We have reached the time of year when major league organizations start culling players from their system. More than usual, anyway. It seems to be a constant numbers game- new free agents signed are moving in, players are moving up levels, and there just isn’t enough space for everyone. Things change quickly.
So that means that players are released. Sometimes these players are grabbed right away by other organizations (Jon Fitzsimmons (Front Royal 2012), released by Arizona, signed immediately by the Angels, James Alfonso a couple days ago), and some move on to Indy Leagues (Stephen Cardullo (Covington 2007) spent years toiling in Indy Ball, and Fitzsimmons fits here, too), but for many, their careers are over.
21 former Valley Leaguers have been released in the last three months. Let’s give them what might be their last moment in this space:
- Jamill Moquete (Winchester 2012), picked in the 32nd round of the 2014 draft. Jamill played 82 games in 2014-15 in Baltimore’s system, finishing with a 212/325/431 stat line. He did not play in 2016 due to injury.
- Logan Longwith (Front Royal 2014-15), Detroit’s 20th round pick in 2015. Logan went 3-4, 4.14 in 41 games and 78 1/3 innings over his two seasons in the minors. He finished with a 1/3 BB/9 and 7.6 K/9.
- Brandon Glazer (Waynesboro 2013). The Angels signed Brandon as a free agent in 2015. (Interestingly, he was a high school draftee in 2010, but did not sign.) Brandon went 3-9, 4.84 in 32 games and 96 2/3 IP over two seasons. He finished with a 1.324 WHIP, 1.5 BB/9, and 6.0 K/9.
- James Alfonso (Front Royal 2012), a 30th round pick of Seattle in 2014. James got a total of 524 at-bats in 3 minor league seasons, and hit 254/329/358. He hit 20 doubles in 276 at-bats in Clinton in 2016. BREAKING NEWS: James was signed by the Los Angeles Angels just a few days after being released!
- Ray Guerrini (Rockbridge 2013), who was signed as a free agent by the Seattle Mariners in 2016. He received a total of 83 plate appearances, and hit 250/415/313. His OBP is so high because he walked 12 times and was hit by a pitch 6 times. Ray is the 2nd-to-last Rockbridge Rapid left in organized ball. Can anyone name the last?
- Orlando Olivera (Luray 2011-12)- drafted in 38th round in 2015 by the Cardinals. Overall, he hit 265/324/385 in 533 at-bats in 2 seasons. Hit 340/392/521 in 2015 to win ATVL’s prestigious (hah) short season A-ball hitter of the year, but he didn’t duplicate those numbers the next year in full season ball.
- Aaron Attaway (Haymarket 2011)- drafted in 2014 by Toronto. Over 3 seasons and 357 at-bats, he hit 210/311/297.
- Jordan Edgerton (Woodstock 2013)- drafted in the 9th round in 2014 by Atlanta. Jordan hit 239/286/331 in 1085 at-bats over 3 seasons. He hit 27 doubles in the Carolina League in 2016.
- Josh Gardiner (Strasburg 2012)- signed as a free agent by the Yankees in 2016. Josh got a grand total of 77 plate appearances in organized ball, hitting 250/377/328 for Pulaski in the Appy League.
- Jake Johnson (Charles Town 2013)- 16th round pick in 2015 by the Reds. Jake went 4-7, 6.80, with a 1.915 WHIP, 5.6 BB/9, and 9.1 K/9 in 82 total innings.
- Joe Maloney (New Market 2010)- 10th round pick in 2011 by the Texas Rangers, spent 2 seasons in Indy Ball. Overall, hit 234/302/386 in 1066 total at-bats. He hit 27 doubles and 14 home runs at two different minor league levels in 2013.
- Chaz Pal (Charles Town 2014), a 38th round pick of the Astros in 2016. Chaz hit 269/336/462 in 104 at-bats for Greeneville in the Appy League.
- Ben Paullus (Woodstock 2010). Originally drafted by the Yankees in 2011, Ben spent the last couple seasons in the San Diego Padres’ system. Ben went 14-8, 4.47, with a 1.427 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, and 8.2 K/9 in 143 games and 231 1/3 innings pitched.
- Andy Perez (Harrisonburg 2013)- a free agent signing out of Duke by the Boston Red Sox. Andy played in the minors for parts of two seasons only, and hit very well, putting up a 318/391/393 slash line, albeit in only 201 total at-bats.
- Chris Diaz (Staunton 2012). Chris was a 5th round pick of the Braves back in 2014. Chris pitched in 10 games in 2014, but had labrum surgery and missed all of 2015 and 2016.
- Garrett Cortright (Front Royal 2011-12)- 40th round pick in 2013 of the Orioles. Over 4 seasons, Garrett went 9-10, 2.32, with a 1.167 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, and 6.2 K/9 in 198 total innings.
- Michael Katz (Waynesboro 2012)- 9th round pick of the Mets in 2014. The Mets released him a month ago, the Orioles signed him, and subsequently released him a couple days ago. Michael hit 236/305/335 in 200 minor league games.
- Alexander Fernandez (Staunton 2012). 25th round pick in 2015 of the Marlins, Alex was released in 2016, signed by the Tigers, and now has been released again. He hit 244/346/362 in 399 minor league plate appearances.
- Garrett Kelly (New Market 2014), signed as a free agent in 2016 by the Twins. He pitched in 18 games in the Gulf Coast League in ’16.
- Josh Judy (Haymarket 2006-07). Josh is an “old” name to readers of this space. He pitched in 12 games in the majors in 2011 for the Indians. He pitched in the Mexican League in 2016, and was signed by the Mariners before spring training. Alas, they released him a few days ago.
- David Carpenter (Covington 2004). David has had the most illustrious major league career of the players on this list, as he’s pitched in 211 major league games. (He made $1.3 million for the Yankees in 2015!) The Rays signed David as a free agent in January, but was released at the end of spring training.
- Matt Tindall (Aldie 2013), a free agent signee in 2015 of the Angels. He finished in the National’s system in 2016. Overall, he went 5-6, 5.44 in 48 minor league innings.
Two last updates:
- Rico Noel (Covington 2008) signed with the Indy ball Lancaster Barnstormers. Rico played in 15 games for the Yankees in 2015. He only got 2 at-bats, but he stole 5 bases. Rico holds most of the stolen base record in the minor leagues for the VBL, or at least since the 2006 draft.
- Tyler Bortnick (Front Royal 2006) also signed with an Indy team- the Somerset Patriots. Tyler hit 280/380/408 in over 2,400 minor league at-bats. He did not make the majors, but played almost 200 games in Triple-A.
Well, guys, you got to chase the dream for a while. I would love for all VBLers to make the major leagues, but as we all know, that’s just not the way it works.
(By the way, according to my records, including Japan, there are 155 active minor and major league players at the moment- and 607 former players (from the 2006 draft))