Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Contemplating Danny Valencia

I've not been too high on Danny Valencia. Entering the season he was an old prospect with middling power numbers and little control of the strike zone, reputed to play mediocre defense and to grouse a lot.

And now ... well, after 14 hits in his last four games, he's hitting an even .400. It's just 90 at-bats, 98 plate appearances, but his OPB is .449 and his slugging percentage is .511.

Nobody can seriously believe that he's really a .400 hitter; I suspect that if he played every day the rest of the way he'd hit under .300, but that is at least in the realm of possibility.

The most impressive piece of his stat line to me is his walk-strikeout ratio: eight walks, 11 strikeouts. That matches his walk total in Triple A last season (282 pate appearances).

If he's really capable of a BB/K rate close to 1:1, he's a bona fide major league hitter, even if not a slugger. But he has no track record of that in the minors.

This I know: He's playing for a manager given to sticking with the hot hand regardless of the underlying skills, and he's hot. And with two infield regulars on the disabled list, somebody's got to play.

He's going to get plenty of opportunity to find his true level.


  1. Denard Span didn't show in the minors that he was capable of a good BB/K rate either (129BB/246K in 1641 PA at AA and AAA) but has shown to be much better in the majors (163BB/195K in 1544 PA).
    i think Valencia could do something similar. he had 81BB/181K in 1032 PA at AA and AAA so his improvement to 8BB/11K in the majors is shown by Span to be not unheard of.
    it could just be that, at a certain point, they get disinterested in the minors and feel deserving of a callup. i'm not defending my assumption, i'm just saying it's a possibility.
    also, i think it should be noted that it would be nice if his BB/K numbers improved but it's not mandatory. Delmon Young has 20BB/56K since the start of last September, but he's hitting so well that no one is complaining.

  2. this date in Twins history

    The Twins trade Mark Redman to the Tigers for P Todd Jones.

    Mike Trombley records his 16th save of the year as the Twins best the Athletics 5-3. C Javier Valentin knocks in 2 runs.

    Twins 2B Todd Walker ties a club record with his 9th consecutive hit‚ in a 3-0 victory over KC. He also matches a club record by reaching base safely 11 straight times. Walker's batting average is now up to .352.

    Wille Banks outduels Randy Johnson as the Twins best the Mariners 5-1 at the Kingdome. Banks (7-7) goes 7 innings and allows 3 hits and one run. Larry Casian gets the last 4 outs for his 1st save of the season. 1B Dave Winfield belts his 17 home run in the victory.

    Randy Bush hits a Grand Slam and Frank Viola (11-9) tosses a complete game 3-hitter as the Twins defeat the California Angels 6-1 at the Metrodome.