Minor League Record Book: Career Triples

Moving right along, today we have the highest total of triples in the minor leagues by Valley League alumni, both from 2006-2017, and “all-time.” (Quotation marks because I’m almost 100% positive that players have been missed. But it’s what I have at the moment.)

2006-2017
1 Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 48
2 Tyler Kuhn Luray ’06-07 42
3 Chad Oberacker Fauquier ’09 34
4 Ben Guez Covington ’06 33
5 Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-’10 32
6 Tyler Bortnick Front Royal ’06 30
Cory Spangenberg Winchester ’10 30
8 Adam Calderone Woodstock ’04 28
9 Scott Cousins Harrisonburg ’05 26
Ruben Sosa Harrisonburg ’10 26
11 Collin Cowgill Covington ’05 24
Ryan Schimpf Luray ’08 24
13 Tyson Auer Luray ’05-06 23

The active players on this list are Sherman Johnson, Cory Spangenberg, Ruben Sosa, and Ryan Schimpf. Johnson will most likely climb into the top three in 2018.

All-Time
1 Louie Meadows Staunton 78
2 Jim Pankovits Harrisonburg ’74 54
3 Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 48
4 Tommy Murphy Staunton ’98 43
5 Tyler Kuhn Luray ’06-07 42
6 Antoan Richardson Winchester ’03 39
7 Doug Dascenzo Front Royal 37
Kevin Reese Winchester ’98 37
9 Frank Menechino Harrisonburg ’92 36
10 Billy Sample Harrisonburg ’75 35
Allen Battle Front Royal 35
Eddie Pye Front Royal 35
Jon Zuber Harrisonburg ’91 35
14 Alan Cockrell Staunton 34
John Massarelli Front Royal 34
Chad Oberacker Fauquier ’09 34
17 Gary Jones Waynesboro ’82 33
Ben Guez Covington ’06 33
19 Andy Barkett Winchester ’92 32
Clay Timpner Staunton ’02 32
Sherman Johnson Covington ’09-10 32

A little more overlap here- the top five from recent years are on the all-time list as well. Louie Meadows seems to have this one wrapped up for the foreseeable future. He “only” hit one triple in the majors, but hit double digits twice in the minors, topping out at 14 in 1987. (Triples in a season is coming later.)

Louie Meadows

Louie Meadows

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Minor League Record Book: Career Doubles

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…

2006-2017
1 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 263
2 Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 201
3 Joey Butler New Market ’06 180
4 Ben Guez Covington ’06 176
5 Ryan Schimpf Luray ’08 174
6 Eric Campbell Luray ’06 172
7 Blake Tekotte Woodstock ’06 167
8 Rudy Flores Haymarket ’10 147
9 Tyler Bortnick Front Royal ’06 146
10 Tyler Kuhn Luray ’06-07 143
11 Collin Cowgill Covington ’05 140
12 Rebel Ridling Covington ’06 135

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…

All-Time
1 Andy Abad Harrisonburg ’93 292
2 Jeff Manto Front Royal 270
3 Luis Lopez Winchester ’92-3 269
4 Clint Robinson Harrisonburg ’05-06 263
5 Alan Cockrell Staunton 251
6 Andy Barkett Winchester ’92 249
7 Jon Zuber Harrisonburg ’91 238
8 Erik Kratz Way,Harr ’00-01 215
9 Jim Pankovits Harrisonburg ’74 213
10 Stephen Smitherman Winchester ’98-9 210
11 Tommy Murphy Staunton ’98 205
12 Wes Timmons Winchester ’98-9 202
13 Ryan Shealy Harrisonburg ’99 201
Tony Thomas Harrisonburg ’05 201
15 Jack Voigt Staunton 198
16 Joe Koshansky Staunton ’02-03 196
17 Steve Decker Front Royal 195
18 Frank Menechino Harrisonburg ’92 194
19 Kevin Reese Winchester ’98 192
Christopher Carter Waynesboro ’01 192

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

Tony Thomas when he was in the Red Sox organization

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:

2006-2017
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)

All-Time
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: Strikeouts

Along with the reduction in innings (the last entry of the 2004-2017 record book), comes the reduction of strikeouts. Here we go….

1 Tim Gudex Harrisonburg 2004 89
2 Dustin Umberger Luray 2007 88
3 Cody Weiss Luray 2010 87
4 Drew Granier Harrisonburg 2010 84
5 Robert Gilliam Luray 2007 81
6 Jeff Dagenhart New Market 2004 79
Josh Eidell Woodstock 2007 79
8 Kevin Herget Strasburg 2012 77
9 Omar Aguilar Covington 2004 76
Sean Stidfole Winchester 2004 76

The highest total in 2017 was turned in by Winchester’s Daniel Collins, with 57 total. Nick Fuchs, from Woodstock, led the regular season with 53. The highest in history belongs to John Radosevich, who struck out 212 batters for Harrisonburg in 1964.

