2010 Analysis: Raul Valdes

Every time I saw Raul Valdes take the mound, I thought, “how is this guy in the Major Leagues?” His delivery resembles that of a high school shortstop who is thrown into a pitching role because the team has run out of pitchers, and his stuff is marginal at best.

For a while, Valdes seemed to get by – if you judge him by his 1.86 ERA in April. That number is deceiving, however, since during his 9 innings of work in the initial month, he allowed 9 hits (including a homer) and 3 walks, and blew two save opportunities. But something about Valdes (perhaps his smile?) enamored the Mets’ coaching staff, and he hung around for most of the year, finishing with a 4.91 ERA and 1.47 WHIP through 38 games and 58 IP. His one positive was an ability to get batters to swing and miss – he struck out 56 in those 58 innings. However, I will go on a limb and say that was more due to batters not seeing him before rather than advanced ability.

2011 Projection

The Mets have already dropped Valdes from their roster, and I don’t see him returning to the organization in 2011. Although the Mets have already lost Hisanori Takahashi, and likely will lose Pedro Feliciano this winter, I don’t see them adding him as a lefty specialist – mainly because he was ineffective against lefthanded hitters (who hit .330 with a .991 OPS against him). He is a nice enough guy and definitely a team player who will fill any role asked of him, but he’s simply not very good.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Walnutz15 November 10, 2010 at 8:16 am
    Thankfully, Sandy Alderson recognizes crap – and doesn’t really like it…..as we’ve seen in the first couple of weeks on the job.

    Valdes was 33 years old — and was making his first appearances at the Big League-level.

    All the Minaya-Riders were clamoring for praise when he brought this guy in; and had limited success in the very early goings of this 2010 season.

    The tag line for me was always: “we’ll see where he’s at, later on in the summer.”

    This included Takahashi, Igarashi [who never really got much going], and the rest of the guys the league had never seen before.

    Raul Valdes was a slop-slinger of the highest caliber…..and like others we’re seeing trimmed off the roster; he won’t be missed.

  2. CatchDog November 10, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Valdes was the left handed version of Elmer Dessens. You look at their stuff and then at their numbers and scratch your head.

    Raul was a decent bat off the bench (played center for a good part of his minor career) but Jerry saw him as a mop up, long man and lefty specialist in leveraged situations. Maybe that was our problem…