Cardullo, McBroom, Jones Named Hitters of the Week

The latest round of’s hitter of the week for each minor league came out yesterday, and three former Valley Leaguers were named!

From highest minor league to lowest:

  • Stephen Cardullo (Covington 2007) is the Pacific Coast League hitter of the week for this line: .417/.444/.917, 6 G, 10-for-24, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Stephen was a 24th round draft pick in 2010, played two years in the minors, and was released. After four (four!) seasons in Independent Leagues, the Rockies signed him in January 2016, and assigned him to Triple-A. In 376 at-bats, Cardullo is hitting 314/375/532, with 24 doubles, 5 triples, and 16 home runs. Might he get a callup sometime this season? It would make for a great story, that’s for sure!
  • Ryan McBroom (Haymarket 2011-12) is the Florida State League hitter of the week because of this: .385/.414/.769, 7 G, 10-for-26, 1 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 SB. Ryan is now hitting 272/314/465 in 419 at-bats in High-A, along with 24 doubles and 19 home runs. The FSL is considered to be a pitcher’s league, too.
  • Last but not least, Bradley Jones (Charles Town 2015) is the Appalachian League hitter of the week for: .458/.517/.958, 7 G, 11-for-24, 3 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R, 4 BB, 2 K, 3 SB, 2 CS. I covered Bradley’s hot streak a couple days ago, but here are his updated numbers: 257/303/485 in 171 at-bats, with 9 doubles, 10 home runs, and 12 stolen bases.

Congrats to all three!








McBroom Named Top Prospect

Ryan McBroom Vancouver 2014In our second-to-last Valley League alumnus update on prospect status, we have the former West Virginia Mountineer and Haymarket Senator (2011-12) Ryan McBroom!

Ryan was a 15th round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014, and signed for a pittance as a college senior- $1,000! (Compare this to, say, Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006), who received a $2,000,000 signing bonus in 2008.)

Ryan had a very strong pro debut in the Northwest League’s Vancouver franchise in 2014, hitting 297/339/502 in 70 games and 273 at-bats. Then, assigned to the full season Midwest League in 2015, Ryan took off, hitting 315/387/482 in 127 games and 461 at-bats. (He was named ATVL’s Full-Season A-Ball Hitter of the Year, by the way.)

So, even with a s little fanfare as he received coming out of college, now Ryan is garnering some attention for his performance in the minor leagues. He was named in both and Fangraphs.

So let’s take a look: lists Ryan as the 27th best prospect in the Blue Jay system:

McBroom’s profile has risen substantially since he signed for $1,000 as a college senior out of West Virginia in the 15th round of the 2014 Draft. He led the Class A Short Season Northwest League with 11 homers in his pro debut and encored by winning MVP honors in the Class A Midwest League in his first full season.

At 23, McBroom was old for the Midwest League, so he’ll have to prove that he can hit against more advanced opponents. But he has some encouraging tools, starting with power that he generates with his strength and a lofty right-handed swing. He’s an aggressive hitter with a knack for making hard contact, though he may need better discipline against better pitching.

McBroom’s value comes solely from his bat, and he’ll have to hit his way up the ladder. Though he has seen some time in left field in pro ball, his bottom-of-the-scale speed makes playing him there a stretch. He does have soft hands and can become an average defender at first base.

And Fangraphs named Ryan as a “quick hit” in their Blue Jays column:

1B Ryan McBroom has a chance to make his way onto this list with his bat, showing potential to hit for power and average. Neither tool may be big enough to make up for being a first baseman with absolutely no speed, and his advanced age relative to the competition he has beat up is cause for caution.

Sure, he’ll have to prove his worth at every stop, but that’s not terribly unusual anyway. Look at what Tyler White just did in the Houston system!

Ryan has been assigned a level higher than 2015- at High-A Dunedin, in the Florida State League. He’s off to a bit of a slow start, as he’s hitting 224/293/373, but in only 67 at-bats (through Saturday). Hopefully he can prove his worth at this level, too!


2015 Full Season A Hitter of the Year

As most of you know, below Double-A, the minor leagues is split into full season leagues and short-season leagues, and then “rookie” leagues. I decided to split ATVL’s awards into the same categories in 2015.

So this award, the “full season” A ball hitter and pitcher of the season, will go to a player from one of the following: California, Midwest, Carolina, Florida State, and South Atlantic leagues.

