Chris Valaika, SS, Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A, Reds)
Valaika made a name for himself almost immediately after being taken in the third round of the 2006 Draft out of UC-Santa Barbara by the Reds. He set a Pioneer League record with a 32-game hitting streak, which also was the longest streak in all of the Minor Leagues in 2006. For his efforts, he was named the MiLB.com Short-Season Offensive Player of the Year.
He's kept on performing since. He was a Midwest League All-Star in 2007, then got promoted to the Class A Advanced Florida State League after hitting .307 with 10 homers in 79 games for Dayton. He began this season back with Sarasota, but again earned a midseason bump up after hitting a scorching .363 over 32 games. His overall Double-A numbers don't compare, but after a rougher May adjusting, he hit .303 in June, giving him a .312/.362/.491 line for the season.
Valaika, 22, is no stranger to wearing the USA jersey. He won gold medals with the U.S. National team at the Pan-Am Games in Santo Domingo and at the 2004 World University Championship in Taiwan. He took home a gold medal with the Under-16 squad in the World Games in Veracruz, Mexico and a sliver with the U-18 team in the 2003 Pan-Am Games in Curacao.