The Keepers - #16 - SS/2B Jordany Valdespin


16.           SS Jordany Valdespin

Valdespin was signed by the Mets as an undrafted international free agent in 2006.  

He played one year for the DSL Mets, in 2007, hitting .245/.369/.338/.707 in 139 at bats. Someone must have liked what they saw in that .239 batting average because he went stateside in 2008. 

In 2008, Valdespin played the entire season for the GCL Mets, though he only had 134 at bats. He hit .284/.319/.440

In 2009, Valdespin started the season for Savannah and was close to leading the league in hitting Then, something happened. He was suspended from the team, banished back to extended camp, and eventually wound up back for the DSL team (.333/..421/.600/1.021 in 15 at bats).  

Next stop was the GCL Mets followed by Brooklyn (.279/.338/.397) where he finished the season.

1-1-10 Forecast: - As many of you know, I’m one of the beat reporters for the Savannah Sand Gnats and I’m pretty close with the folks there. That being said, I never could find out what Valdespin did to cause him being taken out of A ball when he was doing so well. All I can say is it was definitely something no one wanted to talk about.   The next question would be, if the Mets management doesn’t change at the A-level, where does Valdespin play in 2010? Hopefuly, all is forgiven because he has showed to be a pretty good 1 or 2 hitter in a lineup.

I wrote on 2-10-10: - Jordany Valdespin – this is the one you have to watch… highest ceiling of any Mets infielder in the system, and maybe the highest ceiling of any player period… the boy can hit, but also can piss off the coaches, so hopefully, we’ll see a new level of maturity this season. Remember his name… he’s a future major leaguer.

4-19-10: - Stock Up: Valdespin has been a hitting machine since the day he came stateside in 2008. .284 for the GCL Mets that year… led the Sally League, early, in hitting in 2009… and now hitting his stride at A+, with stats of .310/.310/.524/.833. Other than the fact that he doesn’t walk, he quickly is establishing himself as the top second base prospect in the system. I wrote on Feb 10: “Jordany Valdespin – this is the one you have to watch… highest ceiling of any Mets infielder in the system, and maybe the highest ceiling of any player period… the boy can hit, but also can piss off the coaches, so hopefully, we’ll see a new level of maturity this season. Remember his name… he’s a future major leaguer.” I expect the 22-year old to stay put at Lucy this season. Play Binghamton in 2011, and then… who knows…

2-23-11: - Stock Up: - 2B/SS Jordany Valdespin – word from camp is that Valdespin turned heads during his infield workout along with other Mets vying for a Queens job. He simply was faster than the rest of the guys, both in getting to the ball and also getting back into postion for the next ground. He has been known to get lazy on routine balls, but not sof ar this spring.

3-14-11: - Up: - 2B/SS – Jordany Valdespin – what I’m hearing now is the Mets coaches are in love with Valdy’s game down in spring training. I have no idea what that means but my guess is he will play 2B in Buffalo with Ruben Tejada on short. This will bump Reese Havens back to Binghamton to team with Wilmer Flores and Jenry Marte.  This is a real positive problem.

4-23-11 – Down – SS – Jordany Valdespin – No one had more positive press going into this season than Valdespin. The Mets brass at spring training fell in love with him and it looks like they put the old curse on him. Valdy looks lost right now, leading the team in errors while hitting just .159.

6-3-11: - http://www.amazinavenue.com/2011/6/3/2203724/new-york-mets-daily-farm-system-report-6-3-11  Jordany Valdespin - Was still nursing his injury for the games I saw in New Britain. Saw him Memorial Day in Binghamton, so I can't really give you much of a report, but I would like to note that the makeup issues are still there. I'm not a big makeup guy, but Valdespin was basically throwing a tantrum after every out he made at bat, throwing his bat and cursing in Spanish (I assume) all the way up the line. You'd like to see him keep a little more cool at this point, though I can imagine it is frustrating playing for Bingo this year.

6-18-11: - http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/prospect-hot-sheet/2011/2611960.html   -   Scouts never questioned Valdespin's raw tools, but they cautioned that the young middle infielder's game required a lot of refinement. Playing shortstop every day at Double-A may have afforded Valdespin that extra incentive he needed to mature. He's swiped 16 bases in 19 tries on the year, and in June he's turned on the power (five homers, .733 slugging) and tuned down the strikeouts (11 percent of at-bats). His performance may prove to be a statistical blip, but the Mets have to be happy with what they've seen lately

6-24-11: - http://www.metsminorleagueblog.com/aa-thursday-valdespin-continues-torrid-june-in-b-mets-win   - Jordany Valdespin was 2-2 with a walk and two stolen bases, one of third.  In 18 games in June, he’s hitting .362/.413/.667 to push his season line to a strong .288/.340/.473.  He has 24 extra-base hits and is 21 of 25 stealing bases.  His June surge has to be the most positive development on the position player side in the system.

