Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 3/5/12

 

Former random MLB outfielder/first baseman Eric Valent is from La Mirada, CA, which is actually Spanish for “The View” or “The Glance” whichever you prefer.  Valent stayed in Cali for college and went to UCLA on teams stacked with Troy Glaus, Eric Byrnes, Chase Utley, and Garrett Atkins. Valent was actually one of the most promising out of the all-star bunch; he helped them to a College World Series appearance, and currently has the most career Pac-10 homeruns with 69, along with the school record for 219 RBI’s in his 3 years at UCLA.  Valent entered the 1995 MLB Draft and was selected 42nd overall.

In his first two years in A and A+ he dominated hitting 51 doubles, 33 bombs, and 159 RBI’s. When he started off in AA his power thrived with 22 HR’s, but his BA significantly dropped to .258. The next year in AAA he picked it back up with 21 dingers and an improved .272 BA. He was finally called up to the bigs in June at age 24.

In 41 AB’s Valent only got 4 hits for the Philies (.098 BA). The next season he only played in 7 games and went 2-10. Finally in 2003 he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for well-known catcher Kelly Stinnett. Valent played in 18 games and in his 42 AB’s he got 9 hits, a 5 hit improvement from his ’01 season. Thankfully for Valent’s career, in the offseason he was drafted to the New York Mets  from the Reds in the Rule 5 Draft.

 

2004 was by far the best of Valent’s major league career. He played in 130 games and totaled 270 AB’s some as a starter and some as a pinch hitter. He set all career highs with 15 doubles, 13 bombs, drove in 34, walked 28 times, .267 batting average, a .337 OBP, and a .818 OPS…and on top of that hit for the cycle.

The next season was not so good, he went 8-43  and had to go down to the minors. In 2006 he was signed by the San Diego Padres, but three months later he was also released by the Padres.

After the MLB days, Valent signed to play for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the JPL.

Valent is now a guest writer on Jimmy Scott’s High and Tight blog along with Desi Relaford and Brent Mayne

-Schotz

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