2014 Winner: Rudy Flores (Haymarket 2010)

2015 Winner: Ryan McBroom (Haymarket 2011-2012)

Ryan McBroom Lansing headshotRyan McBroom, Toronto’s 15th round draft pick in 2014, easily had the best full season hitting season. He played in Lansing, of the Midwest League, and finished the season at 315/387/482 in 127 games and 461 at-bats. He scored 72 runs, drove in 90, hit 39 doubles, 1 triple, 12 home runs, and had a solid 49/96 BB/K ratio. He has proven himself to be a productive minor league season over his two years in the minors!

Others to Consider

Jay Gonzalez (Harrisonburg 2011)- 268/381/325, 72 runs, 11 doubles, 8 triples, 42 RBIs, 87/133 BB/K, 34 stolen bases combined for Frederick and Delmarva.

Joseph Bennie (Strasburg 2011)- 272/363/430, 63 runs, 35 doubles, 3 triples, 11 home runs, 56 RBIs, 66/137 BB/K, and 14 stolen bases for Beloit.

Two Named Toronto Org All-Stars

And two more former Valley Leaguers have been named an “Organization All-Star”- this time for the Toronto Blue Jays. Although, weirdly, only one of the two is still a member of the organization. (This is it for the organization all-stars; all the teams have now been covered. So this is it!)

First of all, Ryan McBroom (Haymarket 2011-12) had a fantastic year for Low-A Lansing. This is what Josh Jackson wrote about Ryan:

First baseman — Ryan McBroom, Lansing (127 games): Although he still doesn’t rate among Ryan McBroom Lansing’s Top 20 Jays prospects, the 2014 15th-rounder made a statement with the 2015 campaign. He led the Midwest League with 39 doubles and finished second with a .315 average, 222 total bases, a .869 on-base plus slugging percentage and 90 RBIs en route to league MVP honors. He also slugged 12 home runs for the Class A Lugnuts.

“A guy that can really hit and is a very talented first baseman,” Lansing manager Ken Huckaby said of  the 23-year-old West Virginia product. “He has an incredible work ethic, an incredible drive to win. He’s a true professional — he’s going to play this game for a while with the way he works.”

Almost 40 doubles, 90 RBIs, a league MVP…. yep, that’s an awesome year.

The second player is former Luray Wrangler Ryan Schimpf (2008), who, oddly enough, has just signed a free agent contract with the San Diego Padres. He was still named the organization all-star at designated hitter. His writeup:

Designated hitter — Ryan Schimpf, New Hampshire (76 games), Buffalo (31 games): After ryan schimpf 2015seven seasons with the Blue Jays, Schimpf signed with the Padres as a free agent in November. The 27-year-old slugger left on a high note, leading the organization with 23 homers, batting .250 — his highest season average since 2012 — and winning the Fisher Cats’ Webster Award.

The Webster Award is given to the MVP at each Toronto affiliate, by the way. Maybe Ryan will make the majors with the Padres, although another former Valley Leaguer, Cory Spangenberg (Winchester 2010), is next in line for the position. Ryan went over 100 home runs for his minor league career in 2015.

Congrats to both players!

McBroom, Gomber Named All-Midwest League

Ryan McBroom Lansing headshotTwo former Valley Leaguers have been honored by the Midwest League in their year-end awards.

First of all, Ryan McBroom (Haymarket 2011-12) has been named to the Postseason All-Star team at first base, but that’s not the coolest thing- he’s also been named MVP of the entire league! Ryan crushed the ball in 2015, hitting 323/394/496 in 421 at-bats, along with 38 doubles, 11 home runs, and 82 RBIs. He’s probably the leading candidate for ATVL’s full-season A-ball player of the year award.

Austin Gomber (Luray 2012) was also named to the postseason All-Star team as the left handed starter. Austin’s 14-3, 2.79, with 132 strikeouts in 129 innings pitched. A tremendous year!

Congratulations to both players!

McBroom Has Monster Night

Ryan McBroom Lansing 2015There are good nights, and then there are nights like Ryan McBroom (Haymarket 2011-12) just had in the Midwest League for the Lansing Lugnuts (gotta love those minor league nicknames).

How about this: Ryan went 6-6 with 2 doubles, a home run, walk, 3 runs scored, and 4 RBIs in Lansing’s 10-9 loss in 13 innings. That’s a monster night.

Ryan said this after the game:

I kind of went up with an attacking mindset. I just wanted to get a fastball I could hit and put a good swing on it. That was pretty much my goal for the day, and I was lucky enough to have all six get through. The one homer was just on a fastball in. … I waited for a good pitch I could put a good swing on, like I said, and just get it out of the infield.

