Prospect Spotlight: Jesmuel Valentin
Over the course of the season, I will try to help you become more familiar with some of the prospects in the Phillies farm system, and here in my first look will start with Clearwater Threshers 2nd baseman Jesmuel Valentin.
Relatively new to the Phillies organization, Valentin was acquired last August as the player to be named later in the trade sending Roberto Hernandez to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Valentin didn’t crack the Top 10 in Baseball America’s list of prospects for the Phillies in 2015, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t a valued prospect.
Valentin was the 51st overall pick in the supplemental 1st round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft. As the son of former 16 year veteran Jose Valentin and nephew to 10 year veteran, Javier Valentin, he has good blood lines.
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Similar in stature to his dad, the 20-year old is also a switch-hitting, middle infielder. Jesmuel doesn’t have the pop in his bat that his father had, but he looks to have a bit more speed. It’s also worth pointing out that his power is still developing.
Valentin had a slash line of .273/.341./412 last season to go along with 7 home runs and 25 stolen bases in 451 at-bats. He displays good discipline through the strike zone, and has improved his numbers across the board in each of his 3 years in the minors while reaching up to High-A.
There’s been no word on where he’ll start the 2015 season, but based on his previous three seasons under Dodgers control, I would assume that another start in Clearwater is in the works before the Phils ultimately move him up to AA-Reading.
Valentin has good range in the field, with above average arm strength, soft hands, and shows quickness transfering the ball out of his glove. I can easily see him staying at 2nd base, forming a longterm doubleplay combination for the Phillies alongside future shortstop, J.P.Crawford. Crawford will likely reach Philly before Valentin but, considering Jesmuel’s bloodlines, I’d say the odds are good that he will not be too far behind Crawford.
I believe that Jesmuel Valentin is an underrated prospect and probably worthy of cracking either Baseball America or MLB’s Top 10 list of Phillies prospects for 2015. No one will know just how the trade to get Valentin will turn out for another year or two. But the Phillies gave up a pitcher who was 34 years old, who had already seen better days.
In return they landed the son and nephew of two former big leaguers who may not have the ceiling of a J.P. Crawford, but who arguably should be a Top 10 team prospect. All things considered, it was a pretty good acquisition in landing Valentin. Especially when he was added for a pitcher who didn’t garner a ton of interest, and wasn’t going to be around when the rebuilding process was finished.