With Michael Cuddyer on the bereavement list, the Twins called up top prospect Danny Valencia from Triple-A Rochester. MLB.com's Kelly Thesier tweets that Valencia will make his major league debut tonight at third base when the Twins play the Mariners.
A 19th-round pick in the 2006 draft, Valencia has a .298/.353/.469 line in 2005 minor league at-bats, though just a .742 OPS in 483 PA at the Triple-A level. Baseball America's John Manuel described Valencia as one of the "untouchable" prospects at last year's trade deadline, and the Twins hope the 25-year-old can develop into an everyday third baseman.
Valencia is the third notable Twins prospect to get a cup of coffee with the big club this season, as Trevor Plouffe (their first-round pick in the 2004 amateur draft) and catcher Wilson Ramos ("one of the better trade chips in baseball") made their debuts earlier this season to fill holes in the banged-up Minnesota lineup. While Ramos was never going to displace Joe Mauer behind the plate and Plouffe hasn't hit well enough in the minors to be considered a blue chipper, every opportunity exists for Valencia to stick around in the majors. As Manuel noted in his story, "third base has been a black hole" for the Twins since the days of Corey Koskie. Nick Punto (.574 OPS this season) and Brendan Harris (.478 OPS) could both be easily displaced if Valencia gets off to a hot start.
do you realize that this kid is a top prospect? If he comes out strong he will be staying with the team? please actually research and learn about a player before you make statements about his playing abilities you just make yourself look foolish
Baseball America ranked him the Twins #6 prospect, and nowhere near the top-100 overall. At age 25, his shelf life is running short. He either needs to make the bigs and stick this year or next, or he’s going to be considered a bust. Already his upside in the majors looks limited; he’ll certainly never make an all-star team.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see this kid come up and be an impact player as much as anyone; but he simply doesn’t appear to be the second-coming-of-Koskie that we’ve all been hoping for. I hope I’m wrong, though.
Valencia wasn’t exactly killing the ball in AAA to warrant a call-up, but might as well give him a shot. I just hope Gardy gets over his Punto infatuation and realize he’s nothing more than a defensive replacement/spot utility player.
Fourth prospect, Luke Hughes was the first one to get a call up. His appearance was perhaps the most notable too since he homered in his first AB.
i understand that but for the first comment basically saying that he going to up for a cup of coffee and that is it. Correct me if I am wrong wasn’t he untouchable last year and the deadline? all I was saying that he is not some AAAA player he is a legit prospect that will not just be a temp. call up if he hits out of the gate.
I wouldn’t hold my breath on Valencia either, as much as I’d like to. I hope he proves me wrong, but he’s already 25, will be 26 before season’s end, and hasn’t shown much of anything above the Double-A level. Twins scouts seem to be able to rack up outfield, pitching, and catching talent. However we seldom draft infielders, and when we do, they seem to more or less tank. When was the last team we had an infielder come up through our minor league system and stick?
You can count Morneau, I suppose, but even he was drafted as a catcher…