6-29-11: - team press release:  -  Jordany Valdespin has been selected to represent the Binghamton Mets at the 2011 Eastern League All-Star Game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, New Hampshire on July 13. Infielder Jordany Valdespin appears in his first professional All-Star Game. The native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic has hit .283 with eight home runs in 68 games this season. A member of the New York Mets’ 40-man roster, Valdespin leads the team and is tied for third in the Eastern League with 22 stolen bases.Ranked as the 25th best prospect in the Mets’ system by Baseball America, Valdespin is currently playing in his 4th season of pro baseball. The middle infielder hit .432 during a nine-game hitting streak in May, tied for the longest streak for any B-Met this year.

7-4-11: - Valdespin continues to be an enigma wrapped in a riddle. Yes, he went 4-5 last night and had two more stolen bases, but he had to try and stretch a single into a double and was out by a mile for the last out of the game. Your team is down by one in the last inning, with two out and you have to try and make the highlight film once again. Valdespin continues to show the Mets two sides of his game. One, his talent, and two, his lack of regard for team play.  

7-14-11: - http://www.amazinavenue.com/2011/7/11/2270752/mets-minors-road-report-binghamton-7-9-brooklyn-7-10  - I am pretty high on Valdespin. He’s already walked more this year then he did all of last year, and he’s turned some doubles into home runs. These are both good signs, as it means the tools are starting to turn into baseball skills. He showed everything that makes him both a intriguing prospect and a maddening one in the doubleheader. He chased a high fastball to strike out, he dropped a perfect drag bunt for a basehit, he laced a 2 RBI double to right, and he got a little fancy with a flip to Satin to try and start the 6-4-3. Part of the reason he had to try the flip to Satin is he is not as rangy as you would expect, and despite his speed and base stealing ability, he hasn’t quite figured out shortstop. He’s a second baseman in the end, probably, albeit one who has an all-star ceiling.

7-22-11: - Following minor leaguers is all about trying to find someone that will become a start in the majors. No one ever questioned Valdespin’s talent since the day he signed on as a Met. It was always his work ethics and attitude; however, it looks like the kid is becoming a man and may be a futre peg in the Mets infield some day. He’s batting .304 for Binghamton, with 13-HRs, and 29-SB. Make that .324 in the past 10 games.

7-25-11: - Four more hits tonight for Jordy, or Spin, or whatever his nickname is. Batting average is .308. Hit two doubles for a total of 23 so far this season… hit his 15th home run.  That’s a .500+ slugging percentage, 23 doubles, and 15 home runs for a 2B/SS known for his defensive skills. Hmm…

7-26-11: - http://www.amazinavenue.com/2011/7/26/2287253/mets-mid-term-farm-system-review-2011-binghamton#storyjump  -  IF Jordany Valdespin - STOCK UP - Talk about a pleasant surprise. I was higher than most on Valdespin this winter and I still only just barely had him in the top 30. All he's done is go out and confirm that he may have the most dynamic all-around package of tools in the entire system and what's more, he's beginning to capitalize on all of them. I don't know what's a bigger surprise, the fact that a guy with a career high of six homers has already reached 15 or the fact that he's already matched his sb total from the last two seasons combined. He's even batting .280 against lefties. And he's always been more about tools than skills but he's even improved his walk rate, from around 1.5% up to 5%, which isn't great but the percentage increase is excellent. He still has a lot of rawness to his game (see: 28 errors) but he's turning a lot of it into production and if this continues expect to hear his name as a serious contender for a future starting MI role.

8-10-11 – Stock Up – Jordany Valdespin – it’s obvious that the promotion of Ruben Tejada got this ball rolling, but Valdespin earned this one on his own. He hit .297/.341/.483/.824 in AA, with 15-HR and 51-RBIs. The problem is he also had 29 errors which the Mets aren’t used to with their middle infielders. Still, kudos to Jordy.

8-11-11: - Stock Down – Seems it didn’t take long for Valdespin to get back to his old tricks once he hit the AAA. Reports are that the diva decided to only jog out, not one, but two, ground balls during Thursday’s game. I’m sure manager Tim Teufel was just thrilled to lock horns once again with Spin. It will be interesting to see if he’s in today’s lineup. Good bat, but leopards can’t change spots… or was that tigers?

