MLB player signings: 2008


The following list details the 33* Atlantic League players who had their contracts purchased by major league organizations during the 2008 season. The list includes Somerset’s Brandon Knight, who returned to the major leagues with the Mets after starting 2008 with the Patriots. The list also details Atlantic league players sold to professional leagues outside the U.S.

*Thirty-three Atlantic League players returned to MLB organizations in 2008, but the Atlantic League sold 34 contracts. Long Island’s Joe Valentine was signed by the Phillies in May. After his release, he returned to the Ducks and was signed by the Reds in August.


The number of players signed by major league organizations according to their Atlantic League franchises.

Bridgeport: 4
Camden: 7
Lancaster: 5
Long Island: 3
Newark: 3
Somerset: 5
Southern Maryland: 2
York: 4


The number of players signed by major league organizations during the 2008 season.

May: 10
June: 16*
July: 5
Aug: 3*

* — The Phillies signed Long Island’s Joe Valentine in May. Released by the Phillies later in the season, he returned to L.I. and the Reds signed him in August. Those signings are counted in both months.


The number of Atlantic League players signed by major league organizations in 2008.

Angels: 3
Astros: 3
Marlins: 3
Phillies: 3*
White Sox: 3
Braves: 2 (not including 1 signed in Atlantic League spring training)
Brewers: 2
Dodgers: 2
Indians: 2
Mets: 2
Rockies: 2
: 1
Orioles: 1
: 1
: 1
: 1 *
Red Sox
: 1
: 1

Nationals: 0 (not including 1 player signed in Atlantic League preseason)

*—The Phillies signed Long Island’s Joe Valentine in May. He returned to L.I. and the Reds signed him in August. Both signings are counted above.


The players signed by major league organizations according to their position.
Pitchers: 16* (10* RHP, 6 LHP)
Catchers: 3
First basemen: 1
Second basemen: 0
Shortstop: 2
Third basemen: 1
Outfielders: 10

*—The Phillies signed Long Island’s Joe Valentine in May. He returned to L.I. and the Reds signed him in August. He is counted only once above.


The number of players signed by leagues located outside the United States through Aug. 15.

Mexico: 3
Taiwan: 2


The details of each Atlantic League player who left the league during the 2008 season for major league organizations and international leagues.

Notes: The league does not receive compensation from major league organizations for any players signed before or after the Atlantic League season. The players who signed during the preseason are listed, but they do not count toward the league or team total. If a player’s contract was purchased by a major league organization, the player’s first assigned team within that organization is listed in parenthesis.


Mike Connolly, LHP
Telling stat: signed during Atlantic League spring training
Signed: (CPBL, Taiwan), signed during April 15-22/returned to Bridgeport July 5

Brian Peterson, C
Telling stat: .400 BA, 7 G
Signed: Baltimore Orioles (Double-A Bowie), May 5

Adam Greenberg, OF
Telling stat: 4 XBHs, 13 G
Signed: L.A. Angels of Anaheim (Double-A Arkansas), May 9

Derrick Ellison, LHP
Telling stat: 1.42 ERA, 22 G
Signed: Milwaukee Brewers (Rookie Brevard County), July 18

Eric DuBose, LHP
Telling stat: 3.91 ERA
Signed: L.A. Dodgers (Triple-A Las Vegas), Aug. 4


Chris Walker, OF
Telling stat: .290 BA, 20 RBIs, 28 G
Signed: L.A. Angels of Anaheim (Triple-A Salt Lake), May 27

Erick San Pedro, C
Telling stat: .281 BA
Signed: Chicago White Sox (Double-A Birmingham),  May 30

Brian Lawrence, RHP
Telling stat: 32 Ks, 9 BBs
Signed: Atlanta Braves (Triple-A Richmond), June 8

Brett Bonvechio, 1B/Util.
Telling stat: .227 BA, 39 RBIs
Signed: Chicago White Sox (Class A Winston-Salem), June 13

Jason Phillips, C/1B
Telling stat: .302 BA, 38 RBIs, 42 G
Signed: Atlanta Braves (Triple-A Richmond), June 25

Ryan Drese, RHP
Telling stat: 6-1, 3.44 ERA
Signed: Pittsburgh Pirates (Triple-A Indianapolis), June 26

Gary Cates, SS/UTIL
Telling stat: .286 BA, 31 RBIs, 61 G
Signed: Philadelphia Phillies (Single-A Clearwater),  July 3


Jason Perry, OF
Telling stat: Signed in Atlantic League preseason, but he hit 20 HRs, 94 RBIs in Triple-A in ’07
Signed: Atlanta Braves (Double-A Mississippi), April 18

Zach Parker, LHP
Telling stat: 2-0, 1.32
Signed: Texas Rangers (Double-A Frisco), May 12

Vasili Spanos, 3B
Telling stat: .250 BA, 3 HRS, 20 G
Signed: Florida Marlins (Single-A Jupiter), May 25

Of note: Spanos had the best nickname — “Freak Show” — of any player I’ve covered during the last five years. I’ve been told teammates would call him this to his face. Fans took notice as well. 

