With a little hankering for looking in on former Valley League players now in pro ball, let’s take a quick look at two alumni who are having excellent seasons!
- Austin Gomber (Luray 2012) has pitched in the major leagues for three seasons now, but minus some recent health issues, he’s having a knockout season for the Colorado Rockies. One of the pieces the Rockies received in the widely panned Nolan Arenado trade, Gomber has been a bright spot in an otherwise dreary year in Colorado. Up to this point, Gomber is 6-5, 3.68 in 78 1/3 innings, with a 1.072 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, and 8.7 K/9 (after 15 starts). A week ago, he was removed in the second inning of his start because of forearm tightness, and he hasn’t pitched since. Hopefully, though, he can return to the rotation soon.
- Graham Ashcraft (Waynesboro 2018) has always been a prospect (he was when he was in the VBL ,too), but this season he’s taken a huge leap forward. Originally assigned to High-A Dayton, Ashcraft proved he didn’t really belong there by going 4-1, 2.33 in eight starts, with only 13 walks against 55 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings pitched. So, naturally, the Reds moved him up to Double-A Chattanooga, where he promptly threw a complete-game shutout in his debut, allowing only two hits, no walks, and striking out eight. And he did it on “only” 102 pitches. He’s currently listed as Cincinnati’s #18 prospect, but watch for him to move up that list if he keeps pitching like this!