Minor League Record Book: Runs

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:

1 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 583
2 Joey Butler New Market ’06 531
3 Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 485
4 Ryan Schimpf Luray ’08 458
5 Sherman Johnson Covington ’10 431
6 Eric Campbell Luray ’06 428
7 Collin Cowgill Covington ’05 427
8 Ben Guez Covington ’06 423
9 Blake Tekotte Woodstock ’06 414
10 Tyler Bortnick Front Royal ’06 387

Major leagues: Clint Robinson, Joey Butler, Ryan Schimpf, Eric Campbell, Collin Cowgill, Blake Tekotte
Still active: Robinson, Butler, Schimpf, Sherman Johnson, Campbell (in Japan)

1 Jeff Manto Front Royal 818
2 Andy Abad Harrisonburg ’93 753
3 Alan Cockrell Staunton 741
4 Jim Pankovits Harrisonburg ’74 679
5 Gary Jones Waynesboro ’82 642
6 Frank Menechino Harrisonburg ’92 632
7 Antoan Richardson Winchester ’03 621
8 Luis Lopez Winchester ’92-3 620
9 Doug Dascenzo Front Royal 603
10 Jon Zuber Harrisonburg ’91 595
11 Tommy Murphy Staunton ’98 592
12 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 583
13 Jack Voigt Staunton 558
14 Kevin Reese Winchester ’98 546
15 Pat Watkins Staunton 542
Emil Brown Waynesboro ’94 542
17 Joe Koshansky Staunton ’02-03 541
18 Andy Barkett Winchester ’92 536
19 Wes Timmons Winchester ’98-9 535
20 Joey Butler New Market ’06 531

On both lists: Clint Robinson, Joey Butler


League Record Book: Innings Pitched

I have to admit, Brilliant Reader, that innings pitched is not a very “sexy” category, but I decided to include it to show how much the game has changed. Take a look at the highest totals of innings pitched since the 2004 VBL season:

1 Tucker Pryor Front Royal 2008 79.0
2 Joshua MacDonald New Market 2005 76.0
3 Aaron Luchterhand Harrisonburg 2011 73.0
4 Drew Granier Harrisonburg 2010 72.2
5 Kyle Dubois Woodstock 2004 72.1
6 Lee Tabor New Market 2005 71.0
7 Peden Rucker Winchester 2005 70.2
8 Ross Fetterly New Market 2007 69.2
9 Jon Dages Waynesboro 2007 68.2
Ben Hildreth Haymarket 2008 68.2

With pitch counts and college coaches wanting more and more to protect arms (and why not?), the highest total this season was Strasburg’s Benjamin Dum, who ended up with 58 total innings pitched for Strasburg- a full 10 2/3 innings behind Dages and Hildreth. No one has joined this list in 6 seasons now. Interesting, no?

Major leagues: None
Previous minor leagues: Drew Granier, Lee Tabor
Independent Leagues: Peden Rucker, Ben Hildreth
No pro ball: Tucker Pryor, Joshua MacDonald, Aaron Luchterhand, Kyle Dubois, Ross Fetterly, Jon Dages

Tucker Pryor Front Royal

Tucker Pryor throwing for Front Royal in 2008 (Credit: Haymarket Joe, AKA Joseph Cashwell)

#5 Hitter: Dominic Canzone, Front Royal

Dominic Canzone Ohio State 2017

Our 5th best hitter in the 2017 Valley League season is Dominic Canzone, from Front Royal!

Canzone is yet another true freshman who blasted his way through the league, becoming the 8th (or 7th, depending on how you number them) player to top a .400 average since 2004.

Just take a look at this line:

2017 28 114 28 46 3 2 3 23 11 7 17 3 0.404 0.457 0.544

Dominic had a super season for the Cardinals, showing both power and patience (4 more walks than K’s?!?). He finished 2nd in batting average, 5th in OPS, 4th in OBP, 7th in slugging, tied 9th in triples, and was named 1st team All-Valley as an outfielder.

Not only did he hit in 21 of his 28 games, but he also had 4 hits in a game 4 times, 3 hits twice, and 2 hits 6 times. His best game was probably on June 23rd, when he went 4-5, with 4 runs, a double, home run, and 3 RBIs against Woodstock.

