Jordany Valdespin started in right field on Opening Day for his Winter League team in the Dominican Republic this week, according to ESPN New York.
Terry Collins told reporters in September that he instead expected Valdespin to play second base in winter ball.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com:
This makes sense, because I think the Mets have no choice but to continue using Daniel Murphy at second base. He really can’t be traded, because A) he’s shown to be more or less a singles hitter, B) he’s decent at second base, not great, and c) most teams already have plenty of guys who can do A or B, so they probably aren’t trading for yours… This is what Sandy Alderson is essentially saying when he says Murphy has more value to the Mets than he does to another team. For what it’s worth, Murphy showed he can be at least competent enough at second base to justify being there, especially if he’s going to hit .290…
That said, it makes total sense to get Valdespin more work in right field… and any other position this guys think he’s capable of playing, because his real value is in being a utility guy.
Yes, Valdespin is full of potential, but he just isn’t selective enough at the plate to be in their every day against all sorts of pitching. Also, while he can rip a fastball, he struggles with off speed stuff, which is why he was so successful late in games off the bench (with runners on base). Of course, this is also why he failed when starting and batting lower in the order, especially when surrounded by such below-average talent.
I can see Valdespin as a mildy successful starting right fielder next season, so long as he’s batting leadoff or second in the order, and so long as the team acquires additional, legit power in center, behind the plate or in left field. However, if Valdespin is in right, batting down in the order, and with similar production coming from those other positions, it’s going to be a mess and more of the same. Instead, I believe he’s best used playing a variety of positions, against select match ups, and certainly as a pinch hitter late in games, all while getting around 200 at bats on the season.