Add yet another former Valley Leaguer to the list of major leaguers!
This time, it’s former Staunton Brave (2012) Sam Howard, who made his debut last night for the Colorado Rockies against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Sam pitched a shutout 9th inning, allowing one hit, in Colorado’s 8-3 loss.
According to ATVL’s records, Sam became the 210th alumnus to make the major leagues, and according to baseball-reference.com, the 19,284th player in all of history.
After getting drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 draft out of Georgia Southern, Sam methodically worked his way through the Rockies’ system to the highest level. He spent 2014 at Grand Junction in the Pioneer League, 2015 at Asheville in the South Atlantic League, 2016 at High-A in Modesto and Double-A with Hartford, and then 2017 back at Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque. In 2018, he started 9 games back at Albuquerque, and went 3-4, 4.68, with 33 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings pitched before his callup.
Sam is the 5th Valley Leaguer to make his debut this year, joining (Name, debut date, and Valley League team and year):
|1||Ryan Yarbrough||March 31||Luray 2012|
|2||Justin Anderson||April 23||Front Royal 2013|
|3||Eric Stout||April 25||Waynesboro 2012|
|4||Austin Gomber||June 2||Luray 2012|
Interesting that 4 of the 5 played in the Valley in 2012, and the same 4 are lefthanded pitchers…
This is the 2nd-fastest to five debuts over the past 12 years as well, behind just 2008:
|Year||Date of 5th Debut|
|2017||(Only 4 debuts)|
|2013||(Only 1 debut)|
|2007||(Only 4 debuts)|
And now Sam can call himself a major league baseball player! Congratulations!