#15 / Shortstop / Cincinnati Reds
May 20, 1978
Sole member of the Va-sty Boys
The Reds made some pretty high-profile trades this offseason-Mat Latos for 4 separate men, Sean Marshall for 2 half-men, and Wilson Valdez for
a horse Jeremy Horst. This type of offseason move would normally not cause many ripples or turn any heads. It's a light-hitting utility infielder who can handle SS for the number 7 or 8 LH middle reliever on the depth chart. But, you see, Wilson Valdez isn't just a light-hitting utility infielder who can handle SS, he's also the one who mowed down the middle of our order for a save in the 19th inning of that horrific, gangrenous, pestilent wound of a loss to the Phillies on May 25 of last year. Let's take a look at our new Red, Wilson Valdez!
- Valdez was born in the Dominican Republic beach town of Nizao, in the resort province of Peravia, which was also the birthplace of a virtually identical ballplayer, Vladimir Guerrero.
- He is 33 years old, and shares a birthday with Honoré de Balzac (heehee) and Cher. No word on his usage of one-piece thongs, however.
- Valdez was signed by Les Expos de Montréal as un agent libre non sélectionné in 1997.
He has played professional baseball in four different countries, for three different leagues: Canada (MLB), USA (MLB), Japan (NPB), and Korea (KBO).
Valdez has been a member of eleven different MLB organizations in his career: Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles, Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, and now your Cincinnati Reds.
- Kind of looks like a cross between Billy Hamilton and Ludacris:
- Has the lowest career ERA among all players on the Reds with at least one inning pitched.
- Played 45 games at second base, 25 at shortstop, and 24 at la esquina caliente, so he’s essentially a better defending, worse hitting Miguel Cairo who can handle the toughest infield positions, and will almost certainly push power hitting SS Paul Janish to AAA, barring injury.
- Has two last names
Signed for 1 year/$930,000. Has two remaining years of arbitration.
With Wilson Valdez, there are several avenues to traverse as far as memes go.
We have to assume that this utilityman will be patrolling SS for some periods of time this year, and it's also reasonable to assume that our stable of groundballers will offer some double-play opportunities. With BP manning second, I'm absofrigginlutely giddy to use "Wilson-Phillips hold on for a double play" jokes many times throughout the year.
If he ever gets another save at home, and an X goes up on the Great American Ball Park scoreboard in lieu of the Reds' run total for the bottom of the inning, then we can say that the Reds avoided a slippery situation, and we can pin the X on Valdez.