Team Pro Report: Staunton Braves

Staunton Braves logoThe Staunton Braves have been around a long time, and have been one of the best “developers” of talent in the Valley for a long time as well.

This is reflected in their list of pro players, which is the second most of all the current teams. Let’s take a look:

  1. Will Harris (2003), 9th round pick in 2006: Will has carved out quite the major league career so far. Now 33 years old, Will won a ring with the Astros in 2017, and is, again, an important arm in their bullpen. Over 292 2/3 major league innings, Will has gone 15-16, 3.04, with 16 saves, a 1.117 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, and 9.4 K/9. He was ATVL’s 2015 major league Pitcher of the Year.
  2. Jon Jay (2004), 2nd round pick in 2006: Another huge success story, Jay made his major league debut in 2010, and has accumulated 13.0 career WAR so far (according to In 3,220 major league at-bats, Jay has hit 288/355/380. Not a ton of power, but an excellent player all the same. Jon was ATVL’s 2012 major league Hitter of the Year.
  3. Scott Copeland (2007), 21st round pick in 2010: Even though Scott does not have the pedigree like Harris or Jay, he is still a major leaguer, as he appeared in 5 games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015. Scott was drafted by the Orioles in 2010, but after some initial success, stalled in High-A, and was released in 2012. The Blue Jays grabbed him right away, and he immediately became a better pitcher. I would love to know what adjustments were made. Anyway, Scott was signed by the Mets in the middle of April, made 2 starts for Double-A Binghamton, and has been bumped to Triple-A Las Vegas already. He was ATVL’s 2010 short-season, and 2015 Triple-A Pitcher of the Year.
  4. Kyle McGrath (2011), 36th round pick in 2014: After getting drafted, Kyle blasted his way through the Padres’ minor league system- putting up a WHIP under 1.000 along the way. He made his major league debut in 2017, and appeared in 17 games that season…. and 4 so far this season. Kyle’s currently in Triple-A El Paso.
  5. Austin Adams (2011), 8th round pick in 2012: It is very, very rare for two major league players to come from the same VBL team, but Austin is also a major leaguer who has appeared in 6 games in 2017, and 2 so far in 2018. Austin’s calling card is missing bats; in 287 minor league innings, his K/9 is 12.2. He is currently in Triple-A Syracuse, where he was struck out 16 batters in 9 2/3 innings so far.
  6. Sam Howard (2012), 3rd round pick in 2014: Sam is probably the next Brave to make the majors. He is currently in Triple-A Albuquerque (a tough place to pitch). Over 498 2/3 minor league innings, Sam’s gone 28-32, 3.72, with a 1.314 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, and 7.9 K/9.
  7. Chris Huffman (2012-13), 14th round pick in 2014: Chris isn’t far behind Sam; in fact, he’s really not behind at all. Also at the Triple-A level (with McGrath in El Paso), Chris has gone 29-22, 3.54, with a 1.277 WHIP, 2,3 BB/9, and 6.4 K/9 in 435 1/3 minor league innings.
  8. Jason Morozowski (2013), 13th round pick in 2015: Jason has worked his way up to Double-A Jackson (where he is with 3 other VBL grads. Can you name them?). In 1,186 minor league at-bats, Jason has hit 252/330/395. He’s 13-86 for Jackson in 2018 so far. He was ATVL’s 2016 short season Hitter of the Year.
  9. Dominic DeMasi (2013), 31st round pick in 2014: As you can see, Dominic was a very late draft pick, but he’s joined Sam Howard and Chris Huffman in Triple-A, as he’s been called up to Columbus (Cleveland’s system). Dom’s gone 22-11, 3.59, with a 1.265 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, and 5.9 K/9 in 263 1/3 minor league innings. Will he get a shot this year, too?
