In a roughly 3-week stretch, 23 former Valley Leaguers have been involved with a transaction of some sort- either getting released, retiring, or signing with a different organization.
Would you like to know who they are? Of course you would! (This information has been gleaned from baseballamerica.com, by the way.)
- Tim Sexton (Staunton 2006-07) was released by the Baltimore Orioles. 767 minor league innings, but Tim fell just short of the major leagues.
- Brandon Sinnery (Winchester 2009) voluntarily retired. Brandon started 78 games in the minors- not bad for a 2012 free agent signing!
- Shane Halley (Waynesboro 2011) was released by the Colorado Rockies. Shane threw only 45 innings over three seasons in the minors.
- Austin Chrismon (Strasburg 2013) was released by the Houston Astros. Austin went 20-9, 3.87 in 53 games and 223 innings in pro ball.
- Gaither Bumgardner (Front Royal 2012) was released by the LA Angels. Gaither pitched in 54 games over 3 seasons.
- Ruben Sosa (Harrisonburg 2010) was also released by the Angels. Ruben has traveled a ton- he played for 10 different teams in 5 seasons. He batted 1,121 times, and hit 261/344/362. He also stole 112 bases.
- Stephen Kohlscheen (Harrisonburg 2010) was released by the Padres, but then signed by the Milwaukee Brewers. The 6-foot-6 righthander has thrown 1.2 scoreless innings so far in 2016 for Double-A Biloxi.
- Sam Roberts (Rockbridge 2009) was released by the Oakland A’s. Sam was one the few remaining Rockbridge Rapids players in pro ball. Sam started out in the infield, and then converted to the mound in 2014.
- Greg Burke (Front Royal 2001) was released by the Philadelphia Phillies. Greg has pitched in 80 major league games in his career!
- Matt Benedict (Haymarket 2009-10) was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Matt pitched in 136 minor league games, topping out in Triple-A Indianapolis in 2015.
- Chris Nunn (Winchester 2010) was released by the San Diego Padres. 176 minor league games over 4 seasons…
- Robert Kral (Waynesboro 2009) was released by the Padres as well. 5 season in the pros, but only 743 at-bats. He’s signed with the independent Atlantic League, though, so his career isn’t over!
- David Carpenter (Covington 2004) was released by the Tampa Bay Rays. 218 MAJOR league games!
- John Williams (Haymarket 2012) was released by the Rays. John pitched in 17 games in 2015, his only season in organized ball.
- Ryan Pennell (Strasburg 2011) was also released by the Rays. Ryan pitched in 38 games in 2014 and 2015.
- Calvin Rayburn (Covignton 2012) was released by the Phillies. 54 games, 78 innings in 2 years…
- Blake Headley (Luray 2012) retired. Blake hit .230 in 191 at-bats in 2015.
- Eason Spivey (Aldie 2013-14) also retired. Eason batted 144 times in 2 years, hitting 174/318/222.
- Steven Karkenny (Woodstock 2013) retired. Hit 244/330/421 in 271 at-bats in his one year in the minors.
- Guido Knudson (Woodstock 2009), who made his major league debut in 2015, was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Guido spent his whole previous minor league career with the Detroit Tigers. And by the way, Guido has thrown 10 shutout innings in 2015 so far!
- Sean Buckley (Staunton 2009-10) was released by the Cincinnati Reds. Once a prospect with some promise, Sean was derailed by several injuries in his minor league career.
- Omar Cotto (Front Royal 2014) was released by the Milwaukee Brewers. Signed as a free agent, Omar played in 49 games in 2015.
- Scott Copeland (Staunton 2007) was released by the Blue Jays. Like Knudson, Copeland made his major league debut in 2015. 772 minor league innings, 15 1/3 major league ones….
It’s always sad to see the dream end for so many, but at least each of these young man played a level of baseball that the vast majority never reach! Good luck to each from here!