Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Welcome to the Blue, Breyvic Valera!

As you certainly know by now, Logan Forsythe was put on the 10-day DL, so the Dodgers called up infielder Breyvic Valera (#33) from Triple-A Oklahoma City over the weekend. Since then he has appeared in two games with the club as a pinch hitter -- walking once and lining out to right field. Per a Dodgers press release:
Valera, 26, has appeared in seven games with the OKC Dodgers this season and has gone 6-for-19 (.316) with six runs, two doubles and six RBI along with a .417 on-base percentage. Valera, who is set to make his Dodger debut, was acquired by Los Angeles on April 1 in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals.
In 2017, Valera made his big league debut with St. Louis after being called-up to the big league club on September 5 and went 1-for-10 (.100) with one walk in five games. He spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Memphis, slashing .314/.368/.450 with 22 doubles, six triples, eight home runs, 41 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 117 games. The Venezuelan native has posted a .303 career batting average with 132 doubles, 36 triples, 14 home runs, 310 RBI and 239 stolen bases along with a .360 on-base percentage in 807 minor league games over nine seasons with the Cardinals (2010-17) and Dodgers (2018) organizations. The speedy utility player has played the majority of his career at second base (447 games), but has also seen time at shortstop (123 games), third base (66 games), left field (103 games), right field (37 games) and center field (10 games).
Per Chad Thornburg at MLB.com:
"He's versatile, he can run, he gets on base and doesn't strike out a lot," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Valera. "Actually, he's pretty interesting. At 26, he's on the cusp of making a breakthrough."
Per DodgerChatter at LA Dodger Talk:
The Dodgers moved in quickly when the Montalban, Venezuela native was designated for assignment by the Cardinals. Perhaps that explains why right-hander Cory Mazzoni was placed on waivers by the Dodgers after having claimed him on waivers from the Cubs just three days earlier. That is, to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Valera. 
So what caught the eye of FAZ with Valera? I expect it is that he fits the profile of the players they like to add for depth at the MLB level. He is a switch hitter and although primarily a second baseman (418 games), he has had experience at third base (52 games), shortstop (121 games) and the outfield (149 games). 
He also has an impressive minor league resume with a lifetime batting average of .303 over eight seasons. During the 2017 season with the AAA Memphis Redbirds he hit .314 with eight home runs, 41 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases. 
From July 4 through the end of the 2017 season, Valera ranked 12th among all minor leaguers with a .359 average including 24 multi-hit games . During one stretch his bat was especially hot with a 26-game hitting streak. From July 30 through August 29 he hit .366 with a .415 OBP .
Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider:
“I’m very happy that they gave me the opportunity,” Valera said through an interpreter. “I’m happy that they were able to look at me and, being that I came from another team, they were willing to give me this opportunity and I’m thankful and I’m going to work hard.”
In celebration of Valera's  recent call-up I made two fantasy Baseball cards of him (seen above).

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