Four Pitchers off to Great Starts

As I did a few days go with four batters off to hot pro starts, let’s take a look at four pitchers who have done the same!

  • Abraham Almonte (Strasburg 16) was drafted in the 26th round this June by the Arizona Diamondbacks, after wowing the Valley League with strikeouts out of the bullpen for the Express last summer. He’s pitched in 5 games so far for Missoula in the Pioneer League, and is 0-0, 0.00, with 2 hits, 0 walks, and 8 strikeouts in 5 innings (and 3 saves).
  • Garrett Cave (Staunton 15) was nabbed in the 4th round by the Giants. He’s 0-0, 0.00 after appearing in 3 games, with 2 hits, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts in 4 innings (1 save). He was assigned to Salem-Keizer of the Northwest League.
  • Reed Hayes is in the Orioles’ system after being picked in the 13th inning out of Vanderbilt. They sent the 2015 Staunton Brave to Aberdeen of the New York-Penn League, where he is 1-0, 0.00, with 2 hits, 0 walks, and 3 strikeouts in 3 innings (2 saves, too).
  • Walter Borkovich (Staunton 15) was signed as an undrafted free agent in June by the Braves. Assigned to the Gulf Coast League, Walter has thrown 4 shutout innings while allowing 4 hits, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout.

Keep it up, guys!

Abraham Almonte Philly U


Garrett Cave Tampa 2017


Reed Hayes Vandy 2017


Walter Borkovich MSU




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)

MLB Draft Starts Tonight

The Major League draft begins with Round 1, the Supplemental Rounds, and Round 2 starting at 7 PM this evening. It’s one of my favorite nights of the year!

By most accounts, Nate Pearson (Staunton 2016), Michael Gigliotti (Covington 2015) and Garrett Cave (Staunton 2015) will be the first Valley Leaguers drafted.

Stay tuned- I will be keeping track!

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!



2017 Baseball America Top Draft Prospects

Each year, Baseball America ranks the top draft prospects in each Division I league, and also the other levels, junior college, NAIA, and Divisions II and III. (By the way, years ago I was chatting with a VBL team executive who had an idea to gather all the best D-III prospects during a summer to see how they would fare against the rest of the league. Does anyone have any thoughts of what might happen?)

Anyway, many former Valley Leaguers were named in BA’s college preview article. Let’s take a look, by level first, and then by league.

Division II

#1. Garrett Cave, rhp, Tampa (Staunton 2015)


#5. Riley Echols, rhp, Freed-Hardeman (Charles Town 2015)
#10. Brandon Guske, rhp, Freed-Hardeman (Winchester 2015)

Junior College

#2. Nate Pearson, rhp, JC of Central Florida (Staunton 2016)


Tyler Howe, rhp, Alabama State (Waynesboro 2015-16), preseason Pitcher of the Year
#1. Ray Hernandez, 3B, Alabama State (Purcellville 2016)
#2. Yamil Pagan, OF, Alabama State (Front Royal 2016)
#6. Joseph Estrada, rhp/OF, Alabama State (Waynesboro 2015)


#4 Bryson Bowman, OF, Western Carolina (Charles Town 2015)
#10. Chris Cook, SS, East Tennessee State (Waynesboro 2015)

Sun Belt

#5. Kevin Woodall, 1B, Coastal Carolina (New Market 2015)
#9. Brendan Donovan, 3B, South Alabama (New Market 2016)- 2018 potential draftee
#10. Corey Childress, rhp, Troy (Harrisonburg 2016)
#20. Billy Cooke, OF, Coastal Carolina (Charlottesville 2015)

Ohio Valley

#2. Zach Neff, lhp, Austin Peay (Waynesboro 2016)


#10. Jose Carrera, SS, Manhattan (Covington 2014-16)
Fabian Pena, C, Manhattan (Covington 2016)- preseason Player of the Year


