Scouting Jays Prospect #45: Denny Valdez

The Toronto Blue Jays signed right-handed pitcher Denny Valdez out of the Dominican Republic back in 2008. Considered a project at the time, his career has been marred by ineffectiveness and injury but he continues to show a big league arm with a ton of potential.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Denny Valdez
Position: Relief Pitcher
DOB: May 8, 1990
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 185
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

A position prospect in his amateur days, Valdez has slowly been trying to make the successful transition to the mound since he initially signed with the Blue Jays. Boasting a plus big league arm, he has been working on his secondary pitches in particular.

He seemed to be well on his way in his second professional season too, posting a 2.20 ERA for the DSL Blue Jays and limiting opposing batters to a paltry .214 opponent's batting average, but succumbed to Tommy John surgery and then missed the entire 2010 season.

Valdez made just a handful of rehab starts with the GCL Blue Jays in 2011 but really turned some heads with his performance at Instructs this offseason.

"For me he was probably the biggest surprise at Instructs," one National League Central scout told FutureJays.com. "The offspeed pitches need a lot of work but boy, that arm is a sure-fire big league weapon.

"If he can get that splitter or breaking ball to work with his heater, you're looking at a potential big league impact reliever."

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

2011

GCL Blue Jays

0-1

0

4.1

6

5

3

10.38

2009

DSL Blue Jays

1=0

0

32.2

24

12

23

2.20

2008

DSL Blue Jays2

0-2

0

6.0

9

11

3

16.50



Repertoire. Fastball, Splitter/Change, Curveball.

Fastball. Valdez is a true power pitcher who sits comfortably in the 93-95 mph range already and he does it with an ease of motion seldom found in power bullpen arms. Because of that effortless delivery he can get deceptive with his fastball as opposing batters don't realize it is coming in quite that hard.

Other Pitches. His best secondary weapon at the current time is a changeup that acts more like a splitter velocity-wise. It doesn't dive down like most splitters, however, and it could use a bit more movement. He rounds out his repertoire with an intriguing curveball that his both promising and wildly inconsistent. It gets good break at times but his command of it is lacking overall.

Pitching: Valdez is primarily a fastball pitcher who tries to overpower batters with his heat but has trouble commanding any of his pitches consistently. It is his lack of strike-throwing ability that can make him hittable despite the great fastball as opposing batters can sit dead-red.

Projection. Valdez's long-term future solely depends on the eventual development of his secondary pitches. He simply needs to have a complimentary pitch that he can reliably throw for strikes if for no other reason than to change speeds or eye levels. Should that aspect of his game come together he has the kind of fastball that could be a welcomed addition in the back-end of a big league bullpen. He is all projection at this time.

ETA. N/A. At 21 years old already and now back from his surgery, Valdez needs to move quicker. The Blue Jays are going to want to test him in A-ball in 2012 so he should break camp with low-A Lansing and could possibly see some time in high-A Dunedin before year's end.

Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Denny Valdez
\r\nPosition: Relief Pitcher
\r\nDOB: May 8, 1990
\r\nHeight: 6'3\"
\r\nWeight: 185
\r\nBats: Right
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\nA position prospect in his amateur days, Valdez has slowly been trying to make the successful transition to the mound since he initially signed with the Blue Jays. Boasting a plus big league arm, he has been working on his secondary pitches in particular.
\r\n
\r\nHe seemed to be well on his way in his second professional season too, posting a 2.20 ERA for the DSL Blue Jays and limiting opposing batters to a paltry .214 opponent's batting average, but succumbed to Tommy John surgery and then missed the entire 2010 season.
\r\n
\r\nValdez made just a handful of rehab starts with the GCL Blue Jays in 2011 but really turned some heads with his performance at Instructs this offseason.
\r\n
\r\n\"For me he was probably the biggest surprise at Instructs,\" one National League Central scout told FutureJays.com. \"The offspeed pitches need a lot of work but boy, that arm is a sure-fire big league weapon.
\r\n
\r\n\"If he can get that splitter or breaking ball to work with his heater, you're looking at a potential big league impact reliever.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

\r\n Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n SV

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n H

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

\r\n SO

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2011

\r\n

\r\n GCL Blue Jays

\r\n

\r\n 0-1

\r\n

0

\r\n

\r\n 4.1

\r\n

\r\n 6

\r\n

\r\n 5

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 10.38

\r\n

\r\n 2009

\r\n

\r\n DSL Blue Jays

\r\n

\r\n 1=0

\r\n

0

\r\n

\r\n 32.2

\r\n

\r\n 24

\r\n

\r\n 12

\r\n

\r\n 23

\r\n

\r\n 2.20

\r\n

\r\n 2008

\r\n

\r\n DSL Blue Jays2

\r\n

\r\n 0-2

\r\n

0

\r\n

\r\n 6.0

\r\n

\r\n 9

\r\n

\r\n 11

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 16.50


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire. Fastball, Splitter/Change, Curveball.
\r\n
\r\nFastball. Valdez is a true power pitcher who sits comfortably in the 93-95 mph range already and he does it with an ease of motion seldom found in power bullpen arms. Because of that effortless delivery he can get deceptive with his fastball as opposing batters don't realize it is coming in quite that hard.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches. His best secondary weapon at the current time is a changeup that acts more like a splitter velocity-wise. It doesn't dive down like most splitters, however, and it could use a bit more movement. He rounds out his repertoire with an intriguing curveball that his both promising and wildly inconsistent. It gets good break at times but his command of it is lacking overall.
\r\n
\r\nPitching: Valdez is primarily a fastball pitcher who tries to overpower batters with his heat but has trouble commanding any of his pitches consistently. It is his lack of strike-throwing ability that can make him hittable despite the great fastball as opposing batters can sit dead-red.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. Valdez's long-term future solely depends on the eventual development of his secondary pitches. He simply needs to have a complimentary pitch that he can reliably throw for strikes if for no other reason than to change speeds or eye levels. Should that aspect of his game come together he has the kind of fastball that could be a welcomed addition in the back-end of a big league bullpen. He is all projection at this time.
\r\n
\r\nETA. N/A. At 21 years old already and now back from his surgery, Valdez needs to move quicker. The Blue Jays are going to want to test him in A-ball in 2012 so he should break camp with low-A Lansing and could possibly see some time in high-A Dunedin before year's end.
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