The Cincinnati Reds have added to their international signing class that began July 2nd of 2019, signing right-handed pitcher Kelvin Valdez. Ben Badler of Baseball America was the first to report this signing. Badler reported that Valdez reported that Valdez has been up to 95 MPH.
New international signing for the Cincinnati Reds: 6-foot-3 RHP Kelvin Valdez, 17 years old from the Dominican Republic, recent conversion arm up to 95 mph.https://t.co/r5yaE8rhgS pic.twitter.com/m373HIL7bq
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) September 9, 2020
I reached out and spoke with someone who has seen him a few times.
Kelvin Valdez is a 17-year-old former third baseman from the Dominican Republic. He’s only been pitching for about a year. He looked better every time he worked out/pitched according to the scout I spoke with. He saw him up to 94 MPH in his viewings. The scout also noted he had a hard breaking ball that he’s showing some feel for, but he’s still learning it. Valdez has good size, a projectable frame, and a fresh arm.
This signing comes on the heels of another international signing in the last week, where the Reds picked up left-handed pitcher Nicolo Pinazzi out of Italy. With the 2020 July 2nd class being pushed back, both Pinazzi and Valdez fall into the 2019 class if we are going to classify it that way, adding to a strong class that saw the Reds commit a lot of money to picking up amateur players on the international market in the first year they were allowed to spend more than $300,000 on any individual player since the 2016 class that led to them facing penalties for going over their allotted pool spending amount (this is no longer allowed).
You can read all of our articles on the 2019 international signing class from the Cincinnati Reds here if you’d like. The class is/was headlined by two 7-figure signings. Shortstop Braylin Minier, who is the organizations #22 prospect, and Michel Triana, a first baseman who is the organizations #24 prospect. Unfortunately with the way that 2020 has played out, none of the players from this class have stepped onto the field yet in any official capacity. Triana was with the Reds briefly in Goodyear for minor league spring training before everything was shut down.