Brian Stavisky, OF
Telling stat: .282 BA, 20 RBIs, 29 G
Signed: L.A. Angels of Anaheim (Double-A Arkansas), May 26

Jarred Ball, OF
Telling stat: .190 BA, 40 G
Signed: Houston Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi), June 25

Josh Hall, RHP
Telling stat: 6-3, 4.10 ERA
Signed: Colorado Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs), July 25


Joe Valentine, RHP
Telling stat: 2-1, 1.62 ERA, six saves
Signed: Philadelphia Phillies (Double-A Reading), May 24/returned to L.I. June 24
Telling stat: 3-2, 7 saves since return
Signed again: Cincinnati Reds (Double-A Chattanooga), Aug. 4

Ray Navarette, INF
Telling stat: 40 RBIs, 39 G
Signed: Tabasco (Mexican League), June 10; returned to L.I. lineup June 17

Estee Harris, OF
Telling stat: .328 BA, 30 RBIs
Signed: Chicago White Sox (Single-A Winston-Salem), June 13

Jay Gibbons, OF
Telling stat: 19 RBIs, 27 G
Signed: Milwaukee Brewers (Double-A Huntsville), July 21


Brian Burgamy, OF
Telling stat: .265 BA, 14 RBIs
Signed: N.Y. Mets (Single-A St. Lucie), June 5

Val Majewski, OF/1B
Telling stat: .368 BA, 47 RBIs
Signed: Houston Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi), June 21

Cory Aldridge, OF/DH
Telling stat: .365 BA, 54 RBIs, 61 G
Signed: Kansas City Royals (Double-A Northwest Arkansas), June 30


Brandon Knight, RHP
Telling stat: 50Ks, 38 2/3 IP
Signed: N.Y. Mets (Triple-A New Orleans), May 27

Travis Minix, RHP
Telling stat: 1.59 ERA
Signed: Philadelphia Phillies (Double-A Reading), June 2

Bret Prinz, RHP
Telling stat: 13 Saves, 0.56 ERA
Signed: Oakland Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento), June 1

Andy Van Hekken, LHP
Telling stat: 1 G, 6 ER
Signed: Laguna (Mexican League), April 30; returned  to Somerset in May
Telling stat: 42 Ks, 7 GS
Signed: Houston Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi),  June 30

Michael Ryan, OF
Telling stat: 15 HRs, 53 R, 65 G
Signed: Florida Marlins (Triple-A Albuquerque), July 23

Aaron Fultz, LHP
Telling stat: 5-5, 4.00 ERA, 16 G
Signed: Uni-President Lions (CPBL, Taiwan), Sept. 9


Dan Reichert, RHP
Telling stat: 3-1, 3.40 ERA
Signed: Cleveland Indians (Triple-A Buffalo), May 30

John Halama, LHP
Telling stat: 4-1, 1.91 ERA
Signed: Cleveland Indians (Triple-A Buffalo), June 4


Steve Schmoll, RHP
Telling stat: DNP, contract purchased less than 24 hours after signing in preseason w/ Revs
Signed: Washington Nationals (Double-A Harrisburg), April 10

Kenny Perez, SS
Telling stat: .289 BA (for entire season in York)
Signed: Colorado Rockies (Triple-A Colorado Springs),  June 2/returned to York Sept. 4

David Gassner, LHP
Telling stat: 2-3, 3.06 ERA
Signed: Boston Red Sox (Double-A Portland), June 4

Wayne Franklin, LHP
Telling stat: 4-2, 5.47 ERA
Signed: Tijuana (Mexican League), June 12/returned to York July 1

Heath Totten, RHP
Telling stat: 5 2/3 IP, 4 G
Signed: Los Angeles Dodgers (Triple-A Las Vegas), June 23

Nick McCurdy, RHP
Telling stat: 2.04 ERA, 1-2, 8 Saves
Signed: Florida Marlins (Single-A Greensboro), Aug. 3