Gigliotti, Albanese Off to Scorching Pro Starts

Two former Valley Leaguers have had significant pro debuts, even though they were drafted in different years.

First of all, Michael Gigliotti (Covington 2015) was drafted 12 days ago by the Kansas City Royals in the 4th round. He signed for a bonus of $397,500 (awesome), and was assigned to Rookie level Burlington, in the Appalachian League. Batting leadoff and playing in center field, Michael had a debut to remember on Thursday, June 22nd, when he hit two home runs (one a 2-run shot, one solo), and walked for good measure. In his second game, the next night, Michael had another hit and another walk. So after two games, he’s 3-7, with 3 runs, 3 RBIs, and 2 home runs.

Secondly, Matt Albanese (Aldie 2014) was the first Valley Leaguer drafted in 2016- in the 7th round, by the Minnesota Twins (the 2016 draft was not a good one for the VBL). He signed on June 21st, 2016, and was assigned the next day to Elizabethton, also of the Appy League. But because of a ligament tear in his wrist, he never made his pro debut.

Now, a year later and back in Elizabethton, Matt has made his debut, and what a debut it was. On Friday, June 23rd, Matt played in both games of a doubleheader, and went 4-6 with 2 runs and an RBI. The next day, he played again, and went 3-3, with 2 walks, 2 runs, and 2 RBIs. So after his first three pro games, Matt is 7-9, with 3 doubles, 4 runs, 3 RBIs, and 2 walks.

Obviously, this is just a beginning, but what a beginning it has been for these two players!

Results from Thursday, June 22


Purcellville 6, Front Royal 5
Purcellville 8, Front Royal 5
Waynesboro 5, Winchester 3
Harrisonburg 5, Covington 3
Staunton 5, Strasburg 4
New Market 8, Charlottesville 4

Hitter of the Day

Bruce Strickland Felician 2017A double and home run carry the day- our HOD is Covington’s Bruce Strickland, from Felician! Bruce went 2-4, with 2 runs, an RBI, and the aforementioned double and home run. He’s now 7-16 in his young season, with a slash line of 438/450/938. Out of his 7 hits so far, 5 of them have gone for extra bases.

Others of Note

Blake Thomas, Front Royal: 3-5, run, SB
Sheldon Reed, Purcellville: 2-4, 3 RBIs
Andrew Zban, Purcellville: 3-4, 2 RBIs
Raul Cabrera, Purcellville: 2-3, 2 runs, RBI, 2B, BB
Tony Beam, Harrisonburg: 3-5, RBI, 2B
Joe Lytle, Harrisonburg: 2-2, run, 2 RBIs, 2B
Hunter Stokes, Strasburg: 2-4, run, 2B, BB
Jay Charleston, Staunton: 3-5, run, RBI, 2 SB
Vinnie Pasquantino, Charlottesville: 3-4, run, SB
Eric Jones, Charlottesville: 3-5, RBI, 2B
Ari Sechopoulos, Charlottesville: 2-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2B
Jacob Rhinesmith, New Market: 2-3, 2 runs, RBI, 3B, 2 SB
Jack Hartman, New Market: 2-4, 2 runs, RBI

Pitcher of the Day

Our POD is Carter Bach, from Harrisonburg and Wake Forest! Carter earned a game Carter Bach Wake Forest 2017score of 64 with 5 innings, 1 hit, 1 unearned run, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts. This was Carter’s second game- he’s now 0-0, 3.00 in 9 innings pitched.

Others of Note

Nickolas Ortega, Front Royal: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K’s
Christopher Farish, Harrisonburg: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K’s (I don’t usually include this many earned runs over 3 IP, but 9 K’s?!? Wow.)
PJ Piesko, Covington: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K (57)
Brendan Smith, Strasburg: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K’s
Derek Duffy, Staunton: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K’s (6 out of 7 outs recorded by K)
Corley Woods, Staunton: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K’s, win

Friday’s Games

Woodstock at Front Royal
Strasburg at Purcellville
Covington at Waynesboro
Winchester at New Market
Staunton at Harrisonburg

Results from Thursday, June 15

Despite the rain, all the games were able to be played last night (partially in thanks to the turf in Harrisonburg, is my guess). Let’s take a look…


Waynesboro 14, Woodstock 6
Covington 7, Front Royal 2
New Market 10, Purcellville 2
Winchester 7, Staunton 5
Strasburg 11, Harrisonburg 10

Hitter of the Day

Malik Stephens Tennessee Wesleyan 2017Waynesboro’s Malik Stephens, from Tennessee Wesleyan, is our hitter of the day! Malik went 3-4, with 2 runs, 4 RBIs, 2 walks, and a stolen base. He’s hitting 350/480/350 after 20 at-bats this summer.

Others of Note

Andrew Robinson, Waynesboro: 2-4, 2 runs, RBI, 2 BB, SB
Joseph Estrada, Waynesboro: 2-4, 2 runs, RBI, 2 BB, 2B, SB
Caleb Walls, Covington: 1-2, run, RBI, 4 BB
Travin Esquerra, Purcellville: 3-4, RBI, 2B
Hunter Lipscomb, New Market: 2-3, 3 runs, 2 BB, 2 2B
Alec Aleywine, New Market: 3-5, 3 runs, SB
Nick Barber, New Market: 2-3, RBI, BB, 3 SB
Antwaun Tucker, Staunton: 2-3, 3 runs, BB, 2 SB
Dillon Reed, Winchester: 3-5
Alejandro Rivero, Winchester: 3-5, 2 runs, RBI, 2B
Damian Rodriguez, Winchester: bases-loaded triple in his only at-bat
Jose Bonilla Traverso, Strasburg: 2-5, 2 runs, BB
Simon Landry, Strasburg: 3-5, run, 3 RBIs, 2B
Tyler Martin, Strasburg: 3-6, 3 runs, RBI, 2B
Jake Perry, Strasburg: 2-4, 4 RBIs, 2B
Ty Andrus, Harrisonburg: 2-4, run, RBI, BB, 3B
Tanner Dofflemyer, Harrisonburg: 2-4, RBI, BB, 3B
Kyle McCann, Harrisonburg: 1-1, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, 2 BB, HR

