Long-time baseball fans know that there isn’t just one way to make the Big Show.
Some players are top draft picks, have a Topps baseball card immediately, and are expected to make it. If they don’t, they are deemed a “bust.” (See Nate Pearson (Staunton 2016), or Kyle Snyder (Winchester 1997).)
Some are long-term grinders. They are lower draft picks, but they just keep playing until someone rips their uniform off or they make the Bigs. (See Joseph Odom (Winchester 2012), or Scott Copeland (Staunton 2007). Or Erik Kratz! (Waynesboro 2000, Harrisonburg 2001))
Others, we have to admit, find themselves in a suddenly advantageous situation. In August 2012, the San Diego Padres suddenly needed a catcher. They passed over catchers in Triple and Double-A to pluck a catcher from High-A Lake Elsinore- Eddy Rodriguez (Luray 2005-06)- who had spent seven years in the minors, and was hitting .223/.269/.381 at the time. He made his major league debut, hit a home run in five at-bats, and was returned to the minors. He spent five more years in the minors, but did not appear in the major leagues again.
And you know what? It doesn’t matter. No matter how the call comes, it came, and any player who can call himself a major leaguer, even if it’s only for one at-bat or one inning, can forever be known as such. Imagine that on the resume- “Major League Player.” It’s reaching the highest level of the profession.
Well, the latest Valley League alumni has made his major league debut. This time, it’s Cody Wilson, an outfielder from Florida Atlantic, who showed himself to be a dynamic power/speed guy when he played for the Winchester Royals in 2017. He was picked in the 13th round of the 2018 draft by the Washington Nationals, and spent most of 2019 in Low-A Hagerstown, where he hit .215/.311/.323 in 297 at-bats.
The Nationals were in need of players due to covid issues, and they promoted Wilson from the Alternate Training Site. He was in uniform on Wednesday, and pinch-hit in the third inning. He flied out against Josh Tomlin.
Wilson is the first Valley Leaguer from the 2017 draft to make the major leagues, and the 14th player overall to play in the majors this season.
Congratulations on the newest line in your resume, Mr. Wilson!
(For much, much, MUCH more info on the Valley League, visit allthingsvalleyleague.com.)