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April 19, 2023 at 12:01 PM

Transaction Analysis: Enmanuel Valdez gets the call

Just before noon on Wednesday, Enmanuel Valdez broke the news that he had been promoted to the major leagues on his Instagram page. The news was confirmed through multiple reports, with Yu Chang going on the paternity list as a counter move. Valdez is off to a relatively slow statistical start in Worcester, hitting .180/.289/.333 in 45 plate appearances. However, that was largely due to a pair of rough series to start the year. Last week against Columbus, he went 6-21 with three extra base hits, including a home run and looked a lot more comfortable at the plate, particularly in his performance in Saturday's walk-off victory. He was hitting the ball hard and had no issue with velocity, even up in the zone. Valdez does have substantial platoon splits so expect him to mainly face right-handed pitching during what may be a short major league run. Even if it is only for a brief amount of time, this will be a good first exposure to major league quality pitching for him and will give him an idea of how he’s likely to be pitched when he gets called up in the future. Here is our full scouting report on the newest member of the Boston Red Sox. 


Physical Description: Short, stocky frame. Thick, filled out. No remaining projection. Fringy athlete.

Hit: Starts open in a crouch with his hands high. Rhythmic leg kick. Slight uppercut in his swing. Solid contact skills and knowledge of the strike zone. Good bat speed, hits the ball hard. Above-average hard-hit rate. Will take a walk and make a pitcher pay for missing his spot. Will expand the zone, especially against changeups. Shows substantial platoon splits; does not read the ball as well against lefties. Potential average hit tool against right-handers and below-average against left-handers.

Power: Average raw power. Not a traditional power threat, but uppercut swing path allows him to drive the ball, especially against right-handed pitching. Struggles to impact the baseball against left-handed pitchers.

Run: Below-average speed. Not a base stealing threat. Has a frame that could cause him to get even slower as he ages.

Field: Fringy hands and range. Not a natural fielder. Can make routine plays but tends to lack fluidity and makes things more difficult than they need to be. Has primarily played second and third base in his career, but in 2022 began to see some time in left field and first base in an attempt to find him a long-term defensive home. Potential below-average defender regardless of where he ends up.

Arm: Below-average arm strength.

Career Notes: Acquired from Houston with Wilyer Abreu for Christian Vazquez at the 2022 trade deadline. Was in the midst of a career-best season at the plate at the time he was traded. Was added to the 40-man roster in November 2022 to prevent him from reaching minor league free agency. Participated in 2023 Rookie Development Program.

Summation: Potential up-and-down, platoon bat. Ceiling of a bat-first utility player. Makes hard contact and has a decent approach against right-handed pitchers, but struggles against lefties. Has moved around the diamond, but that is driven by him being below-average defensively and trying to find where he will best fit rather than true versatility. Will have to hit to hold value given defensive limitations.

Photo Credit: Enmanuel Valdez by Kelly O'Connor