Sahid Valenzuela shows value of defensive versatility

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 11: A detailed view of the cap and Wilson baseball glove belonging to Tony Kemp #5 of the Oakland Athletics sitting on top of the dugout steps against the Chicago White Sox in the bottom of the seventh inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 11, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 11: A detailed view of the cap and Wilson baseball glove belonging to Tony Kemp #5 of the Oakland Athletics sitting on top of the dugout steps against the Chicago White Sox in the bottom of the seventh inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 11, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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At first glance, Sahid Valenzuela would not appear to be much of a prospect for the Oakland A’s.

He did not hit much in his first taste of professional ball, producing a .618 OPS with 12 extra base hits in 231 plate appearances for the Stockton Ports in 2021. However, that modest effort was better than his production this past year, as Valenzuela posted a .551 OPS with 14 extra base hits in 262 plate appearances.

Sahid Valenzuela could be part of Oakland A’s future despite stats

But there is something interesting hidden in those numbers. Not only did Valenzuela start the 2022 season in High-A, but he also received a promotion to Double-A in the middle of June. It is also interesting to note that Valenzuela performed better at Double-A than in A-ball.

It is also fair to say that his bat will not carry his career. Valenzuela’s greatest asset is his defensive flexibility as he made appearances at second, third, and left last season. He also spent time at short in 2021. That ability to slot around the diamond has a great deal of value.

That is especially the case with a team such as the A’s. They value the type of versatility that Valenzuela possesses. The A’s have continually given players a chance due to their ability to slot around the diamond despite their drawbacks with the bat.

All of that gives Valenzuela a chance. If he can provide anything at all offensively, he could easily get a look at the major league level. But it all comes down to the bat and that is, at this point, not exactly a given.

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Sahid Valenzuela has not hit at all in the minors. However, his defensive versatility could lead to a chance with the Oakland A’s.

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