Welcome back for the 9th installment of the MMO Mets Top 20 Prospects list, featuring the #12 Mets prospect, Buffalo Bisons infielder Jordany Valdespin. Valdespin wouldn’t have made this list if not for the impressive showing he made in 2011. Although he is a gifted and “toolsy” athlete, he is still very raw, with a great many holes in his game. It’s just that you can’t ignore the natural talent, and his eye-popping abilities.
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, and a BA of .294. 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.
Despite these issues, at 6’0″, 190 lbs. this 23-year-old, lefty swinging middle infielder is a dynamic and exciting player and if he could ever harness his game, he definitely projects as a big league starter at best, a useful role player at worst. This past season playing at AA and AAA, he had many offensive career highs including: games (134), AB’s (511), runs (69), hits (150), 2B’s (32), HR’s (17), RBI’s (60), SB’s (34), walks (25), SLG% (.468), total bases (239) and sac-hits (8). He also had a career high in errors, playing primarily shortstop, where he made 26, he also chipped in 3 more in limited time at 2B, for a total of 32. That’s way too many, and he must cut the errors down before he can be brought up to the major leagues.
At this point the only thing holding Valdespin back is Valdespin. After being repeatedly suspended throughout his career, for not hustling, and not listening to his coaches, he needs to show everyone in the Mets organization that he has grown up and is ready to take on the responsibility of being a professional baseball player, day-in and day-out. If he can leave his childish behavior behind and fine tune his game a bit, there is no reason why he couldn’t be brought up to the majors as soon as this season to make his big league debut. If he is not able to capitalize on his opportunity with the Mets, and his selfish, immature style of play continues to show itself in 2012, he could pull a Lastings Milledge and wear out his organizational welcome in a hurry.
Video Link 1: Highlights
Video Link 2: Back-to-back-to-back
Check back Thursday when we unveil the #11 Mets Top 20 Prospect.
My short list includes:
- Juan Lagares LF
- Wilmer Flores INF
- Reese Havens 2B
- Gilbert Gomez RF