Our Year in Review series continues today with a look at Jordany Valdespin’s 2012 performance. Valdespin impressed a lot of fans this year with his athleticism and pop. He was called up in late April, and remained with the Mets until the end of August when he was optioned to triple-a. He was called up a few days later, in early September, and finished out the season with the big league club. Valdespin, a natural middle infielder, played a total of five positions in 2012 for the Mets (2B, LF, SS, RF, CF). He spent most of the time patrolling the outfield for the Mets in 2012, who were in desperate need of help in the out there all season.
How He Handled the Bat
Valdespin won over the hearts of the New York Mets fans with some timely hitting and surprising power in 2012. Valdespin broke the team’s record of most pinch-hit home runs in a season after crushing his fifth pinch-hit home run on July 24. He is very aggressive at the plate; Some would say too aggressive. His batting average and on base percentage backed up the notion that Valdespin is too aggressive, as he sported a .241 average and .286 on base percentage. He was also just as likely to strikeout (44), as he was to get a hit (46), in 2o12. Valdespin still has some work to do at the plate, but he did show some promising power and speed on the base paths. In order to take advantage of his speed on the base paths, he has to get on base more. He only had 10 walks in 191 at bats in 2012. The Mets will surely be working with Valdespin on taking more pitches, and working the counts into his favor. This is an area that the front office has pointed out will be a focus of the team as they move into 2013, so it will be no different for Valdespin.
How He Handled the Glove
As it was noted earlier, Valdespin is a natural middle infielder, but spent the majority of the season roaming the outfield for the Mets. The Mets took advantage of Valdespin’s athleticism and he was able to perform solidly in the outfield in 2012. He didn’t commit any errors (in the outfield), and the outfield may become his primary position as long as the Mets have Daniel Murphy at second base.
Projected Role in 2013
Valdespin is an interesting case. He can just as easily be named a starter in 2013 as start the season in triple-a. His development over the winter, and his spring training performance will determine where he starts the season. He has tremendous upside, and has tons of Mets fans drooling after what he showed in 2012. Expect Valdespin to be in the mix for an outfield position in 2013. As long as Murphy isn’t traded this off-season, the Mets will continue to use Valdespin in a similar fashion as they did in 2012. If Murphy is traded this off-season, expect Valdespin to be the starting second baseman in 2013. There is no doubt that Valdespin has the potential to be a 20/20 guy if given the chance to be an everyday player.
Contract Status and Trade Rumors
Sandy Alderson made it clear that there were going to be major changes surrounding the New York Mets as they move into 2013. It seems as if no player is safe this off-season, and could be traded if right situation presents itself. It’s not likely that many teams will be beating down the doors to try and lure Valdespin away from the Mets, so we can expect Valdespin to be with the Mets in 2013.