Five Excellent Minor League Starts!

In case you’re wondering, brilliant reader, I am still keeping a log of every minor league start of Valley League alumni. Every once in a while, lightning strikes, and a number of awesome starts happen on the same night.

Last night was one of those nights- out of the seven total starts, five of them were well above average!

So, I need to tell you about them, don’t I?

  1. Austin Gomber (Luray 2012) threw 9 innings for High-A Palm Beach, allowing only 6 hits, 1 earned run, 0 walks, and struck out 8. His game score is a huge 87. Almost unbelievably, though, he also lost the game, 1-0. About two weeks ago, Austin made a spot start for Double-A Springfield, and threw quite well. Overall in 2016, Austin is 6-7, 2.79, with a 1.12 WHIP, 27 walks and 97 strikeouts in 106.1 innings.
  2. James Reeves (Staunton 2013) also had a game score in the 80’s- he ended up at 82. He threw 7 shutout innings with only 2 hits, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts for High-A Tampa. He won his game. James appeared in 4 games for Low-A Charleston, and last night was his 18th appearance for High-A Tampa. Combined, he’s 4-2, 1.74, with a 0.79 WHIP, and 22 walks and 84 strikeouts in 67.1 innings. Move him up!
  3. It was great to see Hunter Adkins (Staunton 2010) throw a super game for Double-A Jacksonville. Hunter was released by the Oakland A’s back in 2014, and he spent time in two separate Independent Leagues in 2015, before the Miami Marlins signed him in December of that year. Last night, Hunter threw 7 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 2. He got the win and a game score of 76. He’s pitched at three different levels in 2016, and has gone a combined 2-6, 6.22, with a 1.50 WHIP, 25 walks and 58 strikeouts in 68 innings.
  4. The very large Max Povse (Staunton 2013) threw an excellent game for Double-A Mississippi in the Atlanta Braves’ system last night. He allowed 5 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run against 5 strikeouts in 7 innings. He got the win and a game score of 72. Max had started 15 games for High-A Carolina, and last night was his third in Double-A. Combined, he’s 7-5, 3.66, with only 18 walks against 104 strikeouts in 105.2 innings. Only 18 walks! (Max is listed at 6-foot-8)
  5. Taylor Hill (Winchester 2008) has the last one. In 7 innings for Triple-A Syracuse, Taylor allowed 5 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, and struck out 3. His game score is 64. Taylor has had cups of coffee in the majors in both 2014 and 2015, but he’s spent all of 2016 in Triple-A. For the year, he’s 4-8, 4.25, with 26 walks and 74 strikeouts in 110 innings. Since the 2006 draft, Taylor is tied for 8th with 38 career minor league wins.

All five of these starts happened last night, July 20th!

James Reeves firing a pitch for Tampa

James Reeves firing a pitch for Tampa


Minor League Starters for Tuesday, May 19

Let’s take a quick look:


  • Sam Howard (Staunton 2012) for A Asheville: 6 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 earned, 1 BB, 3 K’s, win, 7-3, game score of
    Sam Howard

    Sam Howard

    58. This is Sam’s third start excellent start in a row, and he’s now 2-4, 4.08 in 35.1 innings.

  • Taylor Hill (Winchester 2008) for AAA Syracuse: 4 IP, 11 hits, 4 earned runs, 0 BB, 4 K’s, loss, 5-4, game score of 28. Taylor is now 3-1, 4.57 in 45.1 innings.
  • Harrison Cooney (Front Royal 2012) for A Inland Empire: 5.2 IP, 6 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 BB, 2 K’s, win, 8-3, game score of 48. Harrison is now 1-2, 4.46 in 42.1 innings.

Scheduled for Wednesday, May 20

  • Max Povse (Staunton 2013), for A Rome
  • Scott Copeland (Staunton 2007), for AAA Buffalo

Minor League Starting Pitchers From Wednesday, April 22

Not a great night for former Valley Leaguers on the bump (besides Javier Salas)…

Starts for Wednesday, April 22

  • Taylor Hill (Winchester 2008) for AAA Syracuse: 3.2 IP, 8 hits, 6 earned runs, 2 BB, 3 K’s, game score of 22, lost, 11-7. Taylor is now 1-0, 4.41 on the season.
  • Javier Salas (Luray 2011) for A Brevard County: 7 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned, 0 BB, 5 K’s, game score of 58, lost, 3-1. Javi is 1-2, 1.35 in 20 innings so far in 2015.
  • Austin Gomber (Luray 2012) for A Peoria: 5.2 IP, 4 hits, 6 earned runs, 3 BB, 8 K’s, game score of 42, lost, 6-2. Austin is 1-2, 5.74 on the year.
  • Max Povse (Staunton 2013) for A Rome: 2.2 IP, 6 hits, 4 earned runs, 1 BB, 2 K’s, game score of 31, lost, 9-5. Max fell to 1-1, 3.55 on the year.

Scheduled Starts for Thursday, April 23

  • Brad Mills (Harrisonburg 2005) for AAA Nashville
  • Blaine Sims (New Market 2010) for A Lancaster
  • Matt Benedict (Haymarket 2009-10) for A Bradenton
  • Austin Chrismon (Strasburg 2013) for A Quad Cities

Minor League Starting Pitchers from Tuesday, April 21

Three “meh” starts, one excellent one….

