With the major league season already about a quarter over (!!!), let’s take a quick look at how former Valley Leaguers are doing at the game’s highest level.
So far we have 20 players who have appeared at least once (in rough order of appearance, and stats are through Friday, August 14):
- Brett Gardner (New Market 2003-04), New York Yankees: In 46 at-bats, Gardner is hitting .171/.261/.415, with a double, three home runs, and a 5/16 BB/K ratio.
- Michael Brosseau (Waynesboro 2015), Tampa Bay Rays: In 28 at-bats, Brosseau is hitting .357/.400/.786, with three doubles, three home runs, five RBIs, and a 2/9 BB/K ratio. He even led off for the Rays a few days ago.
- Ryan McBroom (Haymarket 2011-12), Kansas City Royals: In 34 at-bats, he’s hitting .294/.351/.618, with two doubles, three home runs, five RBIs, and a 3/14 BB/K ratio.
- Daniel Murphy (Luray 2004-05), Colorado Rockies: In 53 at-bats, Murphy’s hitting .358/.393/.566, with two doubles, three home runs, 13 RBIs, nd a 3/14 BB/K ratio.
- Chris Devenski (Woodstock 2011), Houston Astros: devenski has pitched just two innings this season, and gave up three runs. He was placed on the Injured List (IL) with a sore right elbow.
- Emilio Pagan (Harrisonburg 2010), San Diego Padres: Pagan is off to a bumpy start- he’s 0-0, 6.75, with a 1.350 WHIP, 5.4 BB/9, and 5.4 K/9 in 6 2/3 innings.
- Tommy La Stella (Haymarket 2009), Los Angeles Angels: In 52 at-bats, Mike Trout’s running mate is hitting .288/.413/.442, with five doubles, a home run, four RBIs, and a 10/3 BB/K ratio.
- Jason Kipnis (Covington 2006-07), Chicago Cubs: In 22 at-bats, Kipnis is hitting .364/.462/.864, with three doubles, a triple, two home runs, five RBIs, and a 4/6 BB/K ratio.
- Ryan Yarbrough (Luray 2012), Tampa Bay Rays: Before his last start, you could make the case that Yarbrough was the Rays’ best starter. Now he’s 0-2, 4.71, with a 1.238 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and 5.6 K/9 in 21 innings. He leads the league with four hit-by-pitches, too.
- Randy Dobnak (Front Royal 2015), Minnesota Twins: NOW we’re talking. Dobnak is 3-1, 0.90, with a 0.900 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, and 5.0 K/9 in 20 innings (four starts). He leads the league in wins, ERA, ERA+, and home runs per nine innings (he’s given up none).
- Will Harris (Staunton 2003), Washington Nationals: Harris has thrown only 2 1/3 innings so far, allowing four runs (two earned). He has just returned from the IL.
- Austin Gomber (Luray 2012), St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals have had their struggles with Corona, so Gomber has only thrown 3 1/3 innings so far. But in those innings, he’s not allowed a hit or run.
- Nick Margevicius (Staunton 2015), Seattle Mariners: Margevicius has appeared in four games so far, covering 8 1/3 innings. He’s gone 0-0, 3.24, with a 1.080 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, and 8.6 K/9.
- Chad Kuhl (New Market 2012), Pittsburgh Pirates: Kuhl, just returned from TJ surgery, is 0-1, 3.21, with a 1.000 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, and 11.6 K/9 in 14 innings.
- Jon Jay (Staunton 2004), Arizona Diamondbacks: In 23 at-bats, Jay is hitting .130/.125/.174, with one double.
- Nate Pearson (Staunton 2016), Toronto Blue Jays: Pearson has started three games so far, with mixed results. He’s 0-0, 5.11, with a 1.459 WHIP, 6.6 BB/9, and 8.0 K/9 in 12 1/3 innings.
- Joseph Odom (Winchester 2012), Seattle Mariners: Odom has batted five times, with no hits yet. He’s walked once, though.
- Sam Howard (Staunton 2012), Pittsburgh Pirates: Howard has pitched 6 1/3 innings in five games. He’s 1-0, 2.84, with a a1.105 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, and 14.2 K/9 (10 K’s).
- Erik Kratz (Waynesboro 2000, Harrisonburg 2001), New York Yankees: Kratz played in one game so far, going 1-2, with a run, double, and walk.
- Tyler Thornburg (Winchester 2008), Cincinnati Reds: Thornburg has thrown in one game so far, going two innings with no hits, no runs, no walks, and three strikeouts.
So it looks like, if the season were to end today (not a completely unrealistic scenario, in 2020), Jason Kipnis would be the MLB hitter of the year, with Michael Brosseau and Daniel Murphy close behind, and Randy Dobnak would be the pitcher of the year.