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wildcard

Valaika makes a bid to become an everyday player

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9 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Here's a partial list of Orioles who have OPS'd 1.000 or better in a month of 40+ plate appearances since 2000:

David Newhan
Brian Roberts
Jimmy Paredes
Larry Bigbie
Wellington Castillo
Tim Beckham
Jay Gibbons
Felix Pie
Mike Bordick
Craig Gentry
Chance Sisco
Nick Johnson
Ty Wigginton
Chris Parmelee
Chris Singleton
Wilson Betemit
Chris Richard
Nolan Reimold
Jerry Hairston
Kevin Millar

I remember all these guys except Chris Parmelee.  

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I think with regular playing time at worst I think he could be like ty wiggington was. I’d like to think given regular at bats and playing time at one position he could be better than that . Never know until you give him the opportunity . I think he could definitely hit above the Mendoza line which Rio is not doing currently ( or just above it ). 

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3 minutes ago, ofan239 said:

I think with regular playing time at worst I think he could be like ty wiggington was. I’d like to think given regular at bats and playing time at one position he could be better than that . Never know until you give him the opportunity . I think he could definitely hit above the Mendoza line which Rio is not doing currently ( or just above it ). 

So an All-Star?

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If you look at the body of wiggington’s work he did not perform like an all star every year but he had a solid career while playing multiple positions . That would be Vailaka if he can’t hold down one position .

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I think we are focusing a little too much of the Valaika AAA numbers from 2019.

I will summaries why I think Valaika has a chance to be a regular.

1.  There is a opportunity with 3B Ruiz not hitting.  

2. Alberto has been the backup 3B for the better part of a year.   With Ruiz not hitting Alberto could become the regular 3B with Ruiz being  a defensive replacement late in games.

3.  Valaika best defensive position is 2B.   And he is hitting now.   He came through the minors as a SS but has played a lot of 2B.   His arm and range seem to plays best at 2B. 

Why would be become a regular at 27?

Draft in the 9th round Valaika's minor league career was nothing special.   However at 23 in the AA Eastern League he showed some power with 13 homers and a 764 OPS.   That got him a call up to the Rockies and spot as a  UIF  from ages 24-26.  All Stars Trevor Story and DJ LeMahieu  did need a lot of backup but in 2016  Story injured his thumb and missed 56 games.    Valaika filled in at SS  and got 195 at bats while producing a 817 OPS mostly on 13 homers and 11 doubles.   It was the only time in his time with the Rockies the he got consistent at bats in the majors.

Overall Valaika accumulated 2.079 years of service time in his 4 years with the Rockies bouncing between being their UIF and AAA.  His 953 OPS  at AAA Albequerque in 2019 probably gave him some confidence but I agree does not prove he is a great hitter.

Claimed on waivers by the O's this off season he began to get consistent at bats as a utility player.  From August 9th through September 2nd Valaika got 17 games were he had at least 3 at bats.  It took him seven games to find his stroke and start hitting but then he did and now has an 831 OPS.  

Many of you have pointed out that his is probably just a not streak and nothing more.  And you may be right.  But the difference between the rest of Valaika career and now is there is a opportunity for a regular spot and consistent at bats with Ruiz not hitting    Maybe this hot streak turns into a full time position.    I guess we will see.

 

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3 minutes ago, wildcard said:

I think we are focusing a little too much of the Valaika AAA numbers from 2019.

I will summaries why I think Valaika has a chance to be a regular.

1.  There is a opportunity with 3B Ruiz not hitting.  

2. Alberto has been the backup 3B for the better part of a year.   With Ruiz not hitting Alberto could become the regular 3B with Ruiz being  a defensive replacement late in games.

3.  Valaika best defensive position is 2B.   And he is hitting now.   He came through the minors as a SS but has played a lot of 2B.   His arm and range seem to plays best at 2B. 

Why would be become a regular at 27?

Draft in the 9th round Valaika's minor league career was nothing special.   However at 23 in the AA Eastern League he showed some power with 13 homers and a 764 OPS.   That got him a call up to the Rockies and spot as a  UIF  from ages 24-26.  All Stars Trevor Story and DJ LeMahieu  did need a lot of backup but in 2016  Story injured his thumb and missed 56 games.    Valaika filled in at SS  and got 195 at bats while producing a 817 OPS mostly on 13 homers and 11 doubles.   It was the only time in his time with the Rockies the he got consistent at bats in the majors.

