Five Sign as Nondrafted Free Agents

Every year after the draft, dozens and dozens of undrafted players will be signed as free agents. Usually, their stay in professional baseball is pretty short, but sometimes a full-fledged career blossoms from this point. (See Brandon Dickson (New Market 2006), or Brandon Beachy (Woodstock 2008), or Robby Scott (Covington 2010))

ATVL will watch the lists of transactions to catch them, hopefully, but if you, Brilliant Reader, know of some that ATVL does not catch, send a message.

Here are the first five players that have been signed as free agents:

Walter Borkovich RHP Michigan State Atlanta Staunton 15
Tad Ratliff RHP Lenior-Rhyne Kansas City Charlottesville 15
Erven Roper C Charleston LA Angels Woodsock 14-5
Jose Carrera SS Manhattan NY Yankees Covington 14-6
Tyler Zombro RHP George Mason Tampa Bay Staunton 14

Ratliff, by the way, faced 6 batters in his pro debut…. and struck them all out.

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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)

NAIA

#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)

SWAC

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)

Southern

#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)

MAAC

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

MEAC

#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)

CAA

#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!

Playoffs Day 3: Saturday July 30

Rain, rain, go away… two contests were washed out last night, while the other series concluded with a sweep. Let’s take a look…

Result

Covington 5, Harrisonburg 3 (Covington wins the series, 2-0. The Jacks scored 3 in the 4th inning, and headed into the 9th with a 5-1 lead. The Turks scored twice with still no one out, but Nick Payesko restored order and recorded the last 3 outs. The Jacks move on to face Waynesboro in the Division finals, and the Turks head home. Since Harrisonburg won the title in 2012, the team has been bounced in the first round for four straight years. The playoffs are hard! (The silver lining there, of course, is that the Turks have MADE the playoffs for 7 straight years.)

Hitter of the Day

Jose Carrera Manhattan 2016Our hitter of the day is Covington’s Jose Carrera, from Manhattan! Jose went 2-3, with an RBI, walk, double, and stolen base. Jose is 4-8 in the playoffs, and hit 256/335/442 in 156 at-bats in the regular season- his third in Covington!

Others of Note

Tripp Shelton, Harrisonburg: 1-2, run, RBI, 2 BB, HR
Brandon Vicens, Covington: 2-4, run, 2B, SB
Bruce Strickland, Covington: 2-4, run, RBI, SB

Pitcher of the Day

Is there a better name for a pitcher than Cannon? Better than Grant Balfour, or Bob Walk… Anyway, our POD is Orlando Cannon pitchingCovington’s Orlando Cannon, from ASA. Orlando went 5.1 innings last night, allowing 3 hits, 1 earned run, 4 walks, and struck out 5. He earned the win and a game score of 59. It was his first appearance in the playoffs. In the regular season, Orlando went 1-1, 7.30 in 28.1 innings.

Tonight’s Games

Strasburg (Benjamin Dum) at Purcellville (Pat Doudican) (Game 2, Strasburg up 1-0)
Winchester (Joey Jones) at Front Royal (Jacob Ramos) (Game 2, Front Royal up 1-0)
Covington (Orsen Josephina) at Waynesboro (Campbell Scholl) (Game 1 already!

Everything That Happened, Saturday July 23

Six games were played last night. I’m planning to work on one more post today- a look at the playoff chase.

Results

Covington 5, Staunton 3 (7 innings, game 1)
Purcellville 4, New Market 1
Waynesboro 5, Harrisonburg 0
Strasburg 7, Woodstock 1
Front Royal 8, Winchester 3
Covington 5, Staunton 3 (7 innings, game 2. Look familiar?)

Hitter of the Day

Jose Carrera Manhattan 2016Our HOD is Covington’s Jose Carrera, from Manhattan! Jose went 2-3 in game one of the doubleheader, with 2 runs scored, 2 RBIs, a double, and a home run. In this, his third year in the league, Jose is hitting 267/343/460 in 150 at-bats, along with 10 doubles, 5 triples, 3 home runs, and 27 stolen bases.

