I didn’t have to go too far back for this edition of MMO Flashback which was originally posted on January 30 of this year. But it’s relevancy makes it worth a second look considering it was written long before people started hopping back on the Jordany Valdespin bandwagon. Enjoy…
In 2012, Jordany Valdespin put his name in the Mets record book with one swing of the bat, crushing a three-run homer off Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon on May 7 for his first major league hit. The homer propelled the Mets to a 5-2 victory over their division rival in Philadelphia.
Valdespin had a knack for providing big blasts off the bench in 2012, as his five pinch-hit homers broke the Mets franchise record set by Danny Heep in 1983 and tied by Mark Carreon in 1989. Overall, Valdespin hit eight home runs for the Mets last year. But his ability to hit the ball out of the park wasn’t his only talent.
The 25-year-old from the Dominican Republic produced a total of 18 extra-base hits, scored 28 runs, collected 26 RBIs and stole 10 bases for the Mets in 2012, all without reaching 200 official at-bats. Do you know how many players in Mets history have produced 18+ XBH, 28+ runs scored, 26+ RBIs and 10+ SB in the same season, regardless of the number of times they came up to the plate? Well, the answer to that is quite a few, with the majority of the players doing it in full seasons of 500 or more at-bats. But how many of them did it in as few a number of at-bats as Valdespin collected? The answer is zero.
Let’s just consider those players who, in 300 at-bats or fewer, matched or surpassed the number of extra-base hits, runs scored, RBIs and stolen bases that Valdespin achieved for the Mets in 2012. The list is quite small.
Only four players in Mets history have been able to produce a season in which they matched or surpassed Jordany Valdespin’s 2012 totals in extra-base hits, runs scored, runs batted in and stolen bases, while collecting fewer than 300 official at-bats. But all of them needed at least 80 more at-bats to achieve the numbers posted by Valdespin in only 191 at-bats.
Valdespin’s offensive production in 2012 was not a fluke. In 2011, his last full season in the minors, Valdespin collected 52 extra-base hits, scored 69 runs, drove in 60 and stole 37 bases in 511 at-bats between AA-Binghamton and AAA-Buffalo.
Although Valdespin hit .241 for the Mets in 2012 (he hit .294 in the minors in 2011), his ability to drive the ball, find his way around the bases, and swipe a bag or ten are invaluable to a team needing whatever offensive spark it can get. In addition, Valdespin proved to be versatile on the field, playing all three outfield positions and the two middle infield spots.
His attitude and behavior aren’t always exemplary, and sometimes his defense leaves a little to be desired, but there’s no question that Valdespin can be dangerous at the plate and on the basepaths. Like your favorite adult beverage, Valdespin might be harmful in large doses, but when he’s used in reasonable amounts, he can create quite a buzz at Citi Field. And if the Mets want to do what’s best for the team, they’ll use Valdespin in moderation in 2013.
* * * * * * * *
Also check out this more recent article on Valdespin written by one of our new writers Daniel Nelson, and read this one written by MMO Mets beat writer John Delcos who’s in Port St. Lucie and says Valdespin is doing and saying all the right things.