Overall Valaika accumulated 2.079 years of service time in his 4 years with the Rockies bouncing between being their UIF and AAA.  His 953 OPS  at AAA Albequerque in 2019 probably gave him some confidence but I agree does not prove he is a great hitter.

Claimed on waivers by the O's this off season he began to get consistent at bats as a utility player.  From August 9th through September 2nd Valaika got 17 games were he had at least 3 at bats.  It took him seven games to find his stroke and start hitting but then he did and now has an 831 OPS.  

Many of you have pointed out that his is probably just a not streak and nothing more.  And you may be right.  But the difference between the rest of Valaika career and now is there is a opportunity for a regular spot and consistent at bats with Ruiz not hitting    Maybe this hot streak turns into a full time position.    I guess we will see.

 

If all you're saying is that Valaika may fall into more-or-less a starting gig for the 2020 Orioles as they play out the string and work around some injuries, I agree.  In 2021 and beyond it's very unlikely his role on a good MLB team is anything but a utility player.

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1 hour ago, DrungoHazewood said:

If all you're saying is that Valaika may fall into more-or-less a starting gig for the 2020 Orioles as they play out the string and work around some injuries, I agree.  In 2021 and beyond it's very unlikely his role on a good MLB team is anything but a utility player.

Well, hard to say about 2021.   Elias probably looks for a regular 3B in the off season.  He  does really have one in the minors.   Bannon probably plays most of 2021 at AAA and may get a call up mid season.   Alberto probably gets traded next July as he will have a year and a half before FA.   Valaika could hold on to a regular spot if he hits or he could fall back to a UIF spot.

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21 minutes ago, wildcard said:

Well, hard to say about 2021.   Elias probably looks for a regular 3B in the off season.  He  does really have one in the minors.   Bannon probably plays most of 2021 at AAA and may get a call up mid season.   Alberto probably gets traded next July as he will have a year and a half before FA.   Valaika could hold on to a regular spot if he hits or he could fall back to a UIF spot.

Nope...there is zero chance Elias enters next year with the thought that Valaika is the starting third baseman, second baseman or anywhere else.

 

And if he does, he should be fired immediately.

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3 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

Nope...there is zero chance Elias enters next year with the thought that Valaika is the starting third baseman, second baseman or anywhere else.

I’m not so sure about that. What if Alberto is traded in the offseason? I don’t see a starting caliber 2B being signed, especially with the possibility of Bannon, Vavra or any of the recently drafted SS’s being a year or less away.

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4 minutes ago, survivedc said:

I’m not so sure about that. What if Alberto is traded in the offseason? I don’t see a starting caliber 2B being signed, especially with the possibility of Bannon, Vavra or any of the recently drafted SS’s being a year or less away.

If he can’t find someone better than Valaika, there’s a huge problem.

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1 minute ago, Sports Guy said:

If he can’t find someone better than Valaika, there’s a huge problem.

I don't know that Elias is concerned with being competitive in 2021.

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3 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

I don't know that Elias is concerned with being competitive in 2021.

I actually disagree with this.  I expect them to be competitive next year BUT this is with the caveat that the young players are producing.  
 

This team is going nowhere if the existing organizational talent doesn’t develop.  The sooner that happens, the quicker the Os become legit.

Either way, it’s not hard to find someone that you should be able to rely upon more than Valaika.

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19 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

Nope...there is zero chance Elias enters next year with the thought that Valaika is the starting third baseman, second baseman or anywhere else.

And if he does, he should be fired immediately.

That's way over the top.  As @Can_of_corn said, '21 is not the year where anyone is expecting 80 wins.  There will still be numerous holes, you can't fill all of them at once.  There will be some guys like Valaika marking time until a better player comes along.

Lost in this thread's hyperbole is that Valaika isn't a terrible player. He's just very unlikely to be a regular on a good team.  He's about as good as a Ryan Flaherty or Lenn Sakata or Jeff Reboulet or something.  Almost every team has players like that.

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5 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

I actually disagree with this.  I expect them to be competitive next year BUT this is with the caveat that the young players are producing.  
 

This team is going nowhere if the existing organizational talent doesn’t develop.  The sooner that happens, the quicker the Os become legit.

Either way, it’s not hard to find someone that you should be able to rely upon more than Valaika.

We'll see.  I think 2021 will be another year of Elias slow rolling promotions.

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