The Dodgers have drafted 2B/SS Jesmuel Valentin
with the 51st overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. That's the Dodgers final pick for Day 1 of the three day event. The Dodgers continued the trend set with the 18th pick when they drafted Corey Seager
, by selecting another position player. Valentin is a middle infielder from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy.
Hello Stan Kasten, yep, this guy has everything to do with the approach the Dodgers took into today's draft. I am sure Kasten and Dodgers assistant general manager Logan White have been attached at the hip for weeks now.
Valentin was ranked by Baseball America as the 71st overall player in today's draft.
The son of Jose Valentin, who spent 16 years in the big leagues, Jesmuel has grown up around the game and spent plenty of time around major league clubhouses. Jesmuel has a similar build to his father at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. He’s primarily a shortstop, but plays a lot of second base in deference to his high school teammate at Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Carlos Correa. He’ll likely get a shot to play shortstop in pro ball and has the defensive versatility to play all over the diamond, but many scouts believe he’s best suited for the keystone. Valentin is a steady defender with a strong arm and is a solid-average runner with good instincts on the bases. His tools play up because of his hard-nosed approach and instincts for the game. At the plate, he has a line-drive approach, and his strong forearms allow him to spray the ball from gap to gap with authority. Valentin projects more as a doubles hitter than a slugger, but he does have the strength and bat speed to hit the ball out of the park. A natural righthanded hitter, he has been switch-hitting for about a year and half and is still working to feel comfortable as a lefty.
Valentin has a smooth, sweet, uppercut swing that definitely has some pop in it. Scouts say he is better from the right side, better approach, better extension in his swing, and produces more bat speed. Surprisingly, scouting reports show Valentin as having more average from the right side, but more power from the left.
Like his father, Valentin projects to be a solid middle infielder, one whose strong arm but somewhat limited range make him a perfect fit for second base. At the plate, he's a switch-hitter and appears to be a line-drive machine with gap power. The bloodline is good and he is one of the top three second baseman's in the draft. Yes, he is going to be a second baseman, so nobody should be reading between the lines as it relates to Dee Gordon