Baseball America Top 100 Prospects

Baseball America publishes a list of their top 100 prospects each year, and have done so since 1990.

So, you know what I had to do, Brilliant Reader… here is every Valley League alumnus who has been named in the history of the BA 100 list!

1990-1997: None

1998: Mike Lowell, #71, 3B, New York Yankees (Waynesboro 1993)

1999: None

2000: Adam Everett, #76, SS, Houston Astros (Winchester 1996)
Aubrey Huff, #98, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays (Staunton 1997)

2001: Jon Rauch, #4, RHP, Chicago White Sox (Harrisonburg 1998)
Aubrey Huff, #43

2002: Jon Rauch, #92

2003: Jon Rauch, #92

2004-2005: None

2006: Cliff Pennington, #83, SS, Oakland A’s (Harrisonburg 2003)

2007: None

2008: Chris Perez, #97, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Staunton 2004)

2009: Yonder Alonso, #35, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (Luray 2006)

2010: Yonder Alonso, #45

2011: Jason Kipnis, #54, 2B, Cleveland Indians (Covington 2006-07)
Yonder Alonso, #73

2012: Yonder Alonso, #33
Cory Spangenberg, #78, 2B, San Diego Padres (Winchester 2010)

2013-2017: None

If I had to guess who will make the list in the coming year, I would say Nate Pearson (Staunton 2016) had a solid shot, especially with his velocity (he’s hit 100+ on the radar gun a number of times).

So, if you’re keeping score at home, 9 different players have been named a top 100 prospect. Two come from Harrisonburg, Winchester, and Staunton, and one comes from Waynesboro, Luray, and Covington. Every single one of the nine has had a nice career in the major leagues.

Mike Lowell Boston Red Sox

Mike Lowell with the Red Sox

League Record Book: Batting Average

One of the things ATVL does in the offseason is take a look at the “league record book,” which is a list of the top performers SINCE 2004. (That’s an important distinction, by the way. Stats from before that were unavailable, so I use what I have.)

These stats also include playoff numbers, but do not include the all-star game or any showcase events.

So let’s get started, shall we? Today we’ll have what might be the most interesting category, since three 2017 VBLers crashed this list- batting average!

1 Michael Wielansky Charlottesville 2017 0.428
2 Brad Zebedis Strasburg 2011 0.420
3 Julian Ridings Waynesboro 2012 0.419
4 Luke Greinke Winchester 2007 0.417
5 Gunnar McNeill Staunton 2014 0.414
6 Shane Billings Harrisonburg 2015 0.406
7 Jordan Tarsovich Strasburg 2013 0.405
8 Dominic Canzone Front Royal 2017 0.404
9 Cory Spangenberg Winchester 2010 0.399
10 Joe Kemp Harrisonburg 2004 0.396
11 Blake Sipe Staunton 2012 0.396
12 Max Wood Staunton 2017 0.389
13 Mike Garza Woodstock 2010 0.388

(By the way, I am adding players without deleting any, so some of the lists will have more than 10. I’m trying to build the lists back up to 20, if possible. It’s more interesting with more names, wouldn’t you say?)

Three 2017 players grabbed spots on the list; Michael Wielansky, obviously #1, #8 Dominic Canzone, and #12 Max Wood. We now have 8 Valley Leaguers who have hit .400 or better in the last 14 years.

We have one major leaguer on this one: Cory Spangenberg (San Diego Padres). Two more players are currently in affiliated ball: Shane Billings, who is playing in the Cardinals’ system for Palm Beach in the high-A Florida State League, and Jordan Tarsovich, in Double-A for the Oakland A’s system.

Four more players were in affiliated ball, but are no longer. They are #3 Julian Ridings, #4 Luke Greinke, #10 Joe Kemp, and #13 Mike Garza.

The last three, ones who did not play affiliated ball, are #2 Brad Zebedis, #5 Gunnar McNeill, and #11 Blake Sipe (who is playing in the Rockingham County Baseball League). Zebedis hit 328/402/501 in four years at Presbyterian, and also hit 303/363/424 in the Cape Cod League in 2012… and didn’t get drafted. Hard to believe.

By the way, Chaz Weaver lists the highest batting average in the history of the VBL as .466, by Lou Meadows, who played for Staunton in 1981.

Wielansky resized

Michael Wielansky, our new leader of the batting title record book! 



McGrath Mades Major League Debut!

Kyle McGrath SD 2017The San Diego Padres have called up former Staunton Brave Kyle McGrath (2011)!

By my count the 203rd Valley League alumnus to make his major league debut, Kyle ascended through the minors very quickly since he was drafted in the 36th round in the 2014 draft. The reason? He has been amazing at getting hitters out (which is a pitcher’s job, after all).