8-22-11 Observation: - Valdespin was promoted earlier this month to AAA-Buffalo and he is having a little problem with that level of pitching. I have Ruben Tejada remaining in Queens regardless of whether Jose Reyes is signed, so it looks like Valdespin will become the emergency shortstop in waiting. There was a recent sub-only article on him at Baseball America that focused on his attitude problems. The story said that is all in the past. We'll see. ETA: Ready in 2012, but blocked

8-21-11: - http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/08/prospect-pulse-left-handed-hitters.html  - Jordany Valdespin – well you can’t say it hasn’t been exciting to follow the madcap escapades of this 2007 IFA signing out of the Dominican Republic. His stellar hitting talents have never been in doubt, but what’s between his ears has. He has been suspended repeatedly over the course of his minor league career, as disciplinary actions, for not listening to his coaches, arguing with his coaches, not hustling, and generally behaving like a child. Now 23 years old, he was just rewarded for a fabulous offensive season at Bingo by being called up to AAA Buffalo. This season, he has already surpassed his best career stats in every single offensive category except 3B’s and OBP. In 445 AB’s he is hitting .288, with 62 Runs, 128 Hits, 27 2B’s, 3 3B’s, 15 HR’s, 52 RBI’s, 206 TB’s and a .463 SLG. He has also chipped in 33 SB’s, but has also been caught stealing 16 times! His hitting ranks very high for a middle infielder, but until he can cut down on his errors, 32 in 117 games this year, he will remain at AAA. Hopefully the behavioral problems will end with maturity, otherwise a trade will be the final act in “Spin’s” Met career.

Jordany Valdespin SS Buffalo Bisons: 119 games combined between Buffalo and Double-A Binghampton 16 HRs, 56 RBIs, .288 BA, 34 SBs  Now if you're looking for a speedy shortstop with loads of power, Valdespin is your kind of player. Since signing with the Mets as a non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2007,  Valdespin has quickly risen through the ranks of the Mets farm system and has stolen bases and driven in runs at every step of the way.  With the uncertainty of current Mets star shortstop Jose Reyes' contract beyond 2011 and the chronic injuries of star prospect shortstop Reese Havens, Valdespin enters the very top tier of potential Reyes replacement shortstops in the Mets minor league system. Valdespin deserves a long, hard look from Terry Collins and the rest of the Mets front office during September baseball for his future prospects at the position with the Mets.

The New York Mets September call-ups will feature a number of players that could play a big role for the team in 2011. This could be your first chance to see pitchers who could be a part of the rotation or a player who could take over a spot in the outfield next year. One of the more exciting players that the Mets will likely call up is Jordany Valdespin. He has been having a great year in the minors and should be in the running for the Mets second base position next year.

9-3-11: - http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/09/prospect-pulse-buffalo-2012-help-on-the-way.html   - Jordany Valdespin - Not to beat a dead horse, as I recently described Valdespin in detail, in both the LH hitter post, and the Shortstop post, so all I’m going to say about him is since he is finishing this year at Buffalo, it makes perfect sense for him to man shortstop there next year. As far as him being able to help the Mets next year, the question right now is whether he can improve enough in three areas to warrant a call-up to the bigs. First he needs to cut down on his errors, second he needs to stop getting caught stealing so much, even if it means running less often, and third the coaching staff must decide that he has left his lack of maturity issues behind for good.

10-18-11: - In updating the Keepers, I have to say that, right now, Jordany Valdespin is the top every day player in the system. This might be due to other players underperforming and lack of 5-tool projectable ceilings, but he still has earned it on his own with his ability both in the field and with a bat in his hand.He also is maturing as a human, with a big help by Carlos Beltran.

10-20-11: - http://realdirtymets.com/2011/10/20/minor-league-position-breakdown-shortstop  - Behind Tejada on the depth chart is Jordany Valdespin, who had one of the best seasons of any prospect in the Mets system in 2011. Valdespin has incredible athleticism and showed this past year that he can be a dynamic offensive force. In the past he has had problems with discipline and attitude, which was less of an issue this year. He has not walked or stolen enough bases, both of which he improved upon this past year; and he has not always put forth full effort all the time, concerns he has not yet eliminated. Valdespin is not quite ready for the big leagues, just getting a promotion to AAA late in the season, but if he can continue to do what he did in 2011, it shouldn’t be too much longer until making his big league debut is a real possibility.

11-9-11: - http://www.metsminorleagueblog.com/season-review-upper-level-shortstop  - Jordany Valdespin played 78 games at shortstop for AA Binghamton. Did you realize that prior to 2011, he had played 47 games at short stop in his entire minor league career? Really. Coming into this year, scouts did not think he could handle shortstop everyday, questioning both his hands and arm. They weren’t wrong. Valdespin tied for second in the Eastern League shortstops with 26 errors. That’s an error every three games. Errors aren’t perfect, but they do illustrate a point here. At age 24 by Opening Day 2012, he’ll be two years older than Ruben.  Of course, Valdespin can hit: his .297/.341/.483 with 15 homers and 33 stolen bases was eye-opening. I certainly don’t regard him as a competitor to Tejada at short if Reyes isn’t resigned. Rather, he’s a second baseman, who like Justin Turner can slide over to short stop in a pinch.

