Team Pro Report: Winchester Royals

Winchester RoyalsThe Winchester Royals come from a long tradition of stellar play in the league, but it’s been a few years since they won a title (since 2004), or even made the finals (2012). The club’s list of pro players isn’t as big as Staunton’s, or Harrisonburg’s, but they still have some excellent success stories.

  1. Josh Edgin (2007), 30th round in 2010 by the Mets: Josh is a success story; he’s pitched in 177 games in the major leagues (so far). He’s thrown 129 innings total, and has gone 4-4, 3.49, with 2 saves, a 1.279 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, and 8.1 K/9. He signed with Baltimore in the 2017 offseason, and is currently playing for Triple-A Norfolk, where he has 19 strikeouts in his first 13 2/3 innings pitched. I imagine we’ll see him in Baltimore at some point this summer.
  2. Tyler Thornburg (2008), 3rd round in 2010 by the Brewers: I feel pretty bad for Tyler. He pitched in 144 major league games for the Brewers, and was coming off a dominating 2016 when things went south. That year, Tyler went 8-5, 2.15, with 13 saves, a 0.940 WHIP, 3.4 BB/9, and 12.1 K/9. He was traded to the Red Sox to bolster their bullpen, but, apparently, he misunderstood his throwing program, and consequently hasn’t thrown a major league pitch since the end of 2016, and ended up having surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He is starting to throw again, and is in Triple-A Pawtucket at the moment. He was ATVL’s 2011 A-ball and 2012 Double-A Pitcher of the Year.
  3. Chris Nunn (2010), 24th round in 2012 by the Padres: This young man has been “around.” After pitching in the Padres’ system for 4 seasons, Chris was released. He was out of baseball for a year, but caught on with the Evansville Otters in the Independent Frontier League in August of 2017. He pitched in one game, striking out 9 in 5 innings, and was scooped up by the Cubs. But the Cubs cut him loose at the end of 2017. The Astros signed Chris this spring, assigned him to Triple-A Fresno, and then moved him down to Double-A after a couple tough outings. A 6-foot-5 lefty, Chris has the size to make a difference if he can control the strike zone…
  4. Cory Spangenberg (2010), 10th overall in 2011: Cory is the second-highest draft pick of all the current professional players- he trails only Yonder Alonso, who was drafted 7th overall in 2008. Only 27 years old, Cory has played in almost 300 major league games. He did not get off to a great start in 2018, though, hitting 196/237/357 in 56 at-bats for the Padres, and has been sent down to Triple-A El Paso. Cory was the 2010 Valley League MVP, and the 2014 Double-A Hitter of the Year.
  5. Matt Snyder (2011- also played for Haymarket): Poor Matt. A big man with power potential (he’s 6-foot-5, 230 lbs), Matt’s career has been slow to rise due to injury after injury. In 6+ years in the minors, he has only 692 at-bats, in which he’s hit 282/362/408, with 40 doubles, 15 home runs, and over 100 RBIs. He’s played for Double-A Trenton in 2018, but once again is on the 7-day disabled list.
  6. Joe Odom (2012), 13th round in 2013: Joe was on the Royals team that crushed the ball all summer long. He spent the first five years of his pro career in the Braves’ system, and had some trouble with injuries. In the offseason before the 2018 season, he was scooped up in the Rule 5 draft by the Seattle Mariners, and has been assigned to Double-A Arkansas, where he is hitting 319/385/574 in his first 47 at-bats. In his career, he’s hit 246/316/394. I’m convinced he can at least appear in the major leagues if he can stay healthy.
  7. Logan Moon (2012), 6th round in 2012 by the Royals: Logan has hit a combined 269/315/364 in 407 games and 1,374 minor league at-bats. He started 2018 at Triple-A Omaha, but after a 7-38 start, has been reassigned. It’s not clear to where just yet.
  8. Jerry Downs (2014), 15th round in 2015 by the Red Sox: Jerry, in his fourth year in the Red Sox system, has been playing for High-A Salem of the Carolina League this season. He’s hitting well this year, slashing 319/382/451 in his first 91 at-bats, and is at 273/371/410 in 532 at-bats in his career.
  9. Drew Crosby (2015), 26th round in 2017 by the Tigers: The lefty was assigned to the Gulf Coast League after being drafted last June, and pitched a total of 27 innings in 16 games, all in relief. He has not been assigned to full-season team in 2018.
  10. Keenan Bartlett (2015), 31st round in 2017 by the Giants: Keenan was very, very good in the Arizona League in his first taste of pro ball in 2017. He went 4-0, 1.53, with a 1.057 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.4 K/9 in 29 1/3 innings pitched. He was ATVL’s 2017 Rookie-level Pitcher of the Year. However, he did not get assigned to a full season team in 2018.
  11. David Lee (2015-16), 27th round in 2017: David was drafted by the Pirates and sent to their Gulf Coast League affiliate, where he went 0-1, 5.82, with a 1.588 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, and 7.9 K/9 in 17 innings. Like Bartlett, Lee did not get assigned to a full season team.
  12. Dominic LoBrutto (2016), 18th round in 2017 by Boston: Dominic is a bit of a conundrum for me; he is listed as having played for the Royals in 2016, but I can find no evidence that he actually appeared in a game. Yet, somehow, he ended up on my draft list. Anyway, Dominic was assigned to Lowell after getting drafted, and went 1-1, 3.28, with 5 saves, a 1.541 WHIP, 6.6 BB/9, and 10.9 K/9. He has just joined Greenville of the South Atlantic League, and as of this writing, has pitched one perfect inning.
  13. Gabriel Garcia (2016), 14th round in 2016 by the Brewers: Gabriel is last on this list, but he has more pro experience than numbers 9 through 12. He has played at the Arizona League level, then Helena in the Pioneer League, and this year he’s playing at Wisconsin of the Midwest League. He showed up on prospect lists early on, but has not in the past year. He’s hitting 277/393/460 for his career, but is off to a 157/298/257 start in 70 at-bats this year.
Spang 2
Cory Spangenberg diving into home during the 2010 All-Star game. (He ws safe)

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