The next offseason series we have is the hitter and pitcher of the year from each minor league level. It will be a total of 12 articles taking a look at the best Valley League alumni all the way from Rookie ball to the major leagues.

We’ll start at the bottom and work out way to the top, so our first installment is covering the Rookie levels, which includes players in the Appalachian, Pioneer, Gulf Coast, and Arizona Leagues.

First, the past winners (I started this series in 2014, but determined winners after the fact all the way to 2010):

2018- Brooks Wilson (Waynesboro 2015)
2017- Keenan Bartlett (Winchester 2015)
2016- Jim McDade (Strasburg 2013)
2015- Keegan Long (Front Royal 2014)
2014- Trey Cochran-Gill (Harrisonburg 2012)
2013- Pete Kelich (Haymarket 2011)
2012- Justin Thompson (Waynesboro 2010)
2011- Jeremiah Meiners (Covington 2008)
2010- Tim Boyce (New Market 2007)

The Rookie Level Pitcher of the Year for 2019 is Will Guay. Guay pitched for both Purcellville and Winchester in 2018, and spent his 2019 minor league season at St. Louis’s Johnson City in the Appalachian League. In 16 games and 30 2/3 innings, he went 1-1, 2.35, with four saves, a 1.30 WHIP, 4.1 BB/9, and 12.3 K/9.

Others to Consider

  • Graham Ashcraft (Waynesboro 2018), for Greeneville in the Appalachian League: 2-4, 4.53, 1.34 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, 10.1 K/9 in 53 2/3 innings pitched.
  • Nick Roth (Charlottesville 2017-18), for the Orioles in the Gulf Coast League: 1-0, 0.91, 0.86 WHIP, 0.5 BB/9, and 10.5 K/9 in 19 2/3 innings.