Skip to main content

After impressing this spring Valentin ready for more opportunities

Jesmuel Valentin, image- Jay Floyd
Infielder Jesmuel Valentin made a serious impression this spring with an outstanding campaign and gave the Phillies organization a lot to think about. The 22-year-old himself, though, had no hangups, knowing all along what he is capable of and that he's deserving of the chance to make an impact.

With the Phils this spring, Valentin posted a .366 batting average with six doubles and four RBI in 21 games.

A first round draft selection in 2012, he was the return in the deal that sent Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers three summers ago.

Sticking around until the final day of the Grapefruit League schedule is a testament to the improvements the talented switch-hitter has made after spending the off-season playing under the tutelage of his dad, Jose Valentin, a veteran of 16 major league seasons, in the Roberto Clemente League in Puerto Rico.  The elder Valentin is the manager of the Mayaguez Indios.

“I know what I’m capable of doing and I know that all that I did (in spring training) was not a surprise. I was more surprised that I did it on a little bit of a consistent basis," Valentin said in front of his locker at Lehigh Valley’s Coca-Cola Park last week.  "That’s what I’m working on- just being more consistent every day, just being more consistent and try to minimize failure. And seeing that happen that means that I’m going the right way, on the right path. So, that’s what I worked for this off-season, trying to get all those results and I got them!"

Taking advantage of the chance to play regularly for the Phillies this spring, Valentin passed on the opportunity to play with the Puerto Rico team in the World Baseball Classic.  His father was a coach for that club as well.

Valentin is slated to be the everyday second baseman for the Triple-A IronPigs this season, paired up as a double play combination with top Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford.

His manager with Lehigh Valley Dusty Wathan, whose father John was a big league manager, feels the familiarity with being around big leaguers during his youth, likely had a lot to do with Valentin’s comfort level and his ability to settle in quickly and produce during spring training.

Wathan expressed a great level of satisfaction with the production that Valentin had with the Phillies.

“He had a tremendous spring and I'm very proud of him,” Wathan said. “He handled himself well. That's what you need to do when you go into your first (big league) spring training, is handle yourself as a professional. You know, if you get a couple hits, great!  But even if he wouldn't have gotten hits, the way he did his work, the way he played defense was outstanding.”

Defense has always been a big part of Valentin’s game.

Aware that media types and prospect reviewers may have impressions of him that are more aligned with a prototypical light-hitting middle infielder that notches more web gems than round trippers, Valentin hopes to take advantage of opportunities that will continue to prove them wrong.

“It’s one of those things that I never try to hear what people say or read those comments. I just keep working on what I’m doing because later on I know I’m going to have success,” Valentin stated.

The five-foot-nine 180-pounder is equipped to become a versatile big league utility man.

While he’s primarily been a second baseman in the pros, Valentin has played shortstop, third base, left field and right field, much like his father, who played all of those positions in the big leagues, but also dabbled in center field and once played first base.

Like most dedicated players, Valentin doesn’t care where he’s playing, as long as he’s out there, getting an opportunity to help his team. 

“I want to win and if there’s any chance I get to help the team get in the win column I’m going to have that chance and that’s all I live for. I live for those special moments, those special opportunities,” Valentin asserted.

Here's hoping there are more opportunities and plenty of moments for Valentin at the top level of the sport.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #7 LHP JoJo Romero

JoJo Romero, image- Jay Floyd With a growing crop of very talented pitching prospects in the Phillies organization, left-hander JoJo Romero is certainly among the standouts. The five-foot-11 200-pounder was the Phils’ 4th round draft selection in 2016. That year he helped Yavapai College, the same school that the Phillies drafted Kenny Giles from in 2011, clinch the JuCo World Series, leading the way with an 11-5 record, a 3.64 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 mark. He also tossed a complete game gem to earn the win in their title game. After signing with the Phillies, Romero made his professional debut as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. There, he notched a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 11 in 45 2/3 innings. In 2017, he got off to a terrific start with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 13 starts, Romero tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark and was honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star. R

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'

Diekman a Late Addition to Mesa AFL Roster

On Wednesday, Phillies lefty pitching prospect Jacob Diekman made his Arizona Fall League debut. Diekman, who was drafted in the 30th round of the 2007 amateur draft, was assigned to Mesa late, in order to increase his 2010 innings total, according to Mesa hitting coach Mark Parent, who managed Diekman in Lakewood this past season. Diekman, 23, posted a 2-0 record with 1.90 ERA in 21 games with Class A Lakewood before being promoted to High-A Clearwater on June 24th. In 24 games with the Threshers, Diekman went 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA. Combined, Diekman tossed 55 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .187 batting average against at two levels in 2010. However, after not pitching in an official game since he threw a shutout inning to wrap up the Clearwater season on September 5th, Diekman was unable to record an out as all seven batters he faced reached base, six with hits, one on an error. Diekman was charged with 5 earned runs in the outing. Diekman had spent time at instructional ball f