VBL Top Prospect Information

One of the reasons the Valley League exists is to give college players more experience and exposure during their college careers.

The end goal of almost all of these kids, though, is to play professional baseball, and eventually make it to the major leagues. In between those two goals, though, stands the prospect industry. Baseball America is probably the most “famous” publication that does projections and prospect lists, but Perfect Game, Fangraphs, Major League baseball itself, and John Sickels, to name a few, are also in the game.

Being named a top prospect by one of these publications can be hugely important to a rising player. Some are “duh” moments- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is kind of a big deal- while some are “ah-ha!” moments that can really help a young man’s career. That young man may get more chances to prove himself, for example, or maybe another team will trade for him, so the “pedigree” surely doesn’t hurt.

Well, ATVL took some time (a lot of time, actually) to make a master sheet of every former Valley Leaguer to make a list since the prospect era began in 2001. The list includes players on Baseball America’s lists since 2001, Major League Baseball’s lists since 2011, and Fangraphs since 2017.

So here we go, Brilliant Reader- everyone from Austin Adams to Ryan Yarbrough… and Mike Maroth to Nate Pearson.

(KEY: BA= Baseball America, MLB= Major League baseball, FG= Fangraphs)

Total Players

As of this moment, there are 116 total former Valley Leaguers who have appeared on at least one list. (The whole list is at the end of this post.)

#1 Prospects for a Team?

Three guys have been named the best prospect in his organization in any particular year. They are:

  • Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006), #1 on the Cincinnati Reds’ list in 2009 (BA)
  • Tyler Thornburg (Winchester 2008), #1 for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012 (MLB)
  • Jon Rauch (Harrisonburg 1998), #1 for the Chicago White Sox in 2001 (BA)

How About Players in the Top Five?

There are 12 guys besides the #1 players above:

  • Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006): #2 2010, #4 2011, #3 2012 Cincinnati (All BA), and #2 2011 San Diego (MLB)
  • Jon Jay (Staunton 2004): #5 2007 St. Louis (BA)
  • Jason Kipnis (Covington 2006-2007): #3 Cleveland 2011 (BA)
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff (Winchester 2002): #4 2007 San Diego (BA)
  • Nate Pearson (Staunton 2016): #4 (BA), #4 (MLB), #5 (FG) Toronto 2018, #4 Toronto 2019 (FG)
  • Chris Perez (Staunton 2004): #3 2007, #2 2008, #3 2009 St. Louis (BA)
  • Jon Rauch (Harrisonburg 1998): #5 2003, #2 2002 Chicago White Sox (BA)
  • Gaby Sanchez (Staunton 2003): #5 in both 2006 and 2010 Florida (BA)
  • Cory Spangenberg (Winchester 2010): #4 2012 San Diego (BA)
  • Tyler Thornburg (Winchester 2008): #2 2011 (MLB), #4 2012 (BA), #2 2013 (BA) Milwaukee
  • Chad Tracy (Staunton 1999): #4 2004 Arizona (BA)
  • Mac Williamson (Harrisonburg 2011): #5 2014 San Francisco (BA)

How About Players Who Made at Least Four Lists?

Yeah, there are 18 dudes:

  • Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006): 2009-2012 (4 years)
  • Scott Cousins (Harrisonburg 2005): 2007-2012 (6 years!)
  • Collin Cowgill (Covington 2005): 2009-2012 (4)
  • Brett Gardner (New Market 2003-04): 2006-2009 (4)
  • Austin Gomber (Luray 2012): 2015-2018 (4)
  • Sam Howard (Staunton 2012): 2015-2018 (4)
  • Jon Jay (Staunton 2004): 2007-2010 (4)
  • Joe Koshansky (Staunton 2002-03): 2006-2009 (4)
  • Jack Leathersich (Haymarket 2009): 2012-2014, 2017 (4)
  • Tommy Manzella (Waynesboro 2003): 2006-2010 (5)
  • Brad Mills (Harrisonburg 2005): 2008-2011 (4)
  • Cliff Pennington (Harrisonburg 2003): 2006-2009 (4)
  • Jon Rauch (Harrisonburg 1998): 2001-2004 (4)
  • John Raynor (New Market 2004): 2006-2010 (5)
  • Gaby Sanchez (Staunton 2003): 2005-2010 (6!)
  • Cory Spangenberg (Winchester 2010): 2012-2015 (4)
  • Mac Williamson (Harrisonburg 2011): 2013-2016 (4)
  • Ryan Yarbrough (Luray 2012): 2015-2018 (4)

How Many From Each VBL Team? 

  1. Winchester- 19
  2. Staunton – 18
  3. Harrisonburg- 17
  4. Luray- 14
  5. New Market- 12
  6. Covington- 10
  7. Front Royal and Haymarket- 7
  8. Waynesboro- 6
  9. Woodstock- 5
  10. Charles Town- 1

Who Is the Most Hyped Prospect From Each VBL Team?

This is subjective, but let’s take a look:

  • Winchester- Tyler Thornburg (2008), with Cory Spangenberg (2010) second
  • Staunton- Chris Perez (2004), with Nate Pearson (2016) or Gaby Sanchez (2003) second
  • Harrisonburg- Jon Rauch (1998), with Mac Williamson (2011) second
  • Luray- Yonder Alonso (2006), with Alex Wimmers (2008) second
  • New Market- Brett Gardner (2003-04) with Chris Ray (2001) second
  • Covington- Collin Cowgill (2005) with Jason Kipnis (2006-07) second
  • Front Royal-  Jake Johansen (2011) with Justin Anderson (2013) second
  • Haymarket- Eric Stamets (2010) with Jack Leathersich (2009) second
  • Waynesboro- Tommy Manzella (2003) with Patrick Mazeika (2013) second
  • Woodstock- Blake Tekotte (2006) with Brandon Beachy (2008) second
  • Charles Town/Purcellville- Adam Parks (2013) is the only one so far!

