The 2017 Phuture Phillies Reader Top 30 comes to a close with the selection of Jesse Valentin as your selection as the #30 prospect in the Phillies’ organization. Valentin received 98 of 334 votes (29%) for a plurality victory. Bailey Falter (66 votes, 20%) finished second. Jose Pujols (40 votes, 12%), Victor Arano (28 votes, 8%), and Daniel Brito (27 votes, 8%) finished third through fifth.
Jesse Valentin was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1st round (51st overall) of the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He was traded to the Phillies on August 16, 2014 as the first of two PTBNL in lieu of cash in the Roberto Hernandez trade of August 7th. Victor Arano was the second PTBNL on August 28th.
Valentin had a so-so first professional season in 2012 in the rookie Arizona League (.211/.352/.316). However, he began a pattern of putting balls in play and keeping his strike out rate down that he carried through all levels.
In 2013, Valentin rebounded with strong metrics in the rookie Pioneer league (.284/.379/.396), but stumbled in full-season A Ball in the Midwest League (.212/.325/.293).
In 2014 and back in the Midwest League, Valentin again rebounded with a strong season (.280/.349/.430) before being traded to the Phillies and assigned to Advanced A Clearwater where he posted weak numbers in a small sample of 49 PA (.205/.255/.250).
Valentin’s 2015 season was derailed by a stint on the restricted list. He returned in time to post some strong numbers (.273/.351/.424) for a Threshers’ team involved in a successful playoff race.
Valentin continued to play well in 2016 for Reading (.276/.346/.399). He was promoted mid-season to Lehigh Valley and saw his numbers slip a little (.248/.325/.381).
In four seasons in the Puerto Rican Winter League, Valentin has played well against much older competition.
- 2012 – 18 PA, .250/.471/.417
- 2013 – 27 PA, .320/.370/.360
- 2014 – 89 PA, .278/.341/.367
- 2015 – 179 PA, .270/.307/.319
Valentin was drafted as a shortstop and has played both middle infield positions. He has also logged innings at third base and both corner outfield positions. However, it has been apparent since 2013 (at least to me) that second base is his best position. (Career Fld% of .976 at second base, .911 at shortstop.)
Valentin exhibits a decent knowledge of the strike zone. He doesn’t strike out much and works walks.
- Year Age Dif Tm Lev PA BB BB% SO K%
- 2012 18 -1.4 Dodgers Rk 197 35 17.8% 24 12.2%
- 2013 19 -1.6 Ogden Rk 293 33 11.3% 34 11.6%
- 2013 19 -2.3 Great Lakes A 122 16 13.1% 28 23.0%
- 2014 20 -1.5 Great Lakes A 462 38 8.2% 72 15.6%
- 2014 20 -2.7 Clearwater A+ 49 3 6.1% 6 12.2%
- 2015 21 -1.7 Clearwater A+ 118 12 10.2% 15 12.7%
- 2016 22 -2.3 Reading AA 388 38 9.8% 56 14.4%
- 2016 22 -4.5 Lehigh Valley AAA 123 12 9.8% 24 19.5%
Valentin’s father is former major league shortstop Jose Valentin who played 15 years with the Brewers, White Sox, Dodgers, and Mets from 1992 through 2007. You may have noticed that I often refer to Jesmuel as Jesse. I saw him listed both ways when the trade was consummated. When I met him at the Complex after the trade, I asked him which he preferred. He didn’t care and said Jesse was fine.
The Reader Top 30 is complete. However, I’ll continue posting polls for a few days until I get tired of it. So, it may end abruptly. I have added some random guys at my discretion – Brock Stassi, Arquimedes Gamboa, Jiandido Tromp, Zack Coppola, Austin Bossart, Jonathan Guzman, Luke Leftwich, Luis Carrasco, Mauricio Llovera, and Francisco Morales. Soooo, next up is your selection for the Plus One prospect in the organization.
Poll to date –
- J.P. Crawford
- Jorge Alfaro
- Mickey Moniak
- Roman Quinn
- Nick Williams
- Franklyn Kilome
- Sixto Sanchez
- Rhys Hoskins
- Dylan Cozens
- “C” Randolph
- Scott Kingery
- Kevin Gowdy
- Harold Arauz
- Andrew Knapp
- Jhailyn Ortiz
- Adonis Medina
- Mark Appel
- Nick Pivetta
- Ben Lively
- Alberto Tirado
- Elniery Garcia
- Nick Fanti
- Cole Stobbe
- Drew Anderson
- Andrew Pullin
- Carlos Tocci
- Ricardo Pinto
- Jordan Kurokawa
- Thomas Eshelman
- Jesse Valentin