 Tyler Bortnick Front Royal ’06 178
9 Jim Pankovits Harrisonburg ’74 172
10 Mike Mitchell Staunton ’06 168
11 Allen Battle Front Royal 158
Emil Brown Waynesboro ’94 158
13 Brett Gardner New Market ’03-04 157
14 Kennard Bibbs Harrisonburg ’01 155
15 Juan Pierre Harrisonburg ’97 151
16 Jim Pankovits Harrisonburg ’74 149
17 John Raynor New Market ’04 145
18 Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 142
19 Kevin Reese Winchester ’98 138
Patrick Norris Harrisonburg ’07 138

Noel, Tyler Bortnick, Mike Mitchell, John Raynor, Tony Thomas, and Patrick Norris are on both lists. Will Noel get enough time in the minors to catch Antoan Richardson? Rico is really only one full season behind… will he get that season in 2018?

rico-noel-diving-into-home-yankees

Rico Noel using those legs

Minor League Record Book: Career Walks

Next category: career walks in the minor leagues!

2006-2017
1 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 454
2 Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 432
3 Joey Butler New Market ’06 420
4 Ryan Schimpf Luray ’08 394
5 Eric Campbell Luray ’06 378
6 Tyler Bortnick Front Royal ’06 338
7 Blake Tekotte Woodstock ’06 320
8 Ben Guez Covington ’06 304
9 Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 286
10 Brian Bocock Luray ’04 272

Don’t look now, but Sherman Johnson is closing in on Clint Robinson! Clint has walked 454 times in 1,053 minor league games, while Sherman has walked 432 times in 683 minor league games.

Weird- the top 5 are still active, while the bottom 5 are not (at least not active in affiliated ball).

All-Time
1 Jeff Manto Front Royal 859
2 Gary Jones Waynesboro ’82 783
3 Andy Abad Harrisonburg ’93 671
4 Frank Menechino Harrisonburg ’92 603
5 Jon Zuber Harrisonburg ’91 599
6 Alan Cockrell Staunton 577
7 Jack Voigt Staunton 537
8 Antoan Richardson Winchester ’03 522
9 Louie Meadows Staunton 510
10 Wes Timmons Winchester ’98-9 492
11 Jim Pankovits Harrisonburg ’74 481
12 Andy Barkett Winchester ’92 473
13 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 454
14 Luis Lopez Winchester ’92-3 437
15 Doug Dascenzo Front Royal 433
16 Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 432
17 Sam Perlozzo New Market ’72 423
18 Joe Koshansky Staunton ’02-03 420
Joey Butler New Market ’06 420
20 Steve Decker Front Royal 412

Jeff Manto is dominating the all-time minor league record book the way Clint Robinson dominates the 2006-2017 version….

Robinson had 409 walks going into 2017. With 45, he flew all the way up to #13. Johnson walked 63 times, and Joey Butler walked 11 times (he was injured much of 2017).

Arkansas Traveler Baseball

Sherman Johnson playing for Arkansas

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!