Phillies Acquire Jesmuel Valentin from the Dodgers
MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki with the report:
The Phillies acquire Class A 2B Jesmuel Valentin as first player to be named later in Roberto Hernandez trade with LAD.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) August 17, 2014
Jesmuel Valentin, son of former major leaguer Jose, is a 20-year-old second baseman, selected by the Dodgers in the first round (51st overall) in the 2011 draft. He has spent the 2014 season at Single-A Great Lakes, posting a .282/.352/.433 slash line with seven home runs, 47 RBI, and 24 stolen bases in 459 plate appearances.
Baseball Prospectus discussed Valentin in each of the last two of their annuals.
The son of former major-league infielder Jose Valentin was chosen 51st in the 2012 draft out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy and High School, where he played second base alongside overall top pick Carlos Correa. Bypassing a scholarship to Louisiana State University—a mistake in the eyes of some—he signed for the recommended slot bonus of $984,700. A natural righty who has only been switch-hitting for a couple of years, Valentin’s bag of tools includes a strong, accurate arm with a quick release, above-average range, average speed, and a line-drive approach. He struggled at the plate in his professional debut, however, showing stiff swing mechanics and swinging late on fastballs and over off-speed pitches. He’ll need time to mature, particularly on the offensive side.Baseball Prospectus 2013 Annual
Switch-hitters who can play in the middle of the diamond get a long leash; prospects with big-league bloodlines are especially revered in the Dodger organization. The son of Jose Valentin has inherited much of pop’s skill set, from positional flexibility to a patient approach at the plate. Valentin is still an apprentice in the craft of pitch recognition and identifying those that he can drive, but he sees enough pitches per game to augment his education. Valentin has his work cut out for him in the years ahead, but he also possesses the defensive chops to hold down the keystone if his bat continues to develop.Baseball Prospectus 2014 Annual
BP’s Jason Parks also selected Valentin as one of two potential “breakout candidates” for the Dodgers for this season. Valentin is a year and a half younger than the average player at his level of the minor leagues, according to Baseball Reference, suggesting he has been making good progress in his young career.
The Phillies will get one more as-yet-unnamed player to complete the deal. These are essentially lottery tickets; shots in the dark in the hope that someone turns into a contributing major leaguer. Hernandez was headed to free agency after the season anyway, so getting something — anything — for him is better than nothing. At the outset, it looks like the Phillies did well for themselves in getting Valentin.