He also made a splash with the scouting community, as Baseball America named him the 2nd best prospect in the league, while Perfect Game named him the best. His coach for the first part of the season, Brian Daly, said that he has rarely seen a player made adjustments at the plate as quickly as Dominic did for Front Royal.

Here is what Canzone did at Ohio State in his first year in college:

2017 49 166 22 57 4 3 3 36 15 20 13 2 0.343 0.390 0.458

This is crazy. He finished first on his team in batting average, 3rd in hits, tied for 2nd in triples, 2nd in RBIs, 2nd in slugging percentage, 3rd in on-base percentage, and even 3rd in stolen bases. He was named third-team All-Big Ten, and to the Big Ten All-Freshman team.

Dominic is yet another player who should have a very bright future ahead of him in this game. Congrats!


(Rich Cooley/Daily)

Dominic Canzone OSU 2017

#7 Hitter: Luc Lipcius, Front Royal

Knoxville, TN - 2017.01.09 - HeadshotSo often in the Valley League. scouts have to project what a player might grow into, physically, in the future. That is definitely not the case for our 7th best hitter in the 2017 Valley League season, Luc Lipcius.

Luc, listed at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, is a big, wide-shouldered, barrel-chested young man. There is no doubt that he will have the physique to play pro ball, as he inhabits that physique already. He’s also pretty advanced for a true freshman as well, since he played in 33 games for the Tennessee Volunteers, in the SEC, during the 2017 college season.

But he doesn’t only have the physique- he has the skill as well. Here is his line for Front Royal this summer:

2017 28 107 24 36 10 0 4 21 17 17 1 1 0.336 0.441 0.542

Luc finished 7th in the league in OPS, 8th in on-base percentage, 8th in slugging percentage, tied for 6th in home runs, tied for 7th in doubles, was named to the All-Valley League 2nd team at first base, and was named the 5th best prospect in the league by Baseball America.

He was the hitter of the day twice, and his best game was on June 26th, when he went 4-5 with a walk. Luc also hit a monster shot down the right field line in the all-star game that the umps called foul. I had an excellent view of it, and I’m convinced the ball curved around the foul pole, and should have been a home run.

Anyway, here is what Luc did for the Volunteers in 2017:

2017 33 86 8 22 3 0 1 8 9 16 3 1 0.256 0.354 0.326

One last note- Luc’s major is nuclear engineering. I wonder how many VBL alumni have a degree in that field?

Congratulations on your excellent summer, Luc!

Lipcius and Sudduth

Luc after batting practice at the All-Star game (ATVL)

Luc Lipcius Tennessee

(Tennessee athletics/UTSports.com)

Top 2017 Prospects

Each year, two media outlets, Baseball America and Perfect Game, rank their top prospects in each summer league (well, most of them).

As usual, ATVL is there (with a little help from my friends) to keep everyone informed about what the scouting community thinks about the top players in our league.

So let’s take a look at the top ten prospects from each publication!

Baseball America Valley League Top 10 Prospects 2017
1. Zachary Peek, RHP, Strasburg, (So., Winthrop)
2. Dominic Canzone, OF, Front Royal, (So., Ohio State)
3. Tom Sutera, RHP, Purcellville (Jr., Siena)
4. Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, Charlottesville, (So., Old Dominion)
5. Luc Lipcius, OF, Front Royal, (So., Tennessee)
6. Nate Pawelczyk, RHP, New Market (Jr., Winthrop)
7. Jake Washer, C, New Market (RSo., East Carolina)
8. Brandon Quaranta, OF/1B, Strasburg (Sr., Philadelphia, Pa.)
9. Mike Wielansky, 2B/SS, Charlottesville (Jr., Wooster, Ohio)
10. Cash Gladfelter, SS, Woodstock (Jr., Shippensburg, Pa.)
Perfect Game Top 10 Prospects 2017
1. Dominic Canzone, OF, Front Royal, (So., Ohio State)
2. Zachary Peek, RHP, Strasburg, (So., Winthrop)
3. Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, Charlottesville, (So., Old Dominion)
4. Mike Wielansky, 2B/SS, Charlottesville (Jr., Wooster, Ohio)
5. Tom Sutera, RHP, Purcellville (Jr., Siena)
6. Tony Beam, C, Harrisonburg (Sr., Texas-San Antonio)
7. Max Wood, OF, Staunton (Sr., Central Florida)
8. Chris Farish, RHP, Harrisonburg (R-Sr., Wake Forest)
9. Brandon Quaranta, OF/1B, Strasburg (Sr., Philadelphia, Pa.)
10. Trevin Esquerra, 1B/3B, Purcellville (So., Loyola Marymount)