Initially assigned to the Arizona League, Kyle went 1-0, 0.79, with 22 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings and a 0.618 WHIP in his first pro season. In 2015, he pitched in Double-A for one game, but spent the rest of the year at Fort Wayne of the Midwest League, where he went 3-0, 1.70, with a 0.932 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings.

Last year, in 2016, he pitched in one game in Triple-A, and went 1-0, 0.00 in 17 1/3 innings in Lake Elsinore of the California League, and 1-2, 1.29, with a 0.822 WHIP and 50 K’s in 48 2/3 innings for Double-A San Antonio.

This season, Kyle is 1-1, 2.66 at San Antonio, with a 0.845 WHIP and 27 K’s in 23 2/3 innings.

In his entire minor league career (so far), Kyle is 7-5, 1.61, with a 0.839 WHIP, 1.4 BB/9, and 10.1 K/9 in 184 2/3 innings (208 strikeouts!).

Kyle made his major league debut last night, July 30th, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He threw a clean inning while striking out 2.

Congratulations, Kyle!

Results from Tuesday July 25

Six games were played last night!


Purcellville 8, Woodstock 7 (10 innings)
Front Royal 7, Woodstock 1
Charlottesville 4, Harrisonburg 2
Strasburg 7, Covington 4
Staunton 6, Waynesboro 5
New Market 15, Winchester 6

Hitter of the Day

Richard Miller Towson 2017Our HOD is Staunton’s Richard Miller, from Towson, who went 2-4, with 3 runs, 3 RBIs, a walk, and 2 huge home runs. He’s now hitting 324/414/473 in 148 at-bats this summer, with 35 runs scored and 33 RBIs in 38 games.

Others of Note

Andrew Zban, Purcellville: 2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, BB, HR
Danton Hyman, Woodstock: 3-5, run, 2 RBIs, SF
Christopher Jordan, Woodstock: 2-3, 2 runs, RBI, 2 BB
Kenny Bergmann, Front Royal: 2-3, run, 3 RBIs, 2B, HR
Will Heflin, Front Royal: 2-5, 2 runs, RBI, HR
Tripp Hamrick, Woodstock: 3-4, RBI
Blake Reese, New Market: 3-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs, 2 BB, 2B
Jacob Rhinesmith, New Market: 4-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs, BB
Jake Washer, New Market: 3-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, 2B
Conner Corbitt, New Market: 3-6, run, RBI
Vinnie Pasquantino, Charlottesville: 1-3, 3 RBIs, 2 BB, 3B
Haiden Lamb, Charlottesville: 3-4, RBI
Bryan Arias, Harrisonburg: 2-3, run, BB
Michael Wielansky, Charlottesville: 2-4, run, BB, 2B
Malik Stephens, Waynesboro: 3-5, run, 2 SB
Reid Long, Waynesboro: 2-4, run, RBI, BB, HR
Max Wood, Staunton: 2-4, run, BB, 2B
Brandon Quaranta, Strasburg: 3-4, run, 3 RBIs, 2B, HR
Jacob Hirsh, Strasburg: 4-5
Pablo Cabrera, New Market: 1-3, 3 runs, 2 BB

Pitcher of the Day

Our POD is Waynesboro’s Tyler Thompson, from Austin Peay! Tyler went 5 solid innings, Tyler Thompson Austin Peay 2017allowing only 1 hit, 1 unearned run, 3 walks, and recorded 7 strikeouts. His game score is 67. Tyler is now 1-2, 2.96, with 24 K’s in 30 1/3 innings this summer.

Others of Note

Will Heflin, Front Royal: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K’s, win (66)
Sean McCracken, Charlottesville: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K’s (I usually need 3 innings to include a pitcher here, but I was at the game when Sean pitched, and he mowed through these two innings in only 20 pitches. It was impressive.)
Austin Embler, Harrisonburg: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K’s (Also impressive- pitched at the same time as McCracken)
Lawson Humphries, Strasburg: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K’s, save (Since I included the other two…)
Nick Cottone, New Market: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K’s

Wednesday’s Games

Winchester at Charlottesville
Covington at Waynesboro
New Market at Purcellville (Rather large playoff implications here- Rebs can pull within a half game with a win)
Strasburg at Woodstock
Harrisonburg at Staunton (Braves can tie Turks with a win)

Results from Monday, July 24


Winchester 13, Covington 7 (Jacks scored 3 in first, 4 in the 9th, and gave up 13 in between)
Charlottesville 5, Woodstock 0
Covington 2, Purcellville 1
Staunton 10, Front Royal 2
Strasburg 12, Harrisonburg 3

Hitter of the Day

Brendan Cutting Nova Southeastern 2017The HOD from last night is Staunton’s Brendan Cutting, from Nova Southeastern, who went 4-5, with 3 runs, 2 RBIs, a walk, double, and home run. Brendan is hitting a robust 379/441/586 in 58 at-bats, with 6 doubles and 2 home runs this summer.

