The 5-foot-11, 160 pound Venezuelan has not been fazed by competing against older players. He has been among the league leaders in several categories and was named a league all-star, starting at second base for the National League in Tuesday's contest.
Valera is third in batting at .336, a surprising 16th in slugging at .441 and in the top 20 in on-base and OPS. His 13 doubles ties him for 11th and he is tied for sixth with three triples.
In the following interview, Valera talks about his defense, his baserunning, his relative youth, his focus for improvement and more.
As in the earlier interview with Jesus Montero, Valera needed to deliver his answers in Spanish, so the audio includes Batavia pitching coach Dernier Orozco serving as translator.
Other recent Muckdogs interviews
Manager Dann Bilardello
Shortstop Alex Mejia
Pitcher Tim Cooney
Catcher Jesus Montero
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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