Mets prospect Freddy Valdez could bring his professional career stateside in 2020. The team will get an ever better feel of the young, power-hitting player then...
Weight: 212 lbs
MLB Pipeline Mets Prospect Ranking: 18
2019 Statistics: .268 batting average, .358 on-base percentage with 15 doubles, five home runs, 36 RBI and six stolen bases in 57 games
Freddy Valdez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where he trained with Luis Pereira. Very early in the scouting process he garnered a lot of attention because of his projectable frame and natural ability to loft the ball with backspin at a young age. He was a very prominent prospect at the team-based and league-based showcases, where he showed his above average power and physicality at the plate.
As the 2018 international signing period was about to open, Valdez was ranked inside of the top-30 international prospects in the class by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. Both publications cited his power and his strong throwing arm as his two best traits.
When July 2nd, 2018 came, the Mets agreed to sign Valdez for a $1.45 million signing bonus. Valdez joined Francisco Alvarez as a big international free agent class where the Mets also signed Alvarez for a team record $2.7 million.
With The Mets
Valdez is a bit more raw of a player than Alvarez, thus the Mets did not push him stateside for his professional debut in 2019. He is currently playing with the Mets' Dominican Summer League roster, where he is flashing that touted power bat that he had coming in to signing with the Mets as he's posted 23 extra base hits across 57 games -- including five home runs. He has also showed good plate discipline with 28 walks in 57 games this season. He is not a great athlete, but he has sneakily stolen six bases as well this year.
In 2020 it should be the expectation that Valdez will make the jump the United States and likely get an opportunity to play with either the Rookie level GCL Mets or the rookie level Kingsport Mets -- depending on how he performs in spring training and how the organization feels his development is coming along.
Valdez's calling card is his above average power that scouts believe, as he fills out more, will become a plus tool. There is some fear that he may fill out too much and force himself out of right field (where he is best suited to play currently) and that he could end up a first baseman or a DH.
Valdez has a power over contact approach that will likely lead to lower batting averages, but he also has above average plate discipline for his age. When he swings, he's really going for it and trying to do heavy damage, which at times can get him off balance and cause more swing and miss in his game.
Baseball America compared Valdez to Franmil Reyes of the Indians and MLB Pipeline compared him to former long-time White Sox slugger Jermaine Dye. Valdez to me is a bit of a boom or bust prospect not only just because of his age and distance to the majors, (optimistically 2024), but because players with his profile sometimes flame out at the upper levels of the minors.
If Valdez can grow mechanically and keep himself more balanced and capable of producing more consistent contact, he has legitimate 25-30 home run upside if it all breaks right.
The Mets made a fairly large investment in Valdez and are happy with his progress to date. His growth will be something that I will watch as he moves stateside and see how he adjusts to pitching here and dealing with more breaking balls.
Valdez is an exciting prospect with a lot of upside, but a lot of downside. It would not be at all shocking if you saw Valdez start to creep up the Mets prospect list as early as this time next year.