Now that “final” rosters have been set, it’s time to take a look at the Valley Leaguers who will be going North (or East? West?) with their big league club!

  • Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals (Luray 2004-05): Murphy is a good place to start, as he’s been, probably, the most “notable” alumnus in the past few years. Daniel slashed 322/384/543 in 2017, along with 94 runs, 93 RBIs, 43 doubles (led the NL), and 23 home runs. He earned 2.8 WAR (according to Daniel had knee surgery in October, so it is unlikely that he will start the year active, but when he returns, he will again be a major run producer for the Nationals.
  • Brett Gardner, New York Yankees (New Market 2003-04): Projected (by some) to bat leadoff for the new version of the Bronx Bombers, look for Brett to score a ton of runs in 2018. Last season, he hit 264/350/428, scored 96 runs, hit 21 home runs, and stole 23 bases. 4.9 WAR! (Did you know that Brett is 34 years old?!?)
  • Chris Devenski, Houston Astros (Woodstock 2011): Coming off a World Series title with the Astros in 2017, Devenski will again be an important arm in the back end of Houston’s bullpen. He went 8-5, 2.68, with a 0.942 WHIP, and 100 strikeouts in 80 2/3 innings.
  • Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians (Covington 2006-07): Jason struggled with injuries last season, but he’s healthy and ready to man second base for the Tribe. He hit 232/291/414 in 2017, with 12 home runs and 35 RBIs.
  • Yonder Alonso, Cleveland Indians (Luray 2006): Coming off a career year, Yonder signed with the Indians as a free agent in the offseason (for 2 years and $15 million, and a club $9 million option for 2020). Yonder slashed 266/365/501 for the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners last season, with 72 runs, 67 RBIs, and 28 home runs.
  • Chad Kuhl, Pittsburgh Pirates (New Market 2012): Chad spent all of 2017 in the Pirates’ rotation, starting 31 games overall, and going 8-11, 4.35, with a 1.468 WHIP. He’s projected as Pittsburgh’s #2 starter for 2018.
  • Will Harris, Houston Astros (Staunton 2003): Another crucial arm in the Astros’ bullpen, Will went 3-2, 2.98, with a 0.971 WHIP in 45 1/3 innings.
  • Jon Jay, Kansas City Royals (Staunton 2004): One of the players squeezed in free agency this offseason, Jay signed a one-year contract for $3 million with the Royals. For the Cubs in 2017, Jay hit 296/374/375 in 379 at-bats.
  • Emilio Pagan, Oakland A’s (Harrisonburg 2010): Emilio made his major league debut in 2017 for the Seattle Mariners, and with his performance, looks like he’ll be in the majors for a long time. Oakland traded for him in November, and he looks to have a spot nailed down in the A’s bullpen. In 2017, he went 2-3, 3.22, with 56 strikeouts and a 0.934 WHIP in 50 1/3 innings. (He’s projected to do nearly the exact same thing in 2018)
  • Cory Spangenberg, San Diego Padres (Winchester 2010): Cory will most likely have a bench role for the Padres this season- perhaps as a super sub, since he can play in the infield and the outfield. He hit 264/322/401 in 444 at-bats in 2017, along with 18 doubles and 13 home runs.
  • Tommy La Stella, Chicago Cubs (Haymarket 2009): Tommy will be a bat off the bench for the Cubs, after hitting 288/389/472, with 8 doubles and 5 home runs in 125 at-bats. (I think Tommy is a very valuable pinch hitter)
  • Brad Ziegler, Miami Marlins (New Market 2000): Brad really struggled in 2017, but he’s a bounce back candidate for the Marlins. He’ll close to start the season, assuming the Marlins win any games. In 2017, he went 1-4, 4.79, with 10 saves and a 1.553 WHIP in 47 innings.
  • Cliff Pennington, Cincinnati Reds (Harrisonburg 2003): Cliff signed a minor league deal as a free agent with the Reds in the offseason, but will be a bench player in the majors, as he can play multiple positions in the infield. He hit 253/306/330 in 194 at-bats in 2017.
  • Ryan Yarbrough, Tampa Bay Rays (Luray 2012): I wrote about Ryan a couple days ago, and gave him a 99% chance to pitch in the majors this season after his dynamite 2017 season in Triple-A… well, he’s earned a spot on the staff to start the year! I’ll post more on Ryan when he makes his debut.

So that’s a total of 14 former VBLers who have made opening day rosters!

Here are some other players who have already played in the major leagues, and are likely/possible/potential call ups during the season:

  • Robby Scott, Boston Red Sox (Covington 2010), left handed reliever
  • Ryan Schimpf, Atlanta Braves (Luray 2008), 2B-3B
  • Adam Liberatore, Los Angeles Dodgers (Waynesboro 2007-08), left handed reliever
  • Josh Edgin, Baltimore Orioles (Winchester 2007), left handed reliever
  • Tyler Thornburg, Boston Red Sox (Winchester 2008), right handed reliever. Tyler had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in June of 2017.
  • Drew Rucinski, Miami Marlins (Luray 2008-10), right handed reliever
  • Alex Wimmers, Miami Marlins (Luray 2008), right handed reliever
  • Eric Campbell, Miami Marlins (Luray 2006), 1B
  • Tyler White, Houston Astros (Haymarket 2010), 1B
  • Collin Cowgill, Philadelphia Phillies (Covington 2005), OF
  • Jack Leathersich, Cleveland Indians (Haymarket 2009), left handed reliever- Jack was just scooped up by the Indians off of waivers from the Pirates, and assigned to Triple-A Columbus
  • Kyle McGrath, San Diego Padres (Staunton 2011), left handed reliever
  • Mac Williamson, San Francisco Giants (Harrisonburg 2011), OF
  • Max Povse, Seattle Mariners (Staunton 2013), right handed pitcher
  • Austin Adams, Washington Nationals (Staunton 2011), right handed reliever

Stay tuned; ATVL will keep everyone updated when players are called up, either for the first time or tenth time!