Best, Worst Minor League Starts in 2018

The coverage of the Valley League here at ATVL doesn’t stop when the current VBL season ends… in fact, it doesn’t stop at all. There are three sections to cover in these pages: the Valley League itself (college players), the minor leagues, and the major leagues (Valley League alumni).

Today, we’ll take a look at the best and worst starts by a Valley League alumnus in the minor leagues in the 2018 minor league season (the major leagues are a different thing altogether).

For the uninitiated, game score is a simple formula invented by Bill James (of course). If weighs going deep into games a bit too much, but it’s an easy way to evaulate specific performances.

Here are the top 20 starts in 2018 (GS= game score, the stat used to sort this list):

Name Date VBL Team Team Level GS IP H R ER BB K
1 Austin Gomber 4/23 Luray ’12 Memphis AAA 92 8.0 6 0 0 0 16
2 Nick Margevicius 4/5 Staunton ’15 Fort Wayne A 81 5.2 1 0 0 0 9
Randy Dobnak 7/3 Front Royal ’15 Cedar Rapids A 81 7.2 6 0 0 0 7
4 Brandon Gold 5/15 Harrisonburg ’14 Lancaster A 80 7.0 3 1 1 0 7
Kevin Herget 6/8 Strasburg ’12 Memphis AAA 80 7.0 5 0 0 1 10
6 Alex Mauricio 8/24 Waynesboro ’15 Charleston A 79 6.1 1 0 0 1 5
Chris Huffman 8/27 Staunton ’12-3 San Antonio AA 79 7.0 2 0 0 3 7
8 Mike O’Reilly 5/2 Woodstock ’14 Springfield AA 78 6.0 1 1 0 1 9
Austin Gomber 5/21 Luray ’12 Memphis AAA 78 8.0 6 1 1 2 9
10 Nick Margevicius 5/24 Staunton ’15 Fort Wayne A 77 7.0 5 0 0 1 7
Kevin Herget 7/4 Strasburg ’12 Memphis AAA 77 8.0 4 1 1 0 6
12 Randy Dobnak 9/7 Front Royal ’15 Cedar Rapids A 76 7.0 6 0 0 1 8
13 Dominic DeMasi 5/15 Staunton ’13 Akron AA 75 6.2 2 1 1 1 4
Scott Copeland 8/1 Staunton ’07 Binghamton AA 75 7.0 6 0 0 1 7
15 Brandon Gold 4/24 Harrisonburg ’14 Lancaster A 74 7.0 4 0 0 2 4
Walter Borkovich 9/2 Staunton ’15 Rome A 74 6.0 2 1 1 0 5
17 Scott Copeland 6/25 Staunton ’07 Binghamton AA 73 7.0 6 0 0 3 9
Brandon Gold 8/1 Harrisonburg ’14 Lancaster A 73 7.0 6 1 1 1 8
Randy Dobnak 8/27 Front Royal ’15 Cedar Rapids A 73 7.0 3 1 1 2 4
20 Sam Howard 4/25 Staunton ’12 Albuquerque AAA 72 6.0 4 1 1 0 7
Randy Dobnak 5/27 Front Royal ’15 Cedar Rapids A 72 7.0 3 1 1 1 7
Kevin Herget 6/24 Strasburg ’12 Memphis AAA 72 6.0 4 1 1 0 7
Walter Borkovich 8/11 Staunton ’15 Florida A 72 6.0 4 0 0 0 4
Walter Borkovich 8/27 Staunton ’15 Rome A 72 8.0 7 1 1 1 3

This list is fascinating (well, to me. Anyone agree?). There are 12 different pitchers making up this list of 24 starts. The ones listed more than once:

  • Dobnak- 4 times
  • Gold, Herget, Borkovich- 3
  • Gomber, Margevicius, Copeland- 2

By level:

  • AAA- 6 times
  • AA- 5
  • A- 13

By VBL Team:

  • Staunton- 10 starts
  • Front Royal- 4
  • Harrisonburg, Strasburg- 3
  • Luray- 2
  • Waynesboro, Woodstock- 1

I love what happened with Walter Borkovich this season. He pitched almost the whole 2018 minor league season in the bullpen, but got a chance to start for Florida on August 4th… and gave up 2 runs in his 6 starts from that point. His three starts listed here all occurred between August 11th and September 2nd. Wow.

