The Cincinnati Reds have at least one former Valley Leaguer who is tearing up pro ball: righthanded starter Graham Ashcraft.
Ashcraft, a Waynesboro General in 2018, was picked in the 6th round of the 2019 draft our of Alabama-Birmingham (he had previously pitched at Mississippi State). He had a decent pro debut in ’19 in Rookie ball, as he struck out 60 batters in 53 2/3 innings.
But in 2021, he was absolutely dominant. Split between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga, his final numbers came out to 11-4, 3.00, with a 1.108 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and 10.5 K/9 in 111 total innings- he struck out 129 batters!
Shawn Pender, Cincinnati’s vice president of player development, said this: “He’s a big, strong, physical kid with power stuff. Very aggressive when he’s on the mound, and right now, he’s probably got two pitches that are Major League-ready. The stuff has always been there for him, but this year he really showed improvement with the command and control.”
By the way, Ashcraft went 0-1, 3.72, with 21 K’s in 19 1/3 innings for the Generals in 2018.