Pos: OF B/T: R/R Age: 12/6/2001 (17)
Acquired: International Free Agent from Dominican Republic on July 2, 2018
2018 Stats: Hasn’t played yet
The Mets went big in this last free agent class as they have in the last few international free agency periods. Catcher Francisco Alaverez got the big bonus (Mets record $2.7 million), but Freddy Valdez got himself $1.45 million from the Mets, one of the largest franchise history.
The deal was in place November of 2017, when he was just 15. The Mets saw a lot out of Valdez early on and made sure he did not sign elsewhere. He ranked 29th on Baseball America’s IFA list and 27th on MLB.com’s.
Valdez has a really big frame at 6’3″ and 212 pounds. He is still growing and it already a below average runner, meaning he could be forced to move to first base but for now, he will stick in the outfield. He does have an above average arm which would profile him as a fit in right, if he stays in outfield,
As you might be able to tell from his description, his standout tool right now is the impressive raw power.
Ben Badler of Baseball America had this to say about him, “Valdez was the biggest player at the showcase, a physically mature 16-year-old whose game is built around his size and strength. Valdez’s best offensive tool is his raw power, with a power-over-hit profile. Valdez doesn’t have natural hitting rhythm, so it may take time for him to improve his balance and timing to sync everything up in games to tap into his power.”
The Mets have been aggressive with their big bonus kids but it is still tough to envision Valdez not beginning in the DSL. With the trade of Ross Adolph and Jarred Kelenic, Valdez is instantly one of the most interesting outfield prospects in the system now. If he flashes the raw power that he is capable of, expect him to fly up this list in the mid-season update.