Down on the Farm: AAA

With the recent rookie draft behind us, and several young players littering the rookie leagues of different affiliates, it seemed like a good time to take a look at the current minor leaguers that are having stand out seasons.

For today, we’ll only be looking at players at the AAA level, with the other levels being explored in a future article.


CF Cesar Valencia, Tennessee Smokies, Manchester Organization

At 26 years old, Valencia is a bit older than most prospects, and he hit .239 in back-to-back seasons in the big leagues in 2034 and 2035. So he’s not exactly the kind of player we’d usually highlight.

However, Valencia is destroying AAA pitching thus far, hitting a ridiculous .416/.479/.650 in 65 games. He’s walked almost as much as he’s struck out (32:33), added 35 extra base hits (including 11 home runs) and stolen 18 bases. He also draws rave reviews from teammates as a key member of the clubhouse.

Most scouts feel his best position defensively is going to be left field, and prior to this season’s breakout he was projected as a bench bat at best. After hitting .416 in AAA, though, he should see some time in the big leagues in the near future. Keep an eye on him.

Reginald Dudukovic, East Texas Pumpjacks, Austin Bats organization

Dudukovic was involved in a shocking trade a few days ago, heading to the Austin Bats along with young phenom Adrian Valdez. Liberty fans were left stunned and saddened by the news.

“Are we just going to keep trading our big league players for prospects, and then once those prospects develop, trade them for more prospects?! It’s a never ending cycle with no value to the big league club!!!” One angry fan tweeted as the news broke.

While Valdez is the more well-known name, because the Liberty once valued him so highly they were willing to pay half of Michael Jordan’s salary for at least 2 and a half seasons to acquire him, Dudukovic is no slouch either.

The former #18 overall pick, Dudukovic rose through the Liberty system fairly quickly, arriving in AAA during the 2034 season as a 20-year-old. He held his own despite his young age, putting together an .808 OPS in 63 games. As a 21-year-old repeating AAA, Reggie posted an .821 OPS in 114 games, with 57 extra base hits. He even made his major league debut, playing 18 games with the Liberty, but hitting just .200/.232/.415 in that span.

This season, at AAA again, Dudukovic has been on fire. He hit .407/.484/.793 in 41 games for the Liberty’s AAA affiliate before the trade, and again, received a small cup of coffee in the bigs, getting just 10 at bats. He’s hit just .172/.200/.483 in 6 AAA games since being acquired by Austin, but it’s a very small sample size. He’s barely 22-years-old, with more than 550 games at the AAA level, and he’s hit .271/.345/.506, with 269 extra base hits, about one every other game.

He also projects as at least an average defender, and probably above average in left or right field. He’s an extremely hard worker, and clubhouse members believe he’s a huge sparkplug.

He looks poised to be the next Reggie Stocker for the Bats for years to come.

SP Ed Donoho, San Antonio Missions, San Diego Surf Dawgs Organization

A former second round pick by the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Donoho was shocking waived by the organization in February of 2034. It remains unclear why he was waived, but he had posted two solid seasons in the MV organization prior to the 2034 season.

The Scrappers loss quickly became the Surf Dawgs gain, as Donoho has continued to excel at every level, and this year is no different. After going 15-9 with a 2.79 ERA and 215 K’s in 179 innings at the high A level as a 20-year-old in 2035, San Diego has been aggressive with their star prospect.

Donoho began the year in AA, making 3 stars before he forced his way up to AAA. In those 3 starts, Donoho posted a 27:2 K:BB ratio, throwing 19 2/3 innings. Since his promotion to AAA, he’s thrown 76 innings, striking out a ridiculous 110 batters while walking just 18.

He’s likely CBL ready right now, and looks set to be a top of the rotation anchor for years to come. With clubhouse cancer Raul Rico pitching poorly of late, the Surf Dawgs could look to trade him and give his rotation spot to the great Donoho, improving the big league club and clubhouse chemistry. San Diego tends to be more conservative, though, so it’s possible we won’t see Donoho until rosters expand in September or someone gets hurt. But there’s no denying he’s CBL ready at this moment.

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