Others of Note

Tyler Ratliff, Purcellville: 3-4, run, 2 RBIs, SB
Sam Palensky, Waynesboro: 2-3, 2 RBIs, BB, 2B, HBP
Tommy Richter, Strasburg: 3-4, 2 runs, 2B
Kevin Williams Jr, Front Royal: 3-5, 2 runs
Joey Mundy, Front Royal: 2-3, run, RBI, SB, BB
Bruce Martin, Covington: 3-3, run, 2 RBIs, 3B, SB

Pitcher of the Day

Our POD is Garrett Richards, for Strasburg, from Danville Community College! Garrett threw 8 innings and allowedGarrett Richards Strasburg 2016 only 2 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, and struck out 4. He earned a game score of 76. His summer stats so far: 1-0, 3.75 in 12 innings. (This was his first start!)

Others of Note

Pat Doudican, Purcellville: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K’s (65)
Campbell Scholl, Waynesboro: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 0 K’s (72)
Jacob Ramos, Covington: 5.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K’s (66)

Tonight’s Games

Waynesboro (Dylan Burns) at Charlottesville (TBD) (Game 1, 6 PM)
Staunton (Samuel Crocker) at Front Royal (Joseph Catalani)
Strasburg (Benjamin Dum) at Winchetser (Louis Pugliese)
Purcellville (Matt Copley) at Woodstock (Danton Hyman)
Waynesboro (TBD) at Charlotteville (Josh Sharik) (Game 2, 830 PM)

#12 Hitter: Jose Carrera, Covington

Our #12 hitter in the 2015 Valley League season, Jose Carrera, is our first repeat customer, so to speak. Jose, who played for Covington, is the first player on the list returning to the Valley League for a second season. And he was excellent both years, of course.

In 2015, Jose hit 325/397/413 in 40 games and 160 at-bats, along with 27 runs, 13 RBIs, 9 doubles, a triple, a home run, and 22 stolen bases, against only 4 caught stealing. He also controlled the strike zone well, putting up a solid 13/15 BB/K ratio. Jose had 4 hits in a game twice, and 3 hits in a game three times.

The junior from Manhattan College was also very good in 2014, when he hit 331/392/438, also for Covington. He has been a mainstay in the Lumberjack lineup for 80 games now- half a major league season!

At Manhattan as a freshman in 2014, Jose hit 260/321/342 in 50 games and 196 at-bats. He hit 10 doubles, 3 triples, stole 26 bases, and had an 18/24 BB/K ratio. In 2015, Jose played in 20 games before he was injured and missed the rest of the year. He hit 190/358/317 in only 63 at-bats.

This kind of player makes the Valley League what it is- Jose missed a bit chunk of his college season, and he needed at-bats to continue his development. He got the at-bats, and put up great numbers as well.

Congratulations, Jose, for not only one great season, but two!

(Austin Bachand/Daily News-Record)

(Austin Bachand/Daily News-Record)

Valley League Summary, Tuesday, June 9

Much more pitchers-oriented last night. Take a look!

Results

Strasburg 6, Front Royal 2
Harrisonburg 5, Waynesboro 4
Staunton 10, New Market 5
Winchester 3, Aldie 2
Covington 6, Charlottesville 5
Charles Town 2, Woodstock 1

Hitter of the Day

Jose Carrera

Jose Carrera

Our hitter of the day is no stranger to the Shenandoah Valley, as he is a returner this year. He also hit well last year, and was named one of the best hitters in the league by ATVL. Last night, Jose Carrera, from Manhattan College and Covington, went 4-5 with a double against Charlottesville. Jose is now a ridiculous 10-17 so far this season, with a stat line of 588/611/706.

Others of Note

Daniel Midyett, Strasburg: 3-3, run, BB
Kameron Esthay, Harrisonburg: 3-4, RBI
Josh Smith, Staunton: 2-4, 3 runs, RBI, BB, HR
Jordan Howard, Staunton: 2-3, 2 runs, RBI, BB, HBP
Nathaniel Maggio, Winchester: 2-2, BB, 2B, HBP
Joseph Consolmagno, Aldie: 2-3, run, BB, SB
Matthew Koehler, Woodstock: 2-3, BB, SB
Sam Fragale, Charles Town: 2-3, RBI, 2 BB, 2B
Michael Alescio, Covington: 3-4, 2 runs, RBI

Pitcher of the Day

The league had two outstanding performances on the bump last night, but one game score was a tiny bit higher. Our

Garrett Ring

Garrett Ring

pitcher of the day is Staunton’s Garrett Ring, from Middle Tennessee State! Garrett threw 6 innings against New Market, allowing only 4 hits, 1 unearned run, 0 walks, and struck out an amazing 12 batters! He was the winning pitcher, and earned a game score of 74, the highest of the year thus far.

