José Valentín

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José Valentín
José Valentín.jpg
San Diego Padres
Coach
Born: (1969-10-12) October 12, 1969 (age 44)
Manatí, Puerto Rico
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 17, 1992 for the Milwaukee Brewers
Last MLB appearance
July 20, 2007 for the New York Mets
Career statistics
Batting average .243
Home runs 249
Runs batted in 816
Teams

José Antonio Valentín (born October 12, 1969 in Manatí, Puerto Rico) is a former Major League Baseball infielder, who played with the Milwaukee Brewers (19921999), Chicago White Sox (20002004), Los Angeles Dodgers (2005), and New York Mets (20062007). Currently he is the 1st base coach for the San Diego Padres. His son Jesmuel was a 1st round pick by the Dodgers in the 2012 MLB Draft.

Medal record
Representing Puerto Rico
Men's Baseball
World Baseball Classic
Silver 2013 San Francisco Team

Baseball career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Valentín was signed on October 12, 1986, by the San Diego Padres as an amateur free agent. However, he was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers on March 26, 1992 with Ricky Bones and Matt Mieske in exchange for Gary Sheffield and Minor League prospect Geoff Kellogg. He made his major league debut with the Brewers on September 17, 1992. On January 12, 2000, and after eight seasons with the Brewers, he was traded with Cal Eldred to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Jaime Navarro and John Snyder. He played five seasons with the White Sox before becoming a free agent on October 29, 2004.

Decline and injuries[edit]

As Valentín got older, however, his range in the field lessened with his foot speed. Therefore he shifted from a strict shortstop to a player who can handle duties at third base, second base, shortstop and left field. On December 21, 2004, he was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, during spring training, he went down with torn ligaments in his left knee, and ended up putting only a .170 batting average in 56 games that season after he returned, serving as a third baseman, left fielder and lefty pinch-hitter. On October 27 of the same year, the Dodgers granted him free agency.

Resurgence with the Mets[edit]

On December 12, 2005, Valentín signed with the New York Mets hoping to make the team as a utility player off the bench, but rebounded from the previous season to have one of the best seasons of his career. He emerged as one of the most solid players in the line-up, becoming the Mets regular second baseman after they traded away Kazuo Matsui. His veteran leadership, mustache, and consistent hitting played a big part in helping the Mets to the 2006 National League Eastern Division title. Valentín capped off his great regular season by hitting two home runs against the Florida Marlins on September 18, 2006, in the division-clinching game.

On November 14, 2006, Valentin re-signed with the Mets for one year, with an option for 2008. Valentín agreed to switch his uniform number from 18 to 22 for the newly signed Moisés Alou a few days later. On July 20, 2007, Valentín fouled a ball off his right leg, breaking his tibia and ending his season after 51 games and a .241 batting average. He re-signed with the Mets to a minor league contract on January 18, 2008, with an invitation to spring training. With the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs, Valentin told the Mets his season was over on June 21, due to physical and mental wear and tear. The Mets released him shortly thereafter. In February 2009, he re-signed with the Mets to a minor league contract; he was released after not making the team out of Spring Training.[1]

MLB career statistics[edit]

Valentín had success as one of the few shortstops with good home run power, averaging 25 homers and 80 RBI over a 162 game season for his career. Although he only has a .243 lifetime batting average (the lowest average among all qualified active players), he has established a .332 lifetime on-base percentage, evidencing his propensity to walk.

Post-retirement career[edit]

Owner/Player of Santurce Crabbers[edit]

In 2004 it was announced that Valentín bought the Santurce Crabbers, one of the most historic professional baseball franchises of the Puerto Rico Baseball League (formerly known as LBPPR). He relocated the team to his native town, and renamed them the Manatí Atenienses. But after a decline in attendance and the reestructuring of the league, Valentín moved the team back to Santurce in 2008, therefore launching the return of the Cangrejeros. He joined his home team as their second baseman becoming the only owner-player in the league.

Double A coach[edit]

In 2011, Valentín became the manager of the Mulos de Manatí team of the Puerto Rico Double A Baseball League.[2]

Manager Fort Wayne Tin Caps[edit]

In 2012 Jose became the manager for the Fort Wayne Tin Caps baseball team which is the Class A minor league farm team of the San Diego Padres.[3] He has been recently referred to as "sleepy" because his uniform number 22 looks like two "z's".

Bench coach of Leones de Ponce[edit]

In 2012, Valentín served as bench coach for the Leones de Ponce team of the Puerto Rico Baseball League.[4]

Puerto Rican team assistant coach[edit]

During the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Valentín served as one of the assistant coaches under Edwin Rodríguez. He was mostly seen as a first-base coach.[5]

First base coach of San Diego Padres[edit]

After the end of the 2013 season, Jose was promoted to the 1st base coach for the San Diego Padres after bench coach Rick Renteria was hired as manager of the Chicago Cubs and former 1st base coach Dave Roberts became bench coach.

Personal life[edit]

Valentín is married and has three children. His son, Jesmuel, is a Major League prospect with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.[6]

Valentín is the older brother of MLB catcher Javier Valentín.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dave Roberts
San Diego Padres first base coach
2014–
Incumbent