Malvin Valdez was the top signing in the 2021 class from the international side of things for the Cincinnati Reds last January. The outfielder from the Dominican Republic was assigned to the Dominican Summer League when their season began in the middle of July when their season began.

The then 17-year-old made his debut on July 12th and things didn’t go as well as he would have hoped, going 0-5 with four strikeouts on the day. Things picked up after that, though. In the remaining 11 games of the month he went 11-36 (.306) with 11 walks and eight stolen bases.

When the calendar flipped to August, Valdez went into a slump, going 4-28 through the first eight games. He would hit .267 in the remaining nine games of the month. September (and two games into October) were inconsistent and saw the outfielder struggle as he hit just .194 over the final 22 games of the year. He did add another nine steals, bringing his total on the year to 25 in just 51 games played.

For all 2021 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Malvin Valdez Scouting Report

Position: Outfield | B/T: R/R

Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 178 lbs | Acquired: International FA (2021)

Born: October 14, 2003

Hitting | He has an average hit tool.

Power | There’s above-average raw power to tap into.

Speed | He has plus-plus speed.

Defense | He’s an above-average defender.

Arm | He has a plus arm.

Right now the tools for Malvin Valdez are far ahead of the skills for the outfielder. That’s not terribly surprising given that he spent the season as a 17-year-old. Still, there were some struggles at the plate as he hit just .218 and struck out 73 times in 212 plate appearances – a 34% strikeout rate.

Not everything was a struggle, though. He did walk 17% of the time and stole 25 bases in 30 attempts, and as the season went along he began to show more power.

At the plate there’s work to be done. He’s going to have to really cut down on the strikeout rate as he moves forward. A part of that is going to have to come from performing better on breaking balls. It’s tough to truly put a ton of faith in not just numbers from the Dominican Summer League, but particularly this year when coming off of the 2020 year that we all experienced, too.

There’s true 5-tool potential for Malvin Valdez and the upside is quite high. One of the more athletic players the organization has seen in recent years he’s got a lot working in his favor. But he may also be a guy who takes a bit longer to develop, particularly at the plate, too.

Malvin Valdez Spray Chart

Interesting Stat on Malvin Valdez

He went 3-23 (.136) against left-handed pitchers in 2021.

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5 Responses

  1. Bourgeois Zee

    Valdez certainly struggled this season.

    Others on his team did not.

    In nearly 200 PAs, 17-year-old SS Carlos Jorge was 9th in the league in BA, 16th in OBP, 2nd in SLG, and 5th in OPS. 32 K in those 188 PAs, fwiw, indicate he didn’t struggle with the ramp up in talent (as others across the DOSL did). 27 SB against 5 CS indicates either a quick, aggressive thinker or quality speed. Either is a positive attribute.

    Lots of young guys showed out in the Dominican. Four Red prospects hit .300+ and none of them was over 18. Two 17-year-olds had slugging percentages over .500.

    As for the pitching… Did I mention how well the Reds’ DOSL hit?

    It’ll be interesting to see how these kids develop as they move to Arizona and complex ball. (If, indeed, they do.)

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah, the DSL team had a lot of interesting guys this past season, for sure. I’d guess that a lot of the starting players from the 2021 DSL squad are in Arizona next year.

    • Stock

      I agree Bourgeois Zee. I have Jorge and Balcazar in my top 20. Balcazar was one of the youngest players in the league and before he got hurt was at the top of the league in all the power categories. Jorge had more BB than K in September. Two very impressive seasons. I don’t know about their defense but Balcazar was slotted in at SS from day one and when he was hurt Jorge played SS. It would not surprise me to see Jorge in Daytona at some point this year.

  2. DaveCT

    Plus plus speed, above average defender at age 17, plus arm and good size are all things that could easily send Valeez up the chain to a 4/5 OF role. Perhaps the organization’s more systemic (and less archaic) development program can help him reach a good place with his hitting. I’d hope Arizona and then instructional league can help him get more adjusted so that he can have a decent first full season performance in Florida. If human cloning were part of the next basic agreement, I’d select Valdez, Cedrolla and Almonte for my Juan Soto prototype.