Pitcher(s) of the Day

Alec Aleywine Gulf Coast CCFor the first time in 2017, we have co-pitchers of the day! (It’s nice that I can make my own rules.) So, POD #1 is Alec Aleywine, from New Market and Gulf Coast Community College. Alec threw 6 innings against Purcellville while allowing 4 hits, 2 run (1 earned), 0 walks, and striking out 6. He got the win and a game score of 64. Alec is 1-0, 1.50 after 12 innings in his first two starts.

Our second POD is Orlando Cannon, from Covington and Winston-Salem State, who Orlando Cannon 2017threw 4 shutout innings in relief against Front Royal. He allowed 1 hit, 1 walk, and struck out 5. After 4 appearances this summer, Orlando is 0-3, 6.96 in 10 1/3 innings pitched.

Other of Note

PJ Piesko, Covington: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K’s, win (56)

Friday’s Schedule

Waynesboro at Charlottesville
New Market at Winchester
Woodstock at Strasburg
Purcellville at Staunton
Covington at Harrisonburg

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)

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.

Top 200 Draft Prospects

Each June, the Valley League has a few dozen players drafted by major league teams. (Some years many dozens.) With the draft about a month away, some outlets have started listing their top draft prospect lists.

Today we focus on Baseball America’s top 200 draft list, which includes five former Valley Leaguers. (All stats through May 9th)

30. Nate Pearson (Staunton 2016), pitcher for Central Florida JC. Nate is 5-2, 1.56, with 118 strikeouts in only 81 innings.

88. Michael Gigliotti (Covington 2015), outfielder for Lipscomb. Michael is hitting 270/442/362 in 163 at-bats. He has a crazy 42 walks on the season.

147. Garrett Cave (Staunton 2015), pitcher for Tampa. The 6-foot-4 righthander is 5-2, 4.80, with 72 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings pitched.

155. Donnie Sellers (Harrisonburg 2016), pitcher for Wake Forest. Donnie is 3-4, 4.23, with 42 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings pitched.

174. Reed Hayes (Staunton 2015), pitcher for Vanderbilt (was pitching for Walter State when he played in the Valley). Reed is 0-1, 2.87, with 7 saves and 17 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings pitched.

Stay tuned, of course- when June 12-14 rolls around, ATVL will keep everyone updated about who gets a chance to start a pro baseball career!



Update on Major League Pitchers

About a week ago, we took a look at all major league hitters who have a background in the Valley League. Today, let’s take a look at the pitchers! (Stats through May 10)

  1. Like we start the hitters with Daniel Murphy, we start the pitchers with Chris Devenski (Woodstock 2011). Chris has been well-nigh unhittable for the Astros in 2017. He’s 2-2, 2.14, with 2 saves, 10 hits, 3 walks, and 38 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched. His WHIP is 0.619, BB/9 is 1.3, and his K/9 is an amazing 16.3. His ERA actually reflects some bad luck- Chris’s FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is 1.68.
  2. Let’s stick with Houston’s bullpen, and turn our attention to Will Harris (Staunton 2003). Will has also been superb, as he’s 1-0, 1.17, with 1 save, 14 hits, 2 walks, and 15 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings. His WHIP is 0.97, BB/9 is 0.6, and his K/9 is 7.5. No wonder the Astros are 22-11 so far!
  3. Robby Scott (Covington 2010) has pitched in 15 games for the Red Sox, but has amassed only 8 2/3 innings. He’s 0-0, 1.04, with 4 hits, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts. If he can reliably retire lefties, he may be in the show for a long time!
  4. Speaking of lefty specialists, here is Josh Edgin (Winchester 2007)! Josh’s numbers are about as good as Scott’s; he’s 0-1, 1.98, with 1 save, and a 1.02 WHIP for the Mets.
  5. Brad Ziegler (New Market 2000), pitching in his 10th major league season (this one for the Marlins), has scuffled a bit to start 2017. He’s 1-2, 4.50, with a 1.57 WHIP. Brad’s FIP is 3.51, so expect things to improve.
  6. Chad Kuhl (New Market 2012) has been in Pittsburgh’s rotation all season so far. After 7 times through the rotation, Chad is 1-3, 5.81, with a 1.61 WHIP, 4.1 BB/9, and 7.3 K/9. His BB/9 is up from last year, but so is his K/9. Hopefully he gets a full year in Pittsburgh!
  7. Tyler Thornburg (Winchester 2008) is on the 60-day disabled list for the Red Sox. He hasn’t pitched yet this year.
  8. Adam Liberatore (Waynesboro 2007-08) has been up and down from the Dodgers a couple times this year. He’s appeared in 2 games, and has given up an earned run in 1 1/3 innings.
  9. Emilio Pagan (Harrisonburg 2010) made two appearances for the Mariners before being returned to Triple-A Tacoma. He went 0-1, 16.88 in 2 2/3 innings.
  10. Drew Rucinski (Luray 2009-10) appeared in only one game for the Twins before being sent back down. He threw 3 1/3 innings and gave up 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, and struck out 5.
Will Harris Houston

Will Harris letting out some emotion