Others of Note

Stephen Solomon, Covington: 7 IP, 5 hits, 1 unearned run, 0 BB, 5 K’s, game score of 70- the second highest of the season!
Luke Burnidge, Front Royal: 5 IP, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 1 BB, 3 K’s, loss (55)
Connor Foltyn, Waynesboro: 3 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 BB, 2 K’s
Tucker McCoy, Harrisonburg: 3.1 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 BB, 1 K, win
Michael Catlin, Winchester: 5 IP, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 3 BB, 1 K (51)
Reid Van Woert, Aldie: 5 IP, 4 hits, 1 earned run, 2 BB, 6 K’s (59)
Brady Jones, Woodstock: 5 IP, 4 hits, 1 earned run, 5 BB, 4 K’s (54)
Philip Stokes, Covington: 4 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 3 BB, 1 K, win (58)
Hayden McCutcheon, Charlottesville: 4 IP, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 0 BB, 4 K’s, loss (56)

Wednesday’s Schedule

Front Royal (Josh Shepley) at Charles Town (Brandon Caples)
New Market (JD Waite) at Covington (TBD)
Strasburg (Wade Arduini) at Winchester (David Lee)
Staunton (Walter Borkovich) at Harrisonburg (Kale Morton)
Charlottesville (TBD) at Waynesboro (William Montgomerie)
Aldie (Jordan Gard) at Woodstock (Christian Dufresne)

The Top Valley League Hitters From 2014

Ok, brilliant readers! It’s time to start what has become an ATVL tradition- the lists of the top players in the just-completed Valley League season.

I began the lists back in 2007, when Jason Kipnis (Covington) was, in my opinion, the best hitter in the league. So now, we’re ready for the 8th installment!

We’ll begin with the top hitters in the league. This year, I’ve identified the top 15 hitters from the 2014 season, and will count them down one by one. I choose them by looking at rate stats (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS (on-base+ slugging)), and walk/strikeout ratio, and then counting stats (like doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, etc).

I would like to stress that this list is just one person’s opinion. The lists have literally nothing to do with who might make the best pro, or who might play in the major leagues- it’s just a snapshot of how these guys performed in one summer.

Got it? Great!

So, we’ll start the top hitters list by looking at the “last 7”- the 7 guys who are not on the top 15 list, but who were strongly considered.

Here they are- #16-#22, but NOT in any specific order. All these guys had excellent summers!

  • Jose Carrera, Covington, from Manhattan College: 331/392/438, 11 doubles, 2 home runs, 34 runs, 27 RBIs, 16/10 BB/K ratio, 15 stolen bases
  • Spencer Wolfe, Front Royal, Shepherd College: 320/457/380, 6 doubles, 0 home runs, 16 runs, 14 RBIs, 20/20 BB/K, 4 stolen bases
  • Thomas Smith, Harrisonburg, Georgia Tech: 317/385/415, 9 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 27 runs, 17 RBIs, 17/12 BB/K.
  • Justin Harris, Charles Town, Emporia State: 308/414/421, 4 doubles, 4 triples, 1 home run, 41 runs, 11 RBIs, 21/29 BB/K, 31 stolen bases
  • Tyler Orris, Waynesboro, Millersville: 306/415/398, 4 doubles, 3 triples, 0 home runs, 24 runs, 8 RBIs, 19/22 BB/K, 7 stolen bases
  • Eric Kalbfleisch, Harrisonburg, UNC Greensboro: 303/363/439, 8 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, 19 runs, 31 RBIs, 14/18 BB/K
  • Blake Edwards, Covington, Columbus State: 335/386/377, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 0 home runs, 34 runs, 19 RBIs, 13/9 BB/K, 21 stolen bases