Major League Alumni: Hudson Valley Renegades


Team: Hudson Valley Renegades
League: New York-Penn League
Class Level: Short-Season A
Major League Affiliate: Tampa Bay Rays
City: Fishkill, New York
Population: 1,735
Ballpark: Dutchess Stadium

Hudson Valley began playing in Fishkill in 1994 after the Erie Sailors relocated from Erie, Pennsylvania. The Renegades were affiliated with the Texas Rangers from the 1994 and 1995 seasons before a split affiliation in 1996 between the Rangers and expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now Rays) with the Devil Rays becoming the primary affiliate in 1997. In 1999 the Renegades won the 1999 New York-Penn League Championship. Hudson Valley has won two division titles (1996 & 1999) in franchise history.

Some notable alumni that played for the Renegades before making it to the major leagues include:

Scott Podsednik (OF): In 1995, Podsednik hit .266 with 20 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 65 games with Hudson Valley in his second professional season. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 3rd round of the 1994 MLB amateur draft out of West High School (Abbott, Texas). Podsednik has played 1016 regular season MLB games over the course of his ten year career, as a member of Seattle, Milwaukee, Chicago White Sox, Colorado, Kansas City, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was an American League All-Star in 2005 and a member of the 2005 World Series Champion White Sox. He is currently a member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization, and spent 2011 split between Triple-A Las Vegas 51s (Pacific Coast League) (Toronto Blue Jays affiliate) and Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs (International League) (Philadelphia Phillies affiliate).

Ryan Dempster (RHP): In 1995, Dempster posted a 1-0 record with a 3.18 ERA in 1 game with Hudson Valley in his first professional season. Dempster was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 3rd round of the 1995 MLB amateur draft out of Elphinstone High School (Gibsons, British Columbia). Dempster has appeared in 519 career regular season MLB games over the course of his 14 year career, as a member of Florida, Cincinnati and the Chicago Cubs. He is a two-time All-Star (2000 & 2008). He is currently a member of the Cubs starting rotation heading into 2012.

Mike Venafro (LHP): In 1995, Venafro posted a 9-1 record with a 2.13 ERA in 32 games with Hudson Valley during his first professional season. Venafro was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 29th round of the 1995 MLB amateur draft out of James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Virginia). Venafro has appeared in 307 career regular season MLB games over seven major league seasons, as a member of Texas, Oakland, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Colorado Rockies. Venafro has been part of 15 different MLB organizations during his career. He is mentioned numerous times in the book “Moneyball” as he was a member of Oakland in 2002.

Craig Monroe (OF): In 1996, Monroe hit .276 with 5 HR, 29 RBI, and 21 stolen bases in 67 games with Hudson Valley during his second professional season. Monroe was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 8th round of the 1995 MLB amateur draft out of Texas High School (Texarkana, Texas). Monroe has played in 814 career regular season MLB games over the course of nine seasons, as a member of Texas, Detroit, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh. He currently owns a lounge called “Twenty7” in Plano Texas.

Toby Hall (C): In 1997, Hall hit .250 with 1 HR and 27 RBI in 55 games with Hudson Valley during his first professional season. Hall was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 9th round of the 1997 MLB amateur draft out of UNLV (Las Vegas, Nevada).  Hall played in 686 career regular season MLB games over the duration of his nine year career, as a member of Tampa Bay, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago White Sox. He spent the 2011 season playing Independent Ball with the Camden Riversharks (Atlantic League). In December 2011, he announced his retirement as a player.

Dan Wheeler (RHP): In 1997, Wheeler posted a record of 6-7 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 starts with Hudson Valley in his first professional season. Wheeler was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 34th round of the 1996 MLB amateur draft out of Central Arizona College (Coolidge, Arizona). Wheeler has appeared in 577 regular season MLB games over the course of his twelve year career, as a member of Tampa Bay, New York Mets, Houston, and Boston. He is currently a free agent.

Jared Sandberg (3B): In 1998, Sandberg hit .288 with 12 HR and 54 RBI in 73 games with Hudson Valley during his third professional season. Sandberg was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 16th round of the 1996 MLB amateur draft out of Capital High School (Olympia, Washington). Sandberg played in 196 career MLB games over three seasons (2001-2003) as a member of Tampa Bay.  He retired after the 2007 season and became hitting coach of Hudson Valley. Sandberg is currently the Manager of Hudson Valley after being appointed to the position prior to the 2010 season. He has a record of 112-106 over two seasons as the Renegades Manager. Sandberg spent the 2009 season as the manager of the rookie level Princeton Rays (Appalachian League) where he had a managerial record of 36-31.

Josh Hamilton (OF): In 1999, Hamilton hit .194 with 7 RBI in 16 games with Hudson Valley in his first professional season. He also played in 15 games with Hudson Valley in 2006, where he hit .260 with 5 RBI. In total Hamilton suited up for a total of 31 games, hitting .221 with 12 RBI with the Renegades. Hamilton was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 1st round (1st overall) of the 1999 MLB amateur draft out of Athens Drive High School (Raleigh, North Carolina). The four-time All-Star (2008-2011) and 2010 American League MVP has played in 589 career regular season games as a member of Cincinnati and Texas. Despite all his well-documented off-field personal struggles that derailed his career, Hamilton has been one of the most consistent on-field performers during the last five years.