The Semi-Breakdown

Named on Both Lists:

  • Peek (1,2)
  • Canzone (2,1)
  • Sutera (3,5)
  • Pasquantino (4,3)
  • Quaranta (8,9)
  • Wielansky (9,4)

By VBL Team:

  • Strasburg- 2 (Peek, Quaranta)
  • Front Royal- 2 (Canzone, Lipcius)
  • Purcellville- 2 (Sutera, Esquerra)
  • Charlottesville- 2 (Pasquantino, Wielansky)
  • New Market- 2 (Pawelczyk, Washer)
  • Harrisonburg- 2 (Beam, Farish)
  • Woodstock- 1 (Gladfelter)
  • Staunton- 1 (Wood)
  • Covington, Waynesboro, Winchester- 0



Blake Whitney’s 2017 Summer

As you know, Brilliant Reader, All Things Valley League tracks both current (although there are NO “current” players at the moment) and former Valley League players.

Blake Whitney USC Upstate 2017.jpgLast year, Blake Whitney came to the Front Royal Cardinals from USC Upstate, and had an excellent season. In fact, ATVL named him the 13th best starter in the league after he went 3-2, 3.88, with a 1.355 WHIP, 3.7 B/9, and 10.2 K/9 in 48 2/3 innings. Most importantly, though, he led the league with 55 strikeouts.

Blake returned to Upstate for his junior year, and went 5-6, 5.50 with 82 strikeouts in 73 2/3 innings pitched.

Blake has again had an excellent summer. After his college season, he landed with the North Adams SteepleCats of the summer New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL). He proceeded to do this: 1-3, 2.07 in 9 starts, 52 innings, 36 hits, 13 walks, and….. 80 strikeouts! Those strikeouts broke a 4-year record for North Adams. He was named player of the week by Collegiate Summer Baseball as well.

That’s pretty awesome, but Blake’s summer wasn’t finished yet. He headed up to the Cape to join the Bourne Braves for the playoff push. He pitched in one game in the regular season, and won it after throwing 2 1/3 shutout innings and striking out 2. Then the playoffs came around, and Blake went 1-0, 0.90 in 2 games (1 start), and struck out 12 more batters in 10 innings pitched, while walking none.

As we know, the Cape is the highest level of Summer Ball in the country, and Blake definitely succeeded there.

Congratulations on your excellent summer, Blake!

Blake Whitney North Adams SteepleCats 2017 (Berkshire Eagle).jpg

Blake throwing for North Adams (Berkshire Eagle)


League Record Book: On-Base Percentage

The next category for our Valley League record book for the years 2004-2017 is on-base percentage. We had three players join the batting average list from 2017, but none have joined on this one.

Take a look:

1 Nick Sinay Front Royal 2014 0.534
2 Jordan Tarsovich Strasburg 2013 0.522
3 Cole Gruber Waynesboro 2014 0.518
4 Luke Greinke Winchester 2007 0.517
5 Ryan Sullivan Covington 2012 0.516
Blake Sipe Staunton 2012 0.516
7 Mike Schwartz Harrisonburg 2009 0.508
8 Mike Marcinko Waynesboro 2014 0.502
9 Tyler Townsend Winchester 2008 0.500
10 Jason Kipnis Covington 2007 0.498

So it turns out that no one has cracked the list since 2014!

Major leaguers: Jason Kipnis
Minor leaguers, but no longer: Cole Gruber, Luke Greinke, Mike Schwartz, Tyler Townsend
Still in minor leagues: Nick Sinay, Jordan Tarsovich
No affiliated ball: Ryan Sullivan (but I believe he played in the independent Frontier League), Blake Sipe (playing in RCBL), Mike Marcinko

Sinay, by the way, was ATVL’s #10 hitter in the league in 2014. Also by the way, Michael Wielansky (Charlottesville) led the 2017 crop with a .484 OBP.


Sinay in Front Royal in 2014- on base, of course