I don’t want to be an alarmist, but… this is slightly alarming. Almost twenty former Valley Leaguers in pro baseball have either been released or retired in just the past couple weeks. I can’t remember a time when so many have left the sport at one time.

Because there are so many, I’ll split the information into two posts.

  • Rudy Flores (Haymarket 2010), who had elected free agency last November from the Arizona Diamondbacks, has signed with Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos in the Mexican League. He’s hit 280/346/476 in 2,698 minor league at-bats, and reached Triple-A in 2017. He went 3-3 with a home run in his first game in the Mexican League.
  • Jay Gonzalez (Harrisonburg 2011) has been released from the Arizona Diamondbacks. A 10th round pick in the 2014 draft, Jay hit 267/367/330 in 1,553 minor league at-bats, along with 130 stolen bases in five minor league seasons.
  • The Diamondbacks have also released Jason Morozowski (Staunton 2013). Jason hit 253/325/398 in 1,471 minor league at-bats. He reached Double-A Jackson in 2018.
  • In a surprising move, the Diamondbacks have also released lefthanded reliever Abraham Almonte (Strasburg 2016). In his two minor league seasons, Abraham went 1-4, 3.75, with a 1.38 WHIP, 14 saves, a 3.6 BB/9 and 10.2 K/9 in 81 2/3 innings pitched.
  • Matt Rose (Harrisonburg 2014) has been released by the Chicago White Sox. An 11th round pick in the 2015 draft, Matt hit 225/290/407 in 1,311 minor league at-bats. He started out with the Cubs, but was traded to the White Sox… along with Eloy Jimenez!
  • Big James Ziemba (Harrisonburg 2014-15) has been cut loose by the Los Angeles Angels. Drafted in 2017, Ziemba went 8-2, 3.76 in his two seasons, with 7 saves, a 1.54 WHIP, 4.3 BB/9, and 7.7 K/9 in 110 innings pitched.
  • Joseph Camacho (New Market 2013) has been released by the Oakland A’s. A free agent signing in 2016, Camacho went 5-7, 4.63, with 6 saves, a 1.32 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and 7.6 K/9 in 93 1/3 innings over three minor league seasons.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates have released Steven Kraft (Aldie 2015). Kraft was a free agent sign in 2018, and then he raked in his only minor league season: 321/405/477 in 109 at-bats in the Gulf Coast League.
  • The San Diego Padres have released Eric Stout (Waynesboro 2012). Eric made his major league debut in 2018 and pitched in three games…and has appeared in 158 minor league games since being drafted in the 13th round in 2014 by the Royals.
  • San Diego has also released Greg Lambert (Front Royal 2015). Greg was a 21st round pick in 2017, and has hit 209/279/261 in 234 at-bats over his two minor league seasons.
  • Texas released lefty Chris Nunn (Winchester 2010), who had just signed this offseason after a video of his workout went viral.

Part II coming soon. Good luck to all in the next stage!