Others of Note

Ryan Alvarez, Covington: 3-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, HR
Dillon Reed, Winchester: 3-6, 3 runs, 3 RBIs, 2B, 2 SB
Kenneth Gilmore, Winchester: 3-4, run, RBI
Lorenzo Hampton, Winchester: 3-4, run, 3 RBIs
Seth Woodard, Winchester: 2-4, run, 3 RBIs, BB
Cole Migliorini, Charlottesville: 2-4, 2 2B
Kevin Dobos, Staunton: 2-4, run, RBI, BB, 2B
Colton Coss, Staunton: 2-4, run, RBI, BB
Joe Lytle, Harrisonburg: 2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, HBP, HR
Johnny Juarez, Harrisonburg: 2-3, BB
Tyler Martin, Strasburg: 2-4, run, BB
Brandon Quaranta, Strasburg: 2-4, 2 RBIs,BB
Jeffrey Butler, Strasburg: 2-2, run, 2 RBIs

Pitcher of the Day

Our POD is Charlottesville’s Cole Maye, from Florida, who threw 5 no-hit, shutout inningsCole Maye Flordia 2017 against Woodstock! He walked 2 and struck out 5 to earn the win and game score of 70. Cole is now 2-0, 2.31, with 11 K’s in 11 2/3 innings this summer.

Others of Note

Trent Rider, Winchester: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, win (54)
Matt Olson, Charlottesville: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K’s, should have a save, no?
Emilio Valdes, Covington: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 2 K’s, win (64)
John Nolan, Purcellville: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K’s, loss (57)
Thomas Sutera, Purcellville: 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K’s
Peter Soporowski, Staunton: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K’s, win (58)
Benjamin Dum, Strasburg: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K’s, win (57)

Tuesday’s Games

Purcellville at Woodstock 1 PM
Front Royal at Woodstock 7 PM
Covington at Strasburg
Waynesboro at Staunton
Winchester at New Market
Charlottesville at Harrisonburg

Results from Monday July 17


Front Royal 6, Covington 4
Winchester 5, Waynesboro 4
Staunton 7, Charlottesville 2

Hitter of the Day

Richard Miller Towson 2017Our HOD is Staunton’s Richard Miller, from Towson! Richard went 2-3, with a run, 4 RBIs, home run, and walk. He’s now hitting 344/433/469 in 128 at-bats this summer, with a solid 19/21 BB/K ratio.

Others of Note

James Cosentino, Waynesboro: 2-4, run, RBI, BB, 2B
Dillon Reed, Winchester: 3-5, run, RBI
Michael Wielansky, Charlottesville: 2-3, run, RBI, BB, HR
Rick Spiers, Charlottesville: 2-3, BB, 2B
Max Wood, Staunton: 3-4, 2 runs, RBI, BB

Pitcher of the Day

Our POD is also from Staunton- William & Mary’s Wade Strain! Wade threw 6 innings Wade Strain William and Mary 2017against the Tom Sox, allowing 6 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, and striking out 4. He’s now 2-4, 6.75 in 29 1/3 innings this summer.

Others of Note

Keagan McGinnis, Front Royal: 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K’s
Emilio Valdes, Covington: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Layne Looney, Charlottesville: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 K’s

Tuesday’s Games

Front Royal at Charlottesville
New Market at Purcellville
Waynesboro at Woodstock
Staunton at Strasburg
Covington at Winchester

Adams Makes MLB Debut

Austin Adams Nationals 2017The 205th Valley League alumnus to make his major league debut is Austin Adams, who pitched in Staunton in 2011!

Austin has been a strikeout machine in the minor leagues since he was drafted in the 8th round in 2012 by the Los Angeles Angels. Over 254 1/3 minor league innings, he has struck out 334 batters. Of course, the problem lies with his control- he’s also walked 185 in that time.

Austin made his major league debut on Saturday, July 15, for the Nationals against the Cincinnati Reds. He entered the game in the 8th inning of a 10-0 game. The inning, ah, did not go well. Perhaps Austin was a bit ramped up, but he faced five batters and did not record an out. He gave up 1 hit, walked 2, hit a batter, and a hitter reached on an error.

Hopefully Adams will get a second shot at pitching in the big leagues soon!