How About the Most Hyped Prospect Active in the Minor Leagues Right Now?

Not all of these players made a list yet, so some might not be on the list at the bottom of this post….

Who Was the Most Heralded Prospect Since 2001?

I think it has to be Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006), who was drafted 7th overall in 2008, was top four in Cincinnati’s system four years in a row, and 2nd overall in San Diego’s once for good measure.

Ok, So Who is the Most Hyped Prospect Right Now?

That’s Nate Pearson (Staunton 2016) by a pretty far margin. Drafted 28th overall by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017, Nate has hit triple-digits with his fastball, and even with some injury issues, is now a top 20 prospect in the entire game, and top 2 in the Blue Jays’ system. (I assume he’ll be #1 in 2020, when Bo Bichette graduates off the list.)

The List!

What follows is every single former Valley Leaguer who has appeared in a prospect list since 2001:

Name VBL Team
Austin Adams Staunton 11
Mike Adams Front Royal
Omar Aguilar Covington 04
Yonder Alonso Luray 06
Justin Anderson Front Royal 13
Jon Armitage Harrisonburg 01
Brandon Beachy Woodstock 08
Brian Bocock Luray 04
Tyler Bortnick Front Royal 06
Jonathan Bowlan New Market 16
Sean Buckley Staunton 09-10
Mike Burns Winchester 00
Jared Burton New Market 01
David Carpenter Covington 04
Garrett Cave Staunton 15
Rocky Cherry Harrisonburg 01
Trey Cochran-Gill Harrisonburg ’12
Justin Collop Winchester 08
Scott Cousins Harrisonburg ’05
Jake Cowan Waynesboro 07
Collin Cowgill Covington 05
Tyler Cyr Waynesboro 14
Rob Delaney New Market 03
Chris Devenski Woodstock 11
Brandon Dickson New Market 06
Phil Disher Front Royal 05
Josh Edgin Winchester 07
Jack Egbert Winchester 03
Adam Everett Winchester 96
Paco Figueroa Winchester 01
Matt Fox Staunton 03
Brett Gardner New Market 03-04
Michael Gigliotti Covington 15
Rob Gilliam Luray 07
Austin Gomber Luray 12
Rayan Gonzalez Harrisonburg 09
Drew Granier Harrisonburg 09-10
Jon Griffin Luray 10
Carlos Guevara Covington 02
Carlos Gutierrez Luray 07
Eric Haberer Harrisonburg 03
Rowdy Hardy Staunton 04
Travis Harper Harrisonburg 97
Ben Harrison Harrisonburg 01
Taylor Hill Winchester 08
Sam Howard Staunton 12
Jon Jay Staunton 04
Jake Johansen Front Royal 11
Kevin Johnson Haymarket 09
Hunter Jones Winchester 03
Josh Judy Haymarket 06-7
Brendan Katin Covington 04
Jason Kipnis Covington 06-7
Ryan Klosterman Winchester 01
Joe Koshansky Staunton 02-03
Kevin Kouzmanoff Winchester 02
Chad Kuhl New Market 12
Tyler Kuhn Luray 06-7
Tommy La Stella Haymarket 09
Mark Lamm Waynesboro 10
Jack Leathersich Haymarket 09
Ray Liotta Waynesboro 02
Javier Lopez New Market 96
Tommy Manzella Waynesboro 03
Mike Maroth Staunton 96-7
Patrick Mazeika Waynesboro 13
Marcus McBeth New Market 99
Ryan McBroom Haymarket 11-12
Marshall McDougall New Market 98
Brad Mills Harrisonburg 05
Bobby Mosebach Woodstock 04
Trent Mummey Winchester 08
Kevin Munson Covington 08
Daniel Murphy Luray 04-5
Tim Norton New Market 04
Tim Olson Staunton 99-00
Adam Parks Charles Town 13
Nate Pearson Staunton 16
Cliff Pennington Harrisonburg 03
Nick Pereira Harrisonburg 04
Chris Perez Staunton 04
Max Povse Staunton 13
Jon Rauch Harrisonburg 98
Chris Ray New Market 01
John Raynor New Market 04
Clint Robinson Harrisonburg 05-06
Robert Rohrbaugh Winchester 03
Drew Rucinski Luray 08-10
Gaby Sanchez Staunton 03
Ryan Schimpf Luray 08
Luke Scott Staunton
Robby Scott Covington 10
Tim Sexton Staunton 06-07
Ryan Shealy Harrisonburg 99
Scott Shuman Winchester 07
Kyle Snyder Winchester 97
Cory Spangenberg Winchester 10
Eric Stamets Haymarket 10
Nick Stavinoha Front Royal 03
Tobi Stoner Front Royal 05
Craig Tatum Covington 02
Blake Tekotte Woodstock 06
Tony Thomas Harrisonburg 05
Tyler Thornburg Winchester 08
Clay Timpner Staunton 02
Tyler Townsend Winchester 08
Chad Tracy Staunton 99
Elih Villanueva Luray 07
Kyri Washington Woodstock 13
Tyler White Haymarket 10
Corey Williams Winchester 09
Mac Williamson Harrisonburg 11
Jacob Wilson Luray 09
Alex Wimmers Luray 08
Mickey Wiswall Winchester 08
Ryan Yarbrough Luray 12

 

 

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