McBroom has hit quite well in the minors since he was picked in the 15th round of the 2014 draft. In Vancouver in the Northwest League in 2o14, Ryan hit 297/339/502 in 273 at-bats. This year, Ryan moved up a level to the Midwest League, and is exploding! His stat line is now 345/416/502 in 293 at-bats. His slugging is exactly the same, but he’s improved greatly in both batting average and on-base percentage.

Congratulations, Ryan!



Short Season A Hitter, Pitcher of the Year

The short-season leagues are the New York-Penn League and the Northwest League. Many recent draftees are assigned to these leagues, which means that many former Valley Leaguers play in these leagues every year.

2014 Short-season Hitter of the Year

Ryan McBroom 2014 headshotVery clearly, the short-season hitter of the year is Ryan McBroom (Haymarket 2011-2012), a 15th round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015. Ryan slugged his way through the Northwest League, hitting a whopping 34 extra base hits in only 70 games. He finished at 297/339/502 in 273 at-bats, with 23 doubles, 11 home runs, 59 RBIs, and a 13/52 BB/K ratio. That BB/K ratio is the only stat to ding Ryan’s season, but as far as professional debuts go, Ryan had an amazing season.

Others to consider:

Team League G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB Avg. OBP SLG OPS
Ryan McBroom Vancouver Northwest 70 273 37 81 23 0 11 59 13 52 1 0.297 0.339 0.502 0.841
Michael Katz Brooklyn NY Penn 42 153 17 42 9 1 0 18 12 45 5 0.275 0.323 0.346 0.669
Tyler McFarland Staten Island NY Penn 62 237 24 66 17 2 5 40 20 37 6 0.278 0.345 0.430 0.775
Riley Palmer Aberdeen NY Penn 59 194 27 53 11 2 5 21 8 61 2 0.273 0.324 0.428 0.752

McFarland (Harrisonburg 2011) is the son of JMU’s Spanky McFarland, who has been the head coach at JMU for 18 years.

2014 Short-season Pitcher of the Year

In short-season ball, the pitching is often ahead of the hitting, and the length of the list of high-performing pitchersRyan Yarbrough 2014 Everett confirms that.

However, the pitcher of the year is pretty clear: It’s Ryan Yarbrough (Luray 2012), who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 draft by the Seattle Mariners. He made his pro debut for Everett in the Northwest League, and promptly went 0-1, 1.40, with a 0.75 WHIP, 0.9 BB/9 and 12.3 K/9 in 38 2/3 innings (10 starts and 2 relief appearances). Out of all the pitchers considered, Ryan came in 3rd in ERA, and 1st in BB/9, K/9, and WHIP. He dominated the Northwest League. I will be shocked if he doesn’t make a full season club this spring. (And by the way, he also threw 4 shutout innings in Rookie ball.)

Others to consider:

Aaron Cressley Eugene Northwest 2 1 3.60 21 2 0 35.0 34 17 14 15 29 3.86 7.46 1.40
Seth Lucio Eugene Northwest 3 2 2.97 24 0 1 27.3 16 11 9 20 46 6.59 15.16 1.32
Michael Kraft Vancouver Northwest 1 0 0.86 16 0 1 21.0 7 2 2 13 25 5.57 10.71 0.95
Ryan Yarbrough Everett Northwest 0 1 1.40 12 10 0 38.7 25 7 6 4 53 0.93 12.33 0.75
Matt Hockenberry Williamsport NY Penn 2 0 2.35 9 0 1 15.3 13 5 4 3 17 1.76 10.00 1.05
Austin Gomber State College NY Penn 2 2 2.30 11 11 0 47.0 55 17 12 18 36 3.45 6.89 1.55
Calvin Rayburn Williamsport NY Penn 2 1 1.23 22 0 9 29.3 16 8 4 9 16 2.76 4.91 0.85
Chris Pike Hudson Valley NY Penn 4 1 2.72 12 10 0 53.0 41 16 16 15 44 2.55 7.47 1.06
Adam Parks Spokane Northwest 2 2 2.13 18 0 4 25.3 19 6 6 5 31 1.78 11.03 0.95
Austin Chrismon Tri-City NY Penn 6 3 3.69 16 13 0 68.3 65 32 28 15 49 1.98 6.46 1.17
Gaither Bumgardner Brooklyn NY Penn 0 2 2.30 12 0 2 31.3 20 14 8 15 27 4.31 7.76 1.12

Michael Kraft (Harrisonburg 2012) gave up only 7 hits in 21 innings… Seth Lucio (Waynesboro 2012) struck out 46 batters in only 27 1/3 innings… Adam Parks (Charles Town 2013) barely pitched at Liberty, then was drafted and dominated the Northwest League. He’s also best known for throwing a perfect game in the Valley in 2013.