The Express joined the Valley League in 2011, and while they don’t have very many current pro players (only 4 at this writing), they had nine more play pro ball at some point, but are no longer…. and I will be one unhappy camper if the team doesn’t have a few more drafted this coming June (Brandon Quaranta, anyone?).
But this is a report, so here are the four current players:
- Kevin Herget (2012), 39th round in 2013 by the Cardinals: Kevin, the #3 starting pitcher in the league in 2012, has worked his way all the way to Triple-A Memphis of the Cardinals’ system. In his pro career, he’s gone 30-10, 2.89, with 32 saves, a 1.238 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, and 8.9 K/9 in 354 2/3 innings. He’s pitched 6 1/3 innings so far in 2018 for Memphis. ATVL is hoping that Kevin will pitch in St. Louis this season.
- Tyler Payne (2013-14), 30th round in 2015 by the Cubs: Tyler has hit 256/273/349 this year for South Bend in the Midwest League, and 240/321/363 in 454 career minor league at-bats.
- Colby Nealy (2015), 35th round in 2017 by the Dodgers: Colby pitched for 3 teams in 2017; Great Lakes in the Midwest League, Ogden in the Pioneer League, and the Dodgers in he Arizona League. Overall, he went 2-2, 2.97, with 3 saves, a 1.055 WHIP, 2.1 BB/9, and 7.1 K/9 in 30 1/3 innings. He has not been assigned to a full season team in 2018.
- Abraham Almonte (2016), 26th round in 2017 by the Diamondbacks: The 12th best reliever in the 2016 VBL season, Abraham pitched for Missoula in the Pioneer League in 2017, going 1-0, 2.86, with 11 saves, a 1.364 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, and 12.7 K/9 in 22 innings. He’s now pitching for Kane County in the Midwest League, and continues to miss bats, as he has more strikeouts than innings pitched so far.