The Red Sox are acquiring outfield prospect Freddy Valdez from the Mets as one of the players to be named later in the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals back in February, according to The Athletic’s Chad Jennings.
Valdez, 19, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 17 prospect in the Mets’ farm system, ranking fifth among outfielders in the organization.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 222 pounds, the right-handed hitter was originally signed out of the Dominican Republic by New York for $1.4 million at the start of the 2018 international signing period.
In his first full season of pro ball, Valdez posted a.274/.367/.448 slash line to go along with 16 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 39 RBI, 40 runs scored, 31 walks, 49 strikeouts, and six stolen bases over 60 total games and 270 plate appearances between the Dominican Summer League Mets and Gulf Coast League Mets (57 games in the DSL, 3 in the GCL) in 2019. He was named the club’s DSL Player of the Year for his efforts.
After not playing at all in 2020 with the minor-league season being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Valdez did participate in the Mets’ fall instructional league, where he put his raw power and strength on full display.
Per his Baseball America scouting report, the young outfielder “flexed his plus-plus raw power by driving a pitch about 450 feet down the left-field line” during batting practice one time.
Besides that, BA does note that ” the speed of instructional league play was too fast for Valdez, who was one of the younger players in camp.” The rest of his report goes as follows:
“He doesn’t chase out of the zone as much as other hitters his age but struggled to wait on his pitch and do damage. Valdez is a power-over-hit corner outfielder, with below-average hitting ability. His physical, mature body will keep him locked in right field, where he has below-average defensive instincts and a strong arm that is mitigated by a long arm action and slow release.”
Valdez, who does not turn 20 until early December, has seen most of his playing time (49 games) as a professional to this point come in right field with one game in left field mixed in there as well.
Since he signed with the Mets nearly three years ago, Valdez has risen from the organization’s 28th-ranked prospect in 2019, to the organization’s 18th-ranked prospect in 2020, to the organization’s 17th-ranked prospect in 2021.
Although it’s unclear which minor-league level Valdez will start at with the Red Sox, he is under team control through at least 2022, at which point he can become Rule 5 eligible for the first time if he is not added to Boston’s 40-man roster by November of that year.
Valdez is just one of three players to be named later the Red Sox acquired from both the Mets and Royals as part of the trade that sent Benintendi to Kansas City over the winter.
In addition to receiving outfielder Franchy Cordero from the Royals and pitching prospect Josh Winckowski from the Mets, the Sox also acquired one player to be named later from the Mets (Valdez) and two players to be named later from the Royals.
According to MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, the two players from the Royals are expected to be announced later Friday night. So stay tuned for that.
(Picture of Andrew Benintendi: Ron Vesley/Getty Images)