Red Sox call up infield prospect Enmanuel Valdez from Triple-A Worcester, place Yu Chang on paternity list

The Red Sox have called up infield prospect Enmanuel Valdez from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced prior to Wednesday’s contest against the Twins. In order to make room for Valdez on the active roster, fellow infielder Yu Chang was placed on the paternity leave list.

Valdez, 24, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 19 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox originally acquired Valdez alongside outfield prospect Wilyer Abreu from the Astros for catcher Christian Vazquez last August.

After closing out the 2022 season with Worcester, Valdez was added to the Sox’ 40-man roster in November in order to avoid reaching minor-league free agency and becoming eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. He showed flashes of his potential in his first spring training camp with Boston by clubbing two home runs and posting a .389 on-base percentage in Grapefruit League games.

“He can hit,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Valdez back in February. “This kid, he can hit. He controls the strike zone. He can hit. So we’ll try to help him defensively. More comfortable at second than other places. Both of them, Abreu and Valdez, they control the strike zone. They do damage in the strike zone. I’m excited to see them.”

To begin his first full season in the Red Sox organization, Valdez has not gotten off to the best of starts offensively. In his first 11 games with the WooSox this year, the left-handed hitter has batted just .179 (7-for-39) with three doubles, one home run, six RBIs, three runs scored, one stolen base, six walks, and 15 strikeouts in 45 plate appearances.

Despite the slow start at the plate, Valdez did come through with three clutch hits (a solo homer, a game-tying double, and a walk-off single) in a 6-5 win over the Columbus Clippers at Polar Park this past Saturday. For his career at the Triple-A level, the Dominican Republic native is a lifetime .256/.323/.472 hitter with 18 home runs and 68 RBIs in 93 total games spanning 412 trips to the plate.

Defensively, Valdez has proven to be quite versatile since first signing with the Astros for $450,000 as an international free agent coming out of San Juan de la Maguana in July 2015. So far this season, the 5-foot-8, 191-pounder has seen all of his playing time come at second base. With the WooSox last year, though, he also logged 24 innings at third base and 25 innings in left field.

Valdez, who does not turn 25 until December, is slated to become the second member of the 2023 Red Sox to make their major-league debut this season, joining Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida. With that being said, Valdez’s first stint as a big-leaguer may not last too long.

That being the case because, according to’s Christopher Smith, the Red Sox promoted Valdez “with the idea it might be for only a short period of time” since he is only replacing Chang while his counterpart is out on paternity leave. Chang and his wife, Ling, are expecting the birth of their second child soon.

Regardless of the circumstances, Valdez’s first call-up comes at a fitting time since Vazquez is in town with the Twins. As he prepares to make his big-league debut on Wednesday night, Valdez will be batting ninth and starting at second base for the Red Sox.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN+ and MLB Network.

(Picture of Enmanuel Valdez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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