Austin Gomber’s start on April 23rd was a masterpiece- 16 K’s in 8 innings. He is in the majors, probably to stay. Or at least we hope!

Unfortunately, there is a seperate category for starters: the ones that don’t go so well. That list follows:

Name Date VBL Team Team Level GS IP H R ER BB K
1 Max Povse 5/10 Staunton ’13 Tacoma AAA 5 2.0 3 8 8 7 3
Dominic DeMasi 5/20 Staunton ’13 Akron AA 5 2.2 10 8 8 1 1
3 Donnie Sellers 4/27 Harrisonburg ’16 Lansing A 7 2.2 8 7 7 3 0
Zach Mort 8/9 Front Royal ’16 Eugene A 7 2.0 6 5 5 1 2
5 Logan Longwith 8/9 Front Royal ’14-5 Lancaster A 8 3.1 7 8 7 3 4
6 Randy Dobnak 4/11 Front Royal ’15 Cedar Rapids A 9 3.2 10 8 8 2 1
7 Garrett Cave 7/2 Staunton ’15 Augusta A 10 3.1 6 10 9 1 6
8 Taylor Hill 6/7 Winchester ’08 Sacramento AAA 11 4.2 11 8 8 1 3
Garrett Cave 6/12 Staunton ’15 Augusta A 11 1.1 4 7 5 4 0
Taylor Hill 7/31 Winchester ’08 Richmond AA 11 2.0 9 7 7 1 0
Garrett Cave 8/21 Staunton ’15 Augusta A 11 4.1 9 7 7 1 4
12 Jonathan Bowlan 7/28 New Market ’16 Idaho Falls A 12 2.0 9 6 4 0 2
13 Jonathan Bowlan 7/21 New Market ’16 Idaho Falls A 13 5.0 12 7 7 1 2
Garrett Cave 4/17 Staunton ’15 Augusta A 13 1.0 2 4 3 6 1
15 Logan Longwith 5/9 Front Royal ’14-5 Lancaster A 14 3.2 5 6 3 5 2
Austin Gomber 5/10 Luray ’12 Memphis AAA 14 5.0 9 6 6 2 8
17 Brandon Gold 5/20 Harrisonburg ’14 Lancaster A 15 4.2 9 7 5 0 4
18 Scott Copeland 6/13 Staunton ’07 Binghamton AA 16 5.0 10 6 6 1 4
Mike O’Reilly 7/31 Woodstock ’14 Springfield AA 16 4.0 7 7 7 2 3
Kevin Herget 8/30 Strasburg ’12 Memphis AAA 16 4.1 12 9 6 1 3

Hey, sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. (I still remember a parent of one of my students coming up to me in probably 2007, saying, “Hey! I saw you pitch for Clover Hill the other night! You weren’t very good.” Thanks for that. Glad you brought it up.)

Max Povse is a bit like the reverse Walter Borkovich- he had some poor starts early in the season, but turned things around in Double-A Arkansas.

The pitchers on both lists: DeMasi, Dobnak, Gomber, Gold, Copeland, O’Reilly, Herget.

Pitchers listed more than once:

  • Cave- 4 times (Has an electric arm; control is an issue)
  • Longwith, Bowlan, Hill- 2 times (Longwith and Gold both pitched in the nightmare that is Lancaster in the California League)

By level:

  • AAA- 4 times
  • AA- 4
  • A- 12

By team:

  • Staunton- 7 times
  • Front Royal- 4
  • Harrisonburg, Winchester, New Market- 2
  • Luray, Woodstock, Strasburg- 1

 

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