Jorge Cantu (3B): In 1999, Cantu hit .260 with 1 HR and 33 RBI in 72 games with Hudson Valley during his first professional season. Cantu was signed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as an amateur free agent in 1998 out of Mexico. Cantu has played in 847 career regular season MLB games over the duration of his eight year career, as a member of Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Florida, Texas and San Diego. He is currently a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after signing a minor league contract earlier this month.

Matt Diaz (OF): In 1999, Diaz hit .245 with 1 HR and 20 RBI in 54 games with Hudson Valley during in his first professional season. Diaz was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 17th round of the 1999 MLB amateur draft out of Florida State (Tallahassee, Florida).  Diaz has played in 675 regular season MLB games over the course of his nine year career, as a member of Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh.  He is currently a member of the Atlanta Braves.

Joe Kennedy (LHP): In 1999, Kennedy posted a record of 6-5 with a 2.65 ERA in 16 starts with Hudson Valley during his second professional season. Kennedy was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 8th round of the 1998 MLB amateur draft out of Grossmont College (El Cajon, California). Kennedy appeared in 222 regular season games over the duration of his seven year career, as a member of Tampa Bay, Colorado, Oakland, Arizona, and Toronto. He passed away in November 2007, it was later determined that he had died of hypertensive heart disease with degeneration of the mitral valve.

Seth McClung (RHP): In 2000, McClung posted a record of 2-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 8 starts with Hudson Valley in his second professional season. McClung was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 5th round of the 1999 MLB amateur draft out of Greenbrier East High School (Lewisburg, West Virginia). McClung has appeared in 177 regular season MLB games over the course of his six year career, as a member of Tampa Bay and Milwaukee. In 2011 he pitched in 19 games with the Triple-A Round Rock Express (Pacific Coast League) in the Rangers organization before being released in July. McClung signed a minor league contract with Milwaukee earlier this month.

James Shields (RHP): In 2001, Shields posted a 2-1 record with a 2.30 ERA in 5 starts with Hudson Valley during his first professional season. Shields was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 16th round of the 2000 MLB amateur draft out of Hart High School (Newhall, California). Shield has appeared in 185 regular season MLB games with Tampa Bay over the last six seasons. He was a member of the 2011 American League All-Star team.

John Jaso (C): In 2002 & 2003, Jaso hit .269 with 4 HR and 55 RBI in 104 games with Hudson Valley during his first and second professional seasons. Jaso was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 12th round of the 2003 MLB amateur draft out of Southwestern Community College (Chula Vista, California). Jaso has played in 203 regular season MLB games with Tampa Bay over the course of his three year career. He currently is a member of the Seattle Mariners after being traded by Tampa Bay in November 2011 in exchange for Josh Lueke (RHP) and a player to be named later or cash.

Wade Davis (RHP): In 2005, Davis posted a 7-4 record with a 2.72 ERA in 15 starts with Hudson Valley in his second professional season. Davis was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 3rd round of the 2004 MLB amateur draft out of Lake Wales High School (Lake Wales, Florida). Davis has made 64 regular season starts over his three year career with Tampa Bay.

Jake McGee (LHP): In 2005, McGee posted a 5-4 record with a 3.64 ERA in 15 games with Hudson Valley during his second professional season. McGee was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 5th round of the 2004 MLB amateur draft out of Reed High School (Sparks, Nevada). McGee has appeared in 45 regular seasons games over two seasons with Tampa Bay.

Evan Longoria (3B): In 2006, Longoria hit .424 with 4 HR and 11 RBI in 8 games with Hudson Valley in his first professional season. Longoria was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 1st round (3rd overall) of the 2006 MLB amateur draft out of Long Beach State (Long Beach, California). The three-time All-Star (2008-2010) and 2008 American League Rookie of the Year has played in 563 games with Tampa Bay over the past four seasons. He has also been a two-time Gold Glove winner at third base.

Jeremy Hellickson (RHP): In 2006, Hellickson posted a 4-3 record with a 2.43 ERA in 15 games with Hudson Valley during his second professional season. Hellickson was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 4th round of the 2005 MLB amateur draft out of Hoover High School (Des Moines, Iowa).  The 2011 American League Rookie of the Year has played in 39 games with Tampa Bay over the last two seasons.
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Tags: Hudson Valley Renegades New Yok Penn League Tampa Bay Rays Texas Rangers

  • http://districtondeck.com/ Aaron Somers

    Cool post. I actually lived in the area where the Renegades played and went to a number of games that first season. At one point in time Nolan Ryan’s son, Reid, was pitching for them. There was one night where word had it Nolan was in attendance – down the right field line, watching the game from a trailer that was essentially serving as the team’s offices during that time. Never actually saw him but always thought it was cool he came to the middle of nowhere to watch his son pitch.

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