11-4-11: - http://www.amazinavenue.com/2011/11/4/2538426/jose-reyes-roundtable-4-if-reyes-leaves-who-is-the-mets-shortstop-in  - Now should Tejada's development falter, all is not lost. That's because just behind him down in Triple-A Buffalo, Jordany Valdespin will be waiting for a chance to show off his far more versatile skillset at the next level. Valdespin has always flashed game-changing tools, it's just harnessing them that's been the tricky part. That is until this past season when he finally put it all together for a breakout campaign where he batted .294 with 17 homers and 37 stolen bases between Double and Triple-A. People might not like his severe lack of plate discipline or his somewhat out-of-control style of play, but frankly those are numbers you just don't often see from the shortstop position, at any level. But again, he's frustrated scouts for years with his rawness so the fact that Valdespin will actually be two years older than Tejada come April should be an indicator that his development has been anything but routine and consistency is not a part of his game.

11-14-11: - http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/11/mmo-top-20-mets-prospects-12-jordany-valdespin-inf.html#comment-202645  - A major problem for “Spin” is the mental side of the game. He tends to have concentration lapses in the field, at bat, and on the base-paths. As a fielder, he has terrific range, and a strong throwing arm, but his hands are not soft, and he appears to stab at the ball, his glove-work choppy. As a hitter, he can be dynamic and shows some potential “pop”, but he swings at everything, is completely undisciplined, and therefore is not effective at the top of the order. Last year in 511 AB’s he struck out 93 times and walked 25 times, for an OBP of only .333. As a base-runner, Spin is not a burner but has pretty good speed. He could someday develop into a stolen base threat, but right now he is impatient as a runner and takes a lot of foolish chances. He was caught trying to steal 18 times, that’s one-third of his total attempts last year.

 BORN: Dec. 23, 1987

 EXPERIENCE: 5 seasons

 ACQUIRED: 2007 international free agent

 2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

SCOUTING REPORT: Valdespin is yet another member of the Mets’ outstanding international free agent haul from ’07. He’s produced solid pro numbers but a continued lack of maturity has hampered his development. Like many of Mets prospects, Valdespin is overly aggressive, which hinders his overall offensive ceiling. He has above-average power for a second baseman and also stole 37 bases in ’11 after be improved his base running.

YEAR IN REVIEW: The Dominican showed a power-speed combination in ’11 and he hit a career high 17 home runs between double-A and triple-A. He struck out too much, though, and walked at a rate of about 4%.

YEAR AHEAD: Valdespin hit very well in double-A in ’11 but struggled a bit during his 27 game trial at triple-A. He’ll likely need another season of development in the minors before he’s ready to take over second base at the big league level. Valdespin has an outside shot of sticking at shortstop at the big league level if he continues to show improvements in 2012.

CAREER OUTLOOK: New York has a number of players capable of holding down the second base fort until Valdespin is ready – so he won’t be rushed. Given his history of insubordination the organization may be unwilling to commit fully to him as the second baseman of the future – at least until he shows improved maturity for an extended period of time. If everything breaks right, Valdespin could be an above-average player at the MLB level – both on offense and defense.

2-9-12 - http://www.amazinavenue.com/2012/2/9/2786300/2012-amazin-avenue-top-50-mets-prospects-10-6   - IF Jordany Valdespin - Much like Lagares, the 24-yr old Valdespin is a bit of a polarizing figure thanks to his hit-or-miss skill set. Specifically, his awesome raw ability was on display big time in 2011 as he finally put together all of the tools that he'd only flashed in the past. He set career highs in doubles, homers, stolen bases, slugging and OPS and most impressively did so between Double and Triple-A. Using his quick, buggy whip-style stroke from the left side -- think Brett Gardner -- he was able to shoot balls to all fields while creating more than enough bat speed to pull them over the wall. In short, he showcased the kind of all-around offensive skill set that you just don't often see from middle infielders, minors or majors. However, his dynamic style of play can tend to border on out-of-control and nowhere is that more clear than in the field. The highly athletic Valdespin possesses more than enough arm and foot speed to handle short but thus far he's had a very hard time limiting the errors there or even from second, where he's seen a lot more reps. Additionally, as has been his issue in the past his plate discipline was not good. He walked in just 3.5% of his plate appearances with Buffalo while striking out over 22%. However, he did show a very solid improvement in both categories in his time with Binghamton, though he remained susceptible to good breaking stuff. Ultimately, I think of Valdespin like the anti-Tejada: He's old, not disciplined -- in the field or at the plate -- and isn't known for great makeup. However, he features the kind of all-around athleticism, broad skill set and subsequent production in the high minors that Ruben can only dream of. While his flaws can obviously undermine him, his ceiling likely resembles the 2011 4.0 fWAR version of Erick Aybar.


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