Major Leagues: none
Current minor leagues: Kevin Herget
Previous minor leagues: Tim Gudex, Dustin Umberger, Cody Weiss, Drew Granier, Robert Gilliam, Omar Aguilar, Sean Stidfole
No Minor leagues: Jeff Dagenhart, Josh Eidell

So that does it- we’re finished the league record book from 2004. We will move on to the minor league record book next- more fun!

tim-gudex-pitching-iowa

Tim Gudex long ago

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!

Valley Leaguers in the Playoffs

In 2015, Daniel Murphy, at 30 years old, reached the first postseason of his career. He proceeded to go off, hitting 7 home runs in his first 9 playoff games, until he cooled off in the World Series against the Royals. He exploded with a stretch of power that he had not really shown in his career to that point. I just could hardly believe it as I posted video after video of Murph going deep. It was quite a bit of fun, to say the least.

So we have to ask the question: Who might be Daniel Murphy this year? (Besides Daniel himself, obviously!)

Here are the players you can catch while watching the major league playoffs, starting Tuesday night!

  • Brett Gardner, New York Yankees (New Market 2003-4): Brett played in 151 games for the wild-card winning Yanks, hitting 264/350/428, and setting career highs in hits, home runs, and slugging percentage. He’ll most likely be starting in left field Tuesday night against Minnesota.
  • Erik Kratz, Yankees (Waynesboro 2000, Harrisonburg 2001): Erik was sold from the Cleveland Indians to the Yankees on August 31st. He appeared in 4 games, and appeared at bat twice (and got a hit both times). I don’t think that Erik will be on the postseason roster, but you may catch a glimpse of him in the dugout….
  • Robby Scott, Boston Red Sox (Covington 2010): Robby is probably a long shot to make the postseason roster, but he did appear in 56 games during the season, going 2-1, 3.93, and holding lefties to a 129/236/323 slash line in 62 at-bats. He may be a lefty out of the pen to get one out at some point….
  • Will Harris, Houston Astros (Staunton 2003): Will has been on the disabled list some this year, but I believe he’s healthy now. He went 3-2, 3.05 in 44 1/3 innings, along with 51 strikeouts and a 0.97 WHIP.
  • Chris Devenski, Astros (Woodstock 2011): The Dragon will most assuredly get some crucial innings for the Astros. He went 8-5, 2.68 in 80 2/3 innings, struck out exactly 100 batters, and had a 0.94 WHIP in the regular season.
  • Tyler White, Astros (Haymarket 2010): This one will be fascinating. Tyler has very quietly raked since he returned to the Astros September 2nd. He hit 298/349/561 in 57 at-bats, good for a 149 OPS+. Will he be a bat off the bench?
  • Jon Jay, Chicago Cubs (Staunton 2004): Jay played in 140 games for the Cubbies, putting up a slash line of 297/376/377. He’ll see important time in the playoffs.
  • Tommy La Stella, Cubs (Haymarket 2009): I am expecting La Stella to be an important lefthanded bat off the bench for the defending champs. In 123 at-bats, he hit 293/395/480.
  • Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians (Covington 2006-07): Jason has had what must have been a frustrating season because of injuries. He is supposed healthy now, though, and the Indians have played him in center field some in the last few weeks to get his bat in the lineup. Will he start in center in the playoffs? Jason hit 234/291/416 in 334 at-bats during the regular season.
  • Adam Liberatore, Los Angeles Dodgers (Waynesboro 2007-08): Adam has also struggled with injuries this season. He pitched in only 4 games for the Dodgers; therefore, I would not expect him to be active in the postseason.
  • Austin Adams, Washington Nationals (Staunton 2011): Austin made his MLB debut for the Nats on July 15th. He pitched in 5 games and struck out 7 batters in 4 innings, but he also walked 6. I doubt he’ll be on the postseason roster.
  • Daniel Murphy, Nats (Luray 2006): Daniel has put in another awesome campaign. In 143 games and 531 at-bats, he has scored 93 runs, hit 43 doubles (leading the league), 23 home runs, and driven in 93 runs. He has a 136 OPS+. He will be starting at second base as long as the Nationals are alive.
Daniel Murphy plyoff home run

Murphy with a playoff home run for the Mets in 2015

Erik Kratz Sold to Yankees

The Cleveland Indians have sold Erik Kratz (Waynesboro 2000, Harrisonburg 2001) to the New York Yankees.
 
Big Erik was having quite a good year for Triple-A Columbus, not only hitting a bit, but throwing out 37% of runners attempting to steal, and also framing well.
 
Erik has been assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre for the time being, but the thought is that he will join the big league club when/if Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine are suspended for their roles in the brawl with Detroit.
 
Oddly, Erik joins another catcher in Scranton with ties to theValley League. One of the other backstops is none other than Eddy Rodriguez, who played in Luray in 2005 and 2006. (And gave my daughter a baseball in New Market in 2006, in the process becoming her favorite player.)
 
If Erik is called up, he will also join another former Valley Leaguer- Brett Gardner, who played in New Market in 2003 and 2004.
 
(Erik is also a friend of ATVL, for full disclosure. He did a huge interview with this page back in 2006- you can read them here and here)
(Also see more on this deal here)
Erik Kratz throwing