  10. James Reeves (2013), 10th round pick in 2015: James is currently in Double-A Trenton in the Yankees’ system. Overall in the minors, he’s gone 12-3, 2.24, with a 1.067 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and 10.6 K/9 in 184 2/3 innings. He’s been a little wild this year, but a lefty with that K/9? Why is James not pitching more? (He’s appeared in only 8 games in 2018.)
  11. Max Povse (2013), 3rd round pick in 2014: The 6th major leaguer for the Braves- Max appeared in 3 games for the Mariners in 2017. Back in Triple-A for 2018, Max is having quite a bit of trouble- he’s 1-6, 9.38 after 7 starts, with a 1.863 WHIP, 6.8 BB/9, and 10.2 K/9. Max is a large man-he’s listed at 6-foot-8- so perhaps things are out of sync right now. In his minor league career, Max has gone 23-25, 4.36, with a 1.268 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, and 7.8 K/9 in 385 2/3 innings.
  12. Ryan Meisinger (2014), 11th round pick in 2015: A Maryland native, Ryan is doing his best to make it to Baltimore. Currently pitching in Double-A Bowie, Ryan is 10-7, 2.39, with 19 saves, a 1.121 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, and 10.8 K/9 in 176 2/3 minor league innings.
  13. J.C. Escarra (2014), 15th round pick in 2017: JC has hit 225/364/344 in the minors so far since being drafted just last summer. He’s currently at High-A Frederick.
  14. Heath Slatton (2014), 18th round pick in 2015: Heath has gone 10-9, 4.26, with 13 saves, a 1.526 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9, and 9.0 K/9 in 134 1/3 minor league innings. He has not pitched in 2018 as yet.
  15. Tyler Zombro (2014), free agent sign in 2017: Tyler appeared in 14 games in 2017 at two low levels, and is currently at Bowling Green in the Midwest League. He’s thrown quite well overall, with career stats of 3-0, 2.98, 1.134 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, and 7.0 K/9 in 42 1/3 innings.
  16. Walter Borkovich (2015), free agent sign in 2017: Walter, the only former VBLer in the entire Atlanta Braves’ system, is currently at Low-A Rome, after spending 2017 at three different levels. In his career, he’s 5-2, 2.11, with 4 saves, a 1.219 WHIP, 1.5 BB/9, and 8.6 K/9 in 42 2/3 innings pitched.
  17. Reed Hayes (2015), 13th round pick in 2017: Assigned to Aberdeen in 2017, Reed moved up to Delmarva in 2018. Overall, he’s 2-2, 4.05, with 11 saves, a 1.200 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and 6.8 K/9 in 33 1/3 innings.
  18. Nick Margevicious (2015), 6th round pick in 2017: Nick has been really, really good since getting drafted last June. In 80 minor league innings, he’s gone 5-3, 1.91, with a 1.138 WHIP, 1.7 BB/9, and 11.9 K/9. The lefty from Rider will move quickly if he keeps this up.
  19. Garrett Cave (2015), 4th round pick in 2017: Garrett has a very good arm, but he’s been struggling with control a bit this year. Currently at Low-A Augusta, Garrett over his career is 2-1, 4.19, with a 1.558 WHIP, 7.3 BB/9, and 10.9 K/9 in 43 innings. At Augusta, he has struck out 23 batters in 23 innings…. but has walked 23 as well.
  20. Irving Lopez (2016), 19th round pick in 2017: Irving spent 2017 at two different levels, and was assigned to Peoria in the Midwest League in 2018. He’s 30-90 at Peoria (333/413/556), and 301/390/474 in 272 career minor league at-bats. He’ll be bumped up soon if he keeps this up.
  21. Nate Pearson (2016), 28th overall (1st round) in 2017: The Blue Jays were treating Nate carefully; he pitched 20 total innings in 8 starts in his 2017 debut. Then about a week ago, he made his first 2018 start for Dunedin…. and was hit by a line drive and broke his arm. His pitching arm. Bad luck, but hopefully he’ll made a full recovery and be back at some point this season.
Max Povse All-Star Game 2015
Max Povse (#37) at the 2015 VBL All-Star Game

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