#4. Aubrey McCarty, rhp/OF, Florida A&M  (Waynesboro 2015)
#5. Alex Mauricio, rhp/3B, Norfolk State (Waynesboro 2015)

Horizon League

#6. Zach Sterry, 1B, Oakland (Waynesboro 2016)

Conference USA

#4. Tyler Ratliff, 3B/rhp, Marshall (Purcellville 2016)
#14. Stephen Kerr, rhp, Florida Atlantic (Charles Town 2014)
#15. JC Escarra, 1B/C, Florida International (Staunton 2014)
#19. Cody Puckett, rhp, Middle Tennessee State (Front Royal 2015)


#9. Adam Sisk, OF, JMU (Staunton 2016)

Big 12

#8. Kameron Esthay, OF, Baylor (Harrisonburg 2015)

Big South

#4. Zach Cook, rhp, Winthrop (Charlottesville 2015)

American Athletic

#7. Jonathan Bowlan, rhp, Memphis (New Market 2016)- 2018 draftee
#17. Drew Crosby, lhp, Memphis (Winchester 2015)

Atlantic Sun

#1. Michael Gigliotti, OF, Lipscomb (Covington 2015)- Player of the Year
#10. Austin Hale, C, Stetson (Waynesboro 2015)

Atlantic 10

#3. Keenan Bartlett, rhp, Richmond (Winchester 2015)
#4. Ryan Kelly, rhp, Saint Joseph’s (New Market 2015)

  • 33 total players
  • By team:
    • Waynesboro- 8
    • Staunton, New Market- 4
    • Charles Town, Winchester, Covington- 3
    • Purcellville, Front Royal, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville- 2

Good luck to all- hopefully all of these young man will get a chance at the next level!

Three Named Top College Prospects

Back on January 6, Baseball America posted a list of the top 100 college prospects for the 2017 draft. As usual, ATVL scoured the list looking for former Valley League players. This year, three players are listed:

  • Michael Gigliotti, Lipscomb (Covington 2015) is listed at #14. Over his freshman and sophomore years at Lipscomb, Michael has hit 320/408/454 in 425 at-bats, along with a 56/66 BB/K ratio. He hit 280/349/320 in 75 at-bats in ’15 for the ‘Jacks.
  • Nate Pearson, JC of Central Florida (Staunton 2016) is listed at #41. The hulking righthander (he’s 6-foot-6) pitched in one game for the Braves last summer.
  • Garrett Cave, Tampa (Staunton 2015) is listed at #56. Garrett transferred to D-II Tampa for 2017 after two years at Florida International. He pitched in 14 games for the ’15 Braves, finishing 1-0, 4.34, with 1 save, 27 walks and 37 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched.

Hopefully all three will be drafted this coming June!

Michael Gigliotti

Michael Gigliotti

Sterry, Reed, Cave Named Summer All-Americans

After the summer leagues wrap up each year, Perfect Game publishes three teams, plus honorable mentions, of All-Americans covering all the leagues.

I believe there is an inherent conflict of interest with these lists, as PG sponsors its own league, but the lists are still worth checking out, especially since a couple current and former Valley Leaguers usually make the lists each year. Also, it’s worth noting that lists like this are almost impossible, as many, many players worthy of a notice are left off, which of course must happen when there are more than 20 summer leagues operating out there.

So, three players with connections to the Valley were named this year.

First of all, Garrett Cave (Staunton 2015) was named to the 2nd team as a reliever. Garrett pitched in the Cape Cod League this year, and went 0-2, 1.86, with 10 saves, 10 hits allowed, 13 walks, and 34 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings pitched.

Secondly, Zach Sterry (Waynesboro) was named in the honorable mention section at designated hitter. Zach was the 2016 Valley League MVP, and is no stranger to these pages, for sure. Much more will be posted on him later this offseason.

Thirdly, Will Reed (Purcellville) was named honorable mention at relief pitcher. Will was named All-Valley in 2016, and will also be mentioned in these pages later on.

Congratulations to all three!