Starts for Tuesday, April 21

  • Scott Copeland (Staunton 2007) for AAA Buffalo: 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 earned run, 1 BB, 6 K’s, game score of 65, Buffalo won, 3-1. Scott is now an excellent 2-0, 0.90 for the season.
  • Harrison Cooney (Front Royal 2012) for A Inland Empire: 5.1 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned, 3 BB, 4 K’s, game score of 43. Harrison is now 1-1, 4.20 after the 4-1 loss.
  • Taylor Cox (New Market 2012) for A Fort Wayne: 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 4 BB, 1 K, game score of 44. Cox is 0-1, 5.73. Fort Wayne lost 8-1.
  • Sam Howard (Staunton 2012) for A Asheville: A second tough start in a row for Sam. 4 IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 2 earned, 2 BB, 3 K’s, game score of 43. Sam’s 0-2, 6.43 after the 10-0 loss.

Scheduled Starts for Wednesday, April 22

  • ┬áTaylor Hill (Winchester 2008) for AAA Syracuse
  • Javier Salas (Luray 2011) for A Brevard County
  • Austin Gomber (Luray 2012) for A Peoria
  • Max Povse (Staunton 2013) for A Rome

Starting Pitchers for Friday, April 17 (and 16th)

Let’s take a look at former Valley Leaguers who started minor league games last night, and are scheduled to start tonight!

Starts on Thursday, April 16

  • Taylor Hill (Winchester 2008), AAA Syracuse: 6 2/3 IP, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks, 2 K’s, Win (1-0), 1.42 ERA, game score of 56.
  • Scott Copeland (Staunton 2007), AAA Buffalo: 7 IP, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks, 3 K’s, Win (1-0), 0.64 ERA, game score of 67.
  • Harrison Cooney (Front Royal 2012), A Inland Empire: 5 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned, 1 walk, 8 K’s, Win (1-0), 3.72 ERA, game score of 54.
  • Austin Gomber (Luray 2012), A Peoria: 7 IP, 6 hits, 1 earned run, 0 walks, 8 K’s, Win (1-1), 3.60 ERA, game score of 69.
  • Taylor Cox (New Market 2012), A Fort Wayne: 5 1/3 IP, 10 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, 1 walk, 0 K’s, no decision, 6.75 ERA, game score of 29.

Start Scheduled for Friday, April 17

  • Javier Salas (Luray 2011), A Brevard County (Florida State League)

Starting Pitchers for Thursday, April 16th (and the 15th)

I stumbled across an amazing tool for those of us interested in the minor leagues. On, a site run by prospect guru John Sickels, there is a daily post on the starting pitchers for almost every minor league game that will be played that day. This post saves me so much time.

So I will pass a little more time-saving on to you, brilliant reader. On the days I have enough time, I’ll try to update both what happened with starting pitchers from the Valley League the night before, and what is coming today.

Starts on Wednesday, April 15

  • Elih Villanueva (Luray 2007), pitching for Double-A Bowie (Eastern League): 5 IP, 3 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, 7 K’s, 7-3 win. Game score: 59.
  • Brian Holmes (Harrisonburg 2010), for High-A Lancaster (California League): 5 IP, 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 6 K’s, 7-3 loss. Game score: 50.
  • Ryan Yarbrough (Luray 2012), for High-A Bakersfield (California League): 6 IP, 2 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 1 K, 3-2 loss. Game score: 64. Trey Cochran-Gill (Harrisonburg 2012) took the loss in this one.

Starts Scheduled for Thursday, April 16

  • Taylor Hill (Winchester 2008), for AAA Syracuse (International League)
  • Scott Copeland (Staunton 2007), for AAA Buffalo (International League)
  • Harrison Cooney (Front Royal 2012), for A Inland Empire (California League)
  • Austin Gomber (Luray 2012), for A Peoria (Midwest League)
  • Taylor Cox (New Market 2012), for A Fort Wayne (Midwest League)

Johansen, Hill Named Top Nats Prospects

It’s already been established that I love lists. I’m always finding lists online, creating my own, and adding to lists that I’ve had for years.

Well, is listing the top 30 prospects for each major league team, along with scouting reports. So, of course, I’ve been checking the lists for former Valley Leaguers.

Two former VBLers have made the Washington Nationals’ listJake Johansen (Front Royal 2011) and Taylor Hill (Winchester 2008)!

Johansen is listed first, at #19. His writeup included this information:

Johansen is built like a prototypical Texas right-hander and has the power arm to match. He throws his fastball in the mid-90s as a starter and can crank it up to 99 mph in short stints. His best secondary pitch is his slider, but it needs more development to become a true weapon. Though his command has improved in the Minor Leagues, he remains more of a thrower than a pitcher.

Dating back to his college days, many scouts have felt Johansen was best suited for the bullpen. His fastball is good enough to make him a late-inning option as a reliever.

Hopefully Jake can continue to develop and turn into that late-inning reliever in the big leagues!

The second player listed is Taylor Hill, at #25. Taylor had a great 2014 season, and even made his major league debut. This is what his report looks like:

Hill doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, instead relying on his control and ability to induce weak contact. His fastball sits around 90 mph with good sinking action, and he commands it well to both sides of the plate. He effectively mixes in his changeup, slider and curveball, which he added to his arsenal in 2013. He also fields his position very well.

With a big, durable frame, Hill has the look of an innings-eating, back-of-the-rotation starter. But with Hill nearly ready for a more permanent role in big leagues and the depth of the Nationals rotation entering the 2015 season, he may break through as a reliever.

He sure induced a ton of weak contact in 2014. Maybe Hill and Johansen will be in the Nats’ bullpen together someday!