Player Review/Preview: Sebastian Valle


Image Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sebastian Valle

Key 2013 Stats (at AA Reading): .203 AVG, .245 OBP, .359 SLG, 12 HR, 41 RBIs

What Happened in 2013

It was a disappointing year for the Phillies’ one-time “catcher of the future.”  After getting passed in the organization’s catching hierarchy by Tommy Joseph in 2012, Valle was also supplanted by the less-heralded Cameron Rupp in 2013.

Spending the entire 2013 season at AA (after splitting time between AA and AAA in 2013), Valle continued to show a decent power stroke (12 home runs in 354 at bats), but the rest of his game failed to progress.  He is hindered by a poor eye at the plate which is reflected in a horrid strikeout-to-walk ratio.  He went down on strikes 88 times compared to a mere 12 times when he earned a free pass.

The team showed how little faith they have in Valle when they recently designated him for assignment and dropped him from the 40 man roster.  While they did eventually retain him, the move is evidence that they no longer view him as a top prospect.

What to Expect in 2014

Valle has been performing well in the offseason Mexican Winter League, although much of his playing time has come in right field.  Valle might have to look into a position switch if he wants to advance in the Phillies organization, because there appears to be a bit of a logjam at catcher.

Carlos Ruiz and Wil Nieves are expected to be the major league catchers, and it is likely that Rupp and recently acquired former prospect Lou Marson will handle the duties at AAA.  Considering that Tommy Joseph – despite his concussion issues – is seen as a much better prospect, he’ll probably receive the bulk of playing time for Reading.  There just might not be much opportunity for Valle to prove himself.