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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